It’s a Kismet Christmas!

Aurifil Designer Tammy Silvers is an amazing pattern designer, a fabric designer for Island Batik, an educator, a Studio 180 Certified Instructor, and truly one of the biggest cheerleaders you’ll find in the quilting industry. We were lucky to collaborate with her on a brand new collection of 28wt threads called Kismet.

The colors are rich and bright, matching perfectly with her upcoming Kismet collection with Island Batik. We simply adore the opportunity to highlight various weights of our 100% Cotton thread and can’t wait for you to see what Tammy has whipped up for the holiday! We’re passing Auribuzz off to her today, with extra holiday cheer! 

Thank you, Tammy!

The holidays are so full of joy, laughter – and color!  That color is more than just red and green, which makes it a Kismet Christmas!

I wanted to bring you a bit of inspiration, just in time for some last-minute stitching!  C’mon – you know you are stitching into the wee hours.  At least I am!  No matter how much I plan…and plan…and plan…I end up pulling some late nights for one.last.project.

Here is my last project of the season.  Ok, maybe my last project!  What could be more appropriate for this time of year than a couple of appliquéd and embellished ornaments.  Naturally, they are embellished with Aurifil thread!  

Want to create your own similar ornaments?  Great!  Here is what you’ll need:

  • Wool or bamboo felt
  • Steam-A-Seam 2 light
  • Kismet thread collection (ok, you can use another one, but really, why would you want to?)
  • Favorite fabrics – mine are batiks, of course!
  • Baker’s twine
  • Schmetz Non-stick machine needles (I recommend 90/14)
  • Favorite applique patterns or motifs

I pulled motifs from two of my existing patterns – Transcendental and Peacock (two of my fusible applique patterns) – to create two charming ornaments.  The fabrics are from my new Island Batik line, Kismet, and the thread is from my Aurifil 28wt thread collection by the same name.

I apologize, as I didn’t take step by step pictures. That’s one pitfall to a last-minute project – the rush to finish.  But here are the steps:

1. Decide on your base size. I used a 5” circle for my tiny Peacock pattern, and a 4×6 oval for my Transcendental motif.

2. Apply fusible web, following the manufacturer’s instructions, to the wrong side of your base fabric (felt/felted wool). You will want to have enough fused for two pieces of base fabric.

3. Cut three (yes, I did say three) base shapes. Two will have fusible on the back and one will not.  Why?  I found that three layers of felted wool or felt gave the ornament enough body to keep it from sagging or curling in. 

4. Matching raw edges, fuse the non-fused base shape to the fused base shape. You now have a base shape that is somewhat thicker AND there is no fusible on the back to cause drag when embellishing.

5. Trace your motifs onto your fusible material, again following the manufacturer’s instructions. Remember to reverse shapes if necessary for motifs not designed for fusible appliqué.

6. Cut the traced images out, cutting just OUTSIDE the traced lines, and fuse to the wrong side of your fabrics. Now wait – just a couple of minutes – and let the fabric cool before cutting ON the traced lines.

7. Now you will begin building your motifs from the bottom up. You may not have layered motifs, which is fine.  But if you do have layered motifs, for the best results, arrange the bottom layer first and fuse into place.

8. One the base layer is fused, allow it to cool. At this point, I embellish the base layer.  As you can see from my ornaments, I favor a simple straight stitch, about 1/8” from the edge of the appliqué.  I lengthen my stitch to give it a slightly more visible look and to allow for the thickness of the base. 

If you love hand stitching, or decorative stitches, go for it!  If using a machine stitch, again, remember to lengthen your stitch to accommodate the thicker base layer.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE Aurifil’s 28wt thread for this.  It has enough weight to make it more visible than a 40 weight, but is light enough that I don’t have to slow down when stitching to avoid fraying and breakage.

9. Continue building up the layers. Fuse into place, let cool, then stitch. 

10. Once my motifs were complete, I also used some contrasting threads and did just a bit of straight-line stitching on the base felt itself to add a bit of dimension and interest.

11. Cut 11” to 12” of baker’s twine. Tie a small knot at the end to form a loop.  Position this knotted end approximately 1” in from the raw edge of your base, on the wrong side.  Check the position to make sure the ornament will hang correctly!

12. Matching raw edges, place the fused side of the remaining base unit against the back of the stitched unit. Fuse together. This is thick, so give the fusible time to work and apply pressure and heat.

13. Set your stitch length to its longest length and edge stitch around the entire ornament.You can also choose to do an overcast stitch to create a decorative edge.

14. I finished mine off by hand tacking a tiny tassel to the bottom of each ornament.

I’m so thrilled with how these turned out that I’m already planning more Kismet ornaments for next year! I’m also working up some charms for Valentine’s Day.  The Kismet colors are a terrific candy colored assortment, perfect for Valentine’s Day, Spring, & Easter!

A bit of info on the symbolism in my ornaments:

The full pattern is a mash up of two different imageries and ideals that complement each other nicely – Ralph Waldo Emerson’s transparent eye, and the evil eye portrayed in the hamsa hand.

Ralph Waldo Emerson is the father of the Transcendental movement, and the transparent eye represents being part of, rather than reflective of, one’s surroundings.  The idea behind transcendentalism is to become one with nature, with the transparent eye being a tool to achieve that connection.

In the Hamsa hand, a symbol of protection and a symbol of abundance and good fortune, the evil eye is often pictured in the center.  It is, despite the name, NOT evil, but instead a ward against evil. 

There are multiple offerings for what a peacock represents, such as integrity, vision, and awakening.  But my favorite is from (don’t laugh) the website Whats Your Sign (  She defines the peacock as the ultimate symbol of the beauty we can achieve when we strive to embrace our true colors.  How amazing is that?!

I chose these two symbols for my first Kismet ornaments for the positive ideals they represent and for their beautiful shapes.  I hope they inspire you to create some magic of your own!

HUGE thanks to Tammy for sharing her project with us!! We hope you have fun! If you’re stitching up your own ornaments, make sure to tag #tamarinis and #aurifil so we can see what you’re up to!

Unknown-3Tammy Silvers is the designer behind the brand Tamarinis. She’s been designing quilts for 10 years, and prides herself on offering bold, fresh new patterns for quilters of all levels. She enjoys working with almost any fabric, but her favorites (the one that makes her drool and blow a carefully constructed budget) are batiks, bold prints, and chicken prints. Having a background in art and literature, another of her guilty quilty pleasures is finding ways to use “words” in her work, be it in the fabric itself or by adding them to the piece.

Tammy is a Georgia native and currently lives in Acworth with her husband, children (when they come to visit!), dog, and her favorite fat cats.

Under the label Tamarinis, her designs are regularly published in a variety of quilt magazines, including Quilt, McCall’s Quilting, American Patchwork and Quilting, Stitch, Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting, Quilty, Quilt It…Today, Sew It…Today, Stitch and Create and Decorate. She also works with some of the major fabric manufacturers designing projects to showcase and promote their fabric lines, including Island Batik (of course!), Northcott Fabrics, Blend, Camelot and Fabri-Quilt.


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