A Family Holiday Tradition Continued

As a child, my favorite Holiday memories were getting to unwrap the yearly ornament from my Aunt.  I used to stare at them and analyze every detail.  Some were painted some sewn but each and every year a different ornament would appear with my name and year adorning it.  When I moved into my first home as an adult, I was given a box filled with my ornaments to start my own family tree with.  I have always grown up with a tree filled with handmade ornaments, what a gift it was to have this jump start. 

When I had my daughter I decided to continue the tradition my Aunt had so lovingly started.  I have more appreciation for her now then I did then!  It takes a lot to come up with a new theme every year!  When I started there were only seven children, this year there are 14 and soon to be 15!  Despite the time and the work I do love giving them!  My daughter will look at each as she puts it on our tree every year and tell me how old she was when we made them (my little helper, always).  I hope my nieces and nephews look forward to them as much as I did.

 This year I made Christmas Stick Ponies.  The process this year turned out to be more involved than I had expected but I like how they turned out.  I started by watercoloring my ponies and then creating the fabric which you can purchase here.  I set it up so that you can order just enough fabric to do a single pony with test swatch, six horses on a fat quarter, or a full two dozen per yard.  If you sew, I'm sure this is pretty straight forward.

Cut Ponies on the 1/4" seam allowance.  If you would like to add names you should embroider the pieces at this point. Place faces together and sandwich a folded 6" piece of ribbon as shown.  Start your seam at the sash on the base of the neck and end roughly an inch to an inch and a half from where you started.  You really don't need to hold exactly to the edge.  As I went along, I seamed to get less and less careful but they still looked great in the end.  Just pay attention to the snout since that can change the look dramatically.  Clip fabric edges around the entire head, making sure to cut into each of the major angles.  Turn right side out, the ribbon loop inside makes this much easier than you would think.  Use a pencil to push out some of the smaller pieces like the ears.  Fill with Polyfill and set aside.

For the stick, I used 1/4" x 6" dowls wrapped with 1/4" satin ribbon, and capped with a pre drilled wooden stopper.  All the wooden pieces can be found in the wood section of the craft store.  I tried to mix acrylic paint to pull from each of the four color schemes to paint the sticks and caps.  After the paint dries attach the ribbon at both ends with hot glue and add cap piece. 

Finish by pushing the decorated stick at least two inches into the stuffed head.   If you rotate the stick as you are pushing it in the poly fill will catch on the ribbon and add some stability.  Stitch the opening shut by hand and you are done. 

Merry Christmas!