Tuesday, January 9, 2018


In the midst of a warm-up this week, I put away the outdoor Christmas decoration and removed the items hanging on the windows of the porch. This gave me time to really look at the Christmas stockings we had and to see how we could improve upon the situation. There were stockings with names, half without names, some small, some ridiculously large, and one baby girl stocking. I remember much confusion this past Christmas eve when my husband, who is in charge of the stockings, couldn't remember whose was whose if they didn't have names on them. So we looked over the lot, decided on the keepers, and figured out who we were missing: all of the young men who have married into the family. It was too late to get this item at the stores since they were long gone in the after Christmas sales, so I looked to see if I could find some online. Yes, for about $24-45. Are you kidding? Next I looked up ideas for Christmas stockings for men and came up with an idea that I thought might just work: gray wool with white trim. I dug out my gray wool, matched it up with a nice wool plaid, then went to work on how to make them special for these young men in our lives.

Machine embroidery! I've been wanting to get back into it and this was the perfect excuse. We discussed various images that the guys would find representative of their interests and came up with deer hunting, fishing, and ... well, the last one is too new so we settled on a Christmas tree. Although there are free designs available, I ended up buying a package of ten images for fishing to get the right one. Using my Viking Designer 1 and SewWhat Pro software, I started out with the deer hunting image first but ended up with several tries:
Three tries
The first image was too small but it gave me an idea about the colors I could use. The second one was the right size but I discovered you actually do need to use stabilizer on each and every project, plus gold thread was not the best of choices. By the third time I was satisfied with the end result so we are keeping that one.
Final deer stocking
As for the fisherman, it was a silhouette so only black thread was needed: easy!
Fisherman stocking
There was a bit of a snafu on the Christmas tree stitching so I had to stop, pull out threads, and start over with a darker color. It's a pretty subtle effect but looks fine in the end.
Christmas tree stocking
As for piping around the edge, one got cream, one a wired red twisted cord, and one was self-made. The printed ribbon was made into piping with the aid of a zipper foot and was applied to the stocking with this foot. For the first stage of the project, I was pleased with the results. Now for the wool plaid "cuff" around the top: I wanted to add their name on each one but I'm not up to using machine embroidery this time. I decided to hand embroider their names using a font from a MS Word printout, traced with waxy tailors marking square, and stitched with light gray wool.They got assembled last night and had their photo shoot this morning:
Son-in-laws Christmas stockings
I'm pleased with the result and now have a plan for adding names to the other stockings by using the Word printout to trace names and stitch up, maybe not with wool but with floss since they look a bit more elegant in their tapestry fabric. I'm going to be so happy next Christmas when those stockings come out, all ready to go, with everyone accounted for. What about those additions to the family? We have an extra stocking for the grandkids and I set aside the a set of wool and plaid for another son-in-law that just might join the family in the future. Here we come, 2018!

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