Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Christmas Stockings for people and dogs or whatever!

I wrote a Christmas stocking tutorial 18 years ago, and it holds up today. I share it again as it's the basis for what I'm doing now. I've learned a lot more about strip quilting and trims since then, but it's always good to have an idea of where something came from. Christmas Stocking Tutorial.  I tweak my methods often to adapt for the shape and type of materials. 

It started with a stocking for my daughter's dog, Dolly. You can't tell from this photo, but it's huge! It was the prototype. I drafted a bone pattern and then a second piece that was the bone without the top rounded parts. You can make a pattern, find one online, or purchase a commercial variety. It doesn't really matter except that it's in the shape of a bone. Do a quick Google search and you'll find plenty of patterns. 

After the initial enormous stocking, I got the fever and made three more, one for my son (who has a Beagle)

I use the shorter piece of the pattern (the front) for the strip quilted part. The back pattern piece is cut out of prequilted Christmas fabric. Cut that out and set it aside. Do not sew the two pieces together until you complete your design work on the smaller piece. 

Cut a piece of fabric (lining) and a piece of thin batting using the pattern for the top piece. Set the batting on the fabric with the batting face up.

Begin your strip quilting with 2" strips of fabrics of your choice. See the instructions for how to do that via the link above for the stocking tutorial. I used two dog print fabrics. 

When I had finished the strip quilting, I added the candy cane ribbon between the dog print fabric. 

Hem the top piece and covered the stitching with another piece of ribbon. You can finish this edge however you like. In this case, I used some of the candy cane bias tape to finish the edge. 

Remember the bigger piece of fabric, the whole bone that you cut out? Now you are going to use it. 

With the strip quilted piece face up, place it on what is now the back of your stocking. Pin the top to the back and take a quarter-inch seam to attach them. Trim off bits of ribbon, fabric, thread, etc., and now you have your stocking completed except for the bias binding.

I made my own bias tape. You can make yours using a method you like or purchase some double fold. 

I machine stitched one side of the bias tape, turned it to the back and folded it, then hand stitched the back. 

Lastly, add a hanger of your choice; I used ribbon. 

Dachshund stocking using a couple of Doxie fabric squares I had. The strip quilting in this case is horizontal and only on the bottom part of the bone. 

This one is for my son. I cut the top part of the bone out of Beagle fabric, added Christmas ribbon and rick-rack, added a "cuff" to the front piece (using a remnant of the candy cane ribbon), and bound the whole thing with dog paw bias tape.

What's fun is to do an internet search for the history of Christmas stockings. They have a legend, you know. I like these two the best:

Love to Know's history of the stocking

Pet's gotta have a holiday too, right? 

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Sewing goodies other than masks again (thought not done with masks!)

I guess it's a good sign that mask sales are down! (Can't wait for the vaccine to be injected into my arm!). I did, however, donate 35 masks to a group of educators yesterday. I've been donating masks all along and this donation made me feel particularly proud. The teachers are still teaching in the classroom, even during the pandemic. We need to be safe and keep others safe. Are you sewing masks? 

Here's what I'm sewing these days:

My daughter has been asking for a stocking for her dog, who will be celebrating her first Christmas together this year. I drafted a pattern and made a prototype for her. It's a large bone shape on the back and 3/4 of a bone shape on the front. I have to revising to do to the pattern, but not bad for a first effort. I had all the fabrics on hand (the paw fabrics are from my mask making stash) and added the pre-quilted back and red/white stripe ribbon to add some Christmas flare. I like it and can't wait to try more.

I've been working on these particular placemats for a long, long time. I began making them some time ago and ran out of the corn fabric used for strips on the front. When I had some breathing room, I started searching for more of it. I finally found it at Colorado Creations Quilting. They were pretty marvelous to work with and are going to show these off in their newsletter. I sew 2" strips of denim end to end and wrap it into a roll, then it gets used in this kind of project. I love the way the denim colors flow together and add some contrast and upcycling at the same time. 

You can make strip quilted placemats with denim, corn fabric, or whatever you want using this tutorial I wrote way back when - PLACEMAT TUTORIAL

My newest thing is another baby quilt. I decided on a Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern because I wanted it to be hand sewn. I always have a hand sewing project going. It's not easy for me to watch TV without one! I found the rainbow color bandanna fabrics, had the center fabric, and the path that will be going around the flowers is a black bandanna fabric. I want the rainbow colors to stand out and I believe they will.

What are you sewing? I'll keep sewing masks until they're no longer needed. I've just about worn out my 8-1/2" ruler and rotary cutter, not to mention the cutting mat. I'll be glad to retire them all. Let's hope the vaccine does its thing. 

Merry Christmas to you all and as always, keep stitching!