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Spritz Cookie Ornaments
I was looking for a project that was portable and could be done in my lap while watching Karate and cheerleading practices. I also wanted something that didn’t require buying too many new supplies or would take too long to complete. Inspired by Tiny Obsessions by Vicki Bellino, I decided to give English Paper Piecing (in miniature) a try. Rather than adding a split loop to the Keychain project, I thought a loop of invisible thread would turn these into terrific Christmas tree ornaments.
First, I needed paper hexagons. While these can be purchased, a quick internet search returned templates in a variety of sizes and cutting methods. Choosing fabric is always fun and this is the perfect project for scraps and ends. It only takes 12 to 14 inches of a 1” strip of fabric (or ribbon!) for one ornament. After rounding up some matching thread, a few sewing needles, and a little glue, I was ready to begin.
I began by cutting 3/8” paper hexagons and then turned to my fabric. Many of my scraps came from the Winter's Evening collection. Several pieces required ‘fussy cuts’ to ensure the tiny designs were centered on each piece. I found using a paper punch to make a peep hole in the center of the papers made this much easier. After a little more experimenting, I began gluing these to my piece of fabric before cutting them out.
As I continued to find new fabrics to use, I kept my pieces organized in envelopes with a sample of the fabric glued to the front. These fit nicely in a shoe box or sewing basket and were easy to sort by color or collection.
With traditional English piecing, fabric is hand-basted to the papers, which are eventually removed. Since these papers can be left in place, a bit of glue makes quick work of this step. There are many wonderful fabric glues available on our website, and I found the glue sticks to work as well as other types. The sticks are portable and easy to use when working in my lap. The glue dries quickly but can be easily removed with a little warm water.
Ribbon is another fun option. The seam allowances of the grosgrain I chose did not want to stay folded over the paper, but a few miniature clothespins kept them in place while the glue dried.
I was now ready to sew. Following the directions, I whip-stitched six individual fabric-covered hexagons around a matching center piece. When I held it up, there wasn’t enough definition, so I began sorting through my fabrics for a contrasting center. I had a ring of six cream and red Fretwork pieces lying on my knee and realized it looked just like the spritz cookies with sprinkles we have always made at Christmastime. Would this project hold together without an anchoring center? I put together two rings and sewed them front-to-back. A quick press with the iron gave it a crisp look. I had an ornament!
Not satisfied with my stitching (it showed too much around the edges), I asked my mother for some pointers. Switching to applique needles and invisible thread made a huge difference. The finer, sharper needles glided effortlessly through the fabric and dried glue. It wasn’t long before I had put together a dozen ornaments.
These will be so much fun to slip into holiday greeting cards and tie to the top of packages, and by using different seasonal fabrics, I can continue with my new Obsession all year long!