Anise Seed Ornament Tutorial


This folded fabric ornament is not difficult to make, but accuracy counts when cutting the stabilizer and when marking lines and stitching on them. If you are sloppy, then the folds will be awkward looking.

There are many pictures, because I find instructions without adequate illustrations or descriptions to be frustrating. Having said that, I must explain that the instructions are not all inclusive of every last detail as this is not a beginner’s sewing project.

Materials needed:

Stabilizer– Pellon’s #806 Stitch-N-Tear works best for this project. It is a very thin, stiff stabilizer that takes folds nicely. Although the product is made as a tear away stabilizer, it will not be removed from the fabric after stitching.

Fabric– any quilt weight cotton. Keep the pattern to a minimum if you want the focus to be the lovely shape.

Thread– machine sewing thread that coordinates with fabric. For the tutorial, a variegated thread was used. The thread will highlight the folded edge, so a thread of a different color or value would look nice.

Seed beads- to stitch on the points.

Several larger beads- to decorate wire hanger with holes large enough to string on #20 gauge wire

Hand sewing needle- (small enough to sew beads),

Threadeither beading or general purpose thread for hand sewing seed beads

#20 gauge wire– it comes in different colors

Tools– round nose pliers and side cutters

Pencil– to mark stitching lines on stabilizer

NOTE: You will also need your basic sewing tools such as scissors and iron. Also, Rotary cutting mat and ruler for marking the stitching lines accurately are helpful.

1. Cut one piece of stabilizer (either sew in or tear away) to 3″ h. x 16 ½” l. and one piece of fabric to approximately  5″ h. x 18 ½” l.

2. Mark the stabilizer with the following lines:

A. mark vertical lines spaced 1/4″ from each end, then all the rest of the lines will be spaced 1″ apart.

marking stabilizer 1

B. mark two horizontal lines: one at 1/2″ from top edge and one 1/2″ from bottom edge.

marking stabilizer 2

C. Mark diagonal lines in a zigzag pattern. Start at upper left corner where the 1/4″ seam allowance and the 1/2″ horizontal lines intersect and mark a line that passes through next vertical line down to intersection of third line and bottom horizontal line. Follow the green line in illustration XXX  to finish marking one zigzag line.

marking stabilizer 3

D. Mark the next zigzag line following orange line in  illustration XXX.

marking stabilizer 4

3. Place stabilizer with marked side up centered on back side of fabric and pin together (or use small pieces of painters tape to hold together). Stitch all vertical lines, except the ones that are 1/4″ from either end. Start and end the stitching about a 1/2″ before and after the stabilizer.

3. stitch vertical lines

4. Stitch diagonal lines. Start at one end and follow the zigzag path to the other end. Then stitch the second zigzag path.  in illustration XXX.

2. stitch diagonal lines

5. Align the 1/4″ marking lines on the two ends with pins through the intersections (the vertical pins), then pin through both fabrics and stabilizer near alignment pins. Remove the vertical pins.

4. aligning and pinning ends

6. Stitch seam on marked line.

5. stitch seam

7. Trim seam allowances to between a 1/4″ and 1/2″. Press seam open and pin to keep it open.

6. press seam open

8. With the fabric side up, stitch in the ditch along seam.

7. stitch in ditch

9. Fold one of the fabric edges over to stabilizer side and stitch close to edge.

8. fold and stitch edge

10. Pull threads to back and tie in knot and trim threads.

9. tie threads on back

11. Repeat edge stitching for other side.

12. Trim fabric edge close to edge stitching, about 1/4″ from edge.

10. trim fabric

13. Press vertical lines (ones with X) along whole length.

11. iron vertical lines

14. Press alternate vertical lines (ones without X) only between the horizontal 1/2″  marking lines (the vertical lines inside the squares). This is easier if you either use the tip of your iron or use a mini iron.

12. iron lines inside squares

15. Turn stitched fabric tube right side out. Using tip of iron, press diagonal lines.

13. iron diagonal lines

16. Finger press the 1/2″ segments on the lines without the X by folding along line and pinching between fingers.

14. finger press short vertical lines

17. Stitch 3 seed beads on vertical line where X is formed.

 15. stitch beads on vertical lines at X

18. Note that the beads are sewn so that they form a slight arch and do not lay flat on fabric. This way, when the fabric is folded, the form a nice little picot at each point.

16. bead form an arch

In the next several steps, the fabric gets pulled into shape. For this to work, only stitch through every other vertical line, the ones with without the X, not the ones with beads stitched over X.

17. ready to pull into shape

19. Using needle with doubled thread, insert needle from back through to front on edge stitching, about 1/8″ from vertical line.

18. stitching the folds

20. Pinch next vertical line (remember one with no X) into fold and stitch through. Repeat this step all the way around and back through the first one.

19. close up of stitching folds

21. Insert needle into next folded line, from front to back and pull thread until all the folds come together in center. (There will be a small hole where the fabric does not quite come together- this is good as it will be used to insert the wire hanger through.) Tie off thread.

23. Flip over fabric and repeat process of stitching the folds together on other side. Use your finger to push the folds into place as you go.

20. pulling it into shape

24. Using 6 1/2″ to 7″ long piece of 20 gauge wire, make a small loop at one end. Thread a small bead and then a larger bead. on wire. Make sure second bead is bigger than hole so it covers hole and not disappear inside ornament.  Insert wire through small center hole on what you want to be the bottom of ornament.

21. insert wire with loop and beads at one end

25. Thread another bead slightly larger than hole on top end of wire and then a large decorative bead and finish with one or two smaller beads.

22. add beads to wire and curl around spool or dowel

26. Take the top end of wire and wrap it around something that is about 5/8″ in diameter. I used a spool of thread. Then finish the cut end with a small loop just like the bottom end.

23. cut wire

I have made at least a dozen of these so far and my latest improvement on my design was to realize that attaching the beads before pulling the ornament into shape, rather than afterwards is much easier and faster.

Also, another variation on the hanger is to make a small loop above beads like the one at the bottom if you wish to use an ornament hook to hang it by.

I hope you enjoyed this project. Please, feel free to use it for personal use or as a gift, and not for profit. If used for teaching, please give credit to my name.  If in doubt, ask me.


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