Sunday, December 23, 2012

Hardanger Ornaments - Readers's Creations

As much as I would have liked to finish Christmas Joy and share it with you before the Holidays, my cold (yes, I am at it again) proved to be stronger than my desire and ability to stitch. Today I managed to do all the baking, so maybe tomorrow I'll give stitching another try. No promises, though...
Until then I am proud to share with you the beautiful ornaments stitched by my dear readers.

Tatiana's work:

Martina's work:

Victoria's work:

I just love seeing all the different interpretations, thank you, ladies!

Happy Holidays, Everyone!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Stocking Ornament

After the "summer break" yesterday, I was a very good girl and finished up the Hardanger Stocking Ornament.

There are no red beads on the golden side, because I simply ran out of them... Oh, well, these ornaments were not a planned thing, so I am glad the beads lasted as long as they did. 
My friend said that if she didn't know that I had designed this with red beads, she wouldn't even miss them :)

Christmas Joy is coming soon and I can't wait to put up our Christmas tree already!

Happy creating, Everyone!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Summer memories

Preparations for Christmas? Not today. My muse had different plans for me: she wanted to play with colors of spring and summer. Again, who am I to fight her?

Tulips, a delicate bouquet of summer roses... 

... memories of summers past...

Now back to finishing a certain Christmas stocking ornament, unless I get distracted again.

Happy creating, Everyone!

Apprentice at work

My daughter joined me while I was browsing the internet for handmade Christmas decoration ideas for kids the other day, and to my surprise, she was not taken with the "cute" ones, but with the fabric covered styrofoam balls. "Let's make these", she said. Ok, as long as I do the cutting. She agreed and we ran up to the studio to choose some fabric and ribbon. Need I tell you how much I loved seeing her go through my fabrics and ribbons, choosing "just the perfect ones to go together"???
She did need a lot of help finishing them, after all, she is only four, but all the choices were hers and she was so happy and proud of herself, and oh, did we have fun making and photographing  these balls!

Happy preparations, Everyone!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Snowflake Ornament

As the majority of the ladies participating in my little game wished, let me introduce to you the finished Snowflake Ornament.

It wasn't the easiest one to make and I sure had my moments of frustration while whip stitching the two sides together, but where would we all be without challenges and in the end I am happy with the result.

So happy, in fact, that I have entered it into a competition for handmade Christmas decorations, reason for which I have made the collage bellow. More about the contest in a later post.

Happy creating, Everyone!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

And the winner of the giveaway is....

Before taking her to kindergarten this morning, I asked Sara, my four years old daughter, to help me draw the winner of the giveaway. "But, Mom, I want YOU to win!", she said :)))) After I explained to her how things worked, she let herself persuaded to pick a name from the box. She unfolded the piece of paper and asked me what was written on it. Well, I couldn't help, but smile: there was my name on it. How about that? Sara went to kindergarten happy that Mom had won, and I hope that

will be happy, too, when reading this, as she is the winner of my hardanger heart ornament!

And just because Christmas is coming, I drew another name from the box, so

will receive a heart, too, just like this one:

Congratulations to the winners and thank you all for playing with me!

With 9 votes for the snowflake and 6 for the stocking, the snowflake is going to be finished first. As for the name of no. 4, I really liked all your ideas, but as she was the one to win, I am going with Annamari's idea: "Christmas Joy". Some of the other ideas inspired me to create new ornaments, so maybe we will have a new set for next Christmas...

Wishing Everyone a happy day,


Friday, December 7, 2012

Help Me Out And Win My Heart - Christmas Giveaway

As my "ornament cloth" is getting closer and closer to the moment when it will turn into a butterfly seven Christmas tree ornaments, I found myself wondering which one to finish first... A bell and a heart have already been finished before starting the "cloth", so one of the other three would be more fun to continue with: the snowflake, the stocking or poor little no.4, for which I couldn't come up with a name...

So here's what I thought: why not ask YOU to help me decide and make this a fun Christmas giveaway? Are you in? Great! Let's play!

Which of the three ornaments would you like to see finished first: snowflake, stocking or no.4?
And as I think that no.4 is too pretty to be called a number, what name would you give to this ornie?

Leave a comment to this post answering one or both of the two questions above for one or two chances to win my two sided hardanger heart ornament.

Hurry up and leave your comment until December 10, midnight (CET) and I will draw a name on the 11th, so that I can post the ornament as soon as possible, hoping that it will reach its destination by Christmas, wherever the winner of the giveaway may reside.

Spread the word if you would like, and when you leave your comment make sure it links back to a working email address so I can get back to you.

Thank you for your help and good luck, Everyone!

Christmas Ornaments - Readers' Creations

Creating the Hardanger Christmas Ornament patterns was great fun in itself, but seeing them embroidered by you, dear old and new friends, is such a wonderful feeling, I can't even describe it in words. It feels like we all became part of each other's joyful preparations for Christmas :)

Milena from Italy created this lovely ornament using a simplified version of my snowflake ornament on blue felt:

Rita from Hungary chose to embroider the heart, creating this pretty ornament:

Manka, also from Hungary, finished a complete two sided ornament, using the heart ornament pattern:

Congratulations, ladies, for your beautiful creations and thank you sooo much for sharing these photos with me!

Wishing Everyone a happy weekend,

Friday, November 30, 2012

Progress on Hardanger Christmas Ornaments

My "ornament cloth" is getting busier and busier by the minute and it is looking great, if I may say so myself.

Some of the ornaments are ready for beading, some of them are waiting for the courier to bring some more Kreinik braid, and until he arrives I am stitching the first kloster blocks of the last heart.

Let me say a  big Thank You again for all your kind emails about the patterns, and tutorials! I am so glad that you liked them and found them helpful, and receiving photos of your finished ornaments makes me happy beyond words. I will be sharing some of those photos with all of you during the weekend.

Until then, have fun, Everyone!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday Sale

Until Sunday, 25th November, midnight (CET),  20% off every item in my Etsy shop. Use coupon code:

Wishing Everyone a happy weekend,

Thursday, November 22, 2012

All Together - Ornaments in Progress

In an attempt to save my hardanger fabric, I am working on the entire set of Christmas ornaments at the same time, finding a place for all of them and then some, on a strip of fabric that was left from another project.

The snowflake, stocking, no.4 and a smaller heart are already in place, while the heart, bell and maybe even a little angel, are still to be added. Just stopped to work on the Algerian eyelets, to break the monotony a little bit.

It does take longer to finish them this way, but when they are finished...

they are all finished at the same time :)

Wishing Everyone a happy day,

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Christmas Ball Ornament

This lovely Christmas ball ornament was made by Victoria  from Ukraine. For the embroidered section of her ornament, she used the center of my Snowflake Ornament in her own interpretation:

Thank you, Victoria for sharing the photos of your work! Receiving your messages and seeing this pretty ornament have made me really happy.

On another note, Victoria also drew my attention to the fact that I forgot to flip the patterns for the back sides of my Stocking Ornament. I edited that post, replacing the photos with the proper ones, so if you have downloaded the photos, you might want to go back and download again or simply flip horizontally the image of the pattern you have chosen for the back of your stocking... Sorry about that...
Again, if you have requested the patterns in PDF files in an email from me, I will be sending to you the corrected version on Monday. 

Wishing you all a great week!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Finishing The Hardanger Ornaments - Part 2

In my previous post I have shown you how I cut out my hardanger ornaments, let's now continue with the lining and sewing the ornament together:

I love using satin to line hardanger pillows and ornaments for the way it shines through and emphasizes the woven parts. And red satin for Christmas tree ornaments is just perfect, don't you think? I also pull the stitches of my Algerian eyelets so tight for the red to shine through those, too.

The two sides of the ornament have been embroidered and cut out. If needed, even washed and ironed, face down, between two white towels.

For the lining I cut two pieces of red satin, two pieces of Vliesofix fusible paperback web and one piece of batting. Well, not exactly batting as you know it: I am using a piece of a white floor cleaning cloth, no laughing, please, it perfectly serves the purpose and it is new, of course.

To make the lining sandwich, I iron the Vliesofix pieces to the backs of the satin pieces, remove the paper backs and then iron the satin pieces to both sides of the "batting".

Then, I make a pattern to cut my lining sandwich into the shape of the hardanger pieces. I put one of them on a piece of paper and with a pencil I make markings through every Algerian eyelet and also trace lightly around the shape. I usually do this with a mechanical pencil to keep the embroidery clean.

 Then, guided by the traced outline and the hole marks, I trace my pattern about 2-3 mm away from the hole marks. For each ornament I leave one set of holes free, with no lining under it, because that will be the hole where the ribbon will go.

I cut out my pattern and place it over the hardanger piece, to make sure that it covers all the Algerian eyelets (except the one left for the ribbon) but it isn't going over the bottom half of the buttonhole stitches, either. If necessary, I adjust the pattern.

Then, using the pattern I cut the lining sandwich into shape,

and check the size again. I place the lining on the back of one of the hardanger pieces, 

and than place the other hardanger piece on top, face up, of course. I make sure that all three layers are in place, hold them together

and whip stitch the hardanger pieces together by going through the corresponding loops of every buttonhole stitch with DMC perlé no.12.

Mission accomplished:

To finish, I pull some red ribbon through the holes I have left without lining, tie a bow and my ornament is ready for Christmas, or any other occasion :)

I really hope that you have enjoyed the Hardanger Christmas Ornaments series and that you have found this tutorial helpful.

Finishing The Hardanger Ornaments - Part 1

Cutting Around The Buttonhole Stitched Shapes

Whenever I get asked how I cut around the buttonhole stitched hardanger pieces, the very first thing I say is: VERY CAREFULLY. Cutting into the buttonhole stitches of a finished piece and ruining so many hours worth of stitching can be really frustrating. I know, I have been there and it is not a happy place.
Being extremely careful while cutting, using a pair of sharp scissors and sometimes even a magnifier still didn't feel like safe or precise enough, so before actually cutting my pieces out, there is one more step I make: I cut and remove the first fabric thread outside the buttonhole stitches, all around the piece. I have never had a cutting mishap ever since I have been doing this, and besides being able to make a safer cut, the cut out pieces do have a much neater look, too.
Here I have two hearts (the ornaments being double sided) ready to be cut out:

To start I turn my embroidery face down

and cut the first fabric thread outside the buttonhole stitched line, next to both ends of the line, 

then pull it out:

In the corners, the fabric thread that I cut first is the one that is on top of the other in the weaving. 

I keep going like this, VERY CAREFULLY NOT TO CATcH ANY OF THE BUTTONHOLE STITCHES with my scissors, and remove the first fabric threads all around my embroidered piece.

As you can see in the close up photo above, the nice space left by the removed fabric thread makes it so much easier to see where and what I am cutting.

When the fabric threads have been removed from all around the buttonhole stitches, with my embroidery facing up I start cutting around the piece, just behind the loops of the buttonhole stitches. VERY CAREFULLY...

And here is the result, the heart cut out, safe and sound :)

Well, at least this is how I do it and it has always worked for me... Hope it does for you, too.

Part 2 of the Tutorial on finishing the hardanger ornaments is coming up in a couple of hours, so stay tuned.

Happy cutting, Everyone!

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