As you know, this year Michelle and I have been busy making new ornaments for her tree. Because of children and dogs… mainly 1 furry beast that goes by the name of Fargo… she decided not to put any of her breakables on the tree this year. Instead, she put up all the “safe” ornaments, and we have made many new ornaments to add to her old unbreakable ornament collection. Her tree is simply beautiful. But as the tree was going up, Pixie thought of their glass pickle ornament. She asked me if I would make them a new felt pickle. Of course I said, “Of course”, but preceded to forget all about it.
Yesterday afternoon, Pixie called me and asked me if the pickle was done. “I’ll finish it today”, I told her. I didn’t mention I’d hadn’t started it yet, but by golly, after a couple failed attempts I designed and made a new felt pickle ornament for their family. I think they’ll love it!
NOTE: There is uncertainty as to the origins of the Christmas Pickle Ornament. There are some that believe it was a German tradition and others that believe it originated in United States and that the glass ornaments were simply imported from Germany. Whatever the origin the “old” tradition is the pickle is hidden on the tree among the other ornaments. Whatever child spots it first on Christmas morning gets an extra gift or is believed to have good luck for the year. Over the years a game has evolved around the pickle. In many households, ours included, the pickle is placed on the tree. Whenever anyone spots the pickle they can secretly move it to another location. This game continues the whole time the tree is up.
Materials for the Felt Pickle Ornament
- 6 strand embroidery floss
- metallic thread or 1/8″
Directions for making the Felt Pickle Ornament
Place the two side pieces together. Using 2 strands of floss and a whip stitch, sew the 2 sides together along side “A”. Stitch between the dots at the top and bottom of the pieces.
To create a loop for hanging, cut a piece of metallic floss or 1/8″ ribbon 8″ long. Fold in half and knot to 2 ends together.
Tack the loop to the inside of the pickle at the top. Do not go all the way through the felt when you tack. Keep you needle in the middle of the felt so the stitches are not seen on the outside of the pickle. The loop should extend beyond the top of the pickle.
Sew side “B” of the front to side “B” of Side 1. You are sewing a concave piece to a convex piece. I found the easiest way to do this is to start at the top and simply work your way down the pickle lining up the sides for 1 or 2 stitches at a time. Again, sew between the 2 dots. When you are sewing the pickle pieces together make sure the hanger is extending beyond the pickle.
Sew the sides “C” together, starting at the top. Stop stitching when you have stitched 2/3 of the seam.
Stuff the pickle then finish sewing up the side seam.
To create the “pickle warts” switch over to a long doll making needle if you have one. Using 6 strands of floss and starting at the top, enter the pickle through one side and pull your needle through the next section of the pickle leaving a 2″ tail.
Make a French knot and pull your needle through the next section of the pickle.
Pull the thread causing the French knot to slightly dimple the face of the pickle. While gently tugging, make a tack stitch to hold the thread in place. When you look at the French knot you just made it should have created a slight dimple. You can now clip off the thread tail that is sticking out of the pickle from your starting stitch.
Make a French knot over the tack stitch you just created and pull the thread through the next section of pickle. Continue in this manner making French knots and dimples working your way down the pickle until your whole pickle is covered. Add you “pickle warts” in a random manner.
Your finished pickle can be slightly misshapen like a real pickle.
Now hide your pickle on your tree and have friends and family try to find it!