Monday, November 28, 2011

A Quick and Easy Gift For Christmas

I love to stitch gifts for people - I get to indulge in my hobby and I can also give someone a unique gift. But.....don't you find that some people are just so hard to find gifts for? Well, fear not! Whether it’s for the family relative that has everything, a teacher’s Christmas gift or for that last minute hostess gift, this little project covers them all – and you know that no-one else will be bringing the same gift.

Here's how to go from this....

To this......

Another quick and easy project that I hope you will enjoy!
Here’s how to make this unique gift that looks time consuming and expensive but isn’t!
All you need are  some little candles in glass jars– the type you can pick up cheaply from the Dollar Store/Poundland etc., some wide ribbon (approx. 2.2 cm wide), some contrasting narrower ribbon, your stitched letters from the Christmas Word Decorations chart, (back each letter with iron-on interfacing and cut out each letter one square from the edge of the stitching) and some glue.

The candles I used were just over 6cm tall and cost me about $1 each! Yeah...this project won't break the bank! These ones are round but the project would also work with square holders as long as they were approximately 4cm wide or larger. Just make sure that the edges do not taper too much, otherwise it will be hard to attach the ribbon on!

Step 1
Secure the wider ribbon round the middle of the candle jar.

Step 2
Position contrasting ribbon in the center of the main ribbon and glue in place.

Step 3
Glue the first letter centrally on the candle.

I tied some thread round mine to hold the stitching in place until the glue had dried.

Step 4
Repeat the process with the remaining letters, ensuring that the ribbons and stitching are level.

Once the glue has dried you can remove threads holding stitching in place and your gift is finished, it's that easy!!

Any of the ten words that are on the Christmas Word Decorations charts (available at my website under the Cristmas section) are suitable for making this gift. You could even use the same words for multiple gifts but make each gift different by changing the colours of the stitching or by changing the colours of the ribbons – simple!

Think how festive would it look to have the lit candles on the mantle piece with the words 'dream' or 'noel' glowing  for all to see!

Now I just have to find some time to get the Christmas decorations up!

Until next time...happy stitching!


Thursday, November 24, 2011


Well it's 'that time' again! Time to show my little ort collection, and here it is....

I forgot to take a picture of the larger ort jar - it's nearly full! I can't believe how many bits of thread you can collect over the course of a year!

Now you may remember the little Santa's bags of coal that I had stitched earlier, (click here if you missed the post) well I found the most perfect chocolates to put in these little bags!

How perfect is that?!! So, of course, I had a to take a picture of the bag and the chocolate together!

Until next time...happy stitching!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

More Joy!

As if there wasn't enough joy in my last post, I bring even more this time!

I'm still using the same chart as I've had so much fun with this little design - it's quick to stitch and you can easily change the colours to suit whatever you have in your stash. This is what I made with the same lettering as last time.

Quite a different look, don't you think? I paired this with the holly motif that I had used for the gift card in an earlier post. While I was stitching it, I wasn't sure how the white border would look round the stitching and I was wondering if I should have stitched it on black aida. When I put the finished stitching on the card I really liked the effect, the white makes the whole thing crisp and focused -  I love the white!

The picture doesn't show the detail on the edge of the card which looks like this...

It's made using a pattern tracing tool which looks like this...

You can tell that since I got my sewing machine I have been wandering, (albeit rather aimlessly) through the sewing department of JoAnns! Anyway, this nifty little tool creates that mock stitched look in one easy move! All you need is a metal ruler then you just roll the blade against the edge of the ruler, pressing in to the card and it creates that pattern without you having to do any hard work at all! And since it only cost a couple of dollars, it doesn't break the bank either!

The charts for this design are available form

I have had some wonderful pictures from people who have stitched up my designs and will be adding them to the customers gallery on the web site later on today. I just want to give a shout out to Caitlin, one of my first customers, who has been stitching up a storm! Please check out her blog where you can see all the cute TangledThreads penguins she has stitched and made into little ornaments! She post frequently so you may have to scroll down to see all the penguins, believe me there are lots of penguins, she's been very busy!

Until next time (will there be more joy?!!)...happy stitching!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sniffling and Stitching

Sniffling and stitching really don’t go together! Not only is it hard to concentrate when you have a cold, but stopping to blow your nose every two seconds really does eat into your stitching time! So not much stitching done this week, but I do have a couple of stitchy things to show you.
I have been working on getting my Christmas cards stitched up as Christmas is coming in fast… just in case you didn’t realize!!!!

 I used the Christmas Word Decoration charts from (of course!) . I used the word JOY as I think that it’s a lovely sentiment for Christmas. I stitched the letters then backed them with iron-on interfacing (so that the colour of the card doesn’t shine through.) I carefully cut round the stitching leaving me with three squares to, quite literally, play with. This is where the fun comes in, as there is so much you can do, so many different layouts etc. Here’s the first card….

I made a predominantly blue card so that the red squares would really pop, and used red accents to tie it all together. The patterned paper just stops the card from being too plain but doesn’t take your eye away from the stitching.

Here you can see all the layers to make the card.

This was relatively quick to make as there is no fancy cutting, it’s all squares and straight lines!

The next card is all straight lines too, but a little bit more tricky to make. But never fear, all you need is a metal ruler and your trusty craft knife!

Once I had stitched and backed the letters, I attached them onto a thin piece of red ribbon. My one piece of advice if you are going to make this card, is to make sure the pieces are glued well and are dry before you start to attach them to the card (yes, I learned the hard way!!!) Then all you need to do now is to take your trusty craft knife and make the card with the aperture – or alternatively, buy one! I attached the ribbon to the inside of the card and topped the front with a ready-made ribbon bow.

This was from a pack of ten that I picked up from JoAnns for a couple of dollars.
Now you could stop here, as the card looks great like this…or if you are like me and like to keep playing with paper and ribbons etc, then you can keep playing! I added some patterned paper to the back so that it showed through the aperture. I kept the pattern quite subtle so that it didn’t detract from the stitching.

This next picture is taken from a strange angle, but it shows the effect of the letters being suspended from the card.

I want to use this ribbon layout to make some Christmas tree ornaments using some of the other words that are on the chart, but that will have to wait till I've stopped sniffling quite so much - maybe  next post!

So there you are, some more quick and easy (and very effective) Christmas cards. Now if only I knew someone called Joy!!!

Until next time...happy stitching!


Monday, November 7, 2011

A holly jolly Christmas tag - and more!

Making gift tags before buying your Christmas presents - is this puting the cart before the horse...or is it called being organized? I like to think it's being organized (only because being organized isn't one of my strong points!) So I have been beavering away making tags from the gift tags chart from and this is one of the tags I have made....

I love the way the black card makes the whole design so vibrant - and would co-ordinate with almost any gift wrap.

Another 'problem' I have is giving gift cards. They are great for teacher gifts and for people that you don't know that well. I know that teens especially love to get them, it means they can buy exactly what they want etc, etc, but I always wonder if it looks as if I didn't care, or had forgotten to buy a gift and it was a last minute rush. Anyway, I have found a way to please both the recipient and myself......making a gift card holder!

This shows that I care, and took time to make something so I don't have to feel guilty about giving a gift card afterall!

This is another one of those really easy know how I like those!

I stitched the holly from the chart, backed it with iron-on interfacing (so the colour of the felt wouldn't show through) and carefully cut round the design.
I bought a square of black felt from the craft store, measured the size of the gift card and cut out two rectangles slightly larger than the gift card, leaving some extra room for stitching the pieces together. My gift card was 5.5 cm x 8.5 cm and I cut the felt approx. 7 cm x 9.5 cm.
Then all I did was blanket stitch the two pieces together using six strands of embroidery thread using the same green that was in the design. Blanket stitch is very easy and the only 'trick' to it is to keep the stitches the same distance apart and the same depth.

For the corner, all you have to do is make the three corner stitches go in the same hole!

Just make sure that the tension is the same all through the stitching....the devil is in the details as they say!!

Voila! A quick and easy project!

Now all I have to do is buy the Christmas presents! (That's the hard part)

Until next time...happy stitching!