Christmas Stocking Tags

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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.

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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.

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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 🙂 .

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These are the easy fleece unlined stocking I’d written about here , here and here.

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A few of the boys checking out their name tags, photographing items is always an exercise in holding back cats while balancing a camera.

Spiffing up the Kitchen

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Stitching on towels is one of the easier things you can tackle with an embroidery machine. The material is flat ,so it hoops easily and you’re rewarded with a customized decoration of your choice that’s also useful 🙂

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You might think – if you follow this blog – that I’d have stitched on everything in my home that’s not nailed down by now. But, I’m coming up to 10 years here and I’d never made a set of kitchen Christmas towels for me! They’ve all been gifts. The set is on Food Network Ombre towels and the design is BirdBrain’s redwork stitched in cotton quilting thread. In truth, the towels are a bit thinner terrycloth than I thought they’d be given the ‘regular’ price (but you can usually find them on sale plus discounts). 

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This fun set in red and green is to match my sister’s Christmas decorating colors. Urban Threads designs stitched in Rayon 40 threads. Love how they came out – so cheery!

Next post up will be some holiday bath towel gifts.

Christmas in July – Stockings

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Stockings were also on the crafting agenda. One for me and two for the kitties (I love stockings – plan to make even a few more).

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First, although I have many stocking patterns, was tracing a stocking whose size and shape I liked. The right piece is the back and linings, duplicated that piece and added a tad for seam allowance then cut a cuff.

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In cutting, make sure you flip your pattern piece to give you backs and linings that will all be right side out. Had very little of that bright poinsettia fabric (left over from an apron I’d made and gifted a bit back), thus the backs of the stocking are a different fabric.

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Flannel ‘batting’ for quilting to give them  a bit of heft – I like how they hold their shape when quilted or made from heavier felts.

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Cutting two linings finishes out the prep.IMG_8614

Embroidery included the the paws I’d copied and edited to walk across the top of the stocking and quilting.

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Cut the stabilizer – a tear away – big enough to handle the required multiple hoopings.

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Quilting was edited-for-different-sizes-and-shapes an Embroidery Library snowflake.IMG_8629 (1)-1

There are two of these for the kitties. IMG_8603

And the first stocking I’ve ever made for me 🙂 . Maggie is Rockford font from Meringue designs. A piece of bias tape sewn into the seam provides hanging.

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And here you can see the lining (I’d shared the stockings on a craft board and someone wanted to see the lining – some of you might as well!).

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My brother’s girlfriend had a gold and white Christmas theme going, so I’d stitched these up for them with some brocade fabric. If you’d like to see the ones I made sis and her hubby, just check this post Handmade Christmas Victorian Santa Stockings. Next up are some fun fleece ones.