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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If you have enjoyed and used this tutorial, please consider making a small donation so that I can keep on providing great free resources on my blog, without advertising (it costs nearly £40 per year to keep Very Berry ad free) and affiliates. Many thanks!

Make a donation

If you’d like to support me and my work providing free tutorials here at Very Berry and keeping my blog advert and affiliate-free – please do feel free to make a donation! It’s set for £1, but you can increase the numbers of ££ in the little box, if you are feeling generous. I really appreciate all your support – thank you!

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Folded Fabric Festive Star: Tutorial

Folded fabric festive star tutorial by Very Berry Handmade

There are other tutorials for this method of folding fabric to create stars – here’s a version by Crafting a Rainbow and the original Danish version that she used as the basis for her tute. I have added a little tweak of my own, and (having noticed the bits that my students were having trouble with when I was teaching this project at the weekend) added a few extra photos to make some of the stages a bit more obvious. So here we go!

Folded Fabric Festive Star – instructions:

You will need:

  • 4 strips of fabric measuring 2 1/2in by 12in
  • Loop turner/tube turner (not essential, but makes life much easier)
  • Binding clips/paper clips (not essential but they really help)
  • Hi-Tack glue, or other suitable fabric glue

Cut 4 strips of fabric measuring 2 1/2in wide by 12in long. Fold and press lengthways, right sides together, like this:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 1

Stitch down the long open side with a 1/4in seam. Don’t stitch the short edges.

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 2

Turn the tubes through to the right side. I use my fab Clover loop turner, but other tube turners are available, and you can even do it with a chop-stick, or knitting needle.

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 3

Press the tubes flat with the seam at one side:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 6

Fold each of the fabric strips so that one side is 1 1/2in longer than the other:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 7

Now we are going to start weaving and folding! All the fabric pieces need to have the short side on top. Keep in mind the 4 points of the compass as you are doing the next bit:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 8

But the most important thing is….

NOT TO DO THIS. I repeat – do not do this:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 9

It is really tempting to weave the folds in the zig-zag way above, but this is NOT what we are doing. As you fold the four pieces together, this is what you are aiming for:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 10

As you can see, one folded strip wraps completely around the other folded piece. This is how it looks from above:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 11

This is how it looks when you add the 3rd strip. Once again, I stress that the 3rd piece of fabric (the starry piece) is completely enclosing the folded strip of pink Christmas tree fabric:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 12

Here’s how it looks from the side:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 13

The fourth piece goes around the starry fabric strip and then tucks through the blue and white spotty fabric. I hope you can see that clearly here:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 14

Pull the fabrics so that the folds cinch together and get nice and tight – the middle section of interwoven fabrics should be fairly square:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 15

Flip the fabric strips over so you can work on the back:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 16

Take one of the longer sides of the strips and fold it down over the central square (I’ve folded the blue and white spotty fabric, as you can see). The temptation is to think that you need to weave it somewhere, but you don’t! Just fold it down:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 17

Now, working round clockwise, fold the next longer piece. It will cross the first piece you folded. I have folded the mint-coloured fabric, as you can see:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 18

Fold the next piece – this time I am folding the starry fabric up:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 19

The final step is fold the last longer piece and push the free end under the first piece of fabric you folded down. So, in this picture, I am folding the pink fabric over the starry fabric, and then tucking it under the blue and white:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 20

Here’s how it should look when you are done, and that’s the hard bit over with!

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 21

Time to make the points. This is where binding clips, or paper clips, come in handy to hold the points whilst you do some tucking (and maybe some gluing). You need to make 4 points on one side, then flip the star over and make the other 4 on the other side. So start with one of the strips that has a contrast fabric folded over it (the way the starry fabric has the pink fabric folded over it). Fold the strip diagonally as shown:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 22

Fold again to make a point. Leave a little vertical space coming down from the point to make the final fold easier:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 23

Fold the triangle that you have created in half to create the point. Clip it closed, if you can, whilst you do the next bit:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 24

Push the excess fabric down underneath the folded fabric of the previous strip:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 25

You can ignore the next stage if you like, but once I have tucked the fabric into position, I like to take the binding clip off the point, add a dot of Hi-Tack Glue between the 2 folds of the point and clip it closed whilst the glue dries:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 26

Skip the next strip (the blue and white strip in my version), move onto the next (the pink), and repeat the folds to create another point:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 27

Continue until you have completed 4 alternate points on this side of the star. Now flip the star over to work on the other side:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 28

As you tuck the fabric into the folds, you might find you have a bit of excess to deal with. Pull the fabric right through to the other side of the fold, pulling it tightly (can you see how the point I’ve created is being pulled through the fold?) and then trim off the excess as close to the other strip fabric as you can.

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 29

After trimming, pull the point back into position, and the excess fabric will be nicely hidden under the other strip:

Fabric Christmas start tutorial step 30

Once you’ve finished all the points, remove the clips and press the points to create a neat finish:

Folded fabric festive star tutorial

I tucked a folded ribbon into the centre of my star, and used a little more Hi-Tack glue to keep it in place:

Folded fabric festive star

But another option is to use small Command strips to stick them to your walls:

Folded festive stars on my wall at Spode in Stoke

Or you could make a garland! I haven’t done this yet, so no pics, sorry!

Hope you enjoy the tutorial, as always I’d love to hear how you get on with it.

Support my blogging, free tutorials and swap hosting

If you have enjoyed and used this tutorial, please consider making a small donation so that I can keep on providing great free resources on my blog, without advertising (it costs nearly £40 per year to keep Very Berry ad free) and affiliates. Many thanks!

Make a donation

If you’d like to support me and my work providing free tutorials here at Very Berry and keeping my blog advert and affiliate-free – please do feel free to make a donation! It’s set for £1, but you can increase the numbers of ££ in the little box, if you are feeling generous. I really appreciate all your support – thank you!

£1.00

Recipe: No-bake Easter Crunch Cake

Easter Chocolate Crunch Cake no-bake

A super-fast recipe just in case you don’t have enough chocolate in your life this weekend. Fun to make with kids too. If you want to make it gluten-free then you can use gluten-free digestives – they work really well.

Easter Crunch Cake no-bake

Easter Crunch Cake

Ingredients

  • 200g 70% chocolate
  • 100g butter
  • 200g digestive biscuits
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 200g mini eggs
  • 50g dried cherries (optional)

Directions

  1. Line a 20cm x 20cm (8inch) baking tray (I use one with a loose bottom which is really helpful when getting the cake out of the tin) with foil or baking parchment – the liner needs to come up the sides of the tin.
  2. Break the chocolate into small pieces and put into a heatproof bowl with the butter. Put the bowl over a pan of water on a very low simmer and stir until the chocolate and butter are melted and the mixture is smooth a glossy. Take the bowl off the pan and leave to cool for a minute or two.
  3. Put the biscuits in a large bowl and smash them up, using the end of a rolling pin. Alternatively put the biscuits in a strong polythene bag, tie closed and bash with a rolling pin. Don’t reduce the biscuits to crumbs, you need smaller and larger pieces.
  4. Stir the syrup and cocoa powder into the melted chocolate, along with the broken biscuits and the 3/4 of the mini eggs and the cherries (if using).
  5. Put the mixture into your prepared baking tray and press down. Sprinkle the remaining mini-eggs over the cake and press them down a little.
  6. Refrigerate for at least an hour, then cut into 12-16 pieces. You will need a very sharp knife, so watch your fingers.
  7. This will keep for up to a week in an airtight tin. I tend to keep it in the fridge so it stays fairly firm.

Happy Easter to you all!