This year my WI decided to take part in the Christmas tree festival held in our parish church. It’s the first time we’ve done it, so we weren’t quite sure what to expect, I put the cat among the pigeons by saying that being Women’s Institute, the decorations had to be hand made, or at east look handmade! I asked them to dig out any suitable decorations.
In the meantime I checked out what I had, a few cross-stitch ones, a basket weave wreath, some decorated baskets…I decided to make a few more!
On facebook I’d seen several pretty decorations, one in particular looked a bit like cathedral window patchwork. I found the instructions on U-Tube, they really are so simple you can literally make them in under 30 minutes. It’s just two circles of fabric stitched together and turned, I top-stitched round in gold. The four opposite points are stitched together and after a bit of fiddling to straighten and neaten it, the corners are flipped over and it’s finished! I stitched a glass button in the middle to finish it off.
One of the Christmas Craft magazines included a little wreath made by threading buttons onto wire. I bought one of those craft bags of mixed buttons in Christmas colours to have a go. I tried threading them straight onto the wire but I just couldn’t get it to look right, I then thought to try with a red bead between each button and it works, I was really pleased with them. I also tried threading them flat onto the iwre for a different style of button wreath.
Another quick make inspired by a magazine was my holly garland. I cut out holly leaves in felt. I’d recently bought a mixed pack from Minerva crafts in Christmas colours and it was perfect for the job as it’s a fairly crisp, thin felt. The magazine had red circles cut out for the berries, but I decided pompoms would be even better. I noticed on the Minerva website they had packs of mini threadable pompoms in red.
I used a reel of old green crochet cotton, I didn’t cut the thread, just threaded the needle on the end so I could calculate the length I need at the end!. I spent a relaxing evening stitching the garland together, I just used running stitch down the centre of each holly leaf and then threaded on a pompom, before stitching the next leaf. Altogether I ended up with about 4m! It’s now blu-tacked round the conservatory!
If I say so myself our WI tree looked gorgeous, afterwards I hung the decorations on our tree. We always have a real tree, usually the old-fashioned type that drops it’s needles, apart from the cost of the non-drop, I prefer the old-fashioned ones for the scent, I love the smell of a proper Christmas tree. We’ve had a tradition over recent years of walking up to the nearby riding stables to buy a tree, the staff net it and then we carry it between us, it used to be me and two children, now it’s usually me and Helen. It’s quite amusing trying to cross the main road as we have to do like a crab walk across!
Our fairy took pride of place at the top of the tree, showing off her new dress!