Updated March 20, 2020.
Are you looking for a way to make ornaments that look sophisticated and use your stash threads but that can be finished quickly? Look no further than 14-count plastic canvas and the wealth of quilt designs. This Spoolies Plastic Canvas Needlepoint Quilt Ornament is a perfect introduction to this much-overlooked material and to the wealth of great quilt designs.
My grandmother was a seamstress and I remember loving all the wooden spools of brightly colored thread at her home. This quilt reminds me of her. It’s based on a free quilt pattern from Humble Bee Buzzings. I lightened both the spool ends and the background.
14-count plastic canvas is easily found at most craft shops. It comes in 8.5 x 11 inch sheets usually in white and clear. Either can be used although clear works slightly better for the front and white for the back of the ornament.
Any thread you use on 14-mesh canvas or that gives good or heavy coverage on 18-mesh canvas will work on this count of plastic canvas
For this design you will need:
- embroidery floss in:
- 5 sewing “thread” colors, I used red, yellow, green, blue, and violet
- color of spool ends
- background thread in white, ecru, or cream I used Vineyard Merino)
- dark thread for inner and outside borders
- light thread (could use background thread) for middle border
- flat construction accent thread for “binding,” hanger and finishing
Following the chart below, stitch the ornament. Click on the chart to see the full-size diagram.
The design is stitched in Mosaic, Reverse Mosaic, Diagonal Gobelin, Tent, Scotch, Reverse Scotch, and Half Scotch. Note that two corners of the middle border have broken lines.
Once your ornament is stitched cut it out along the first line of open holes outside the stitched area. Trim this edge so it is smooth (as few bumps as possible). Using this as a template, cut out a second piece of plastic canvas the same size.
In eack corner cut off just a tiny bit so the corner is just a bit rounded. This prevents sharp corners that poke out.
Make a 3″ long loop of your hanger thread. Put the blank canvas behind the stitched canvas and sandwich the hanger between them.
Using your accent thread and beginning near one corner, sew the two pieces together with overcasting. This stitch is made like Tent Stitch (short diagonal stitches) but you go out the outside row of holes, over the edge and into the next hole. Instead of the two motions you make when doing needlepoint, you’re making one motion, like sewing.
At the corners you made need to make extra stitches for good coverage.
When you get back to the staring point, run your thread under some of the binding to finish it off.
P.S. If you are looking for May’s Learn-a-titch Owl, find it here.
About Janet M Perry
Janet Perry is the Internet's leading authority on needlepoint. She designs, teaches and writes, getting raves from her fans for her innovative techniques, extensive knowledge and generous teaching style. A leading writer of stitch guides, she blogs here and lives on an island in the northeast corner of the SF Bay with her family
pam harris says
I totally love your ornament! Especially that it is two dimensional! For one thing, there can be lots more ornaments made from a sheet of canvas this way. I was still mentally dwelling in the world of three dimensions – six sides!!! I love this alternative so much!
And your design is lovely. Both because well – it is lovely – and because it was inspired by sweet memories.
Janet M Perry says
Thanks Pam! I’ve done some 3-D projects, basically boxes with one side open to be tassel toppers. Here’s the link: http://napaneedlepoin.wpengine.com/love-plastic-canvas-tassel-ornament/
Keep Stitching, Janet