I haven’t blogged much about it, but just a wee bit ago I thought I would foster kittens. An opportunity arose to bottle feed the cutest four little cuddly meowers you’ve ever laid your eyes on – and I jumped in. I thought I’d keep two and put two up for adoption (cough, cough). Living rurally, there aren’t as many good homes and we may have more un-neutered cats than other areas and lack the resources for no-kill shelters. So, you guessed it, I’ve added four rowdy beasts – much to the chagrin of the existing two – to my family. Crazy cat lady status is full blown here.
I LOVE decorating with Christmas stockings. They’re just one of my favorite things and, on the practical side, take no room to store and require no heavy lifting at all. As much as I love, love, love living rurally – there are a few things – like curbside Christmas tree pickup – that just don’t happen here. Generally, you have to saw it up, pack it up and take it to the green recycle during that time in normal years where it’s raining (sawing is an outdoor activity). Not a fan, also not a fan of fake trees (well, except for some colorful tabletop versions). So, full trees are only here in years that I host Christmas eve or day.
This is not to say that decorations don’t abound – everywhere. And, stockings figure in prominently. I’d seen this concept of tags instead of stitching the name on the cuff – and loved it. I loosened up my hoop screws and just hooped a sandwich of the back fabric, cut away stabilizer (to keep them stiff once done – the sandwich didn’t really need stabilizer for any other reason), Warm n natural Batting and the top fabric. Edited text and put four tags in each hooping – moments later, name taggies 🙂 .
These are the easy fleece unlined stocking I’d written about here , here and here.
A few of the boys checking out their name tags, photographing items is always an exercise in holding back cats while balancing a camera.
Continuing to stitch a few more Christmas items. I was really pleased with the fleece plus cuff combo on the Charlie stocking (and it was so well received by his mom!) that I’m determined to do a bunch in this style. As with the Charlie stocking, an iron on polymesh backs the cotton cuff, cut away stabilizer – with even more temporary spray adhesive – anchors the center stocking designs and Sulky rayon threads are used throughout.
Tatjana at Stickbaer does wonderful appliqué and in the hoop designs. I’d purchased one of her in the hoop (ITH) Christmas stocking designs and, although it can go to 14 inches long, decided not to use the ITH part of the design. My stockings tend to be about 18 inches long and I like that look. A tad more space between the bird and the holly matches the slightly longer stocking. Her appliqués stitch perfectly with a nice satin edge that covers all your trimming. Heat n Bond Lite was bonded to the appliqué pieces – and temporary spray adhesive applied to their backs – before they were used in the embroidery.
Urban Threads‘ Snowstorm Santa just makes me smile. I love happy Santas and this one is so perfect, I want to put him everywhere! The word Believe is edited out of their Believe Santa design – it fits beautifully with both. Did use a floater of water soluble stabilizer on top of the fleece to prevent the threads from sinking too far into the fleece – and it worked. I’d thought I might have to stitch this design twice to get it to show up on the fluffy fleece, but the one time was all that was needed – yea!
Back to the machine to stitch even more cheer. Saving the names for last, then I’ll sort who gets which.
Just sharing a few quick pics of an in progress Christmas stocking.
Cthulhu by Urban Threads, fleece stocking with cotton band for the cuff, cut away stabilizer. My registration of the outline is a tad off – did use the heavy stabilizer and spray adhesive, plus a basting stitch around the design. UT is great, I had re-sized it a tad bigger and that must’ve thrown it off somehow (blame it on the editing software 🙂 ). I’ll probably leave it “as is”.
Rockford font by Meringue Designs. Will trim that bit of thread between the i and its dot.
The fleece is heavy enough that I may not line these. Using the Serger for the inside seams should give them a nice clean finish. Got a handful more to get to, so back to the sewing machine I go!
Wishing you joy, love, peace, prosperity and a magical year celebrating the miracle that is life.
A few photos of holiday crafting to hold you over while I enjoy my holiday semi-hiatus. Monsters and bunnies were to donate (nice thing about a rural area is that many nonprofits take handcrafted items to distribute, whereas in the city it’s only “new in package”). Stockings (with a nice bottle of wine from the lovely town of Murphys in each) met the ‘gold and white’ theme requirement of one recipient and fun little poinsettia pins (courtesy of Embroidery Garden) that were made “en masse”.
Bunnies are a “freebie” embroidery design from Urban Threads (I could fit two of her large size in a hooping). Green Cyclops is from Urban Threads Monster Factory set.
For both the bunnies and lil’ Cyclops guy, I like to attach batting to the front before stuffing, as I don’t have a clue how to get a smooth front otherwise (batting stuffed pieces always look lumpy to me or they’re stuffed so hard as to be a rock). I put thin batting in with the bunny hooping, but had to hand stitch (gasp, oh no!) my heavier batting to the inside front of Greenie. You’ll notice his arms, horns and legs are already stitched down and visible during the in progress monster part sandwich.
No shots of the fully stuffed and sewn guys before they headed out the door (and do forgive my inattention to lighting). The bunnies without pompom tails are perfect for infants and tiny ones.
Linking up to Sundays in My City and Gallery of Favorites this week.