Today I want to share with you a wonderfully easy way to make a beautiful hanging decoration, which also smells divine.
To start, cut two identical shapes out of your chosen material, I used some felted, dyed blanket but a felted sweater or just some bought felt would be just as nice. Felt is ideal as it holds its shape and does not need hems but you could use any fabric you have and allow the edges to fray or you could make your shape slightly bigger and tuck under the edges as you go. The shape you choose is also totally up to you, I did a circle but a heart shape or bell are equally nice. Just keep it simple, as the next stages don't always work on something too complex.
Next, cut a slightly smaller version of your shape from some contrasting, silk, satin or fancy fabric. This can be a solid colour or patterned, I used up scraps of some raw silk that I had found as samples in a fabric store.
Then cut another similar sized piece of voile type fabric, a metallic shade looks particularly nice and catches the light when it is displayed. I am using a 1950's gold metallic scarf that I bought in a very tattered state from a vintage clothes shop.
Using your machine (or hand stitching if you prefer), sew straight across all three layers a number of times, leaving equal gaps between your lines of stitching. I did this three times on this decoration but you can do more if you like, just try and keep the spacing even.
Using small, sharp scissors cut from the edge towards the centre, between your stitch lines, stopping before you hit the middle.
Do this in each space and then ruffle your cut edges to create a 3D shape.
Take your plain circle of felt, which will become the back and lay a loop of yarn,ribbon or fabric on it. This will become the hanging loop when the decoration is finished. I took this opportunity to use some of the warp threads that we had cut off the loom when weaving. As you only need a small amount of whichever material you use, it is an ideal time to use up scraps that might otherwise go to waste.
On to the centre of this piece, add a small amount (don't add too much or the next stage gets difficult!)of something fragrant - I used lavender that I had gathered in the garden and dried but a favourite pot pourri or a mixture of cloves and cinnamon stick would work just as well. This is a point where you can really personalise these for a gift, choosing some fragrance that you know the recipient will love.
Place your front piece on top, like a sandwich and stitch carefully around your shape as close to the edge as you can, avoiding the edges of your decorative materials if possible.
Tidy up your threads and the decoration is complete and ready to be hung on the tree.
The combinations of these are endless and no two ever look the same. They are a perfect way to use up scraps and don't have to be exclusively Christmasy, I have some lavender filled ones looped off clothes hangers in my wardrobe, releasing a lovely perfume every time I open the door. I am sure you can think of many other uses for them, which is just as well as once you have had a go it can become quite addictive - have fun!