Tutorial: "Be Merry" Festive Garland

Here is a project that I designed for QFD Creative Christmas in July Online Stitching Event. I wanted to share it here as a free tutorial. 

This sweet bunting with its scallops, yo yo’s and ricrac edging has a vintage feel. It will set the scene in your living room this Christmas and it is sized for stringing across your mantelpiece or staircase to bring some festive cheer.
0.15 m white wool felt
0.2 m green wool felt
0.2 m red wool felt
0.2 m red printed quilting cotton
0.2 m green printed quilting cotton
0.15 m green polka dot quilting cotton
4m white cotton ricrac trim
Scrap of white fabric for yo yo’s
9 assorted red and green buttons
1 x A4 sheet of appliqué film/fusible webbing (such as vliesofix or steam a seam 2)
0.3 m medium weight fusible interfacing
DMC Perle 5 in colours red (no: 321) and green (no: 703)
Spray starch
Templates – Template 1 and Template 2
Computer and printer
Sewing machine
Co-ordinating thread
Clover Yo Yo maker – large (optional)
Hand sewing needles
Marking pen

Please read all instructions before commencing the project. Careful and accurate cutting and sewing is essential to ensure success with this project. It is recommended that fabric be 100% cotton, pre-washed and well ironed. Requirements are based on fabric 112 cm wide (44 in). A seam allowance of ¼ inch has been used in this project.

1. Print out the letters to spell “be merry” using template provided (Font used: Mellow; Size : 370).
Trace the letters in reverse onto the back of the appliqué film (paper side). Cut around the letters leaving ½ cm allowance. Press the letters onto white felt. Cut out the letters, and peel off the paper backing.
2. Trace the scallop templates onto card and cut out. Trace the flower template onto card and cut out.
3. Cut out the fabrics:


Using the felt template, cut out 5 large scallops out of red felt; and 5 out of green felt.

Using the Cotton template, cut out 5 medium scallops out of red printed cotton; and 5 out of green printed cotton.
Using the pressing template, cut out 10 scallops out of interfacing.
Cut the polka dot binding fabric into 3 strips, each measuring 5 cm.
Using the flower template, cut out 9 flowers from red and green felt.
4. Press the interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric scallops.
5. Using spray starch, moisten the edges of a fabric scallop. Place the scallop face down on the ironing board, put the pressing template on top, and press the edges over the template. Remove the template. The fabric scallop should have ¼ inch seam allowance pressed to the back.  Repeat for all 10 scallops.

Photo: Making Scallop

Photo: Pressing under scallop

6. Alternating red and green scallops, press the letters to the middle of the scallops. Stitch around the letters using perle thread and a running stitch. With the letters fused to red fabric, stitch in green perle cotton. With the letters on the green fabric, stitch in red perle cotton.

Photo: Closeup of Letter

7. Layer the red scallops onto green felt, and the green scallops onto red felt. Pin the ricrac under the edge of the cotton fabric so half the ricrac is visible. Stitch the fabric scallops to the felt using a scant seam allowance, catching the ricrac in position as you stitch.
Repeat for all the scallops.

Photo: Stitching ricrac

8. Position the scallops so that the colours alternate and spell out “be merry” There should be an extra scallop at each end, and one between the words.
9. Stitch the three binding strips together using a mitred join. Press the strip in half lengthwise. Open it out and then fold each long edge in towards the crease and press. Fold in half again to create a strip that measures 1.25 cm x 318 cm (approx).
10. Pin the binding over the top of the scallops. The scallops should be positioned 2.5 cm apart, with equal lengths of binding at each end. Stitch the flags to the binding, and press.
11. Make 9 yo yo’s using the yo yo maker and white fabric following the directions on the yoyo maker. If you do not have a yoyo maker, make a cardboard circle template that is 10 cm in diameter. Use this template to trace circles on the wrong side of your fabric. Following your traced line, cut out a circle of fabric. Fold under a scant 3 mm along the edge of your circle and stitch close to the edge. Use a strong thread and make sure that it is long enough to go right around the circumference of your circle. Pull on the thread to gather the edges to the centre. Flatten the yoyo and even out the gathers. Sew a few stitches to secure.
12. Layer a yoyo onto a felt flower and stitch them together, positioning a button in the centre (Refer to photograph).

Photo: YoYo Flower

13. Stitch a Yoyo flower between each scallop.

Photo: Festive Garland

The fabric for this project came from Quilt Fabric Delights. 

 ©Lisa Cox from A Spoonful of Sugar
For your personal use only

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  1. says

    I really love garlands, and this one is SO cute! I love the ricrac in between layers, making it look like a scalloped. Also love the use of handstitching around each letter and the use yo-yos to connect each letter. Well done Lisa!

  2. says

    Wow, Lisa, thanks for sharing this amazing project!!! I love the colors you used. Last Aila’s birthday I made a banner and as it was my first try the result was not sooo bad:o)
    Be sure I will try making this pretty one up there and if it looks all right I will show you!
    Love! Bela.

  3. says

    ANOTHER bees knees project. You must go to sleep at night dreaming of bees and their knees. I’d love to give that one a whirl – if only I could get. past.all.the.birthdays.

  4. says

    That is the happiest Christmas garland I think I’ve ever seen–TOO CUTE!! Many thanks for sharing this, Lisa… I’ve been playing with felt lately, so my fingers itch to have a go at this! ;o) Happy Day ((HUGS))

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