Bling – Thread, ribbons, lace, beads, sequins, and buttons.

Do you have some scrap fabric, leftover batting, a handful of buttons, some beads, and embroidery thread? If so, join me from December 1 – December 24 to make a Bling Tree! So what is a Bling Tree? It is a way to add a little stitching each day to your holiday preparations, while creating a really pretty mini quilt. It is the addition of Bling to a fused applique tree.

The bling can be any type of embellishment you like. I plan to add buttons as the base of each “ornament”. To the buttons, I will add lace, ribbons, beads, or embroidery to make it unique. I have a cabinet full of odds and ends that I will be using. For thread, I like to use general sewing thread to attach the buttons. For embroidery, I really like Sulky’s Petites. One strand of Petites 12 wt thread is equal to two strands of embroidery floss.

The first step is to pick a color theme. Mine is gold, cream and pink. It reminds me a bit of a Victorian Christmas. It was fun to gather the buttons. Most are two- or four-hole buttons. A few shanked buttons may be fun with lace. Shanked buttons are a challenge to get them to lay flat, which is why I won’t use many.

The next step is to download the template. The mini quilt is 8″ x 12″, but you can make it any size you like! Trace the tree portion of the template onto freezer paper to make applique template. Use your favorite fusible (I like Misty Fuse) on the back of your scrap and cut it out using the freezer paper template as a guide. The circles on the template provide an idea of where to place your “ornaments”. If you are someone who like fussy cutting, you could fussy cut fabric to fuse to those locations.

The background, batting and backing should be at least 9″ x 13″. This allows for shrinkage that generally occurs during quilting. After fusing your tree to the background, secure it with a blanket or other stitch. I used a 2.5/2.5 setting for my tree.

Base for Bling Tree

If you are adding Bling to your tree, it may be difficult to quilt after the fact. So, I do my quilting on the background first and bury my threads as I add Bling. To bury my threads, I need to be able to fold the fabric. That means I don’t work with a hoop. If you do not bury your threads as you work, but want a neat backing there is an alternate method. Follow my method, minus adding the backing. You can add a backing just before binding. The backing can be tacked in place.

I was so excited about my free motion quilting! The trick for me was to play with the tension on my machine until the stitches looked good. If you are not a free motion quilter, do some echo quilting or other geometric quilting. Your Bling will be what catches people attention, not your quilting.

Each day, I will post an image of my progress to inspire you. I will provide a few tips and trick on how to make a few of these. I will be posting images of things I have added each day with the hashtag #blingtree.

On Stitching Thyme, I will gladly show you some of the beading stitches I am doing. For those of you who haven’t done much beading, this may help.


Happy Quilting!




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