Sunday, December 5, 2010

Report from Santa's Workshop

2 stockings for L2 - check!

The cuff with his name has been cropped out. It looks better with the additional length!! It seems that L2 is double dipping, doesn't it! He was born last December after Christmas and his mommy and daddy want a stocking for their good little boy this year. BUT so does Grandma!

My niece, LL, [the grandma mentioned above] asks me to make a stocking for each addition to their family. Started out easy!! But now those kids are getting married and having kids of their own. I've made 13 stockings since 1992!!! Think about it! 13 stockings from the same pattern, the same quilted muslin fabric, and they need to hang at the same angle!!! Ho, Ho, Ho!!

Needless to say, I've come up with a method!! First of all, don't think you're going to remember how you did them!!! I have a file folder "Christmas Stockings" and in it are these items: A freezer paper stocking shape - with whose stockings have been made from it. [I have two active ones - LL's family and my own kids' stocking shape.] The applique shapes (reduced to right size if needed) for the stocking. And a picture of at least one stocking!

You really should take a picture of the backs too! I never remember what they are!There used to be a cotton 'chamois cloth' available at JoAnns - it was the perfect weight to balance the front design and worked great. Alas, I've haven't been able to find it the last 10 years!! It also made awesome card table covers!! Should have kept those - I could use the yardage now!!

Find a fun alphabet with upper and lower case letters - you'll know it when you see it!! I don't remember where I found mine or I'd tell you! Take it to a copier and reduce it. 90%; 85%; 80%; well, you get the drift. AFTER you have reduced it - then mark the size. [90%]. It doesn't help to mark it, then reduce it farther ... you'll never know what size it is!!! You can also enlarge it for wall quilts! I have a fat file folder marked "Alphabets" too!

This year I lucked out!! L2 only has 6 letters in his name! I've done up to 8 and it's a squeeze across a 6" cuff!! With different sizes of the same alphabet the name may be smaller but at least it looks like the others.

The secret of the stocking angle is: To make the hanger I cut a piece 2 x 6.5. Press a crease lengthwise-center, fold each edge into the center, press. Now you have a 'double fold' tape look. I stitch a 1/4" top stitch down each long side to strengthen it. When your stockings are ready to put together, fold the hanger in half. On the heel side of the stocking, place it at 2". Angle it to 2" in from that side along the top. Pin well, and back stitch over it when seaming the stocking. Putting that hanger on was the hardest part of stockings. It needed to be strong and it always was a mess on the outside of the stocking. I tried everything. sewing a button over the mess - that was hard!! This method, gives me a basic hanger, it stays on, and hangs at the same angle. Not glamorous - but stockings get alot of use!!

When A - our first born went to college, I for some reason thought it would be cute to make Christmas stockings for the room mates. It was wonderful, but do you know how fast roomies come and go??? Then L, our daughter, went to college and darn! she remembered those stockings. I got suckered into it again. I've made dozens of stockings over the years!! Including 6 for pets!! At any rate - this year's requests are done!! In the mail tomorrow.

Next on the list is a new tree skirt for the newly-weds! What's on your list??

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