Capitol Christmas Tree Ornament–The Tutorial

I am feeling a small moment of glee right now. I said on Saturday that I would post this tutorial on Wednesday and for some reason it is actually happening. Even during what feels like a constant clatter of banging pots, I am getting it done.

Okay, so you want to make your very own Capitol Christmas Tree Ornament.

Maria Shell Capitol Christmas Tree OrnamentOne of the fun things about this project is that you probably already have everything you need. In fact, this project uses leftovers which is always enticing to me.

You will need the following supplies.

  • Star Pattern– I googled Star Outlines and found one I liked and printed it out on regular typing paper. Here is the link to the star I used.
  • Smooth Tracing Wheel–The one I have is green and made by Dritz.
  • Approximately 9” square of shot cotton fabric. Any fabric will work, but I am very fond of how beautifully the shot cotton shows quilting stitches.
  • Approximately 9” square of backing fabric for your star. I used upholstery remnants, but you could use denim or any other stable fabric.
  • Thread for quilting. I used Aurifil Thread in 28WT.
  • Stuffing– I used my rotary cutter to shred up so small bits of Warm and White Batting. This worked really well.
  • Approximately eight inches of fabric trim or other thin fabric for creating the hanging devise. 3/8 inch trim works really well. Using a wider trim is a bit more difficult.

Standard quilting supplies–stitching thread, sewing machine,scissors, snips, pins, and that sort of thing.

Okay here we go. Iron your shot cotton fabric and then using the tracing wheel, trace your star pattern onto the fabric. At first, I used tracing paper, but I discovered that the typing paper leaves a fine pattern.

Maria Shell Capitol Christmas Tree Ornament TutuorialThis line is your final stitching line.

Maria Shell Capitol Christmas Tree Ornament TutuorialCreate a quilt sandwich and begin quilting around your star. I like to start with the edge of the star and work inward.

Maria Shell Capitol Christmas Tree Ornament TutuorialHere I have loaded a dozen on to my long arm, but you can EASILY do this on a domestic machine.

Maria Shell Capitol Christmas Tree Ornament TutuorialIn fact, It is a great way to practice quilting.

Maria Shell Capitol Christmas Tree Ornament TutuorialI like to make each one different.

After the star is quilted it will look like this.

Maria Shell Capitol Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialNext, I used my scissors to cut around the star. You want to cut at about a 1/2” away from the stitched edge. This is your seam allowance for when you stitch the backing to the star. As you can see in the photo, my seam allowance is a bit scant on one point of the star. That is OKAY.

Maria Shell Capitol Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialTake your backing fabric and place it right side up on your table. Place the quilted shot fabric wrong side up on top of the backing fabric like so.

As you can see in the photo, my seam allowance is a bit scant on one point of the star. That is OKAY.Pin around the star securing the backing fabric to the quilted star fabric. Using your scissors cut around the star.

Maria Shell Capitol Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialCut your fabric trim to the length you like. I think eight inches is good.

Maria Shell Capitol Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialI found that the hanger is best hanging from one of the star points. Fold the fabric trim in half with RIGHT sides facing out. Slide the trim in between the quilted star and the backing fabric. Pin it into place.

Maria Shell Capitol Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialNext, select a star point that NOT near your hanging tab.Using a pencil, mark an opening space that looks like this. This will let you know where to start and stop stitching.

Maria Shell Capitol Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialStitch around the star using your walking foot if you have one. I stitched my star points like this to make sure they are secure.

Maria Shell Capitol Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialUsing the opening, flip your star right side out.

If you are going to use a wider trim for your hanging tab, you will need to stitch THAT star point like this.

Maria Shell Capitol Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialNext shred some batting. I just use my rotary cutter and sliced the batting into approximately 1” by 5” strips. Now that I figure this out, I don’t think I will ever throw batting away again!

Maria Shell Capitol Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialIt takes about handful of batting to get a nice puffy star.

Maria Shell Capitol Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialStuff your star.

Maria Shell Capitol Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialThere will be a small opening that you need to whip stitch shut by hand.

Maria Shell Capitol Christmas Tree OrnamentAnd that’s it. You are on your way to making fabulous Capitol Christmas Tree Ornaments!

Maria Shell Capitol Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialThey make wonderful gifts.

Maria Shell Capitol Christmas Tree OrnamentWhile we are on the topic of hand made holiday gifts, I might as well share with you two other posts I have written about hand made gifts. First, the ever popular Artful Oven Mitts.

Maria Shell Capitol Christmas Tree Ornament TutorialHere is a link to the latest chapter in that story. This link includes the link to all other stories about Artful Oven Mitts–how to make them, how to get the pattern, etc…

Artful Oven Mitts by Maria ShellOr if you could care less about the backstory and really just want the tutorial click here.

And then there is the hands down most popular post I have ever written. You’d think it would be something about art or stitch, but NO. It is about how I make fleece flannel blankets.

Maria Shell Fleece Flannel BlanketThis time of year, that post has more hits than anything else.

It is good to know that I am contributing to make the world a more comfy place with all those fleece flannel blankets being stitched out there.

Now, what are all of you making this Christmas season?

This entry was published on December 2, 2015 at 2:55 PM. It’s filed under Tutorials and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

8 thoughts on “Capitol Christmas Tree Ornament–The Tutorial

  1. Carole on said:

    I make origami boxes out of recycled colorful magazine pages; and 8″ square makes a 3″ box. The bottom of the box is made from a 7 3/4″ piece of card stock or heavier magazine cover to fit into the top. I try to find coordinating patterns from wallpaper, gift wrap, catalogues and annual report covers and stack several of them, tie with a bow and think of how friends can use them for stocking stuffers, their hand made earrings and necklaces, or to hold desk accessories like paper clips, push pins or rubber bands. I hope selfishly that some of my boxes might bounce back with their art. Glued cardboard square inserts make them more sturdy. Google Origami for the technique instructions. Once you make one, the rest are EZ. 3″ boxes can be stacked and glued together to make a table top Christmas tree; hung as ornaments (red and green? blue and silver?) with a ribbon, they are an interesting variant of a Christmas ball.

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    • I love those boxes! I have a Kansas City friend who used to fill her living room with paper and boxes. They are so much fun and you can do so many things with them. I hope you have a good holiday season planned Aunt Carole!

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  2. Maria, these are wonderful! Thanks for providing the tutorial.

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  3. Great tutorial. Now I want to make some and hand stitch on them!

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  4. This is awesome! Thank you for putting this all together (despite the cacaphony)!

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