Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Calico Christmas: The Candy Cane Ornament

When I was 9 years old, my mom gave me an ornament kit called "Calico Christmas." Inside were squares of calico, a bit of stuffing, and instructions to make several different styles of ornaments, including a candy cane, a pinwheel, and a stocking. I stitched these by hand those many years ago. Don't you just love those big beginner stitches? (Actually, I still sew like that...)

The pinwheel was the most complicated pattern. The candy cane was the easiest. I made lots of candy canes!

Even without the original instructions, I remember how to make the candy canes. I am sorry I didn't have this post ready a month ago, but let's just say that I am way ahead for December 2009, okay? And now you can be, too!

First, cut four pieces of fabric into 2 inch by 2.5 inch pieces.

Sew the pieces into a strip, matching the 2-inch (shorter) sides. You can do this by hand or machine.

Fold the strip in half lengthwise, right sides together, and stitch the short ends together.

Turn right side out.

Fill very lightly with stuffing (you could probably even skip the stuffing), fold the raw edges inside, and pin.

Hand stitch the opening closed. I used a blind stitch, but you could use a whip stitch or whatever stitch you like.
You will now have a little stuffed log of fabric.

Using a long needle and a thread knotted at the end, insert the needle in the top corner on the hand-stitched side, and

carefully gathering up the fabric, exit the needle through the hand-stitched seam right at the midpoint of the "log".

Gently pull the thread until the fabric bends into a candy cane shape. You may have to manipulate the gathering a bit to achieve a neat look. When you have the right shape, carefully knot the thread at the exit point and trim the ends of the thread.

Ta da! A fabric candy cane ornament, to keep or to give.

I prefer the bright colors of the 1970s era fabrics from the original kit, but this candy cane has a nice homespun look to it.
You could probably make an ornament out of one piece of fabric if you prefer, using basically the same method. Just cut the fabric 2 inches wide by 7.5 inches long and go from there.


Lynn said...

You should try it with red and white stripe fabric on the bias. I wonder how the bias would behave. They are really cute. I would have loved a kit like that when I was little.

merapi said...

C R E A T I V E......... !!!