On the Third Day of Christmas ...

Posted on October 21, 2015 by Rae | 2 comments

Sam made us a free motion embroidered Christmas Village!  You could put this lovely piece of art/sewing into a frame or directly onto a card for  very special Christmas greeting... use it for gift tags, napkin rings, your imagination is the limit!

We're so lucky to have Sam Molloy as one of the brilliant tutors that run classes here at Make HQ - check our Sam's blog here where she records her adventures in stitching. One of Sam's most popular classes is her Free Motion Embroidery workshop and if you fancy coming along we've just put another class on in January - time to drop some well placed hints for a Christmas present, maybe?




Now it's over to Sam for her fantastic tutorial...

You will need:

  • Base fabric – this is what your picture will be stitched onto, so you need to choose something firm and stable.
  • Christmas fabric. In this tutorial I’ve used Christmas Dreams Christmas Village by Wendy Kendall for Dashwood Studio.
  • Iron on interfacing.  
  • Bondaweb
  • Tissue paper or greaseproof paper.
  • A darning or embroidery foot for your sewing machine.

Choose a Christmas fabric with a nice simple design, you’re going to be cutting the design out and sewing around the edges of the pieces, so the more intricate the initial design, the more intricate your cutting and sewing need to be!


First prepare your backing fabric by ironing a piece of medium weight iron on interfacing to the back. It doesn’t need to cover the entire fabric, just the area you will be stitching into later. This is to stabilise your backing fabric and prevent it stretching when you sew.


Roughly cut out the elements of the design on the Christmas fabric you want to use and place them right side up on the ‘glue’ side of a piece of Bondaweb.



Place a piece of greaseproof paper over the Bondaweb and press with a hot iron to melt the glue so that it adheres to the back of the fabric. Please remember the greaseproof paper, otherwise you’ll have to spend the next hour cleaning glue off your iron!


Peel the fabric pieces from the Bondaweb backing, cut them out neatly and arrange them in your chosen design on the backing fabric.



If you’re going to layer the pieces, you will need to apply and stitch the bottom layers first, so at this point it might be helpful to take a photo of your design to help you can remember where everything went.  Iron any pieces that will be part of the ‘bottom’ layer onto the backing, using a piece of greaseproof paper between the fabric and the iron to prevent any remaining glue from catching on the iron.



Put your darning or embroidery foot on your sewing machine and lower your feed dogs. You’re now ready to start stitching your design in place. Carefully stitch round each piece of your image separately. I like to use black thread and go round twice, to form a more solid outline, but you can experiment to see what looks good to you.


You can just go around the edge, or stitch into the fabric design to pick certain elements out.



Once you’re happy with the bottom layer, you can add your other pieces, once again placing a piece of greaseproof paper between the fabric and the iron.


Stitch the second, and any subsequent, layers in the same way as the first, adding as much detail as you like. You can see I decided to change the position of one of my trees when I came to do this layer.



Mount or frame your finished free motion embroidery. A small embroidery with one or two elements would look great as a Christmas card, a much larger one could be used to make a cushion cover or you could even make a set to use as placemats for your Christmas table. The choice is yours!


We hope we've inspired you to get your darning foot out and give this a go?  Check back soon for the HQ Fourth Make of Christmas!




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  • Rae

    Hi Susan,

    The collection featured behind Sam’s picture is called Modern Backgrounds by Zen Chic and you can find it here. http://www.fabrichq.co.uk/search?q=modern+background Each unit = 1 fat quarter. It’s lovely, isn’t it?

  • susan hall

    do you stock the bundle of fabric in the background ? it os just what i am looking for and would love to buy a fat quarter bundle. i can’t see a reference to it in your words nor on the site, so please can you tell me what it si .


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