Thursday, December 13, 2018

Christmas Markets

It's been a busy holiday season here in Germany! Christmas markets, cookie decorating, and of course, stitching. Today's post will share a little bit of what's been going on over here, and we have a free ornament pattern as a bonus! 

Christmas markets are quintessentially German, and around here they are in full swing. Last week I did a marathon of four Christmas markets—three in the Black Forest and one locally. Every market is a little different as each town puts their own spin on it. Some are small with a few vendors and others are large with rows and rows of stalls, but each has a special charm unique to the town. The way to find the Christmas market (if you don't use Google maps on your phone) is to look for the church steeple, as the market is usually around the church. The bonus is you get to see some lovely, old churches as well as many beautiful and very old buildings. 

Church in Freiburg, Germany

Colorful building in Freiburg, Germany

Rathaus in Gegenbach, Germany.
Every day of Advent, a new piece of art is displayed in one of the windows.

Beautiful hand-carved Nativity.

Appliqué center medallion?
Always on the lookout for inspiration.

A friend of mine told me about a cookie decorating class that she had taken. The cookies she decorated for Thanksgiving were stunning, so I looked into taking a class for Christmas. When I went to the Facebook page for Sugar Art Creations by Gulnaz my jaw dropped! Her cookies and sugar art work are mind-blowing and I began to really look forward to the class. I loved the similarities of Gulnaz' sugar art to embroidery. Here are a few pictures of her work and our class:

Our class.
Love this little house.

Look at that lace detail!

I would love to see these designs stitched or in ribbon.

This ranunculus is made of sugar!

Again, every part of this rose and hydrangea bloom is made of sugar.

I think my calling is stitching not sugar but I was still happy with my cookies.

As usual, for me, the month of December flies by and I am left in the middle of it trying to get last minute things done. I really wanted to make some ornaments for various people here, but it needed to be something relatively simple and quick. Tiny wool Christmas trees seemed the ticket, so I pulled out a few wool scraps and got started. I fused my wool but that is optional. Cut out a 3.5 background, backing, and batting. Set the backing and batting aside and assemble your tree on your background as shown.

Step 1—Stitch down the tree trunk

Step 2—Add the first set of branches

Step 3—Add the second layer

Step 4—Add the third layer. At this point, whip stitch just the sides of the branches down, leaving the bottoms un-stitched.

Step 5—Embroider chain stitched swags and French knot ornaments. If desired you could add a bead at the top or glue a crystal there.

To assemble, place your batting piece under your finished background and then lay your backing on top of the tree, right side down. At this point, insert a two inch piece of ribbon, folded in half, between your background and backing at the top corner. Make sure the folded end is inside and the cut ends are in the seam allowance. Pin and then sew around the square, leaving a small opening to turn, Turn your ornament, poking out the corners and then slip stitch the opening closed. Your ornament is finished!

This ornament went together so quickly—I made 8 in the space of two days—and is a good last-minute gift. 
Hopefully all your stitching for Christmas is going well and that you have been able to finish a few things. Thankfully, there is still a little time to get things done. We hope you have a chance to enjoy the season in the midst of the to-do lists, shopping and general busyness.

Have fun stitching!


  1. Your cookies look so tasty, thank you for showing how you made the tree decoration.

  2. Your cookies are gorgeous, but I agree with you, stitching is much more rewarding. After all, how long do those cookies last? Stitching lasts forever (well, at least our lifetimes). Merry Christmas!

    1. Thanks Wendy! I definitely won't be quitting my day job for cookie decorating!