Monday, December 7, 2015

Patchwork Christmas Stockings

We have a new person in the family, and so we needed another Christmas stocking (not that Phoebe is going to get gifts this Christmas - she will only be 8 months old).  To goad myself, I threw the old stockings away last January, with the intention of making new stockings well before this Christmas. I cleverly remembered this goad a few weeks ago. I briefly abandoned stockings entirely, but oh my word that didn't last long because the children consider this A Tradition and furthermore, Ben considers a soft fuzzy stocking A Tradition and he shed tears over his missing stocking.   It is always a mystery what details of family life the children will latch onto as Traditions!

I didn't have any fleece left from the previous stockings, nor was it a smart choice because of its stretch.  So I returned to my favorite medium of thrift and creativity: patchwork.

After a lot of rumination, I decided to identify the stockings by each person's favorite color.  So the patchwork is mostly red, a little green, and then a few splashes of the person's color.  I chose yellow for Phoebe ("but Mom, what if she has a different favorite color?!").  Ben has green, Genevieve has pink, I have turquoise, and my husband has black and as plain as possible.

I made the pieces of patchwork, cut them down to the stocking pattern (which I drew, smaller than the previous ones because big stockings are hard to fill in a meaningful, non-junky way).  Then I laid the patchwork stocking on a piece of unbleached canvas and stitched each seam, "quilting" it to the canvas.  I slipped in a few pieces of rick-rack on the kids' stockings and a piece of lace on mine, but nothing, no nothing on Mr. Thrift's stocking.  Then I used more plain canvas for the backs.

Ben was still severely, vocally, disappointed in his non-soft stocking.  I had to pick up some red double-fold bias tape to finish off the tops and wouldn't you know, when I flew into the tiny crazy sewing shop downtown to buy some, all they had in red double-fold was fleece binding.  Fleece!  I didn't know fleece binding existed!  Ben was placated with the soft top of his stocking, I was relieved, and the stockings are hung with care.  And some of them have delightful lumps in them already.

18 comments:

Rozy Lass said...

Those are just wonderful! You are so creative and clever! I know what you mean about children latching onto things and being sad when they are discarded. Oh well, it's an opportunity to teach forgiveness, even mommies need it. And I'll bet Phoebe will love yellow, it's my favorite color!

Shauna said...

Those are really great! And with time to spare, really. I hoped to make stockings yet for some of us that still need nice proper ones... but don't know yet if I'll get to it, so the old ones may still have to pass. Good idea you had to do them all together as one big project.

Lisa said...

Fabulous stockings! I never heard of fleece binding, either.
I even like your husband's; they're all great.

BLD in MT said...

Good work. I too goad myself with the best of intentions--and oh how time gets away from me. You'd never know it in this case. They look quite lovely. I should throw away my terrible first attempt at sewing Matt and me stockings come January and force my hand for next year....

Ben is adorable. Of course, I don't need to tell you that.

Tracy said...

I made stockings when I was pregnant with our eldest, and while I was at it I sewed 6. Good thing we only have 4 children! This was 25 years ago this Christmas, and while I've threatened to retire them for several years now, my children-the youngest being 17, can't stand the thought of having anything other than what they've always known. Ben is not alone.

Your new handi-work is beautiful!

Rachel said...

SO SO sweet! And YES to not totally understanding what traditions will stick with kids. There was much insistence this year on how the tree had to be decorated, what music needed to be playing at the time, and it culminated in a big family snuggle on the couch for a brief, momma-heart-delighting moment. Those stockings are wonderful!

Rachel Weaver said...

First, these are wonderful.
Second, my mom still gives her grown children stockings and we would all be sorely disappointed should she stop.

A said...

These stockings are so lovely and special. So glad serendipity allowed Ben to relieve his grievance. As if the holidays weren't trying enough already! Great to see your posts again.

Zoƫ said...

Ours are crazy patch too! And poor Leila. I still need to make hers. That's a goal this week! Her's will be purple. Jada has red, Tage green, Bennet yellow, and Brad and I have ones made of our old jeans.

Mother B said...

Love that they are personality coordinated!!

Lana said...

Very nice! I did not know about the fleece binding either.

We are now a family of 16 and still growing. This year Hubby and I told the kids that stockings will only be for those who are actually here for Christmas. SO...I have a pitiful two hanging on the fireplace but I am so relieved to not be stuffing all those stockings. The exception is my parents and I sent those home with them when they were here for Thanksgiving.

Kristal said...

I've just discovered your blog. I love your "thrifty" it's bringing me back to college days. I'm retired now and are trying to go with that trait back to our house.

jenny_o said...

Beautiful! And yes to the head-scratching moments about what children find important ...

Becky said...

How adorable!
We are huge fans of stockings here - it's the one thing my husband and I do for each other at Christmas - stuff the stockings.

Jan said...

I'm sure that Phoebe will love her yellow stocking.... and I like the fact that your husband has a stocking too! Jx

Nancy LittleHomesteadinBoise said...

Great job!!!

Sarah Barry said...

These are so lovely. They look like stockings from a children's storybook. Love your distinct style.

We don't do adult stockings, but I kind of want to start.

Margo said...

Sarah, thank you! I have found that the kids adore putting gifts in stockings - it's so easy for them to make something small and stick it in, much easier than wrapping a traditional present. The adults' stockings are less full than the kids' stockings, too, which is just fine with my husband and me.

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