These are instructions on how to embroider and assemble the FSL Battenberg Christmas Ornaments.
To embroider this type of lace, please read our recommendations first.
Stabilizers: We recommend to use water-soluble mesh, such as Vilene. Vilene D0102 is a non woven dissolvable stabilizer which is imported into the US, is sold in large rolls and is sometimes packaged under different brand names. Some of these brand names are Fabri-Solvy by Sulky, Avalon Plus by Madeira, Wash-Away, and Aqua Magic.
Film-like water soluble stabilizers, such as Solvy by Sulky, Avalon by Madeira, Badge Master, are not suitable for Free-Standing Lace embroidery.
Threads: The thinner the thread, the finer the final product will be. That is why for this project we recommend cotton thread, which gives bulk to the lace and makes it look hand-made.
Embroidery polyester thread will make very fine web-like lace.
Embroidery rayon thread is too soft, it does not keep its shape and very often its color fades under the influence of chemicals from the water-soluble mesh.
If you are using 50- or 60-weight cotton, you can use it both in the bobbin and in the needle. If you use 40-weight cotton thread for the needle, you can use regular polyester bobbin thread.
If you prefer to use cotton in the bobbin, you can use embroidery polyester in the needle.
We used Signature machine quilting cotton thread, but similar threads from other companies should work just as well.
To get two-sided embroidery use threads of the same color in the needle and in the bobbin.
Needles: We use size 80/12 embroidery needles and 80/12 metallic needles. Our experience shows that cotton thread used with metallic needles gives less lint. The needles should be sharp, so it's advisable to change them often.
Most Importantly: ALWAYS make a test stitch-out of the design and wash away the stabilizer. This helps you to select the threads, needles, stabilizers and settings of your machine correctly. DO NOT embroider several designs in one hoop.
Besides embroidery threads and stabilizer, you will also need universal glue, a tapestry needle, regular sewing needles, styrofoam balls 1 1/2" in diameter, all kinds of beads, yarns, thin golden metallic cord, tassels - everything you'd like to use to embellish the ornaments.
Here we give a few ideas on how to embellish them, but the possibilities are endless. Use your imagination to make a one-of-a-kind ornament.
First of allm embroider the ornaments: use 2 layers of water soluble mesh stabilizer and threads of any colors you like. Wash away the stabilizer. Leave to air dry. Press with steam.
The first ornament has long petals, which we embroidered in blue and gold. You can use it as a bell, with petals down, or as a flower, with petals up.
Take a foam ball. Thread the needle with a golden yarn/thread, tie a knot. Thread it through the ball.
Place a small amount of glue on the bottom of the ball. Position the ball in the center of the lace. Fold four petals of the lace to the top of the ball where you have the thread with the needle, and sew their tips together with the same thread.
Thread a small bead through the needle. Make a loop. Return the needle through the bead. Wind the thread under the bead, tie it and cut.
Fold the remaining 4 petals back.
The next ornament is made in the same waym, but on this one we added beads to the tips of the unfolded petals and this gave the ornament a new look:
Here are several ways of embellishing the second lace ornament.
Fold the petals of the ornament and hand-stitch together the edge loops to make a bell.
Take a foam ball and a tassel. Thread a tapestry needle with the tassel's loop, pierce the ball. Pull the end of the tassel's loop through the ball. Put the bell on the ball, take the tassel's loop through the opening in the bell's base. Thread a golden yarn or thread through the tassel's loop. Tie its ends to make a hanging loop.
Here is another version of the same bell. While stitching the petals together to make a bell, we inserted small golden beads between them, 5 beads between each pair of neighboring petals.
We also covered the foam ball with golden foil and used a golden tassel.
For the third ornament, we covered the foam ball in thin silk cord. For this, thread the cord through the tapestry needle, push the needle through the center of the ball, then loop it over the ball's surface, insert the needle in the same hole, pull the needle and the cord through the same hole, and repeat until you cover the whole surface of the ball.
Decorate the edges of the bell with small beads. Sew together the ends of the neighboring petals, using small beads between them.
The tassel and the hanging loop are made in the same way as described before.
Here is another decoration with the third bell. We hand-stitched the petals together. The tongue of the bell is made with several beads connected with wire loops. The hanging loop is fixed to the bell with the help of a very large fake pearl.