Creative articles about quilting

Easy instructions for creating Christmas plant labels

Dear community,
in this blog post you can find easy instructions for creating Christmas plant labels – perfect for Christmas and the holidays!

Easy instructions for creating Christmas plant labels

In this busy season, you don’t always have the possibility to make large projects, because Christmas is coming soon. But small, easy projects are good to make too, aren’t they? That is why I will make Plant Labels, just for fun. I will use a Winter Fabric (also suitable for Christmas) with Snowmen that are not attatched to each other, with ’empty spaces’ between them, so I can cut them out.

This is the fabric I will use: I have cut out a couple of snowmen, with as much seam allowance around them as possible. 

A matching (in my case blue) quilt fabric for the back of each snowman. 

I also need a batting (100% bamboo) of which I will place two layers on top of each other to cut them as one. I have ironed the snowmen. 

Here you can see that I have placed a cut-out Snowman UPSIDE DOWN on top of a piece of Heat’n Bond Lite: you will get a mirror image if you are drawing around the piece of fabric.  Drawing on the paper side of the Heat’n Bond Lite, the glue will be ironed on the back of the Snowman, to make it more firm.

You can see the pencil marking: this is the line to cut out the Heat’n Bond Lite. This needs to be done with every Snowman seperately.

I will also use the cut-out shape of the Snowman to cut the batting (double layer) and the backing fabric. The latter will also be covered with the glue of Heat’n Bond Lite. All layers can be stacked, just make sure the right side of the backing fabric is down when cutting all these layers at once, so the right side will show at the back of this Plant Label.

To see if I have all the items needed to make one Plant Label, I have placed them on my table. From left to right/top row: Snowman cut-out, Heat’n Bond Lite with the glue side up, batting. From the bottom row from right to left: backing with the right side up at the moment, Heat’n Bond Lite with the glue side up and the batting.

Iron the Heat’n Bond Lite tot he back of the cut-out Snowman and tot he back of the backing-fabric. Be sure no piece of this material is showing from under the fabrics. Let it cool down, and remove the paper. You will see a shiny side at the back of the fabrics, which is the glue. 

Stacking all, like a quilt, so it can be quilted by machine. 

and pinning it together with Flower Pins, so the layers won’t move while quilting. 

I have used the BSR with my BERNINA 770QE: free motion quilting on the black lines of the print of the Snowman. The feed dogs are down, I have used the straight stitch plate, and placed a Topstitch needle 90/14 with black threads – top and bobbin – on my machine. The color you will use depends on your (winter)print.  The idea is to highlight some lines, to get a relief, so not too much quilting needs to be done.

First I will pull the bobbin thread up, by lowering the needle, and raising it again. Holding both bobbin and top threads with the first stitches, making sure there is no ugly birds nest at the back of this Plant Label, is essential, because the back will stay visible. I will pull both threads to aprox. 10 cm length, before I start making stitches.

There is no need to quilt a lot: just a couple of lines around the print itself, and some details. You can see these lines at the back of my Plant Label.

And this is the relief you will see: it shows, because of the two layers of batting. This will do for this Plant Label.

After quilting I will cut the item back to aprox. 1 cm away from the print. The fabrics don’t fray, because of the Heat’n Bond Lite, which is another advantage to use this material. Be sure there will be no batting protruding between the front and back fabrics of the Plant Label.   

I will use long wooden (or bamboo) stitcks to place them in a plant pot. The point will be used to put between the two batting layers, to push through the quilt stitches carefully. I have marked the point where the stick will be with a white marker (water erasable) so I know where to start and to end stitches to cover the sides. 

I will make a border of zigzag satin stitches: using Open Embroidery foot #20C, raising the feed dogs, and placing the zig zag stitch plate (my B770QE will tell me if I am using the wrong stitch plate, by only showing a straight stitch, so no wide stitch can be made. Just correct this by choosing the 9mm stitch plate, and the zigzag stitch will show). I have used stitch no. 2, making it wider (4.0) and shorter (0.55).   

Using a blue bobbin thread, and a blue Metallic thread at the top, for decorative effect. Working slowly with metallic threads, and working around the entire Plant Label, exept for a small part where the stick will be pushed through.

Now I can push the point of the stick carefully between the two battings, pushing it higher between the stitches up to aprox. 5 cm. That’s it.

Making more Plant Labels is so much fun. It’s easy and can be done in a couple of hours, depending on how much you are making. First cut everything, iron the Heat’n Bond Lite to the fabrics, stack, pin and quilt, then cut back to the right measurements and cover the sides with the satin stitches. 

Place them with as many plants as you want, with matching Christmas decorations. Use them in your own house, or make them as a gift. Have fun and Happy Holidays! 

Sylvia Kaptein
Sylvia’s Art Quilts Studio


*There are a lot of quilting fabrics with larger prints. Some are seperated by ‘empty’ spaces, like with my Snowmen, but you can also cut from large prints, making your own shape, and use that to make Plant Labels. Enjoy!

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