small projects

How to Make a Gift Bag


Wanting to work a small, easy-to-wash, and easy-to-iron bag, I looked for an insert that was the appropriate size, solid, clean, inexpensive, and easy to find. I decided on a milk pack. Cut to the desired length,
1_10-2017it is washed out and painted white.
2_10-2017The box measures 9 cm in the width, 6 cm in the depth, and 12 cm in the height. Linen (16/cm thread count) is cut to measure 19 cm (width + depth + 2 X 1 cm seam allowance + 2 cm extra for shrinking) X 46 cm (2 X high + 3 X depth + 2 X 2 cm seam allowance).
The front side is embroidered with a small design.
The long edges are finished to prevent fraying.
3_10-2017The piece is washed (boiled to shrink), starched, and ironed.
With right sides together, the linen is folded at the middle of the long sides. Out from the vertical center axis, it is measured 7.8 cm (width + 2 x ½ depth + 2 X 3 mm) to each side and marked.
Along the marks, both sides are sewn closed.
4_10-2017The seam allowances are pressed open.
5_10-2017Now the fit is tested to determine if the box fits well into the linen bag. If the bag is too wide, remove the sewing line and resew it a small step inwards. If the bag is too tight, remove the sewing line and resew it a small step outwards. But if measuring was accurate this should not happen.
6_10-2017At the top edge, fold under 1 cm and then fold another 1 cm for the hem; secure it.
7_10-2017Turn the bag inside out, and iron it again. Put the box into the bag, fold the bottom corners in, and press the bottom of the bag.
8_10-2017Also fold the top edges as seen in the picture.
9_10-2017Closed with a clip, it is a nice bag for small gifts – individual and extravagant!
10_10-2017And a further tip: Making the bag taller so that it can be folded, it is suitable for making an Advent calendar: the upper section of the bag is folded over a string and fastened with a clip.

Forks – Practice Exercises (3)


A tendril tree is a suitable small design for practicing forks. The original measures about 5.5 cm x 6.7 cm.
Coton à broder No. 16 is used for Coral Knot stitches. It is worked on 16/cm thread count linen.
Remember, at the point where a tendril will fork off the main stem or shape, make a wider Coral Knot stitch.
After finishing, the embroidered piece is washed (boiled), starched, and ironed.
The result is a nice decoration for manifold uses – quick and easy to embroider. In a future post I will show one of the possible uses – a small gift bag.

A Heart Band


I had a decorative wall hanging: a wooden heart, some metal, some felt, some cones.
1_HerzbandI liked neither the dark gray of the felt nor the composition. I wanted to pep it up with some whitework. Instead of the narrow band with the cones at one end, I thought of an embroidered border with half-eyelet scallops and a small heart at one end. And instead of the metal heart, I thought of an embroidered and then cutout heart. And finally, I considered changing the dark gray felt to red.

I asked my graphic designer for a line drawing of the design. Here it is:
2_Herzband_pdfMy graphic designer also made a separate design of the straight border. It is also included in the download file. With the help of the additional straight border design, I was able to lengthen the band to fit my decoration.
3_HerzbandI used linen with a 16/cm thread count. With short running stitches along one fabric thread, I marked the position of one edge of the band. Then I transferred the design to the fabric using an iron transfer pencil.
4_HerzbandUsing coton à broder No. 16, Coral Knot stitches were worked along the perimeter of the heart and along the straight lines. Using coton à broder No. 25, half-eyelet scallops were worked outside; and using coton à broder No. 30, Chain stitches were worked inside the Coral Knot stitches.
5_HerzbandInside the heart shape, a special Limet grid was established by cutting 1 and leaving only 2. This was done so that the planned square-eyelet pattern would remain compact and appropriate for the relatively small space of the heart.
6_HerzbandUsing coton à broder No. 30, filling pattern 481 A was worked.
The piece was boiled, starched, ironed, and then cut.

From my wall hanging, the dark gray felt was removed and replaced with red felt. The narrow light gray felt strip with the cones at the end was removed and replaced with my embroidered heart band.
8_HerzbandI sent a copy of the wooden heart shape to my graphic designer asking for a matching heart design. You can find it in the previously published article.
9_HerzbandI embroidered the heart on 13.5/cm thread-count linen and used coton à broder No. 25 for the filling pattern. I chose filling pattern No. 481 to match the small heart on the band. After boiling, starching, ironing, and cutting, I mounted the embroidered heart onto the wooden heart using double-sided tape.
10_HerzbandMy pepped up wall hanging is finished; doesn’t it look so much better than the original?
11_HerzbandAnother way to use the design is to make a bow by adding a heart at each end of the band. I made a mini version forgoing any filling pattern. I used it as a collar for my wooden reindeer.

Forks – Practice Exercises (2)


The design, with a diameter of about 7.5 cm, is well suited for embroidering a band in combination with the same-size pattern of the Tendrils – Practice Exercises (1) and other same-size patterns that will be featured in future articles.
1_AÜ2The focus of this exercise is to practice the smooth connection of tendrils at the fork.
Abzweige_-_Uebung_2_pdfCoton à broder No. 16 is used for Coral Knot stitches, No. 20 for Blanket stitches and for the outer Chain stitches. At the outside edge, Coral Knot stitches are worked along the inner line. Chain stitches are worked a small distance outside these Coral Knot stitches. The outer Chain stitches are covered with densely worked Blanket stitches between the outline and the Coral Knot line.
3_AÜ2Using coton à broder No. 16 all remaining Coral Knot stitches are worked (remember, at the point where a tendril will fork off the main stem or shape, make a wider Coral Knot stitch).
4_AÜ2Using coton à broder No. 30 Chain stitches are worked directly inside the Coral Knot stitches of the center circle. The shape is filled with an openwork pattern without a Cable stitch grid – double crosses in straight rows. For a detailed description please refer to my book Openwork Pattern Samplers. Openwork is nice and pleasantly contrasts with the outside ring with the tendrils.

After finishing, the embroidered piece is washed (boiled), starched, and ironed
5_AÜ2The design also makes a nice ornament for trimming the Christmas tree. For that purpose, the circle is cut.
The result is one more nice ornament – next Christmas always comes before we know it!

Advent Calendar 2016 – No. 24







The outline pattern for this wreath can be found in 12 Delicate Wreath Designs – Set 2.

If you take pleasure in working a more elaborate poinsettia flower (design diameter about 18 cm), here is my suggestion. Irmgard Mengel prints the below design on 16/cm (or 40/inch) thread count linen. If you are interested, please email me (


I would be delighted if you enjoyed this advent calendar.


Merry Christmas!


Luzine Happel
Am Schindeleich 43
37269 Eschwege
Telefon: 05651-32233


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