The past few weeks have been pretty hectic and, like all of you, I imagine, I’ve been looking for something festive and simple to stitch. I’ve always wanted to make an ornament for our tree but, as you all know, counted work it not my forté and most of the ornament patterns out there are counted work of one variety or another.
So, I decided to create my own ornament using surface embroidery. Many of you are familiar with the shape of a strawberry pin cushion. It occurred to me that this would be a perfect shape for a simple embroidered ornament.
The first ornament uses a simple holly and berry motif. I love holly and always draw holly sprigs on my gift tags every year. I decided on red holly shaped leaves made from boiled wool for the top of the ornament.
The second ornament is a pine branch and pine cone motif. Although we don’t have pine trees on our property, I love seeing them here in Iowa, covered with snow. They’re so festive! I made simple green leaves from hand dyed felted wool for the top of this ornament.
Although I love boiled wool, it just isn’t easy to find here in the USA in the colours I wanted. I needed something for the green leaves of the pine cone ornament so I zipped over to Etsy and found some absolutely beautiful, soft, intensely coloured felted wool from Ruby Mountain Dye Works. It is gorgeous fabric! I loved it so much that I ordered more just to have it in my stash for a day when I would use it as a ground fabric for a piece of embroidery.
I ordered this selection of green wool for the leaves of the pine cone ornament and used the darkest green for the leaves. However, I am confident that regular felt will work just fine as well!
At the end of this post you will find the pattern for both ornaments, including a pattern for the leaves.
Here are brief instructions for each ornament. The stitches are simple and there are tutorials on the internet to help you if you aren’t sure about how to do them. There is a link below for the raised leaf stitch used on the pine cone ornament from my blog.
Holly: the holly leaf outlines are worked in tiny stem stitches. The veins in the middle are worked in back stitch/straight stitch. The berries are first outlined in split stitch and then satin stitched.
DMC thread colors are 304 (red) and 3345 (green). Use 2 strands.
Pine cone: The pine needles branches are worked in fly stitch. The pine cones are worked in raised leaf stitch.
DMC treads colors are 3345 (green) and 801 (brown). Use 2 strands.
Cut the shape on the solid line and stitch the shape together on the straight dashed lines (the sides). The top must be gathered, pulling in the entire curved edge. There are loads of instructions on the web for how to make a strawberry pin cushion.
Cut three of each of the leaf shapes for the top of each ornament. The three shapes should be arranged on the top of the strawberry so each of the 6 outside tips of the leaf shapes are equally distributed. Stitch down the center where they all meet and then add a few holding stitches part way down each leaf to secure it to the side of the ornament. Look closely at the photos above and you will see my holding stitches.
Use a piece of DMC floss to make the hanging loop.