These last two weeks I've been dreaming up Christmas projects that can be done relatively easily. Above is a 4" square tote bag blank. I decorated it with this Aida cloth embroidery which I did on my 4" by 8" embroidery frame.
When you use an embroidery frame, the cloth will not slip out (unless you give it a really hard yank). It does, however, move around a bit when you use standard Aida cloth. I've begun a new approach to the frame:This image is made of craft felt and crushed panne velour. This is sort of my own style, inspired by church banners and religious hangings. I have used a stencil to draw in some appropriate flower and leaf designs. These stencils, by the way, are really meant to be painted over, but you can draw around them to get a general idea of what you want. On a background of light blue felt and placed a cat cutout of tan felt with clothing of panne velour. As you can see, I am having to satin stitch around the edges of the velour. Felt is virually the ONLY fabric you can cut up without it raveling. Velour and fleece do fairly well, but you still need to satin stitch.
As you can see, I'm only partway through this project. It will go on another of those tote blanks to make a nice Christmas present. I'll show how it turns out later. The good news is that the felt holds almost completely still in the frame, so the work is easy. The satin stitching is in satin (rayon) embroidery thread which will knot up at the slightest opportunity. Working it on felt has been easier than usual. I've made large tote bags this way in the past, but right now I'm just trying for quick, unique projects for Christmas.