Fabric Ornament Christmas Cards: A Holiday Tradition

Gay Walker
Winter 2020

Making Christmas cards for relatives and friends has always been my favourite pre-holiday task. I have produced them for over 50 years, using whatever craft I was into at the time. Once quilting became my passion, I started embellishing my cards with bits of cloth, glued or heat-fused on. One year I tried making small cloth ornaments and tying them onto cards and they were so well received that they became my little annual “gift” for the special people in my life; well worth the effort and hours of work. I’ve always included a small label that says, “PLEASE RECYCLE! Untie this ornament and use it to decorate a gift package, or hang it on your tree.” I’m pleasantly surprised that many people actually do this and save the ornaments from year to year.

If you would like to try making ornament cards yourself, here are some suggestions and guidelines to get you started. First of all, don’t get too elaborate! You can achieve beautiful results with very simple designs using pretty fabrics. For mass-producing Christmas cards, I have made just one design each year, using a straightforward, strong shape. Quilt block patterns work very well, as do images from nature such as stars, trees, birds, flowers and snowflakes. Sometimes my choices have reflected world events (like a dove of peace the year the Iraq war was threatening) or events in our own family (like hearts when our children got married.)

Finished sze: 4¼” x 5½”

Download Gay’s Fabric Ornament Christmas Card instructions and make your own special ornaments.



This material has not appeared in English before, but Gay had a very short article about her cards published in Norwegian, adapted and translated by a friend. Norsk Quilteblad, the quarterly magazine of the Norwegian national quilt guild, printed it in 2010, along with a few photos. Gay and her husband had the very good fortune to live in Bergen, Norway, on several occasions and she was active in the local quilt guild, even teaching a bit. For a few years the Bergen guild and her Calgary guild, now called the Chinook Guild of Fibre Arts, became “sister guilds”, exchanging quilt blocks, ideas and news, and she wrote about this international friendship in the Summer 2005 issue of Canadian Quilter.

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