Christmas Embroidery Designs and Other Embellishments

In my last post I introduced you to my latest quilt pattern – a mini quilt called Candy Christmas.

Candy Christmas, a holiday mini quilt by Kirsty at Bonjour Quilts

I thought I’d share with you some variations on creating the appliqué Christmas tree as well as some embellishment ideas.

Embroidery decoration ideas for a Christmas mini quilt by Bonjour Quilts

Fabric Selection

Firstly, there’s a lot that can be done with this pattern just with fabric choices alone. Both my versions of Candy Christmas use a fabric with a ditsy-type print for the Christmas tree. The small scale patterns are a bit of a “cheater print” for Christmas decorations.

Candy Christmas, an easy holiday themed mini quilt to sew by Bonjour Quilts

Just about any small scale print fabric would look great. You can see various colours of the Alison Glass Sun Print fabric I used above here*.

Other great options include these Libs Elliot stars*, or some instant garlands (stars or super cute jar lanterns*).

Cute fabric choice for a Christmas tree applique mini quilt

And pretty much every one of these adorable Swedish fabrics* would look fabulous.

Sweet finch fabric that would work well in the Candy Christmas mini quilt

Don’t forget your background fabrics, too. Solids work really well when you want your colours to shine, but pattern can also be used to great effect. Stars, bubbles, dots, ombré and stripes can all add interest to the background.

These new Lizzy House Constellations fabrics* have lovely, saturated colours that play well together.

My new favourite for a background might just be this Birch collection called Wink*.

starry fabrics perfect for a Candy Christmas mini quilt background

starry fabrics perfect for a Candy Christmas mini quilt background

So I hope that gives you some ideas with regards to fabric choices.

Patchwork Your Tree

Another fun way to create your tree is to hit your scrap bag. You can sew a patchwork piece any way you like that can then be used to cut your tree.

In this version I used some larger strips pieced together to form my “fabric”.

Patchwork Christmas Tree for a Candy Christmas mini quilt by Bonjour Quilts

Then I cut out my tree with the template (from the pattern).

Patchwork Christmas Tree for a Candy Christmas mini quilt by Bonjour Quilts

Another option is to use up all your smaller scraps by frankensteining them together:

Patchwork Christmas Tree for a Candy Christmas mini quilt by Bonjour Quilts

When you cut out your tree, just try not to let any of the tree points fall on a seam.

Patchwork Christmas Tree for a Candy Christmas mini quilt by Bonjour Quilts

Christmas Embroidery Designs

There’s lots of scope for embellishing with Christmas embroidery designs or other trims you might fancy.

I knew I wanted to do some embroidery, so I marked out a rough plan on the back of my appliqué template. I could easily adjust my garland and ornament spacing before I started on my actual mini quilt.

Embroidery embellishment and other decoration ideas for a Christmas mini quilt by Bonjour Quilts

When it came to choosing thread colours, I went with tones that matched my background fabrics. I think it helped tie the whole thing together.

Embroidery decoration ideas for a Christmas mini quilt by Bonjour Quilts

I also recommend completing your embellishment after quilting the top to the batting, but before you put on your backing. That way you don’t have to worry about being overly neat on the back of your piece, as that will all be enclosed in the quilt sandwich. As I embellished after the mini quilt was complete, I had to pop knots through into the backing, etc, to try and minimise the mess on the back. It wasn’t much fun, so benefit from my hindsight!

For those who might be worried about affixing your backing after you’ve embroidered, don’t worry. You can quilt a line outside each edge of the tree to hold your backing in place – this is plenty for a mini quilt. If you’d like to put a line of quilting on the tree but don’t want to sew over embroidery, just mark a line before you embroider so you know where to leave a clear path for later quilting.

Right. Back to the stitching. Firstly, if you’re looking for a straight forward, photo laden book on embroidery stitches I’m a fan of the book below (which you can find on Amazon here*).

Embroidery decoration ideas for a Christmas mini quilt by Bonjour Quilts

I started with the tree garlands, which I marked with an air-erasable pen on my tree. However, I found my line wasn’t sticking around long enough for me to get my garland sewn before it faded away (it’s very humid here at the moment).

To counter that problem I cut my appliqué template along my drawn garland lines and pinned the sections to my tree as I sewed. I was able to use the cut edges as a guide for my stitching lines. This also worked really well for night time sewing, when I find it harder to see the air and water erasable pens against dark fabrics (old eyes!)

Embroidery embellishment and other decoration ideas for a Christmas mini quilt by Bonjour Quilts

So back to the garlands. I started with a single line of chain stitch but felt it wasn’t hefty enough, so I did a second.

Embroidery decoration ideas for a Christmas mini quilt by Bonjour Quilts

And then I thought it was a little plain for a garland, so I went back and whip stitched the two lines together with another colour thread. (If I’d had a metallic thread* I would have used that here, I think it would’ve looked fantastic).

Embroidery decoration ideas for a Christmas mini quilt by Bonjour Quilts

I also scattered some gold and navy stars across the tree.

Embroidery decoration ideas for a Christmas mini quilt by Bonjour Quilts

Embroidery decoration ideas for a Christmas mini quilt by Bonjour Quilts

Other Embellishment Ideas

The sky’s the limit! What do you have lying around in your drawers? Ribbons, pom-poms, lace, doilies, beads and sequins – any sort of trim is fair game. You could machine sew garlands if your machine has fancy-pants stitches.

(Just remember to sew hardware down very securely if little hands are likely to be handling your mini quilt. Large beads, etc, can be a choking hazard.)

Embroidery embellishment and other decoration ideas for a Christmas mini quilt by Bonjour Quilts

Alright, I think that’s more than long enough for a blog post. Thank you for reading and I hope this has sparked some Christmas embroidery design ideas of your own.

Embroidery decoration ideas for a Christmas mini quilt by Bonjour Quilts

If you’d like to make your own Candy Christmas, you can find the pattern in my shop.

Happy embellishing and happy holidays!

Embroidery embellishment and other decoration ideas for a Christmas mini quilt by Bonjour Quilts

*affiliate links

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11 thoughts on “Christmas Embroidery Designs and Other Embellishments”

  1. I love your ideas here, especially pinning part of the tree pattern to the quilt and using the edge as a guide. It brought to my mind another idea that might work. If you had traced your tree on freezer paper you could iron that guide piece in place. No pins needed. I’m going to look up that embroidery book next. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  2. Thank you for the tutorial, it is a very pretty pattern I love the Frankensteining! That ‘Swedish’ fabric is lovely, such a pity the postage is so ludicrous. For a fat quarter that costs $3.52 it is $48.95.

    Reply
    • It’s beautiful, isn’t it? With a bit of an etsy search (or Google) you’ll hopefully find the same fabric with better postage rates for where you live. I wish I had the time to list every product with the best price/postage by country…maybe one day when I get an assistant (Ha! Perhaps Santa will bring me one for Christmas).

      Reply

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