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Cookies for Santa

dime Volume 113 Cookies for Santa

Cookies for Santa

By Debbie Henry

Decorating and putting out cookies for Santa is a fun tradition rooted in nostalgia. It celebrates our childlike anticipation of a generous spirit. A wool coat and curly beard only make him that much more adorable.

No matter your age, you are never too old to enjoy the magic of Christmas. So whether you bake or embroider your cookies, the season of giving still captivates all who care to believe.

Embroidery Products



  • ½ yd. main fabric
  • ½ yd. fusible fleece
  • 10″ square appliqué fabric
  • 10″ square woven fusible interfacing (Pellon SF101 ShapeFlex)
  • 4″ square faux fur


  • 4 ½” square felt pieces
  • Fusible web
  • Embellishments: beads, Scribbles Crystal Gel Sparkle
  • Glue

General Supplies

  • Cut away stabilizer
  • Tear away stabilizer
  • Temporary spray adhesive
  • Size 90/14 needle
  • 40 wt. embroidery thread
  • Cotton sewing thread

At the Computer

The placemat can be created in the hoop or as a monogrammed design that can be sewn together after embroidery. Since my hoop was not large enough to create the placemat entirely in the hoop, I needed to make some adjustments.

Open the sewing version of the placemat in design editing software. Add the outside placement stitch from the in-the-hoop version. The placement stitch is too large for the hoop but will help with aligning designs along the outer edge of the placemat.

Remove the monogram. Open the medium Santa design and position it in the center of the scalloped circle.

Open Feathered Holly Border. Size it to 90 percent. Remove the holly leaf at the bottom of the design.

Position the revised holly border above Santa, between the outside placement stitch and the scalloped circle edge. Copy it two more times, rotate accordingly, and center a revised holly border on either side of the scalloped circle.

Using the Scrapgirl Dots font, add the text “Cookies for Santa” below the scalloped circle. Adjust it to fit. Save your file as “CFS Template.”

Open the CFS Template in the software. Delete the holly borders on the left and right sides of the design. Delete the placement stitch. Color sort and save the design as “CFS V.”

Open CFS Template again. Select all parts of the file and rotate it 90 degrees clockwise.

Delete everything from the file except for the two holly borders now showing at the top and bottom of the hoop. Color sort and save as “Holly V.”

Stitching the Front of the Placemat

Cut an 18″ square of main fabric. Fold it in quarters and lightly press the folds. The creases will help with centering the fabric in the hoop. Hoop cutaway stabilizer. Apply temporary adhesive to the back of the main fabric, center it in the hoop, and finger-press it in place.

Iron fusible interfacing to the back of the center appliqué fabric. Load the CFS V design on the machine. Run the tack-down stitch for the circle appliqué to secure it in place. Follow the embroidery sequence.

Debbie’s Tip
Even unusually shaped scraps can be used for appliqué. Keep them in a box for future projects!

When you get to the beard, cut a piece of curly fabric larger than the placement stitch shows. Make sure the curls hang downward. Use a temporary adhesive to hold it in place. Tape a water-soluble or a heat-away topper over the beard fabric to prevent stitches from getting lost in the nap.

After tacking down and trimming the beard fabric, flip the extra topper over the beard and tape it down. Continue with the beard’s satin stitches.

Debbie’s Tip
After satin stitching the beard edges, tear away the extra topper outside the stitch line but leave the beard fabric covered. That will protect the curly fabric while taking the hoop on and off of the machine.

Finish the center appliqué. Stitch the top holly border and text. When finished, take everything out of the hoop and trim stabilizer close to the stitching.

Hoop new stabilizer. Add temporary adhesive to the back. Turn the front piece 90 degrees clockwise. Using the pressed creases, center the fabric in the hoop and finger-press it in place.

Load Holly V on your embroidery machine and stitch the side holly borders. When finished, take everything out of the hoop and trim stabilizer close to stitching.

Assemble the back pieces as directed in the placemat instructions and stitch the front to the back. Trim, turn, and press. Remove the topper from the beard and fluff up the curls.

Stitching the Cookies

Instructions for the felt cookies include die line templates for cutting out two felt shapes before stitching. I made mine a little bit differently.

Cut 4 ½” squares of felt in pairs. Add fusible web to the backs of one half and leave the other half plain.

Load the mitten design from the Gingerbread Cookie Ornaments set. Hoop tear away stabilizer. Apply temporary adhesive to the back of a plain piece of felt and position it on the stabilizer. Stitch all but the final outline stitching.

Remove the hoop and flip it over. Add a piece of felt, with fusible web applied to one side, face down on the back of the hoop. Use tape or temporary adhesive to hold it in place.

Reattach the hoop and stitch the final satin outline to join the two pieces of felt. When embroidery is finished, remove everything from the hoop, tear stabilizer away, and fuse felt layers together with an iron. Trim ¼” away from the satin stitching.

When embroidering the Sugar Cookies, I limited the thread palette to green, red, and two shades of gold.

Decorate cookie shapes using half pearls, beads, buttons, and 3D fabric paint. Plate them up and enjoy!