Tassel Toran

Materials

  • 30cm of blue fabric
  • Fat 1/8 of green fabric 1
  • Fat 1/8 of red fabric 1
  • Scraps of green 2, red 2 and red 3 fabrics
  • 30cm of lightweight Vilene iron-on interfacing
  • 25cm of heavyweight Vilene iron-on interfacing
  • 25 x 55cm of Bondaweb
  • Embroidery silk for tassels

Finished Size

24 1/2 x 19" (48 x 62cm)

Skill Level

Beginner

You can download a copy of the template pages for this project here, Tassel Toran

Preparation

  1. Draw round template A five times onto lightweight Vilene. Cut out and iron three onto Green 1 and two onto Red 1. Cut out carefully. There is no need to hem as the interfacing will prevent the fabric from fraying.
  2. Draw round template B five times onto lightweight Vilene. Cut out and iron two onto Green 2, two onto Red 2 and one onto Red 3 fabrics. Cut out.
  3. Place the template B pieces onto the template A pieces, lining up at the top and pin (Figure 1).
  4. Now cut out a piece of heavyweight Vilene, 23 x 62.5cm. Iron this onto the blue fabric, leaving a 2cm border around the interfacing and cut out. Fold the raw edges to the reverse, mitring the corners and pin or tack.
Figure 1: Pinning the two
templates together
Figure 1: Pinning the two templates together
  1. Draw and cut a rectangle 15 x 55cm from Bondaweb. Iron onto Green 1 fabric. Cut out. Centre onto the blue panel and iron on.
  2. Draw and cut a rectangle 10 x 48cm from Bondaweb. Iron onto Red 3 fabric. Cut out. Centre onto the green / blue panel and iron on.
  3. Draw and cut a rectangle 11 x 33cm from lightweight Vilene. Iron onto the blue fabric. Cut into three 11cm squares and then again diagonally to create six triangles. You will only need five, so throw one away.
  4. To make the hanging tabs, cut out a strip of blue fabric 3 x 30cm. Fold the raw edges in and machine down the middle. Cut into three. Fold each piece double.

Assembly

You are now ready to assemble the toran!

  1. Put the five pennants RS up, side by side (Figure 2). Place the panel RS up, so that it covers the tops of the pennants by about 1.5cm. Now arrange the blue triangles RS up, between the panel and the pennants, so that at the base of the panel the triangles almost touch each other, but not quite. You will have to cut off the side points of the two end triangles or they will extend beyond the panel. Arrange the hanging tabs evenly across the top of the blue panel. Pin and sew all the way round, about 0.5cm in from the edge (Figure 3).
  2. The toran can be finished by making tassels in red, blue and green and attaching them to the larger pennants. Alternatively, little bells would be seasonal and slightly quicker.

The whole project can be assembled in an evening. Because of the method of construction, this piece can only be viewed from the front - so hang on the wall above a doorway. However, if you have more time, you can make a double-sided piece. Torans aren’t just for Christmas - choose fabrics to fit with your interiors. Simpler styles are great for hanging above a child’s bed or more elaborate designs can be attached below a mantelpiece (when the fire is not alight).

Figure 2: Assembling the three
layers of the toran
Figure 2: Assembling the three layers of the toran
Figure 3: Reverse of the toran
showing the lines of stitching
Figure 3: Reverse of the toran showing the lines of stitching
Tassel Toran

First published in Popular Patchwork January/February 2001