Christmas Stockings 2000

Date made: December 2000

I bought a book, Christmas Traditions in Stained Glass by Brenda Henning, that features the most wonderful Christmas items done in a stained glass look. The Christmas stockings were particularly nice so I decided I would make one for each of my girls.

They each had their own color:

Catherine has the Cyan(blue)
Lisa has the lavendar
Rene has the red.

The prints used weren't necessarily Christmas-themed prints. The blue and red stockings were but the lavendar wasn't.

The actual constuction technique is so easy and fast but looks very complicated. The "WOW!" factor is pretty high on these items! The "leading" lines are 1/4" (finished) bias strips. To put the glitz on the stocking, I wanted metallic gold and silver bias. I splurged and bought the Clover Quick Bias Tape. It has an iron-adhesive on the back and is absolutely *terrific*. A true 1/4" wide. The reason why it might be considered splurging is because it's rather expensive.

However, on the other hand (the one without the warts), it definately saved me oodles of time and hours of frustration. I absolutely DETEST sewing on lamé. I know how to make yards and yards of continuous bias tape and have no problem doing so, *if* it's not lamé. So, the trade-off between my time/frustration and money spent was a good one for me.

I was keeping track of my time when I was making the stockings and determined that it took about 3-1/2 hours per stocking, from cutting of the fabric to the final stitching. I topstitched each side of the bias down .. that's why it took me 3.5 hours .. you have to travel each bias tape line twice. Not particularly difficult but definately time-intensive. It was after I completed the stocking that I disovered that the 4mm twin needle will accurately stitch down both sides of the 1/4" bias tape simultaneously, thereby effectively cutting your topstitching time in half. The tricky part with the twin needle is turning/pivoting corners .. as in you can't pivot. You need to raise the presser foot, turn your fabric in place and lower the needles back down so the stitching is continuous. Again, a little practice and it's not so tough.

Then, my girls were wondering (and Mr. Pirate after that) why I hadn't made stockings for Mr. Pirate and myself (well.. to be truthful, I know it's gonna be me who fills the extra two stockings and with everything else that goes on in December, I really, really don't want any additional work to do).

However, there is a second version of the stocking available ... one that features a main print as the body of the stocking .. no sections to speak of. So I chose the less involved pattern of the two offered ... cuz 1) it was less complicated and 2) it would set the girls' stockings off better if ours were different. One other difference is that on our two stockings, I used a machine blind-hem stitch to sew the bias strips down, instead of top-stitching. It gives a slightly different look to the finished stocking.

The featured fabric for my own stocking was part of my sewing-theme stash.
I was somewhat at a loss for what to use in Mr. Pirate's stocking, so I asked him before choosing. Much to my surprise (though why I should be surprised at anything he comes up with at this late date in our marriage is quite beyond me!), he asked for green camo.

[blink] [blink]

Hey.. no problem! Green camo it is!

Now, it just goes to show you how cocky and overconfident one can get .... I was sorta watching TV and sewing the stockings at the same time, i.e. not paying too much attention to the stockings. I mean, c'mon .. I've made 3 of them fairly recently right? What could go wrong? ::ahem:: Famous last words.

The back of the stocking has to be the reverse of the front, so the correct side faces out when put together. This is patently obvious. Guess what *this* idiot did? (That would be *me*) Made the back of one stocking BACKWARDS. Well, Mr. Pirate, being the generous sort that he is, said to simply make his stocking point the other direction from the others ... after all, he *is* the alpha male in the household (heh heh ... not too difficult as he is the ONLY male!). So I did. And *then* [sigh], when I was sewing on the perimeter binding, I was so used to starting on the right-hand edge of the stocking, I forgot that his was reversed and I should have started his on the left-hand side. Why? So that the hanging loop would be on the correct side for hanging! What an idiot!! His hanging loop is on the front edge of the stocking instead of the back edge. [sigh]

Then again, by doing it that way (eventhough quite unintentional), all the stockings "lean" in the same direction while hanging from the mantel. Maybe I subconsciously figured that one out? [grin]

The book I used for the stockings can be found at Brenda Henning's website. (scroll down, it's book BPP250, "Christmas Traditions")

Let's fast forward to September 2011. Our oldest Dear Daughter has married Forrest. Now that Forrest is a member of our family, he needs to have a Christmas stocking also!

I will admit, before God and everyone, that I have a terrible, terrible affinity for puns. The more awful they are, the better I like them. My family doesn't always share my delight. :-) Fortunately, Forrest is a genial guy (and I'm sure has put up with more than his share of "turns of phrase" regarding his name) and so it was with GREAT JOY that I made a Very Special Christmas stocking *just for him*. :-)

He also gets his own color .... forest green, of course. :-) And instead of the previous crazy quilt sort of design, I paper-pieced TREES! Cuz ya know you can't have a forest without trees! :-) For the backing, I found the perfect, perfect fabric ... overall trees! :-)

If you'd like to read the entire, gory creation saga of Forrest's Christmas stocking, it has its own webpage.

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