Thursday, November 27, 2008

It's Ornament Thursday... Big Time!!!

Our post today comes from Linda Augsburg!

An Ornament Thursday note from the Ornament Thursday Crew

It’s the 1-year anniversary of Ornament Thursday (or something like that). And to celebrate, we’re offering our readers four weeks of ornaments (or decorative items) to celebrate the season. Our incredibly diverse and talented group of artists have created a bevy of beautiful and ornamental items for your enjoyment, so every Thursday between now and Christmas day, you’ll have a new batch of ornaments to inspire you. If you want to join us in Ornament Thursday, leave your link in the comments each week so visitors to this blog can check it out.

As for me (Linda), my way of welcoming you all is to offer these yo yo trees. I found them in a magazine years ago—a magazine I have since misplaced, so sorry to whomever designed them, I tweaked your design a bit and can’t offer you credit. The original pattern was for the little trees, as I recall. But I though they seemed too small, so I cut out a bunch of yo-yos to make bigger trees. I ran across some finished and some unfinished yo yos the other day on another cleaning binge in my craft/sewing room and thought “Ornament Thursday!” So I’m sharing them with you.

Yo Yo Basics:
It’s as simple as cutting out a circle of fabric and running a gathering stitch 1/4” from the edge of the fabric. Make sure you’ve got a good knot at the end of the fabric, because you’re going to need it to hold the gathers in place. Once you’ve stitched all the way around, simply gather the fabric up along your stitches until you have a little fabric ball—the opening should almost close. Take a few stitches around the knotted end to secure the two thread ends and knot the thread.

To make the trees:
For the smaller trees, I cut circles with the following diameters: 1.5”, 2”, 2.5”, 3”, 3.5”, and 3.75”. For the larger trees, I cut these sizes: 1.5”, 2”, 2.5”, 3”, 3.5” 4” 4.5”, 5”, 5.5”, and 5.75”. You’ll need a cardboard to put in the bottom one, 2” diameter for the small one, 3” diameter for the larger one. Before you close up the largest one, you’ll slide that cardboard inside and make sure you flatten the yo yo so the gathered opening is in the center. Attach a jingle bell or a brown pompom to the center of the ungathered side of the largest yo yo by sewing or gluing it in place. Once you’ve made all your yo yos, flatten them with the gathered edge in the center. Stitch your hanger on the smallest one, having the flat side up. (I just cut a strand of pearl cotton a little longer than I wanted my hanger to be, knotted one end, stitched through from the gathered side to the flat side and back through from the flat side to the gathered side, and knotted the ends together.) Hot-glue the yo yos together, gathered side up, placing the glue about half an inch from the edge of the largest yo yo and stick the next smaller one to it, having it centered. Continue building your tree until all but the one with the hanger are attached. Glue the smallest one in place hanger-side up, gathered-side down. You can add a bow to the top of your tree, or a star, or whatever you’d like.

The thing I love about these trees is that I used up some Christmas prints that I got for free. For my taste, they were prints that I wasn’t going to use in a Christmas project like a quilt or a stocking where their unusual prints would be very visible, but gathered up in yo yos, you don’t really notice the print as much as you notice the festive colors. Also, you could probably mix the fabrics if you wanted to. I can’t decide if they look more like bells or trees, but I’m calling them trees. And since I cut these circles out a while ago, the colors are pretty traditional red and green, which is fine for me. I think they’d be very retro in some of the new Christmas fabrics or in some of the more modern Christmas color schemes.

So join the fun the next four weeks and post your link in the comments each week.

Happy Thanksgiving and here’s to the holiday season!