Annette and I are always trying to come up with inexpensive quick projects for Bernina Club that show a sewing technique. This month we wanted to do something with a blanket stitch and came up with these jelly jar lid covers. Our thought was that our customers might want to make them as gifts for homemade preserves during the holidays.
Since we hadn't canned our own homemade jelly this year (or any year for that matter) we needed to buy commercial jelly for our Make It and Take It. The jelly jars couldn't be just any jar of jelly, they had to be cute. (Being French certainly didn't hurt)!
I fell in love with these at Von's, but they were a bit out of my price range at $5.49 each. After a bit of research I discovered that Walmart of all places sold them for only $3.98 each. They would be perfect!
It took a while for us to draw up the patterns, make the samples
Apparently Walmart isn't restocking Strawberry Preserves* by Bonne Maman anymore and each of our four local Walmarts only had a few jars left waay in the back of the tippy-top shelf. Imagine me, balancing between the bottom shelf full of Smuckers and my shopping cart, hanging on for dear life, coaxing the last french strawberry jelly jars from the back of the top shelf by using the leg of my sun glasses! (Why do the french always have to be so difficult)? I repeated these acrobatics at all four Walmarts!
Where's the camera (and the customer service) when you need them?
* Some of our Club members will be getting French Raspberry Preserves instead of Strawberry so they'll just need to pretend the label says Strawberry. Sorry - best laid plans...
- 8" square of felt
- 1 yard 1/4" double face satin ribbon
- scraps of felt for fruit and leaves
- Seed beads (optional) or embroidery floss for french knots
- Tiny white flower (Michaels) optional
- Thread to match felt appliques
- Large eye needle
- Needle and thread, ruler and pencil. Scissors
- Jelly jar
- Applique foot for your machine (Bernina #20, #39 or #59)
- Good quality scalloped edge scissors
- Small wad of stuffing and wooden skewer for poking in stuffing
You'll want your felt circle to be about four inches larger than the diameter of your jar lid. My jar lid measured 3 1/2" across. I used a plate that measured 7 1/2" across to
trace a circle on to my piece of felt. Every jelly jar is different and you will need to adjust your felt circle accordingly. You'll want to play with proportions if you use a different size jar lid or if your jar is shorter or taller.
Using scalloped fabric shears if possible, carefully cut out the circle, trying to cut away your pencil line as you go. I have found that it's important to be precise so your circle is completely round.
Place the jar in the center of the felt and draw a circle around the lid. You will want all your pencil marks to be on the wrong side of your felt so if you can see any pencil marks from tracing around the plate, that will be the wrong side.
With a sharp, large eyed needle sew 1/4" wide ribbon along your stitching line. I like the look of larger, consist stitches - about 1/2" apart (but as you can see from the following photos I don't always achieve them).
Remove from jar and flatten the circle enough so you can applique it. Using an applique foot, stitch the fruit body down with a blanket stitch. (This can be done by hand but because this project was designed for Bernina Club we are using a sewing machine. Besides, it's much faster by machine).
The above photo shows the bottom of Bernina's #20 foot. It has a large cut out area on the sole which allows thick bulky stitches to pass under the foot without building up and getting caught on the foot. The open area between the toes of the foot gives a good view of the needle and stitching area.
Select the blanket stitch on your machine then move your needle position all the way to the right so the right toe of the foot follows along the edge of the applique. I set my stitch length to 3.1 and my width to 2.0. You will want the needle down function engaged.
Start stitching near the top of your fruit, keeping the right toe of your foot next to the applique. You will need to pivot frequently to keep the stitches close to the applique and invisible on the white felt background.
With your needle down stop stitching about an inch from where you started. Raise the foot and stuff a tiny amount of stuffing into the berry. Do not remove fabric from the machine - just stuff it while it's still in the machine. You won't need much stuffing, just enough to add a bit of dimension. Sew to the point you began and secure the threads by using your securing function or pulling the threads to the back and tying off.
Put the cover back on the jar and tie snuggly with a bow.
The tiny strawberries at the ends of the ribbon are kind of fussy but cute I think.
To make them fold a 1 1/4" x 2 1/4" piece of felt in half (you will need two pieces).
Sew with a close together 1/4" seam. Trim seam to 1/8"
Trim the ends of the ribbons to the desired finished length and sew the ribbon ends into the tops of the strawberries. Add beads if desired. Hot glue on leaves (four on each strawberry).
For the cherries gather a 2 3/4" round (I just traced around a spool of thread that was the right size) circle 1/8" from the edge.
Well, there you have it. They are really pretty fast to make (probably faster than reading these wordy instructions)!
Encourage one another,
Bernina Club is free to anyone who owns a Bernina. We meet the third Wednesday night of the month at 6:30 and the following Thursday morning at 10:00. We hope you'll join us!