Colour Inspiration Tuesday: Christmas Stars

Christmas Stars color scheme by Clever Chameleon

Another Colour Inspiration Tuesday – and finally, that ornament tutorial…..!

Well, thanks to you guys, I have learned another new thing this week! As you are probably aware by now, I have been working on writing up a tutorial on the Christmas Bells ornament I created for last week’s Colour Inspiration Tuesday. But I still wanted to give you a mood board this week, and somehow link it all together. 

So, this week, when I noticed that my Hoya plant is in flower, all my bloggy wishes came true……  I got a photo for a mood board and another idea for an ornament using the same technique as for my bell. For my Hoya carnosa has star shaped flowers, and stars are definitely relevant to Christmas. I stole the shapes and colours of my Hoya’s flowers and plagiarised them into this:

Star Christmas ornament

And in the process of working through this week’s Christmas Stars idea, I found out something. Did you know that Hoya carnosa (also known, among other names, as the common Wax Flower) is an Australian native? I didn’t. I had always assumed all Hoyas were exotics. It turns out that there are at least seven Australian Hoyas, and Hoya carnosa is native to Queensland (Australia) and several other locations in Asia. I love learning new things, especially happy things.

Hoya flowers with nectar
Wax Flowers with nectar

Perhaps you like learning new things too. Then you might like to try making your own Christmas ornaments like those I have been making this week….. Christmas Bells, Christmas Stars and Christmas Trees. Oh yes, I made a Christmas Tree version as well…… if an idea is fun, you should flog it til it’s dead, right?! Of course! hahahaha πŸ™‚

Tree Ornament

How to make “String Art style” Christmas Ornaments

The inspiration to make Christmas decorations in a string art-like style came to me from a fusion of ideas that started many many moons ago. The first seed was planted when I discovered Deb Layt, an Australian quilter who at the time was embellishing her quilts with a netting made from pearl cotton couched onto soluble stabiliser. She calls this netting geoweb. If you have ever made freestanding lace on soluble stabiliser with an embroidery machine, it is essentially a cruder, hand-directed version of this. I have dabbled with this technique over time, making the occasional bookmark and adding highlights to art quilts such as the hot air balloons on the quilt I entered into this year’s local state guild show. 

Then, much more recently, I participated in this year’s Ornament Exchange blog hop and spotted this tutorial by Emily at Two Purple Couches. It is a very cute string art Christmas Tree! She has very kindly allowed me to use a picture to show you, thus saving me a thousand words!

String Art Christmas Ornament
Emily’s ornament for the Ornament Exchange

Now, I have many times eyed off string art pieces as pre-cursor ideas for thread painting or quilting designs, but to date, I have never acted on these ideas. But in seeing Emily’s ornament, I was reminded – hmmmmm, I could make “string art” tree ornaments with that geoweb technique……. 

And then the idea sat there in the gloomy depths of unresolved creative thoughts until last week. When I suddenly fused it with the ideas that I have already laid out for you in the Christmas Bells Colour Inspiration Tuesday post. Here is how I did it (and how you can do it too).

You will need:

String art ornament supplies

  • A sewing machine set up for zigzag/satin stitch
  • A thick thread for the backbone of your ornament. I suggest starting with a size 3 pearl cotton, but I have also successfully used thinner (size 8) pearl cotton, as well as thicker cotton twine from the hardware store.
  • Sewing machine thread – rasant, poly-cotton or 100% cotton will do. Put the same thread in the bobbin as you have running through your needle. This is a good opportunity to use some of those old or cheap threads you have somehow accumulated that will (should) never end up on a quilt – you will have the most success if you match the colours of your thread to your pearl cotton and don’t use fancy threads (rayon, metallic etc) until you are comfortable with the basic technique.
  • water soluble stabiliser (sorry, I don’t know the brand of mine, I purchased it as yardage off a roll and have had it a long time). The stabiliser I am using was originally purchased to facilitate machine embroidery on towels. It is 100% soluble and clear, it is not the disintegrating fibre, opaque type sometimes used for appliquΓ©.
  • a biro, and a paper template if you do not wish to draw your own design freehand. I have supplied you a downloadable sheet of Christmas templates for the 3 shapes I used. Update: there are now also instructions for a Christmas Bauble shape option in a guest post on Days Filled with Joy.
  • beads and ribbon for decoration and hanging.

What to do:

Step 1

Trace the outline of your shape onto the water soluble stabiliser. Biro works well for this and doesn’t leave traces after washing out the stabiliser. I have tried using permanent markers and found they partly transfer from the stabiliser to the couched threads.

trace template with biro

You do need to know that your finished ornament will end up slightly smaller than your original design. How much smaller will depend on the thread you are couching onto the stabiliser, the brand stabiliser you are using, the tension settings on your machine and how tightly you can keep the stabiliser stretched while you are sewing. 

My original template vs the final ornament

Trim the stabiliser around your traced shape, leaving sufficient margin that you can comfortably sew around the edge of the design while not sewing your fingers! Cut out a second piece of stabiliser the same size as the first and lay it on top of the first. Secure the two layers together temporarily using pins.

Secured with pins

Step 2

Set your machine to a very small zigzag stitch. I set mine on the lowest width and stitch length possible when I am couching pearl cotton. I used the decorative foot, which has a wide groove underneath so that it runs over raised surface stitching more easily. While using a foot that has the centre line marked is very helpful to see where your pearl cotton should lay, a special couching foot is totally unnecessary for this project.

Lay the pearl cotton on the outline of your design, starting in a position where you will not be required to immediately turn any corners. Leaving a tail, sew enough stitches along the length of the pearl cotton to secure it to the design. Snip off the pearl cotton and thread tails.

start couching
Start the couching somewhere sensible
leave thread tails
Make it easy on yourself – leave thread tails as you start
trimmed thread tiails
Trim the thread tails when convenient

Continue couching the pearl cotton around the main shape until you reach the beginning again, overlapping the start point slightly to secure the beginnings of all threads. Ignore the hanging loop and any projecting shape outlines (like the bell ringer) for the moment. We’ll come back to them.

outline the shape
Main outline completed

Once you have stitched all the way around the main shape you can remove the pins, as your stabiliser layers are now fixed itogether by stitching.

Step 3

With the needle in the down position, turn your work so that you will next sew across the design. It is easiest to make couching turns if the needle is down on the inside of the corner.

turning your couching

Sew across the design to the opposite edge. Make sure you catch the edge couching with a few stitches, then turn again and sew across the design in another direction. Repeat until you have filled the design. Make sure you catch the edge each time you finish crossing the design.

Fill the design with couched lines

As you travel around the design you will eventually end up near a feature that needs adding….. take the opportunities to do this as they arise.

couching on water soluble stabiliser
When you reach a loop or protruding shape such as the bell ringer, fill it in.
Couching on water soluble stabiliser
Continue filing in the design until you are happy with the density.

couching on water soluble stabiliser

Step 4

Once your couching is dense enough to look great, secure the end with  a few backstitches and trim off the threads. 

finished couched ornament still on stabiliser
Finished couching still on stabiliser

Thoroughly wash your piece to dissolve the stabiliser. If you have stitched correctly, the couched shape will be quite stiff, self-supporting and require no further treatment. Dry your piece and decorate as desired.

Decorate as desired……

To the bell ornament I added a green bell off an old cat collar plus a remnant of purple ribbon. I think the ribbon was about 30cm long…. I am not going to remove it  now to measure it. You know how long it takes to make bows look good!

Christmas tree ornamentTo the top of the Christmas Tree ornament I added a cherub button left over from an Advent quilt I made many years ago. I would have preferred a star, but I am trying to be good and use what I have. I also added beads from my collection and three  rings as “ornaments”. Do you know what the rings are? Eyelets! I stitched the decorations on, but you could use glue.

Adding a hanging ribbon to these ornaments is easy…. Just thread it through one of the holes at the top!

Tips for making the “Christmas Stars” ornament

For the ornament to match the Christmas Stars mood board, I decided to see how far I could push the boundaries of this technique. So I used cotton twine for the backbone, with rayon thread for the white and yellow sections, metallic thread for the maroon centre and also a pink rasant thread for the detailing. The rasant is stitched over the finished ornament – I did not couch any thread under this stitching. The pearl beads and bead cap in the centre were inherited from a friend’s mother.

Christmas Stars tree ornament by Clever Chameleon

Using the twine and fancy threads was more difficult than pearl cotton and standard sewing thread. My tips? For twine use a wider zigzag. For fancy threads make sure you drop the upper thread tension on your machine. And sew slower.

When I wanted to change thread colours I did not cut the cotton twine, I just anchored the couching thread, swapped the top thread and started again where I left off. For the star I used white sewing thread in the bobbin regardless of which thread I had on top.

purple Clever Chameleon logoAnd there you have it!

I hope these instructions make sense….. if not, please ask questions. Because if you are wondering something, it is likely that others are also wondering the same thing.

Enjoy your creative time leading up to the holidays. If you make a string art-style ornament I would love to know….. there are so many shapes you could try…. what about a dove, a snowman, baubles, a stocking, a snowflake…..? You are really only limited by your imagination, (and time of course). And just so you know, shapes with corners are easier than those with curves.

Wouldn’t these make fabulous decorations to finish off a special gift?! Speaking of gifts, I am off to Days Filled with Joy to see what else Joy has put on her 12 Days of Last Minute Homemade Gift ideas list. Don’t forget to keep an eye on this too.

P.S. If Suffolk Puffs (Yo-Yos) and hand sewing are more your thing, why not give my friend Evija’s Christmas Ornament tutorial a try? Evija was my partner in the 2017 Ornament Exchange, and she sent me these two beauties that are now on my tree. Enjoy! πŸ™‚

Suffolk Puff Tree ornament

Suffolk Puff candy cane ornament

P.P.S. Sharing Christmas Stars on some of my favourite linkys:
Sew Can Do
Cooking Up Quilts
Love, Laugh, Quilt
Fiber Tuesday
Freemotion by the River
Midweek Makers
Let’s Bee Social
My Quilt Infatuation
Busy Hands Quilts
Crazy Mom Quilts

Also shared on Quilting Jetgirl’s monthly Tips and Tutorials linky for December.

Colour Inspiration Tuesday: Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells color scheme from Clever Chameleon

Colour Inspiration Tuesday: Celebrating the Holidays with Inspiration from Real Life

Here in Australia, sometimes it can be hard to reconcile the major seasonal holidays with the weather. Spring is now in full swing and summer is doing its best to come early this year. So here I am, merrily decorating our Christmas tree in ornaments which, on the whole, celebrate winter….. while quietly pondering whether I should just abandon ship and head to the pool instead…..

But, not everyone here is as confused as I am. There is at least one local that does our summer Christmas wholeheartedly, with absolutely no inhibitions. It is not a person though, it is a street tree. For the rest of the year, this tree is actually a bit on the plain side, possibly verging on ugly. A funny, almost stunted looking tree, unassuming, lacking in any apparent vigour and vitality. But come November and December, it does this!

Brachychiton tree in flower

This tree is a hybrid from the Brachychiton family. Two Australian natives – the Kurrajong tree (white bell flowers with pink/red insides) and the Flame Tree (scarlet red bell flowers) – can be crossed to get hybrids like this one that produce masses of pink bells.

To add to the fun, because the tree is so unworthy the rest of the time, I forget how amazing it is for the few weeks that it flowers. So, every year the kids and I get a nice moment of sudden realisation that the “Christmas Bells” are back, heralding the end of school and promising Christmas.

Brachychiton tree in flower

How to respond to such extravagant Christmas Spirit?

Bougainvillea Surprise color scheme from Clever ChameleonWell, the obvious answer is to produce something Christmas flavoured in dusky pinks and green. A “Christmas Bells” quilting motif or quilt design perhaps? Well, these bell flowers actually put me in mind and mood of a small Christmas project I have been musing over for a couple of weeks, ever since the Ornament Exchange Tour. And I would have made it in pink but I couldn’t lay my hands on my pink pearl cotton yesterday. So purple had to do. Since I still have purple and green on the brain from the last few weeks, and our purple Bougainvillea is still out in full flower, I admit that wasn’t a hard compromise to make.

This is what I created in response to my thoughts around Christmas Bells.

Christmas Bells Ornaments

purple Clever Chameleon logoHow to make my Christmas Bells Ornament?

Would you be interested in a short tutorial on how to make this ornament? I wanted to do the tutorial for you today, but there are just too many other things that need attention before the end of the week. I am hoping I might be able to write it up for you next week though. How does that sound?

Sorry for the tease (or maybe it is just a sneak preview?), but it seemed silly not to show you what I made in a rare quiet moment in response to my musings around today’s Colour Inspiration Tuesday. November is simply a crazy month for our family! It’s the same every year. Update: the tutorial is done – you can find it here!

So on that note, I must be getting on with those other things, but I wish you a lovely and productive week and hope to catch you back here on Thursday with my One Monthly Goal. Yup, last minute, as usual! Did you really expect anything else? πŸ™‚ 

P.S. BREAKING NEWS!! Last night Clever Chameleon arrived on Facebook….. I know, not exactly earth shattering, but another step forward for my baby blog. πŸ™‚ If you’d like to follow via Facebook, I’d be very glad of your company!  Thanks a million!!

P.P.S Sharing in this weeks linky fun at:
The Quilting Room with Mel
Love Laugh Quilt

2017 Ornament Exchange and Tutorial Blog Hop

How to make a Drum Ornament for Christmas

Welcome to the 2017 Ornament Exchange & Blog Hop! This year, there are 47 amazing bloggers participating in the exchange. The rules of the challenge were simple: be partnered with a fellow blogger, create a handmade ornament for $15 or under, create a tutorial, and ship the ornament off to a new home!

Introducing my Ornament Exchange Partner

My 2017 Ornament Exchange partner is the amazing Evija Roberts of From Evija with Love. Evija has a wonderful DIY, crafts & furniture up-cycling blog, where she shares all the creative things she and her cute pug Coco get up to. 

Evija’s preferred style of ornament for this exchange is traditional, in silver and white. Luckily for me,  I also got bonus intel…. last year Evija did a post about her new Christmas tree and some of her family traditions, so I was able to see exactly what I was aiming for! πŸ™‚

Evija's Christmas tree
Evija’s beautiful Christmas tree

How the Drum Ornament came to be

When I signed up for this blog hop, I had a stack of ornament ideas in my head. But none of them were conceived with the simple elegance of silver and white in mind. And since I’d used up all my silver fabric scraps on several projects last Christmas, I was effectively handed a clean slate to try something different, and an excuse to go craft shopping. Actually, that’s pretty much my definition of Christmas!! Whoop!

I went my local craft store not having a clue what I might make., but assuming colours would be no big deal. But when I got there I discovered all sorts of fun Christmasy fabrics in stock, but nothing in just silver, or in silver and white, or even predominately silver.  So, I bought pieces of the two most silver textiles I could see and went home to invent “something”.

Insul-fleece and hexagon fabric
What did I buy? Insul-fleece batting (top of photo)  and a sparkly silver and gold hexagon-print cotton fabric. 

Soon I was happily humming “Pa rum pa pum pum, rum pa pum pum, rum pa pum pum…”. My supplies had spoken. After tinkering for a while, I realised I had serendipitously purchased exactly the right things to make a drum ornament!

Drum Christmas Ornament for the 2017 Ornament Exchange

PA RUM PA PUM PUM! ….. Go on, hum along as you take a look at my tutorial. πŸ™‚ If you do not yet have the Drummer Boy carol firmly stuck in your head, either you are made of very ear-worm resistant stuff, or your education is lacking somewhere and you should google it…… Enjoy!

2017 Ornament Exchange and Blog Hop

Meet the 2017 Ornament Exchange Hosts

Erlene β‹… My Pinterventures Kim Β· Made In A Day Amanda Β·Domestically Creative

Shirley Β· Intelligent Domesticatons Michelle Β· Our Crafty Mom

Beverly Β· Across the Blvd. Christene Β· Key to Inspiration Pili β‹… My Sweet Things

Nicki Β· Sweet Parrish Place Megan Β· C’mon Get Crafty

Hilary Β· Raising Fairies and Knights Emily Β· Two Purple Couches

Tina Β· One Crafty Mess Marie Β· The Inspiration Vault Debra Β· Shoppe No. 5

Trisha Β· Rosewood and Grace Jeanie Β· Create and Babble Katrin β‹… Kreativ K

Terri Β· Christmas Tree Lane Maureen Β· Red Cottage Chronicles

Toni β‹… Small Home Soul Ula β‹… Lulu & Celeste Sue β‹… A Purdy Little House

Pamela Β· Home On The Corner Lorelai β‹… Life with Lorelai Cindy β‹… DIY Beautify

Debbie β‹… Tweak and Style Stephanie β‹… Swoodson Says Chelc β‹… Inside the Fox Den

Susan β‹… Super Mom – No Cape! Molly β‹… Just a Little Creativity

Roseann β‹… This Autoimmune Life Angela β‹… Simply Beautiful by Angela

Vicki and Jenn β‹… 2 Bees in a Pod Joanne β‹… Our Unschooling Journey

Tylynn β‹… Bitterroot DIY Sam β‹… Raggedy Bits Mary β‹… The Boondocks Blog

Cyn β‹… Creative Cynchronicity Dione β‹… Clever Chameleon Quilting

Erica β‹… Erica Ever After Chelsea β‹… Love Paper Crafts Evija β‹… From Evija with Love

Samantha β‹… Little Bits of Home Hope β‹… Hopes Crafty Niche Anne β‹… Orange Bettie

Pam Β· P.S. I Love You Crafts

Make your own Drum Christmas Tree Ornament – Full Tutorial

Drum ornament supplies

You will need the following supplies:

  • a feature fabric – sufficient size for 6 hexagons (downloadable pdf template for 3 different hexagon sizes found in this link)
  • fabric scraps for the top and base of the drum
  • paper-backed iron-on adhesive or glue stick
  • Insul-fleece, ordinary fleece or other heavy non-fraying material such as quality felt – You will need a slightly larger piece than that of the feature fabric
Insul-fleece has a shiny silver side and a soft white fluffy side.
  • 6 small beads ( I chose 4mm clear rainbow pearl beads that I had on hand)
  • 6-8″ scrap of thin ribbon to match your project (I used white ribbon snipped from new clothing… you know, that ribbon added to clothes for display hanging purposes….. why waste it?)
  • cardboard tube (the cardboard tube insert from a hand towel roll or similar)
  • thread to match or complement your feature fabric and beads
  • hot glue and gun (or ordinary glue and some patience!)
  • 2 bamboo skewers (large drum) or 2 wooden toothpicks (small drum)
  • a very small amount of air-drying polymer clay (steal it from your kids/grandkids if you can)
  • hand-sewing needle, scissors, masking tape or other strong sticky tape, pencil

Optional supplies:

  • glitter
  • sewing machine and iron (for sewn version as pictured)
  • your favourite non-permanent fabric marking method (such as chalk, wash-out marker, freezer paper) for marking hexagon shapes
  • glue stick (for people who do not like to sew)

Drum decoration for Ornament Exchange

Notes on my specific supplies:

The feature fabric I used is called X17 Sparkle Xmas Hexagons (cream) from the Spotlight Apparel Fabric range. It was the hexagon print that directly triggered my idea for the drum ornament. However, there is no need to actually have a hexagon print for this project. Your favourite yardage or scraps cut into hexagons will do equally well.

I also chose to use Insul-fleece (by Legacy) for the main body of the drum purely because it has an Aluminized Polyethylene coating on the back that is shiny silver.  …….ooooooh, shiny…… πŸ™‚ . If you don’t need the silver effect, feel free to substitute felt or fleece in your favourite colour instead.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1

Trace out 6 hexagon shapes onto the paper-backed adhesive and iron onto the reverse side of your feature fabric. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for ironing on your brand of adhesive. Cut out your hexagons and remove the paper backing. Note: If you are using a fabric printed with suitable sized hexagons like I did, you can just iron on the adhesive without pre-marking the hexagon shapes.

Cut hexagon fabric pieces
Enough adhesive-backed hexagons for two Drum Ornaments.

Alternative method: If you want to do a no-sew version of this ornament, simply mark out 6 hexagons on your fabric and cut them out. You don’t need to use the iron-on adhesive.

Step 2

Lay your hexagons onto the soft white side of the Insul-fleece, (or on your felt). If you would like to see borders of the backing fabric around your hexagons on the finished ornament, space your hexagons out accordingly.

Fabric hexagons adhered to Insul-fleece
Fabric hexagons adhered to Insul-fleece with no spaces.
fabric hexagons adhered to Insul-fleece
Fabric hexagons adhered to Insul-fleece with space to accomodate borders on cut hexies.

Adhere your feature hexagons to the Insul-fleece or felt with a hot iron. 

No-sew method: Use the glue stick to adhere your fabric hexagons to your chosen backing textile and skip step 3. Please do not use a glue stick if you intend to machine sew your hexagons!  It will be no fun if you gum up your machine!

Step 3

Sew around the edge of your hexagons to permanently fix them to the backing textile. Use a thread colour that blends with or adds to your design as you wish, keeping in mind that the sewing will be visible once the ornament is completed. Do this step before you cut the hexagons out of the backing fabric – because sewing around individually cut hexagons is too fiddly….. ask me how I know…… πŸ™‚

No-sew method: Skip Step 3

Step 4

Cut out your 6 hexagons. You can either cut the hexagons flush with the boundaries of the feature fabric or if you have allowed for it, with a border of fleece/felt.

Cut hexies for Drum ornament
Cut hexies for Drum Ornament – no border.
Marked hexies for drum with borders
Marked borders on hexies.
Cut hexies for Drum Ornament - with borders
Cut hexies for Drum Ornament – with border.

Step 5

Place two hexagons reverse-sides together. Join them together by sewing a few stitches on the spot to create an anchor point in one top corner and then the bottom corner directly below. This can be done either by hand or machine.

Position of sewing
Join two hexies together by stitching a few stitches at the position of each “x”.
Sewing two hexies together
Sewing two hexies together with a few stitches in one top corner.

Step 6

Open up your work so that you can lay the third hexagon behind the second hexagon. Join these two hexagons with a few stitches in the free top and bottom corners of the second hexagon. Repeat this step until you have a chain of 6 hexagons.

Sewing a hexagon chain
Add hexagons one by one to form a chain of hexies attached to each other at the top and bottom corners.

Step 7

Form your hexagon chain into a circle and sew the top and bottom corners of hexagon 6 to hexagon 1. Quietly trim any corners that haven’t quite lined up to get a  nice straight top for your drum. Your feature fabric should be on the outside of the circle and your drum should now look like this…..

Hexagon circle
Hexagons sewn into a circle, ready for the cardboard tube insert

Step 8

If you are making a drum that is thinner than your cardboard tube, cut the cardboard tube lengthwise.

cardboard tube

Now, overlap the cut edges to create a narrower tube that fits snuggly inside your hexagon circle. 

cardboard tube sizing
Slide the tube into the hexagon circle and allow it to fill the space snugly

Secure the tube at the correct diameter with tape.

cardboard tube secured with tape

Note: If you are using the largest size hexagons from my template, a standard (Australian) paper towel roll insert should fit inside your hexagon circle unaltered, so you can skip this step.

Step 9

Shorten your cardboard roll to a few mm less than the height of your hexagon circle.

Recessed cardboard tube
Cut your cardboard tube so that it is flush with the bottom of your drum but recessed slightly at the top.

Next, cut two fabric scraps into rough circles somewhat larger than the ends of your cardboard tubes.

cut a top and bottom for your drum

Snip the overhanging fabric from the edge in towards the tube so that the fabric bends easily over the tube. Secure one circle of fabric to the top of the tube with tape or glue to form the top of your drum. 

Fabric top secured onto cardboard tube.
Secure the fabric top onto your cardboard tube. Now repeat for the bottom.

Repeat this process with the second circle of fabric to form the bottom of your drum. I used Insul-fleece for the top of my drum and a white fabric scrap for the base.

Step 10

Fold your ribbon in half and secure both ends to the tube (with glue or tape) so that the loop will emerge from the top of the drum for hanging.

drum insert
Your cardboard tube should now be covered with fabric top and bottom, and have a ribbon loop attached

Slide the completed tube assembly into your hexagon circle. Secure with a little glue inserted between the tube and the hexagon circle.

Drum with insert
Slide the fabric covered tube into your hexagon circle and secure in place with glue.

Step 11

Each hexagon should have two corners poking out from the circle. Join these two loose corners to each other with a few hand-stitches so that they come together in front of their own hexagon.

hand stitch the drum details
Join the loose corners of each hexagon together so they meet in front.

Once each corner is secure, stitch a bead onto the point for decoration.

Adding beads to the drum
Add a bead to each point for decoration.
completed drum ornament for Christmas
Your Drum Ornament is now complete. You can hang it as is, or add drumsticks.

Step 12

Create two drumsticks by trimming two toothpicks or bamboo skewers to size (for small drums use toothpicks, for larger drums use skewers).

cut skewers
Trim your toothpicks and skewers to approximately 4 – 6.5cm (1.5 – 2.5″) long

Add a small ball of polymer clay to the end of each stick. Optional: Knead glitter into the polymer clay for a little more sparkle on your drumsticks.

Make drumsticks by adding a ball of polymer clay to the end of your trimmed skewer or toothpicks.

Attach the drumsticks to the drum with a few hand-stitches or a little glue.

two completed drum ornaments

Step 13

Send a picture of your fabulous creation to dione @ so I can share it with everyone and we can see how clever you are! Then enjoy your new Christmas ornament and have  a safe, magical Christmas!

Here’s a couple of variations of the drum ornament that I made: with borders around the hexagons – one with a simple solid purple feature fabric.

bigger drum ornaments

FIND ALL 47 HANDMADE ORNAMENT TUTORIALS BELOW AND SHARE YOURS TOO! Use Hashtag #2017OrnamentExchange so we can see your creations on social media.


P.S. Don’t forget to check out the other 46 other ornaments on the blog hop today!

P.P.S. Please make sure you drop by Erlene’s blog at My Pinterventures and thank her for running this massive blog hop!

P.P.P.S Sharing the Christmas joy on my favourite linky parties: Quilting Room with Mel, Quilt Fabrication, Sew Fresh Quilts, My Quilt Infatuation, Confessions of a Quilt Addict, Busy Hands Quilts, 

Everyday Quilt Inspiration: Quangdong Christmas

Quangdong Christmas color scheme from Clever Chameleon

31 Days of Finding Quilt Inspiration in Real Life

Do you know what the picture above is?!

It’s a ripe quangdong. An Australian native fruit. I took this photo in Arkaroola (a desert oasis in South Australia) in early October, two years ago. Isn’t the fruit glorious looking? And doesn’t it scream Christmas?!!!

quangdong tree
Quangdong tree
quangdong seed
Quangdong seed
cracked quangdong seed
The kernel inside

Quangdongs have a thin dry flesh surrounding a large dimpled seed.

The kernel inside the quangdong seed is known as a candle nut. The seed has a high enough oil content that  you can light it and it will burn like a candle. Candles also make me think of Christmas. Especially after spending last Christmas in Europe.

quangdong seed burning
Quangdong seed candle

Quangdong flesh is awful to eat raw. However, if you dry quangdong, it magically becomes delicious. You can eat it just as it is, or turn it into jam or pie or whatever you desire. It tastes a little like rhubarb, but less sour. Mmmmm.

Quangdong Pie
Quangdong pie from a cafΓ© in Quorn

Finding Quilt Inspiration in the Everyday: Day 28

I found my quangdong photos while still looking for the quilt photos I mentioned yesterday. It turns out that looking through old photos is a great way to find quilt inspiration. It happened to me yesterday as well! 

Finding these shots is fortuitous. I needed an easy post today, because I have spent all my blogging time playing with ideas for a new Christmas tree decoration instead! I am going to be joining in the Ornament Exchange blog hop in November and I’ve been trying a few things out. So it seems apt that I tell you about my Christmasy quangdong inspiration today.

How was I inspired by the quangdong?

The reason why I took a whole set of photos of quangdongs two years ago was because I thought they would make amazing quilted postcard designs to use as Christmas cards. Especially for my overseas friends.

begging to be a Quangdong Christmas postcard!

AppliquΓ© the fruit and leaf shapes onto postcard sized quilts and then do a stack of fun thread painting over them. Or maybe draw them with Inktense and then thread paint. Sadly I haven’t got around to making the postcards yet, but time has not diminished the desire too. Every time I see these photos I think I must do this project one day.

Do you make quilted postcards? Where do you find your inspiration for them?

Or have you accidentally been inspired to make a quilt while looking through old photos? I would love to hear your stories. πŸ™‚

P..S. If you are new to the 31 Days of Finding Quilt Inspiration series you can now binge read it…. access it through the first post, or follow me on Bloglovin’ to catch up on 4 weeks of everyday quilt inspiration.

P.P..S. You’ll be glad to know, I finally found the quilt photos I was after. I hope to tell you about them tomorrow. Take care until then!