Christmas Traditions features a project that creates heirloom-style Christmas Ball Ornament toppers and covers.
The ornament cover is composed of a top and an optional bottom piece. The two button together as shown to cover a ball:
The top and bottom components are stitched separately because they are typically as large or larger than the size of a single embroidery field. To created a fully covered ornament, create one of each, selected by the control labeled ‘Component’.
The Ball diameter is an important control! If you purchase mass-produced ornaments, the diameter is usually printed on the
packaging. Typical sizes range from 2” to 4”. As there are many manufacturers of these, and some are hand-blown, the diameter of
Christmas balls varies greatly. To ensure a nice fit, double check the measurement of your ornament. One easy way is to put the ornament between two books, then measure the space between the books. Once you know the diameter, slide the “Ball diam” control until the measurement matches.
Remember that some thread actually shrinks when wet, while others can stretch. If it is practical for your ornament, go ahead and button the ornament cover onto the ornament before rinsing, or while still wet. This will help the ornament cover to form to the ball contours.
The ornament will typically have a top hole or spout, which is where the ornament was blown into, creating the ball shape. This
hole needs to be measured similar to the way you measured the ornament itself. This is because the Hub of the ornament cover will
need to fit over the spout. You set this size using the “Hub diam” control.
Notes on buttoning covers together:
1.) The loop at the tip may need to be expanded slightly by pushing a pair of tweezers or a ball point pen into it. This is because the loop will shrink when it gets wet, but you do want to keep the tightness.
2.) Keep going. Sometimes it seems like it won’t fit until you’re done. The spokes have to be straight and stretched.
3.) If you have trouble with handwork, increase the Ball diameter slightly. This will make it easier for the cover to fit. If
you make it a bit too big, then you can always glue the ball into the loop tightly.
4.) Don’t be afraid to use a tool. Tweezers or needle nose pliers can be helpful, especially whe using thick threads such as metallics.
5.) Remember that the tighter it goes on, the nicer the finished product will look.
Randomly-designed ornament covers can be made by repeatedly clicking the “Make a Random Cover!!!” button. This
will not change your sizes, but chooses from a nice selection of tips, hubs and connective elements to create a random design.
There are millions of possibilities!
If you want to choose from the elements yourself to design your own cover, you can slide the Hub, Mid1, Tip1 and Tip 2 controls until you find a design combination that you like. Note that the Hub for the top is predefined and you cannot choose it; it needs to go over the spout. Also, the Mid 2 is predefined so that it does not interfere with the Mid 1 sections.
It’s always fun to see one of the prototypes