Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Quilted Colonial American Christmas Angel Ornament

Left, you can see the store bought, angel stamp that I purchased for the ornament project. Right, the finished quilted Colonial American Christmas Angel ornament, trimmed in white eyelet lace.
       I made these foam stamped angel ornaments several years ago for family and friends. Although I purchased this little Colonial American angel stamp ahead of time, crafters may decide to manufacture their own versions by using a die cut stamp making technique. I've included a video below by Michelle Joy Wecksler that shows how to make these.
      You don't really need fancy inks or paints to stamp nice images onto cotton fabric; I used ordinary acrylic, red, paint for my stamped ornament version above. I backed the printed fabric with a layer of cotton batting plus an additional cotton backing using the same muslin. Then I quilted the three layers together. I followed the outline of the angel with my needle and quilter's thread until I reached the oval's edge of the muslin medallion. Then I repeated the same process for the backside of the ornament. 
       Choose the nicest of the two quilted medallions for the front of your ornament. Sew with a straight stitch around the edge of the medallion perimeter a piece of white eyelet lace. Turn this lace to the inside of the medallion's center and sew the back medallion piece face down on top of the front side, leaving a one inch opening for stuffing. Turn the oval medallion inside out and stuff it with a soft cotton batting. 
      Turn under the one inch opening with your needle as you close up the opening you used to stuff your ornament with a whip stitch. Clean up the puckered edges using a slip stitch with additional quilter's thread.
      Cut a simple white ribbon and tack this onto the outside of your cotton muslin medallion using quilter's thread.
I printed my Colonial American angel on top of white cotton, using a red acrylic paint that I purchased from my local hobby store. Right, you can see a detailed shot of the quilted stitches up close.
 Make your own die cut foam stamps.

      I've included examples of angels below that can be found carved into Early Colonial American tombstones. Sometimes similar primitive angels can by found in Pennsylvania Dutch frakturs. However, not all angels were illustrate so primitively on those manuscripts. Some folk artists preferred naive looking angels and others preferred angels that looked more realistic. Frakturs drawn during the Colonial American era depict both styles because they were produced by artists of various degrees of talent and/or taste. Personally, I prefer the primitive fraktur and tombstone angel designs.

Winged skull & winged soul effigies on Phebe (1757) and Timothy Peck
 (1790) gravestones, Morristown, NJ
Granite tombstone of Josiah Leavitt (1679–1717), Hingham Center
 Cemetery, Hingham, Plymouth County, Massachusetts
Captain Andrew Drake (1684–1743) sandstone tombstone from 
the Stelton Baptist Church Edison, New Jersey
See More Early American Tombstones Depicting Angels:

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