It may be a little late for a tutorial on Christmas ornaments, but I prefer to think of it as being really early for Christmas 2022! A number of people asked me to share instructions for making the pocket ornaments in last week’s post and, since this pattern can be made in other sizes and other fabrics ~ I’m hoping it will be of interest to many of you.
To begin you’ll need to make the heart pattern. Choose the size of your pocket (the photo square on the ornament) and the heart. The hearts on the left and right in the image at the top of this post are larger and were made to hang on the wall (the center heart is actually an ornament without a photo on the pocket – enlarged to look good with the other photos). Choose the square size first and draw it, on-point, in the center of a piece of paper. The square on the bigger hearts measure 6 1/2″ (6″ finished), while the ornament square measures 3″ (2 1/2″ finished).
Fold the paper in half diagonally through the square.
Now think back to your childhood when you cut a heart from a folded piece of paper – and do it 😁. Actually I drew mine on first to be sure the top “V” on the heart was about 1/2″ from the square.
Once I liked my heart I did cut it out with the paper folded so the heart was symmetrical.
This heart pattern includes seam allowance. Trace around it on the back of the heart fabric and cut out one heart. Set it aside.
Next you’ll need to make your square. For the larger heart, piece or appliqué whatever 6″ finished block you like.
For the ornament, a 3″ square photo (2 1/2″ finished) is needed, but the trick is it must be “on-point”. I think this may be the hardest part for many quilters. Let me explain. This image of Koda will look great on an ornament, but it’s oriented portrait fashion, which isn’t wide enough to cut out on point:
If I crop it as a “square on point” I will either lose the tips of his ears
or, if I make the image smaller, there will be empty corners.
Because I’m able to use Photoshop™ I can rotate the image 45 degrees, fill in the corners with solid black (or any color) and print it on prepared photo fabric ~ ready to go.
If you don’t have a photo editing program, you can print the image portrait orientation, with a wide margin of the purchased photo fabric all the way around and then cut out the square, on-point, with the photo fabric filling in the corners. If you’d prefer the corners to be a different color from the blank photo fabric, you can piece a fabric of your choice in the corners to get the look I have where the black ink is.
Once the 3″ fabric square is printed, layer it, right sides together, with a 3″ square of backing fabric, and sew along the top 2 sides with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Trim and turn right side out. Press using a press cloth to protect the transferred photo.
Pin the pocket in place on the right side of the fabric heart.
Place this piece, right sides together, with a piece of backing fabric, pin and sew with a 1/4″ seam allowance ~ all the way around.
Cut out around the heart, clipping the top inside corner and trimming off the bottom point. I like to scallop cut the curves to reduce bulk. Then I cut a slit to turn the heart through down towards the bottom point, making sure this cut is in the heart that was originally pinned to the photo pocket (otherwise the slit will be on the back of the ornament ~ something we want to avoid).
Turn the heart right side out. The turning slot will be inside the pocket and no one will ever notice. It doesn’t even need to be stitched closed!
Fiddle with the curved edges until they look good,
and press. Then stitch the top point of the pocket to the heart and add a ribbon loop with a button.
That’s all there is to it!
And one more thing!
Last week MaryAnn commented that she couldn’t find fabric crayons any longer. Jackie responded that she uses Crayola crayons and I’ve found them to work too. Her directions were great.
The crayons I had the kids use were a set I purchased in a Kathy McNeil class in Paducah a few years ago. She loved them, and I’m glad I bought some from her. They sharpen beautifully and the color is bright. Be sure to heat set them with an iron after coloring.
I found them on Kathy’s site: https://www.kathymcneilquilts.com/shop/Fabric-Paint-Crayons-Art-Media-Supplies.htm and Amazon too.