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Written by Cath Quinlan on November 4, 2022

How to make a Santa Sack with Appliques

Stitched on Husqvarna Viking Opal 650


Cutting Requirements

1 ) Cut White Background Fabric into 2 pieces 41cm x 31cm (16”x12”).

2 ) Cut Blue Casing Fabric into 2 pieces 29cm x 10cm (11 ½”x4”).

3 ) Press the 15cm (6”) square of Fusible Webbing behind each piece of blue fabric.  This is for the snowflakes.

Note:  The snowflakes can be done in many ways.  I chose the AccuQuilt system as it is quick & extremely accurate.  Feel free to create the applique snowflakes with any method you chose.


1 ) Cut out as many snowflakes as you would like to cover your Santa Sack.  I have done six as my snowflakes are rather large.  If you are using the AccuQuilt system, ensure you are only putting six layers through at a time.  If you have pressed the fusible webbing to the fabric and have left the paper on then that is counted as three layers.  Go to for full operational instructions if you have not used the cutter before.

2 ) Place the snowflakes onto the right side of one of the white background fabrics.  Feel free to decorate both sides of the Santa.  I have only done one.

3 ) Once happy with the placement, use an iron and press the appliques in place.

4 ) Place a piece of tearaway behind the white background fabric. Make the tearaway piece slightly larger than the white fabric.

5 ) I have used several methods to applique the snowflakes down.  You can do one method for all or mix it up like I have done to create individualized flakes.

a ) Select a Zig Zag stitch and take the length to 2.0 and the width to 2.0.  Put the Open Toe Foot onto the machine and carefully stitch around the edges of the applique.

b ) Select and Buttonhole or Blanket Stitch.  In this case I have chosen stitch 10 from Menu 2.  Keep the stitch small to make it proportionate to your applique piece.

c ) Put your machine into Free Motion.  Drop the Feed Teeth and insert the Open Toe Free Motion Spring Foot.  You may need to adjust the tension depending on the thread being used.  As I was using an embroidery thread on top and bobbin fill underneath I needed to drop my tension.  Always have a test piece of fabric close by to see how your machine & thread selection will work.

On one snowflake I stitched just inside the applique edge. (Approximately 1.5-2.0mm).  I went around just once.

On another snowflake I went around the edge of the applique about 3-5 times to give a sketched look. 

I encourage you to experiment and see what amazing stitching you can do around your snowflakes.

6 ) To create the casing for the ribbon, take one piece of the blue fabric and fold right sides together lengthwise.  Set the machine to Stitch 1 in Menu 2.  Place the A Foot onto the machine and you now have a ¼” seam allowance from the needle to the right edge of the foot.  Stitch down one end and along the long edge to form a tube.

7 ) Turn the casing right side out.

8 ) Roll in the open end of the casing and top stitch closed.  Repeat the top stitch on the other end to make the case look even.

9 ) Repeat this for the second casing.

10 ) Position the casing 5cm (2”) from the top and using a 3mm long straight stitch, top stitch in place.  Do this for the front and back sections.

11 ) Place the front and back of the Santa Sack right sides together.  Pin around all three edges leaving the top.

12 ) Use Foot A and a straight stitch with the needle in the centre position.  Stitch around all three sides leaving the top open.  Use the right edge of the foot against the raw edge of the fabric. Select stitch 9 in Menu 1 and put Edging and Overcasting Foot J onto the machine.

13 ) Stitch around each of the three sides again to overlock the raw edges.  Alternatively use an overlocker.

14 ) Roll over the top edge of the Santa Sack ¼” then another ¼”and use a straight stitch with a length of 3mm to stitch the hem

15 ) Finally, cut the ribbon in half.  Insert into the left edge of the casing and feed through to the right on the front of the sack.  Then feed the same piece of ribbon into the back casing so the end of the ribbon comes out on the same side as the beginning.

16 ) Repeat this process from the opposite side with the second piece of ribbon.

17 ) When you pull on each side of the ribbon it will secure the top of the Santa Sack.

18 ) Fill with goodies and enjoy!

Article written by Cath Quinlan
Cath Quinlan has been designing and teaching for more than 10 years. Her talents lie in digitising, free-motion quilting, machine embroidery and education. She has co-authored two internationally distributed machine embroidery books, published many projects in Australian craft magazines and digitised and sold numerous embroidery designs and patterns. Her passion remains in education and the ability to share what she knows with anyone willing to listen. Cath’s teaching style is fun and relaxed, and she truly believes that ‘anyone can do it’.