The other night, I was lying in bed and thinking about how to make a detachable fabric Christmas tree ornament that I could stick onto the front of greeting cards for family and friends. The next day, Pokey Bolton sent a link to a tutorial for making fabric trees to the quiltart list: http://quiltingarts.com/blogs/pokey/archive/2009/11/30/fabric-runts-become-holiday-fabric-cards.aspx
I was inspired to follow through with making my ornaments, so I’ve created my own tutorial here. These tree ornaments are made with four layers: backing fabric, acrylic felt, scraps of fabric, and tulle. In addition, I used a couple of layers of Misty Fuse, although any fusible web would work. Here are the steps:
1. Attach fusible web to one side of the acrylic felt (felt will melt, so make sure your iron is just hot enough to fuse the web onto the felt, and don’t the iron in one place for too long).
2. Attach fusible web to the wrong side of the backing fabric.
3. Lay the backing fabric right side down/fusible side up, then lay the felt, fusible side up, over that. Begin laying fabric scraps over the felt.
4. Apply a layer of fusible web over the scrap fabric, then lay a sheer fabric over the web and fuse.
Note: You should now have the following layers, from the bottom up: backing fabric, batting or acrylic felt, scrap fabric, and sheer fabric. It’s not necessary to include a layer of fusible web between each of these, but I do if I’m using a light brand, such as MistyFuse, just to keep everything from slipping.
5. Create your tree template. I drew 1/2 of a tree freehand on a piece of paper, folded the paper vertically, and cut both sides of the tree at the same time.
6. Trace the tree template onto your fabric sandwich. There are several ways to do this. I applied iron-on tear-away stabilizer to the backing fabric and traced the tree onto the stabilizer (I could have traced the tree directly onto the backing fabric, but mine was dark and I would have had a hard time seeing the tracing lines. I could have also traced the tree onto the front, but it’s hard to mark sheer fabric). Trace as many trees as will fit onto your fabric.
Alternatively, you could trace the trees onto freezer paper, cut them out, and iron them onto the fabric.
7. With the backing fabric facing UP (assuming you've ironed tear-away stabilizer to the back), stitch a single line of stitching around each traced tree shape. Make sure the bobbin thread will show up on the front of the fabric.
8. Tear or cut away the stabilizer.
9. Turn the fabric over so that it is now right-side up. Set your machine to a zig-zag or wide decorative stitch, and stitch over all your tree lines.
10. Cut the trees out close to the stitching line. You may either leave the edges raw, or zig-zag stitch around them again.
11. If you want to, punch a hole in the top of the tree and add a piece of ribbon for a hanger; or, decorate the top (or the whole tree!) with beads, buttons, charms, etc.
I’m going to add a hanger, and then use some temporary double-sided tape to attach mine to Christmas cards, which I’m sending out to my family. Soon. Any day now. Really.
Enjoy your tree-making!