Tutorial: Appliqué Christmas cards

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Here’s a little project I wrote for my Christmas stitchers club at Hollies Haberdashery. I liked it too much (as did my stitchers!) not to share. Hope you enjoy it too.

Applique Christmas cards tutorial for IG

You will need:

The quantities listed here are for the seven cards.

  • 5 scraps of colourful fabric measuring  at least 1 by 8 inches for the appliqué trees.
  • Scraps of white/cream fabric measuring at least 2.75 by 3.75 inches (you will need 7 of these) to back the trees.
  • Scraps of medium-weight iron-on interfacing measuring at least 2.75 by 3.75 inches (you will need 7 of these).
  • Scraps of fabric measuring at least 3.5 by 4.75 inches to use for the colourful background fabric – I found two-colour fabrics with small print sized (e.g. polka-dots) worked really well for this.
  • Bondaweb (at least 2.5 by 8 inches)
  • A4 card (at least 4 sheets)
  • Glue stick

Applique Christmas cards tutorial by Very Berry Handmade

Make the strip patchwork piece:

From the colourful fabric strips cut 2 strips measuring 0.75 by 8 inches, and 3 strips measuring 1 by 8 inches. Stitch them together along the long edges with a 1/4 inch seam. The 3 wider pieces need to be in the middle, and the narrow strips on either side. Don’t worry about which way up the strips are:

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 1

And it definitely doesn’t matter if things go a bit wonky:

applique-christmas-cards-tutorial-step-2.jpg

Press the seams of the patchwork open – they will nearly meet in the middle, don’t worry about this:

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 3

Make the appliqué pieces:

Cut a piece of Bondaweb measuring 2.5 by 8 inches and iron it onto the back of the patchwork piece. I find that the easiest way to do this is to lay a piece of baking parchment on my ironing board, then put the pieced fabric, wrong side facing, on top, then the Bondaweb, glue side down, on top, like this:

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 4

Cut out the Christmas trees:

Mark 2 inch intervals along the bottom edge of the patchwork piece (on the Bondaweb side). On the top edge, measure 1 inch along, then mark the next three 2 inch intervals:

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 5

Use a ruler and the marks you’ve made to cut out triangles:

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 6

You’ll get 7 triangles from the fabric strip:

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 7

Apply the appliqué

Cut a piece of plain fabric measuring approximately 2.75 by 3.75 inches and back with a similar sized piece of iron-on interfacing (this isn’t essential, but I found it gave more structure to the cards and also stopped the backing fabric from showing through quite so much).

Peel the back off the Bondaweb and position the appliqué on the fabric and iron into place on the white fabric.

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 8

Cut a small rectangle of fabric (whatever size you like, it’s fun to mix it up) for the ‘trunk’ of the tree and apply some Bondaweb to that too. I like to do this piece by piece, but you can cut a strip of fabric about 1/2 inch wide, back it with Bondaweb, and cut a few at a time.  

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 9

Cut another piece of fabric (a small print is a great choice for this) about 3 1/2 inches by 4 3/4 inches, and place the tree appliqué, on its white backing, in the centre:

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 10

Now you can stitch the appliqué in place – using ordinary stitching, or free motion embroidery. Leave long threads when you start and finish:

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 11

 Pull the threads through to the back off the fabric and tie to secure:

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 12

If your machine has the option, you can add decorative stitches to your card, if you like. Stitch round the edge of the white fabric, leaving long threads and pulling them through to the back as before:

Applique Christmas cards tutorial step 13

Cut a piece of A4 card (cardstock) in half widthways and then fold to make two cards. Glue the finished appliqué to one of the folded pieces of card.

I made another patchwork strip in exactly the same way and cut out stockings (using a template) to mix it up a bit:

Applique Christmas cards tutorial by Very Berry

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Enjoyed this Christmassy project? You might like to try making some festive stars

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4 thoughts on “Tutorial: Appliqué Christmas cards

  1. love these applique fabric Christmas cards, they look easy to make and I can hand sew them too, always a bonus for me.
    I make some of my Christmas cards by re-using Christmas cards sent to me from the previous year and add (usually sewing a cross stitch festive motif onto aida) I then cut out the motif paint fabric stiffner on the back, to give the motifs some body before sticking onto an appropriately themed card which has been cut to fit some card stock. However I am thinking maybe I could use your idea of applique instead.
    I will happily donate to your blog, I love seeing and reading and having a go at some of the projects.
    Many thanks for the time you take to share not just your beautiful sewing projects and the tutorials but the recipes and other information you pass on, I look forward to each and every one.

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