After decades of working for books and magazines It doesn't feel like summer unless I'm designing holiday projects. I've been fielding Whimsy Kit ornament requests for a couple years, it became a priority to add some choices to my shop this year. I started poking around online and was inspired by traditional Nordic ornaments. I liked the idea of adding bright flowers and embroidery to update traditional woodland animals.
Every design begins by sketching, here's a shot of out dining room table covered in my drawings and felt swatches. The trick is to boil the shapes down to the minimum amount of pieces and colors to make the ornaments accessible and fun to make. I always 'borrow' some of my husbands' architectural trace paper to make templates from my original pen and ink sketches.
At this stage I've finished working out the animal shapes and I've started to add the felt flowers. The animal layers will be sewn in place when the flowers leaves are attached. I love finding short cuts!
Instead of having matching traditional animal backs, I opted for larger bright colored background felt. This has three benefits, it's much easier to stitch the small animals to a larger background, the color helps the ornament stand out from the tree and 'pinked' (zigzagged edge) add texture. The next step is to move to the couch and hand stitch around my family. I'm really happy with how easy the animals were to stitch together.
I'm really happy with how easy the animals were to stitch together. I spent a great deal of time making sure the templates and diagrams for this download are clear and easy to follow. I hope you're inspired to make my pattern a part of your holiday preparations.