I adore rag quilts. I admit it took me some time to warm up to them but once I made a couple I was hooked! I wanted to add some rag quilt feel to my Christmas decorations so I came up with this super cute and easy rag quilt Christmas tree ornament that you can make out of scraps and only takes a few minutes. In fact, I love it so much I’m going to make a door hangar size one to use instead of a wreath on my door.
Scrap Green Fabric
Flower Ribbon or Scrap Yellow/Gold/Silver Fabric for a Star
Scrap Ribbon in coordinating colors – About 6″ needed
Metallic thread or bright contrast cotton thread
Rag Quilt Clippers
Cut The Fabric
The fabric for these Christmas tree ornaments is super simple to cut.
For each ornament you’ll need:
2″ x 4″ Strip
2″ x 3″ Strip
2″ x 2″ Strip
2″ x 1″ Strip
I just cut a 2″ strip across the width of my fabric using my rotary cutter and started trimming to length since I planned on making several ornaments.
Sew The Fabric
This is just like rag quilt assembly but without the batting or backing (you could add that but I liked the thinner look for the ornaments). I used a gold tone cotton thread but as there is almost no stress on the seams you could use embroidery thread (if your machine can handle it) if you want your seams to really look like tinsel on the tree. When sewing together the pieces I used about a 1/4″ seam allowance as the ornament is small.
As you can see in the photo below, you’ll sew them together in decreasing size order by length.
Remember to put back sides of the fabric together so your seam shows on the front, just like regular rag quilting.
Now your tree is assembled. Sew a final seam along the bottom of the longest fabric piece so you can rag the bottom edge later.
Trim The Tree
Our trimming the tree isn’t decorating, it is making the tree look like a tree. Fold the tree in half lengthwise and pin in place. Make sure your seams are all pointing towards the bottom of the tree (the longest strip of fabric). Try to pin so that the pins don’t cross the ends of the fabric.
Once the tree is folded and pinned, use your straight edge to make a diagonal up the tree to remove the square ends of the fabric strips.
Now just use your rotary cutter and follow the diagonal.
Unfold your tree and it actually looks like a tree now.
Sew The Edges
Sew the two diagonal sides of the tree so you can rag those later. Don’t worry about where the seam crosses on the top of the tree, that will be hidden by your ribbon rose.
Add The Ribbon
Now just fold your ribbon/cord in half and sew the loose ends to the back of the top of the tree. My machine sewed over them fine but you may need to hand sew depending on your machine. This makes your loop for hanging the ornament.
Add The Rose/Star
If you couldn’t find a ribbon rose, just cut a star out of a metallic fabric and use that instead. Sew your star/ribbon rose to the top of your tree (front of the ornament of course), this hides the stitching from where you attached the hanging cord earlier. I used my machine’s locking stitch function to sew on the topper in several places without having visible stitches. On the ribbon rose I used, there was plenty of mesh to sew through without it showing on the rose itself.
Clip The Seams
Use your rag quilt snips to clip the exposed fabric seam allowances just like you would any other rag quilt. I made my cuts closer together so there would be more rag. DON’T clip the top section of the tree. Otherwise it will basically disintegrate when you wash it.
Wash & Dry
Throw the ornaments in the washing machine with some vinegar to help prevent any fabric bleeding and then dry just as you would any other rag quilt. Note that the size of these ornaments means you’ll probably have to untangle the ornament when it comes out of the drier. Just run the iron over it quickly if you have trouble getting it to lie flat.
If your seams didn’t rag as much as you hoped, just run a butter knife over the seams several times to help fray them further.
Enjoy your new ornament! Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go buy fabric for the door size ornament I’m going to make.