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Thursday 11 December 2014

Santa Baby: Ornament Tutorial

I think I may have mentioned a time or two my love for all things Santa. A few years ago when my boys were young, I made these Santa ornaments as a bit of nonsense to hang on the tree.  Pictures of the boys were printed on inkjet fabric sheets and a little sheep's wool was added for the beard.They were a big hit and I ended up making quite a few as gifts for friends (with pictures of their own kids I mean, not mine!) All good fun.
I haven't made any for some years, but now my sister has a grand baby and I figured she would love one. (Nancy, if you are reading this:  stop now and come back after Christmas!)  In this post I will share directions for the ornament, the full sized foundation, and instructions on how you can personalize it for a special child.

The original block had been drawn in EQ2 I think, and those files are long gone from my archives so I redrew it in EQ7, eliminating several patches to simplify the piecing.  It's pretty close to the original...even improved, as it allows a  bit more space for the face. It's simple to foundation piece.

Santa Baby Ornament
Finished Size:  8" high x 4" wide                             1/4" seam allowance used throughout
Materials Required
Close up digital picture of a cute baby (about 1-1/2" square) 
Scraps of red, white and black fabric 
Backing fabric 8-1/2" x 5"
An inkjet printer sheet (and a printer!)
A small amount of fibrefill for stuffing
Small amount of wool for beard (you could even use a bit of the fibrefill stuffing)
Sewing thread
8" piece of floss (or narrow ribbon) for hanging
hand needle (for sewing the opening closed).
Rotary cutter and mat
Sewing machine
Hot melt glue gun

First, download the foundation. Please note that when you go to print the pdf, you must have the box checked which says ACTUAL SIZE, 100%,  otherwise your templates will not print correctly.

Find an appropriate picture to use for Santa Baby's face.Wanting to keep this a surprise and not tip my hand, I nonchalantly asked for a close-up picture of  Taylor.  Here's what I got...adorable, but not exactly my idea of a close up!
I cropped in close to her face in Photoshop so that the image was more-or-less square.  (Oh, this is going to be so cute with those chubby cheeks and that little tongue sticking out!)
I inserted the photo into a word processing program.  Unsure of which size would look best in the design, I formatted it in 3 sizes.  In the end, the 3.75 cm x 3.75 cm  (1-1/2") size in the middle row below worked best.
The images were printed on inkjet printable fabric sheets (available at Mrs. Pugsley's) and trimmed 1/4" past the edge of the photo on all sides.
 The photo goes in the #1 spot in the foundation, with the wrong side of the photo facing the wrong side of the paper. (i.e. the printed size is facing you and the picture is facing away from you on the back of the paper.)
 It helps to hold it up to the window to get it properly placed;  you want at least 1/4" extending past all the lines.  When you are happy with the placement, secure with a pin. (Note:  I moved it up 1/4" after this picture was taken before sewing;  it was hard to get the fabric in the right spot while taking this picture.)
From here on in, follow the numbers until your foundation is complete. If you are not familiar with foundation piecing, a Google search should bring you lots of help.  Trim with your rotary cutter on the outside lines.
 Place your pieced foundation right sides together with your backing fabric and stitch around the outside lines, leaving an opening to turn along one side.  You can see I didn't cut my backing to size,I stitched and trimmed in one step.  At this point, carefully remove your paper foundation. Clip your corners and turn right side out through the opening.
Just try to stop smiling as you stuff your Santa Baby with fibre fill, and stitch the opening closed with hand stitches.
 They look like a line of Rockettes :)
I debated about this next part, since this is a little girl, but in the end...Santa Baby really needed a beard.  I washed some wool which came from a nearby farm in Nappan, heated up the glue gun, and put on a dab to hold the wool in place.
I used red embroidery floss as a hanger, just stitching a loop to the back.

There is one for Taylor's Mom, and one for each set of grandparents: a fun keepsake for baby's first Christmas.
 Enjoy! If you make some, I sure hope you'll share a picture with us.