A handmade Christmas

I hate my sewing machine.

Well, I don’t really hate my sewing machine. I actually love my sewing machine. I’m just sick of piecing T-shirt quilts. I’ve pieced four of them in the last 11 days, and I’m so burned out, I no longer want to be in my sewing room. After starting a fifth one today, I rebelled after two hours, put everything back into the project box and turned my attention to all things pretty by decorating our Christmas tree.

There’s a little story behind our Christmas tree: In 1987, I lost my favorite and most perfect job in the world when the medical magazine I worked for was sold to a publisher in California. To distract me from my unhappiness and fill the time while looking for another position, I focused on creating an all handmade Christmas tree. I started by collecting pine cones in the park across the street from our house, clipping off all the sharp, pointy barbs. Then John sealed them with a petroleum-based clear Krylon spray, after which I painted the tips white and added miniature decorations to the tops. The ideas just bubbled up from there and I was unstoppable. For the next two decades, I added to our collection, sometimes making as many as half a dozen in one year, other times, just one.

What follows are photos of all the ornaments I’ve made over the years. I hope you enjoy seeing some of my creations.

Shopping for a fresh Christmas tree in Houston, Texas, is problematic, so we purchased an artificial tree in size L so it would hold anything and everything I would ever make.

John starts the tree with four strands of 100-count, small white lights. Next, the tree is draped with red and gold bead garland, the only thing besides the lights that has not been handmade.

John starts the tree with four strands of 100-count, small white lights.
Next, the tree is draped with red and gold bead garland, the only thing besides the lights that has not been handmade.

jingle bells

pinecones

red balls

white balls

blue balls

green balls

geese

nature baskets

Santa wreaths

gold Xstitch

three trees

boys' ornaments

pillow ornaments

cathedral windows

braided wreath

shopping bags

spool ornaments

trio large

Santas cross stitched on perforated paper:

Xstitch Santas1

Xstitch Santas2

Xstitch Santas3

Xstitch Santas4

Xstitch Santas5

Beaded ornaments stitched on perforated paper:

beaded ornaments1

beaded ornaments2

Fabric pinwheels:

pinwheels

felt ornaments

Candy canes made from jumbo rick rack:

rick rack candy canes

Fabric origami:

origami

Ribbon candy made of real ribbon:

ribbon candy1

ribbon candy2

ribbon stars1

ribbon stars2

1 Comment

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One response to “A handmade Christmas

  1. Pingback: Rafters and stairs and the bones of a sewing room |

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