Snowflake Ornament (Free Hand Embroidery Pattern)

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A winter snowfall is something I never thought I’d look forward to. Growing up in perpetually sunny Southern California, I hardly experienced the seasons. I thought winter ended in December when all the TV programs stopped airing their holiday shows. When I moved to upstate New York, I learned that this is not at all the case. While I may never fully acclimate to blustery winters, I do love the snow. Nothing is more seasonal for me than white, blanketed streets and snowy days. Celebrate the season with this little snowflake ornament, and if you’re on the sunnier side of things, these will help you create your own little bit of winter.
 
Materials
- Ornament Template
- Tracing paper
- Pencil and eraser
- Extra Fine Point Sharpie
- Ruler
- Transfer method (transfer paper or tear-away stabilizer suggested)
- Water-soluble pen or hot iron transfer pen (optional)
- 3-in/7.5-cm embroidery hoop
- 5-by-5-inch/12.5-by-12.5-cm square of fabric, ironed
- 4-by-4-in/10-by-10-cm piece of Sulky Stiffy or Pellon Stitch-N-Tear stabilizer (optional)
- Sewing pins
- Embroidery Thread (DMC threads shown: 3865/off white)
- Size 5 embroidery needle
- Fabric glue
 
Time: 2 hours

Step 1

First, do you want to create a custom date? If yes, use the template to create the date on a piece of tracing paper. Trace the snowflake and the dashed lines under where your numbers will be to help with spacing. To add numbers for your custom date, line up the straight dashed lines with the bottom of the desired number and trace. You can use a pencil to make the initial marks, and then trace over with an Extra Fine Point Sharpie.

Step 2

Choose your transfer method. If you are going to stitch onto a dark fabric, use the transfer paper method or tear-away stabilizer method. For the tear-away method, trace the template with an Extra Fine Point Sharpie onto a piece of Sulky Tear-Away Stabilizer. If you made a custom date, trace that too. Set aside. For lighter fabrics, any transfer method will work well (water-soluble pen, transfer paper, or iron-on transfer pen or pencil). Transfer the pattern in the medium that is best for you.

Step 3

Mount the fabric in the embroidery hoop. If you’d like a sturdier stitch surface, use a backing stabilizer (Sulky Stiffy/Pellon Stitch-N-Tear) behind your fabric. Both the fabric and stabilizer should be pulled smooth and taut in the embroidery hoop. If you are using the tear-away method, pin your pattern to the mounted fabric with sewing pins, which is how I transferred this pattern.

Step 4

Now let’s get to the stitching. Here’s what I did:
 
Snowflake: 4-ply backstitch. Start from the outermost point of one of the snowflake’s arms. Because this shape is not a continuous line, it’s okay to jump around a bit. Plus, if you’re going to mount it in the hoop, who is going to see?
 
Date: 4-ply backstitch. Small stars: 2-ply cross-stitch and star stitch. Create dimension by varying the length of the star arms and the thread count for a few stars. Do some 4-ply, some 3-, some 2-, and so on. Try different colors, too.

Step 5

A 3-in/7.5-cm embroidery hoop makes the perfect frame for this piece and is easy to hang as an ornament from the hoop’s hardware. To secure the fabric to the hoop, cut a 1/2-in / 12-mm fabric allowance from the back of the hoop and cut away all stabilizer. Glue the fabric to hoop.

Step 6

The snowflake ornament how-to is excerpted with permission from "Stitched Gifts: 25 Sweet and Simple Embroidery Projects for Every Occasion" by Jessica Marquez and published by Chronicle Books.



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