Holly Christmas Tree Ornament - Free Pattern

Today I have another little Christmas Tree Ornament for you, featuring Holly.

I was wondering why we use Holly to decorate our homes at Christmas and discovered a few ideas. Here is one I like:

The prickly leaves represent the crown of thorns that Jesus wore when he was crucified. The berries are the drops of blood that were shed by Jesus because of the thorns.

The Holly and Ivy carol has these lines:
"The holly bears a berry/As red as any blood/And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ/To do poor sinners good."  "The Holly bears a prickle/As sharp as any thorn/And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ/On Christmas Day in the morn"

I rather like the simplicity of this little decoration with nothing other than some red blanket-stitching to finish off the edges.

Another version I have made has green ric rac around the edge, stitched in place with French Knots. I like the white background too.

As usual, the pattern is available free in my Craftsy Store.

We start our round of Christmas break-ups this coming week and I've been making some of these little decorations as mini gifts.

A bit of gold braid adds some glitz:

I think my favourite edging has to be crochet. It's certainly the one I enjoy doing the most:

Have you made any of these ornaments yet?

 I have just a couple more of these to make and then I am excited about starting the 2017 free Block of the Month wall quilt for you. It's all designed, the fabric is chosen, and it's just waiting for me to start cutting and embroidering!

Happy stitching!

A White Christmas

Here in sub-tropical Queensland, the last thing we would ever dream of seeing is a White Christmas! We will no doubt be sweltering in the heat and humidity of our Summer season. I love it and I don't ever wish for cold, bleak weather with snow!!!

However, I like to have my unrealistic dreams and I love the traditional look of the celebrations of the northern hemisphere. When I was designing some new ornaments, I couldn't help but place them on a white background and call them "White Christmas"!

I did go a bit non-traditional and chose to use shades of lavender.

I enjoyed using different stitches to enhance these. 

A few beads and a bell for the embellishments...

Can't beat the hexagon for shape!

I have placed the pattern for these in my Craftsy Store here. 
All three patterns are included for just US $7.50

I have finished my Quilt-As-You-Go Dresden plate quilt, but I am afraid I can't show you it yet!!! I was very happy with the result and enjoyed trying a few new techniques. I will certainly be using these methods again.

Last week I showed you my lovely Cactus. This week quite a few of its offspring flowered and it really did look quite sweet.

Watch out for another free Christmas ornament next week on my blog.

Happy stitching.

Dove Christmas Tree Ornament - free pattern

I chose to use my favourite dove motif for this week's free Christmas Tree Ornament.

The dove is outlined with silver metallic thread, but it would look just as lovely if you used gold. Then I've used some lace around the edge which was very easy to sandwich between the felt circles and stitch in place with a decorative running stitch. 

Of course there are a myriad ways you could finish off the design so I'd love to see how you interpret this free pattern.

The dove is an interesting symbol for Christmas, isn't it. I chose to use it with all its connotations of peace, purity and love as embodying all that we have available to us because Christ came to earth. That's plenty to celebrate, isn't it!

You can find the free pattern here in my Craftsy Store.

If you love the Christmas Dove as much as I do, you might also like my hanging dove which I gave as a free Christmas pattern a couple of years ago. It is still available for free in my Craftsy Store, here.

My Dresden quilt is progressing well. It has taken heaps longer than I expected. Appliqueing, quilting, hand-stitching the sashings, adding borders Quilt-As-You-Go style etc have all taken time. I know I don't HAVE to hand-stitch, but I like the finish that this gives on a QAYG quilt, so it is worth the extra effort. All my previous QAYG quilts have been string-type designs without a border, so I have had to think through how to add them on this quilt without bulk and still looking like "normal" borders! Thankfully I am happy with how it's all turning out.

In other adventures this past week, we avoided stepping on a venomous red-bellied black snake which crossed the path in front of us on our morning walk:

delighted in the bonus that an easy-care cactus garden gives:

and rejoiced in seeing gorgeous red-backed fairy wrens:

May your week be full of blessings too!