A far cry from Charlie Brown's sad sapling, Amy Butler's snow-white tree is meant to be trim. "It's the perfect modern twist on the classic fir," says Amy, who replaced the original base with a shapely, sand-filled lacquer vase, then hung it with homemade 3-D ornaments made from bits of fabric stitched together and stuffed with quilt batting. The gifts underneath are also swathed in her signature fabric. Not only does this leave less trash for the waste bin, but the recipient can repurpose the swatches as napkins, patches for a quilt, or even as wrapping for future gifts.
Tools and Materials
1 or 2 yards of decorative fabric, depending on repeat and number of ornaments desired
1 yard patterned fabric with complementary colors
2 yards silver cord or ribbon, depending on number of ornaments desired
1 yard wool batting in craft or crib weight
1 yard heavy fusible interfacing
Needle and thread or sewing machine
For this project, we chose a fabric with lacey and interesting shapes for the fronts (Amy Butler's "Grey Lacework Lotus" fabric from purlsoho.com, $9.60 per yard), and a graphic pattern in complementing colors for the backs (Amy's "Yellow Full Moon Lotus" fabric frompurlsoho.com, $9.60 per yard).
1. Use a glass to trace a circular pattern on both of your fabrics. Tie a loop in your ribbon and place between the two fabrics at the top of your ornament.
2. With the right sides together, sew together the two fabrics, leaving an opening about two finger widths apart at the bottom of the ornament. Trim edges with pinking shears (same effect as notching the fabric but less work). Turn the ornament right side out and press.
3. Use the same glass to cut a circle in batting, but trim slightly smaller. Roll the batting in a tube and insert into the hole. Smooth out and use a whip stitch to close the bottom of the ornament.
Tree Topper How-To
We used one of the larger decorative medallions from the Lotus fabric for the tree topper (approximately 8 inches in diameter).
1. Choose a decorative pattern. We chose one from the same fabric as the ornaments that was about 8 inches in diameter. Iron on heavy fusible interfacing to the backsides of your chosen medallion.
2. Cut out the medallions, leaving about 1/4 inch for seam allowance. Hand stitch around the edges using coordinating thread, leaving a 3-inch hole at the bottom.
3. Use fray check around the edges to keep from unraveling.