Seasonal Chimes


Note: You can make these tree chimes using a single fabric circle or by a pieced circle as shown which adds interest but is more difficult to sew

  • Card for templates
  • Blue and white Christmas fabrics
  • Matching thread
  • 2oz polyester or cotton wadding
  • Pelmet Vilene
  • Small bell chime
  • Ribbon for hanging

Finished Size

Chime 3 1⁄2in tall

Skill Level


You can download a pdf copy of the original magazine pages for this project here, Seasonal Chimes

  1. Re-draw the circle in Figure 1 onto card using a compass – the radius of the circle should be 2 1⁄2in. Divide the circle as shown to create two segments, T1 and T2, and then add 1⁄4in seam allowances to the cut edges. The templates have a 60-degree angle and when joined 2⁄3 of the circle will be the main fabric and 1⁄3 will be the contrasting fabric
  2. Make a third circle template with a 2 1⁄4in radius and an equilateral triangle template with sides of 3 3⁄4in (you can use a protractor or alternatively use the 60-degree markings on your rotary cutting ruler).
  3. Using the templates as a guide, cut out a T1 and T2 shape, one in each of the contrasting fabrics. Ensure the arrow on the templates follows the straight grain of the fabric.
Drawing the templates
Figure 1: Drawing the templates
  1. Join T2 to T1 along the marked seam allowance using backstitch or machine. Place the pieces RS together and stitch from the middle out. Clip the middle of T1 and then stitch from the centre out again. Press the seams open.
  2. Sew running stitch approx 1⁄8in from the edge of the circle using small stitches.
  3. Place the whole circle template in the centre of the circle and pull up the gathering thread until the seam allowance lies flat on the card. Press on the card side and then carefully remove the card and place WS down on your ironing board, ensuring the pressed edge lies flat. Press again to ensure the folded edge is crisp.
The basic pressing sequence
Figure 2: The basic pressing sequence
  1. Position the card triangle in the centre of your fabric circle on the WS. The top point of the template should be lined up with the seam line with the 1⁄3 section to the right. Fold over the left side followed by the bottom, and finally the right hand side. Press flat and remove the card triangle.
  2. Cut wadding and pelmet Vilene using the card triangle as a guide. Place these together inside the circle. Fold the three sides over in the same order as for pressing only this time tuck the top half of flap three under flap one. Tack in place.
  3. Using either a decorative thread or normal quilting thread, quilt within 1⁄8in of the edge through all layers and remove tacking. For each chime you will need to make three pieces, keeping the fabric in the same position on all three. Complete the look by making a number of contrasting chimes by swapping the blue and white fabrics.
  4. To join the pieces together hold two of these pieces RS together and ladder stitch up to the point starting at the bottom. Repeat with the third triangle. Finally join the two outside edges together, which will leave the chime inside out. Gently turn it RS out.
  5. Attach the ribbon and bell by passing it through the hole at the top and stitching it in place. The bottom of the bell can be further decorated with beads if desired
Folding the circle
Figure 3: Folding the circle

TIP! Experiment by colouring circles of paper in different ways and folding them over a triangle to see what effects you can create.

Idea Why not join the triangles to make other decorations, e.g. two chimes joined to give a diamond?

Meet the reader – Carole Thompson

"Stitching in one form or another has always been part of my life. My mother was a tailor and I was fortunate to have marvelous embroidery teachers at both primary and secondary school. Between them they stimulated my enthusiasm and I remained an embroiderer and dressmaker until moving to South Wales in 1980. There I joined the local branch of the Embroiderers’ Guild where I met two friends who were also members of The Glamorgan Quilters. Needless to say I joined this group too, and it was here that I acquired most of my patchwork skills. In 1983 my husband and I moved to Cheltenham and at that time I wasn’t aware of any patchwork groups so joined the Embroiderers’ Guild again of which I was a member for many years. Due to work and family commitments I wasn’t involved with either of the Guilds for quite a while but I still dabbled with patchwork. In order to get started again I attended some classes and in 2000 I began my City & Guilds Part 1. I was really pleased with the items I made during the course and delighted to receive a Judges’ Merit at Quilts UK for my wallhanging. On moving to Ledbury seven years ago, I joined Ledbury Quilters. Although we have some very talented members in our group, it was in my capacity of Committee Member that I was asked to demonstrate Japanese folded patchwork, if possible with a Christmas theme.”

First published in Popular Patchwork December 2004