While visiting my son, daughter in law, and grand baby in Vermont last month we talked about the holidays. This is the first Christmas we will be apart. My daughter in law is working her second year of her residency as a radiologist. Apparently the second year residents don’t have the best work schedule. She is working over Thanksgiving and Christmas both. So the three of them will be celebrating holidays in between her shifts at the hospital. Such is the life of a new doctor.
Always ones to look at the bright side, my son and DIL are kind of excited about Christmas though. Because they have always traveled to California for Christmas since they married in 2010, they have never had their own Christmas tree or stockings. They have an 8 month old daughter and it is time to begin their own family Christmas traditions. When my DIL asked me to make them stockings I was so pleased. What a fun project to tackle. I showed her pictures of the fabrics I have in my shop and she chose the Winter Friends line by PB Textiles. This is so perfect since they are a very outdoorsy family living in Vermont. What better theme than woodland creatures, Christmas trees and snowmen?
I was looking around on Pinterest for inspiration when I asked the kids what they had in mind. They said to make them coordinate with the set of fabrics but to make each stocking with a different design. So this is exactly what I set out to do!
First I wanted a template for the size of the stocking. I remembered I had an old pattern from Simplicity that was designed by Eleanor Burns (of Quilt In a Day fame.) The size of the stocking wasn’t exactly right but it was enough to get me going. I cut stocking shapes from batting and that is what I quilted my piece work to. From there I looked for ideas on line. I found this tutorial by Amy Smart (Diary of a Quilter) and liked the idea of doing a ‘quilt as you go’ strip pieced design for one of the stockings. Beyond that, I thought I would do a basic patchwork design and just go from there.
The strip pieced QAYG stocking was a breeze. It came together easily. This was the first stocking and I did use a few strips from other Christmas fabric scraps. I kind of wish I had not done that because for the next two stockings I stuck with just the five Winter Friends prints. Not a huge deal though. For the QAYG process, I cut random width strips and sewed one on top of the other beginning in the middle and working out to both the top and bottom. Once the strips were sewn to the batting I trimmed to the stocking shape.
What originally got me wanting to add other pieces was this bit of text saying “the stockings were hung” which I thought cute to include. It looks cute and the colors match well enough so I left it as is.
For the next two stockings I made rows of patchwork which I then used for the stocking front in the same QAYG fashion. I fussy cut the blocks featuring the larger snowmen, deer, woodland animals, and Christmas trees. These were alternated with 2 1/2″ squares of the other prints. I love the way the patchwork looks when set on point. This is my favorite of the stockings.
The second patchwork stocking is also really sweet. I made little four patch blocks, fussy cutting the squirrels and hedge hogs to be used with the green snowflake print and the plaid print. The four-patch squares are a little wonky but I am calling that a charming design feature. 😉
I sewed a curved piece of a cross hatch neutral fabric over the toe of each stocking to make it look sock-like. I also embroidered a line of stitching to decorate it a bit more. The toe pieces were hand cut so each one is different from the next.
The back side of each stocking is made with the larger print. This decision was made purely out of laziness. I had enough of this fabric in the sewing room at the time and would have had to walk all the way downstairs to grab more fabric if I chose a different one. How lazy can a quilter get???
I don’t know what the kids plan as far as family size but for now they have three stockings made. I set aside enough fabric to be able to make two more stockings should the family grow! I might not have exactly enough but they will still match the original stockings well enough. I am really happy with the stockings and hope the kids use them for many years to come.
In celebration of the upcoming holiday season, I have put all of the holiday fabric in my shop on sale for the weekend. Use code HOLIDAYFABRIC25 to receive 25% off any of the Christmas fabrics listed. I hope you will take advantage of this great sale which will run through end of day on Sunday, November 19th. Orders will ship out first thing Monday morning so you will have your fabric in plenty of time to do some holiday sewing!
I am linking up with my favorite linky parties. For more information, click on Link Ups at the top of the page.