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.

EL Snowflake quilting 1

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.

Christmas in July

Santa tree napkin (1)

The nice thing about Christmas in July is it gives me the excuse opportunity to share the projects that I never got around to blogging about during the holiday crush months later. So this week I’ll be playing catch up with Christmas themed projects.Santa toys napkin (1)

My move to the mountains gave me a dining room. And, in all my time here, I’d not tackled stitching a simple holiday tablecloth for me. I finally decided on green and white (the photos have flash color – it really is green and white!) and very happy Santas.

Santa Napkins (1)

The embroidery designs are from Birdbrain Designs and they just make me smile. These napkins will be used so water soluble stabilizer (Vilene) ensured that the backs as are as clean as the front.

Santa Joy napkin (1)

I’m so happy with the new set!

Santa bear napkins (1)

More to come.

Handmade Christmas Victorian Santa Stockings

More Victorian – My sister’s town does a Dickens Christmas event (which I think must be so cool!). Used their “proper names” to go along with the times. I might try to make the exact same set for myself for next year – Love them!

Osnaburg (poor man’s linen, a sturdy 100% cotton) is the base, heavy duty cut away is the stabilizer, Sulky embroidery the threads. Stitching the fabric to stabilizer around the design before embroidering (on my machine it’s “fix”) is something I highly recommend.  You remove the basting stitch when it’s done. The designs are from Embroidery Library  (Victorian Santa and Victorian reindeer 1); the lettering for the name is from my machine (Husqvarna Viking).

Pieces were stocking front and back, cuff, lining front and back. (There are oodles of free stocking patterns on the web if you need one). An upholstery weight micro suede (faux suede) is the cuff with a light Christmas cotton the lining (I didn’t want anything that might show through the osnaburg, light color and light design deliberate for the lining).

Using both red and burgundy lets them tie together their new home color and their existing holiday reds. You’ll note I didn’t want a seam along the “front” stocking edge of the cuff, but used one long piece to wrap around.

Stitched the top inside edge of both the stocking (right sides together) and lining (right sides together), then stitched the cuff (right sides together) to the lining and the cuff to the stocking (right sides together).

Fold lengthwise with right sides together and stitch all the way around, leaving a gap large enough for your hand on one of the lining sides. You can see my gap on the calf back.

Pull the stocking through the gap to get it right side out. (Stitchers – are you admiring my collection of embroidery threads in their handy, closable (read dust proof) cases that I pick up on sale (or with coupon) at Joann you get a glimpse of in hte background?)

Then push the lining down into the stocking and allow the cuff to fold  a bit into the lining side as well.

I leave the heavy duty stabilizer in so they’ll hand nicely when empty. I also didn’t stitch the gap in the lining closed – it might be easier a few years from now to press them inside out. If these were for children, I would’ve stitched the gap closed. Next time I’d flare out the stitching for the cuff a tad.

Finger smooth and press the cuff, use an iron to smooth and lightly press the stocking now that it’s right side out. Wrap.

Hoping you’re all having a lovely holiday season! A free stocking pattern is here at Moda Bakeshop. This post is participating in Made by You Monday at Skip to My Lou and Metamorphis Monday.

Handcrafted Christmas – Printed Linen Towels

It’s crunch time for crafters and bakers. Have my elf hat on and been busily working and creating these past few weeks – just haven’t written about it here. Packages must arrive and be opened before I can post about them. :-)  First up – decorated holiday towels. I love my embroidery, but some images can take as long as 6 to 8 hours to stitch out (egads), printing to fabric goes much faster. It’s not quite as durable in the long run – but for decorative items will last years (and if you’re wanting to print on a shirt for your child – well, one season with washing plus their growth isn’t bad).

1.    Grab some linen or linen blend fabric, preshrink.

2.   Hem for a towel. (See Loving Linen post for measurements, suppliers, complete details plus care of linen information).

3.   Sew a decorative stitch at hem.

4.   Select an image (web search for copyright free images or check out what folks are posting at Pinterest). I manipulate my images plus text in PowerPoint to place on an 8 ½ X 11 page as I work in PowerPoint a great deal. This particular set used the June Taylor prepared for printing fabric but I have used others.

5.   Print to prepared fabric sheet

6.   Fix image per directions (iron a lot, wet, iron some more).

    a.   Had one sheet run at the wet stage, they all bleed a bit. I iron and let sit overnight before the wet step now.

7.   Stitch your image to the towel.

8.   Create a Merry Christmas patch, fringe around patch and stitch patch to towel. Actually, I glued the patches on with Aleene’s Ok to Wash it Glue and I’m a tad worried as I’ve noticed a few items I glued with this came apart shortly after. Will stitch in the future.

9.   Wrap and send to a lucky gift recipient – isn’t this the cutest addition to a Victorian themed Christmas kitchen?

This post is participating in Sundays in My City. Most posters there are incredible photographers, it’s a fun Linky to visit. I’m also sharing at Rednesday, Today’s Creative Blog, Tutorial Tuesday at Hope Studios, Linda at Coastal Charm, Beyond the Picket Fence

Labels for the Holiday Mix in a Jar Recipes

Well, like many of you I am swamped with the hours spent at work, holiday gift creating and shopping plus trying to get the home decorated, cards mailed and the blog kept up (whew, tired just thinking about it).  I’ve been promising more on wrap for food gifts and am taking a moment to toss up a PDF file you can download of holiday labels for the recipes in a jar I’ve posted. I’ve added a blank label page as well. They fit easily on any regular mason jar. Ever pragmatic, I prefer the label right on the jar as I’ve received jar gifts (bean soups from the kiddies in kindergarten) where the jar and the tag became separated.  I want the instructions stuck on as the vast majority of my gift recipients truly prefer pragmatism as well.

 A square or circle of cloth or paper over the lid could be the finishing touch instead of a bow. If you want to use the blank labels as lid toppers, just print at 125% – any bigger and you won’t see the label on the jar. For labels on the jars just print at 100%. Stuck on the ribbon for the photo – but in the basket I’m planning full of things, I’d trim the ties up a bit maybe use a deep purple for contrast. I won’t truly decide finishing touches until I have all the items together with the “vessel”.

The pumpkin muffins will be packaged the mix, the small can of pumpkin (I used a purchased cello bag for in the photos above and below) plus a cello bag with the molasses in a 4 ounce jam jar and a packet of cream cheese.  I’ll also include some sourdough in a jam jar with a mix for multigrain or gingerbread waffles and maple syrup (chosen recipe to come), plus the oatmeal tea loaves with the oatmeal mix jars of those as well. So many folks I know work oodles and oodles of hours per week and take off over the holidays. One of the joys of that time is being able to enjoy leisurely breakfasts. So the brunch baskets are always a treat. If I were giving the muffins with extras alone or a two mix jars – a simple hand sewn stocking (or purchased) would be a perfect holder.

I simply used the paper I normally run through my HP printer (Costco or Office Depot stock). Cardstock might be too hard to wrap easily; this label mirrors the Classico sauce label in that it wraps the jar ever so slightly. Brush the back with Modge Podge or something similar and place it on your jar. Really press the edges but be careful not to rub with your fingertip over the indented lettering if your choice of jar has that. I simply used the flat part of an extended finger to smooth and press over that area. I deliberately chose to use regular print, not photo quality and no spraying clear gloss or Modge Podge over the top as I like the handmade non-glossy look and feel of the jars.

The photos are mine on the labels with photos, clip art courtesy of Microsoft Office Clipart download for the labels with clip art. I’ve put links to the recipe on the labels, as with the muffins you’ll find the dry ingredients aren’t included should the recipient want to replicate them. There simply wasn’t enough room. I only ask that if you post your gift with my labels to your blog, you note labels courtesy of http://coedraiocht.wordpress.com  and link to the download on my site – do not copy and upload the PDF files to your site. Of course, don’t sell the labels or add the labels to a collection to sell.  I don’t sell items; I’m simply sharing what I’ve created for my own gifts.  All 3 pages of labels are in the one PDF file.

Jar Mix Label  

This post is participating in linky parties noted below.

Personalizing Gifts: Embroidered Holiday Towels

I do quite a few personalized gifts with my embroidery sewing machine. An easy to follow tutorial for machine embroidering on terrycloth is here at Embroidery Library.  Using a pack of the white Martex hand towels from Costco, I coordinate colors and themes with the bath, kitchen and holiday theme of the gift recipients.

These towels are Retro Christmas Design from Embroidery Library. I’ve debated about adding trim or embroidery to the band but prefer that for folks who grab that towel they have the bottom edge to use.

These were a gift last year for friends who’s holiday decorating colors center on turquoise.  The font is standard with my Husqvarna Viking Designer Topaz machine. The snowflakes include Embroidery Designs  Sew Man Star Snowflake, Pinnacle Embroidery Snowflake, and one of the snowflakes is Great Notions  Snowflakes edited to an individual design I could place them where I chose.

These are the microfiber towels you can pick up that are a bit shorter than regular dishtowels. They have a lined border  (to keep the weight similar to the rest of the towel) with a  fabric border from my stash. The design is again the Great Notions Snowflakes from Embroidery Designs –  this time the design “as is”.

This last one didn’t come up as perfectly as I’d like, but to be used as a large basket napkin for a friend who raises chickens it should still do the trick. The fabric is Joann huck toweling, the rik rak Wrights  and the embroidery design Embroidery Library ‘s  Christmas Chickens with the wording of Merry Christmas added by me.

All the items were sewn with Sulky embroidery threads, 40 weight. I download the majority of the designs in HUS format and need to use my software to convert it to my machine’s VP3 format. My suppliers for designs have changed since I first acquired my machine. I started only using MyEmbroideries as that is what was recommended by my vendor (btw – they have a 75% OFF every design sale though Dec 6th – I’ve not seen this level of sale from them ever). Then added others as I found them. I tend to use Embroidery Library the most given their regular sales and vast selection with Urban Threads and Esque for something a tad different. Moose be Stitchin, Zippy Designz and Embroidery Garden all have great “in the hoop” designs to purchase and download at very reasonable pricing – every one of them has stitched out wonderfully for me. I have a few others I’ve found through Yahoo lists that have many sales and freebies. Do check out their landing pages to see Embroidery Garden’s in the hoop Santa Potholder, MooseBeStitchin’s in the hoop Roller Skate Holiday Stockings and Urban Thread’s Gingerbread ornaments (bitten :-)  ). Many of these folks also have Facebook pages or Flickr groups.

Yahoo groups for instruction or sales that I belong to are; http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EmbroideryGarden/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BFC-Creations/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/embroiderynetwork/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MachineEmbroideryAdList/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SudberryEmbroidery/

ttp://groups.yahoo.com/group/digitizewithhus/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CompuSewwithJan/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/4D_Professional/

No Muffintops

When browsing Williams Sonoma a few season’s back, I’d seen this apron.

I immediately fell in love with the simplicity of it. It can be so easy to go for the cute, busy prints offered for the holidays. But this was subdued and I liked that. It wouldn’t be all matchy matchy with other things I use and it wouldn’t clash.  My friends, relatives and I all prefer the full apron without a cinched waist for the simple reason that none of us have the waist to carry that style off.  Half aprons are cute and fast, but as they say of some in skinny jeans, that would result in a muffintop appearance that is a tad unflattering.  My mom used to call it a “potato sack tied in the middle”. Nomenclature changes but the image is the same. The full apron, although not a miracle maker, can mask all those days not spent at the gym with its simple smooth lines (to a certain degree  :-)  ).

I’d been debating about styles to try out and had also saved this picture of an Anthropologie full apron to try although the Williams Sonoma won out. Again, simple and somewhat subdued was the mood I was in when browsing.

Utilized the same pattern I discuss in Apron Redo and line the apron as illustrated in my Halloween version tutorial. Chose the scoop neck over straight and left the bow off the pocket. The ruffle for this one is not from a pattern. It’s simply a long rectangle about 1 1/3 the bottom length of the apron and about 12 inches high. Fabric was JoAnn. The bias trim is Wrights double wide.

I adore how it came out! It’s exactly what I wanted.  Although I was looking for subdued, my sister’s favorite decorating theme is poinsettia and I found this fabric to use for a gift for her, which was also a hit. The Wrights trim in deep green set it off beautifully.

All of us in the U.S. are pushing to get through our Thanksgiving holiday this Thursday so December holiday projects are just starting to appear, more to come.

This post is participating in the linky parties noted below.