How to Create Boho Christmas Trees with Free Motion Embroidery | Kate Philbin | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

How to Create Boho Christmas Trees with Free Motion Embroidery

teacher avatar Kate Philbin, Creative textiles tutor

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

3 Lessons (14m)
    • 1. Boho Christmas Trees Intro

    • 2. Boho Christmas Trees Tutorial

    • 3. Outro Christmas Trees

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Hi! Welcome! I'm Kate. / Croeso! Kate dw i, and in this class we will make Boho Christmas trees using fabric scraps and free motion embroidery.  You'll learn how to combine scraps of fabric and thread to make cute decorations for Christmas cards.  I live in Wales in the UK so you'll also hear me speaking a little bit of Welsh - can you spot bore da (good morning), diolch (thanks) and hwyl (goodbye)?

To get the most from this class it would be great if you already know how to make a free motion straight stitch and a free motion cable stitch.  However if you don't, you can sew over the fabrics using a straight stitch on your sewing machine - just don't use the embroidery hoop and sew as normal over all the layers. You could also embellish the trees with hand embroidery instead of cable stitch.

You will need:

A sewing machine

An 8 inch embroidery hoop


Base fabric approximately 10" / 25cm square to fit in your embroidery hoop

Scraps of fabric 

Organza fabric approximately 8" / 20cm square 

Relax and have fun!


Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Kate Philbin

Creative textiles tutor


Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Boho Christmas Trees Intro: Hello pawb, croeso, Kate dw i. Hi everyone. Welcome. I'm Kate, and I live in Wales in the UK, and I'm a freelance creative, I'm freelance tutor. I teach creative textiles of different kinds. And in this class we're going to make some boho, mini Christmas tree cards with lots of different scrappy fabric, using either a straight stitch on your sewing machine or, if you know how to, using free motion embroidery as I've done here. And I will have all the videos on Skillshare. On YouTube you can also see some my videos that introduce you to some of the basic skills at that I'm going to show you to make this card. I do hope that you enjoy my class and I will keep adding classes as time goes on. So I hope to see you again soon. Thank you all. 2. Boho Christmas Trees Tutorial: So we've got a piece of cotton here, which we're going to put down on top of our little hoop. Going to put some scraps of fabric. And it doesn't matter what scraps they are. You can kinda just chuck these down, you could and put them down in a bit more of an organized way. I'm going to trying to do a little bit of both. And I'm going to leave that with the green showing underneath. And I'm just going to layer these bits down. Good. Try not to put any huge pieces on just keep them light. I put some bits and pieces down To create that layered effect. You can also, you can put things like threads , And paper on. Get your, get your favorite kind of things, bits and pieces, save them all up. And bits and pieces of thread and other things. Then once you're happy with the way it's looking, There's also some bits and pieces of paper in there. And random fabrics of different sorts that have come from things over, over time. I’m not totally sure about that piece of white there. I might just give that a bit Of a cover up, put a bit of yellow on here as well. But really I'm not paying too much attention because this is all going to get covered up later on. Then the next stage is to just put a piece of organza though that fits over the top. I'm not happy with that. I think that's too dark. So I'm going to try something different. Sometimes you might find in a dark piece works quite well. Sometimes a light one is actually worse. It doesn't, it doesn't pick up the colors. So having said I wasn't keen on that. I think is kind of growing on me. So I think we'll go with a piece Of this blue. And that's going to be your top layer there, It's going to hold all those things and you can still see them underneath. But obviously that is a little bit more subdued than it was. And then we're going to find the top of the hoop and we're going to put d that on. Oh I have made mistake here. So I should have put the bigger hoop first and I didn't I put the wrong hoop first. There we go. I've changed it around now. So what we're trying to do is trap these little pieces of fabric in there and put them into the embroidery hoop and try to get it, gets it down and quite flat. I'm going to put it under my sewing machine and I'm going to free motion randomly on the top. So I'm going to re- thread my machine with something a little bit brighter. Also if you are somebody who knows how to use a cable stitch on your sewing machine. You could use that cable stitch to add some textures and make it a lot more interesting. We might do a little bit of that in a second. But this is basic free motion embroidery setup. So under the foot and foot down and pick up the thread. Pick up that thread from underneath, bring the black thread through and you can see that the black thread, the thread from the bottom bobbin, is now through on top. Then I'm going to cover the base in different free motion stitches. It seems to be struggling a bit with some of these bits but, this is a great machine - Bernina 1008, and it shouldn't have too many problems. Okay? And so I'm not bothered about having texture and in fact I do want it to have texture. I think that will give me that edge. So I'm taking it out now. And what I'm gonna do now is I'm going to reposition this so that the right side of fabric is now facing down. And now I'm going to do a little bit of the cable stitch and underneath. I'm going to change my bobbin. For my second bobbin, my looser bobbin. This has got a bright orange embroidery floss in. And I'm going to slightly up my tension on my sewing machine so that we get a nice stitch and it gets held on to the flat part of the sewing nice and tightly there. And I'm just gonna get The threads out because they might be in my way. I’m holding the threads in my left hand out of the way here. And I'm going to work from the wrong side. You can see now that I've got quite a lot texture on here from the cable stitching. And I'm going to continue with my cable stitching with the silver. So I'm going to replace my bottom bobbin. And I'm just going to put my fabric back onto the machine with the right side down. And I'm now going to go over it again with the silver. So I've got some silver on the top there and you can carry on with this. You could keep adding different colors in. And it depends on the look that you're going for. And you might like a really kind of blingy look, and that's absolutely fine. And you might want something a bit more subtle. And for me, one of the nice things about Christmas is being able to go a little over the top with your colors. And so I think I'm going to carry on. So this is what we've ended up with, this nice kind of blingy piece of fabric with all different textures on it. Now, what I want to make is a tree shape for a card which is actually four inches square. So I'm going to cut this into three inch strips. Ok? What I'm gonna do is I'm gonna do it with a rotary cutter. And I'm going to start by giving myself a straight edge with a ruler. However, it's gonna take a couple of passes to go through that because it's quite a lot of thickness. And actually to be honest, my blade is not as sharp as it could be. So this is three inches there. I think we should be able to get to pretty much two sets out of this. So that's a three inch strip there. Obviously you can do this with scissors. This rotary cutter does definitely needed new blade. It's definitely a bit blunt, but usually it's easier than doing it with scissors and more accurate in terms of the lines that you can get and whatnot. And so now I'm actually going to put it into tree shapes. And I'm going to eyeball this. I mean, you could you could make it very, very accurate. But I think pretty much as long as there is a sort of reasonable, reasonably triangular shape, it doesn't need to be absolutely perfect. With this kind of creative textiles, it's not absolutely essential to be perfect. It does actually suit it to be quite Bohemian, a little bit off-center and whatever. So you don't need to kinda get into a panic about everything being perfectly square and aligned as you do with patchwork. It does work, whatever you decide to do. So this is perfect for people like me. You can be a bit random and a little bit less kind of precise than you need to be when you're doing patchwork or quilting. Although I do like patchwork quilting as well, I must admit! So we should be able to, I think, get about eight trees out of this. And you can then use these little trees on, on cards. to use them. If you make a little advent calendar or something like that and you wanted to put them on the pockets that would work for you nicely. You could hang for them on Your Christmas tree. Oh, we just got a little thread. I’m just going to get it off. You can hang them on the Christmas tree as Christmas tree ornaments. And there are plenty things that you could do with these really. You could make them into a bunting type of thing. But yeah, I think we've got we've got quite a good few trees out of our pieces of fabric. So I'm quite happy with that. And I think once you cut them, they've got this really nice aspect to them. Yeah, we've got eight there, so that should be sufficient for a pack of cards. We probably could have got one out of the rest of it as well. So what I'm then gonna do (probably not on the video) I've downloaded this. It's just like a freebie kind of printout. And it's just old-fashioned writing. And then I'm going to stick my little tree on there. And I'm going to put a little star or something on the top. And now obviously you could, you could stick that directly on there. You could put it on a different piece of fabric background behind it. You can make little scene. You can do whatever you want with them. So that's what I'm gonna do with this one is just stick it with a little piece of paper behind then probably find a little star or sticky thing to put on the top. Hope you enjoyed this little quick tutorial and I will see you soon. 3. Outro Christmas Trees: I hope you enjoyed the class and will go on to make lots of lovely things using the techniques that we've learned today. If you liked my class and you want to see more, I will be adding more videos. So please give me follow. And until then, Diolch yn fawr i chi , thanks very much and wela’i chi tro nesa See you next time. Goodbye. Hwyl!