Handmade holiday decorations are some of my favorite projects to work on all year, and this festive garland from Susan Beal’s Sewing for all Seasons is no exception.
It’s the perfect project to use up some of those fabric scraps all crafters seem to collect. You can use twelve different fabrics and reverse each circle to an alternate print, or keep the design more streamlined with fewer prints, like Susan did in the book.
If you’re going to be in Brooklyn this weekend, Susan is going to be at Brooklyn Craft Company—Brett Bara’s amazing new craft and DIY destination—signing books and making this very project!
Even if you can’t be there, craft along with us using these super-simple instructions!
72 in/183 cm long
Pattern paper and pencil
Materials (for a 6-ft/2-m garland)
5-by-8-in/12-by-20-cm piece each of twelve assorted printed fabrics for garland circles
Three 9-by-12-in/23-by-30.5-cm sheets of Steam-A-Seam or other lightweight double-sided fusible web
6-in/15-cm piece of rickrack or ribbon, for hanging loops
4 small buttons, up to 3/4 in/2 cm across
You can use an automatic cutter like an AccuQuilt Go! cutter to cut your 2-in/5-cm circles in Step 2 if you prefer, but you may want to start with larger pieces of fabric (say 6 by 12 in/15 by 30.5 cm) so you have enough space at the edges.
1. Press each 5-by-8-in/12-by-20-cm piece of printed fabric with the iron, and pair the twelve rectangles into six combinations you like together. Cut the three pieces of double-sided fusible web in half with fabric scissors, yielding six pieces, and trim each of them to 5 by 8 in/12 by 20 cm. Following manufacturer’s instructions, fuse each of the fabric pairs, wrong sides together, with the double-sided fusible web between them so you have six double-sided pieces of fabric.
2. Draw a 2-in/5-cm circle on paper with pencil. Cut it out with paper scissors, and pin it to the upper corner of your first piece of double-sided fabric. Cut out the 2-in/5-cm garland circle and set it aside. Continue to cut out five more 2-in/5-cm circles the same way. You’ll cut a total of thirty-six circles, six from each of the six double-sided fabric rectangles.
3. Lay the circles out in a long row, mixing your fab¬ric colors and patterns so you like the arrangement. Take a photo and see how they look together if you like (remember, the garland will naturally flip from back to front, so you’ll have some different combinations appearing).
4. When you’re happy with the arrangement, stack the circles, working from left to right. Bring them over to your sewing machine and begin stitching them, down the center of each circle, in a continuous row, feeding the next one under the presser foot as the previous one is stitched, so they are touching.
5. Cut the rickrack into two 3-in/7.5-cm pieces and form one into a loop for hanging the garland. Pin the loop to one end of your circle garland and hand-sew the raw edges down with needle and thread. Repeat on the other end with the second piece of rickrack.
6. On one end, cover the raw edges of the loop on each side with a button, and stitch through to sew the two buttons securely in place. Repeat on other end with the remaining two buttons.
7. Hang your garland!
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