Saturday, July 15, 2017

Day 2 -- 12 Days of Christmas in July Blog Hop!

welcome to today's edition of the '12 days of christmas' blog hop!   my focus today is on christmas stockings, specifically string-pieced stockings.  about me?  i'm a recent transplant to western maryland from my native new england, gave up lobsters for crabs--a southern yankee i guess!  60 years ago my mom sent me to 4-H where i learned to sew and was primarily a garment sewer--including a wedding dress and soft dolls--until 1979 when took my first quilting class at adult ed.  this was my first quilt...the ever-popular sampler!


i was immediately hooked and gave up all other crafts for quilting, though i still sew some garments.  amish quilts were the sirens that lured me into quilting...hand quilting is my favorite part!  in the 80s, string piecing was BIG and i made simple vests for myself and my daughter.  i branched out into potholders, christmas ornaments and stockings, pillows etc.  being primarily a scrappy quilter, had a plentiful supply of fabric even then.  strip piecing is limited only by your stash and your imagination.  i hope you enjoy the ideas here, and hopefully they'll fuel your mojo to make some for yourself or somebody special!  these stockings were my first and were made using a commercial pattern featuring the court-jester style of cuff with little bells sewn at the points.


you can see i kept to the traditional red/green colors.  that was me, the cautious, matchy-matchy grace who, thanks to bonnie hunter, no longer exists!   yes, they are nice and i liked them, but now that i have time to play in my stash, creativity has flourished and have branched out to other quilting styles!  here are some examples...



first, some kaffe fassett fabrics that make me swooon! i think i'll hang this year round....and how about a patriotic stocking for a vet or a summer holiday?  the stars on the cuff were done in a polyester lamé fabric, backed with a stabilizer, paper pieced.  yes, they are washable but be careful with the iron.


then there's a low volume style with some simple ribbon on the cuff....and a civil war repro stocking too...


finally, back to red and green, with something for the tree hugger or rustic retreat....inset paper pieced trees and a bright red ribbon...but a challenge for a beginning quilter as it's more fussy in construction.....then a mod style red/green with no cuff... as i shopped my stash for these fabrics, i was tempted to make a lot more!!!  now i'll show you some construction photos....caveat:  this is the method i use and might not be the method you choose....how to begin?


a muslin backing and piece of poly fleece cut larger than the actual pattern and pinned for stability...



then i begin to add my strips using all the same width or different widths...diagonal or horizontal


continue adding strips, removing pins as i work down the stocking....


once the top is completely covered, then pin pattern and trim.  for backing, i used a double thickness of cotton fabrics.  place right sides together, stitch around stocking (NOT ACROSS TOP) with 1/4" seam and then turn right side out....want to line it?  cut 2 stocking shapes and put right sides together; stitch around leaving a space open on the side about 3" in length....DO NOT TURN RIGHT SIDE OUT


now place stocking right side out INTO lining....NOTE that lining stocking is still wrong side out....the opening on the right side not visible but is there....


with top of stocking and top of lining pinned together, stitch around with 1/4" seam....now pull stocking thru the opening left in the lining....


it then looks like this....the red tree print was the fabric i used for the back side of the stocking...


then, i sewed up the opening on the side of the stocking lining and tucked it down inside the stocking...i made a hanger and pinned it to the outside (right side) of the stocking before adding the lining....this is the finish with lining for the stocking WITHOUT the cuff....


when i wanted to add a cuff AND the lining, here's how  i did it....first, i sewed the lining as usual but without the side opening....then i turned the lining right side out and slipped it inside the stocking, which left me with raw edges of both lining and stocking around the top.  then i made my hanger and pinned it to the INSIDE of the stocking to the lining fabric.  i measured across the top of my stocking, added seam allowances and chose my depth measurement....my stocking measured 7" across the top (added seam allowances) and for most i chose a 4" depth, ending up with a 3.5" cuff after finishing.  


this is my cuff and facing with right sides together, both pieces stitched first at sides and then around the bottom.  if you're not math phobic, you could cut one piece of fabric and then fold it instead of using 2 different pieces.  if you want to add trim as in the civil war stocking, though, you will need 2 pieces, pinning the trim on before sewing the facing to the outside piece.  now turn right side out.  i then pinned it to the INSIDE of the stocking to the right side of the lining with my hanger pinned to the stocking and inbetween the stocking and cuff; then it was stitched 1/4" from the top, making sure all raw edges (stocking, lining, cuff) were evenly pinned together.  


then just turn the cuff to the outside....now, for those of you who want to tackle the inserted pieces as i did with the trees....first, i paper pieced my trees.  then i sewed strips to either side, essentially making it one very wide strip, then just pinned to stocking, sewed and flipped...sounds simple but the mechanics are more complicated than with a single, narrower strip.  i had originally thought about paper pieced letters spelling J-O-Y, but found the trees that i liked better...maybe another stocking? each insert must be treated individually by adding the strips to the sides first and then added to the stocking one by one. before trimming the stocking to the pattern shape, i made another pattern using a see-thru interfacing to make sure i trimmed the stocking with the trees equidistant as possible from all sides. so that's about it.  the first one of any of these is a bit time consuming, but additional ones go quickly, even with the cuff and lining.  as mentioned, i could have made a lot more very easily inspired by fabrics in my stash....indigo fabrics, some other pretty christmas-y fabrics, some rich-looking reds and plaids....oooh plaids!  now it's your turn and i hope you will find them as fun as i have....thanks for stopping by....now check out these other great ideas!

Saturday, July 15th


Sunday, July 16th


Monday, July 17th


Tuesday, July 18th


Wednesday, July 19th


Thursday, July 20th


Friday, July 21st


Saturday, July 22nd

Friday, July 14, 2017

it's christmas in july!



today's the start of 12 days of blog hopping fun offering you tons of ideas for your holiday sewing and gifting! sarah craig has organized this event that includes giveaways too....so start right in hopping....and bring along that water container to keep coooool...no snow in sight!

Friday, July 14th


Saturday, July 15th


Sunday, July 16th


Monday, July 17th


Tuesday, July 18th


Wednesday, July 19th


Thursday, July 20th


Friday, July 21st


Saturday, July 22nd



and be sure to check out sarah's blog for giveaway details!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

quick fix

this is the RIGHT version.....


these are 2 rows finished of 6 total....as i was sewing the 2nd row, i remembered there were 8 gray motifs in all (plus 2 halves), but with the 2 rows had only 2, so realized had missed a couple along the way....and now that have gotten this far with it, like it even more.  my mod muse is in overdrive...lol!  hoping to get the flimsy done in the next week or so and retire the shoebox.  thinking the next UFO will be the tumbler top.  and september will be a basting marathon...




this saturday is "my" day of the 12 days of christmas in july blog hop....so be sure and hop on over to check out my projects, which just might give you some ideas of your own.  in addition to the blog hop, there will be some giveaways...friday is day 1, and all the blog links and the link to the giveaway will be posted then....so be sure and stop by!




Wednesday, July 12, 2017

fun evening!

tuesday night visited nearby Four County quilting guild where Pat Sloan was the guest speaker....


a great time was had by all...pat is entertaining, inspiring and enthralling, all in one!  she brought many of her quilts, large and small, and gave a brief history of her quilting life, which is jam-packed with all sorts of quilty events....podcasts, blog, books, fabric designing etc.   i thoroughly enjoyed myself....four county is a pretty large group of talented quilters, and if i didn't already belong to 2 guilds, would join in a nanosecond!   their show is coming up later this year in my backyard and planning on viewing all the lovely works that will be on display.  ***  while finishing up my sewing for tuesday, had an arrrrrgghh moment.  it appears while i was trying to watch netflix and sew on my orange mod from a teeny, tiny black and white diagram, completely missed places where the gray design should have been.   today's task is to rrrrrip out the wrong ones and re-sew the right ones!  not too many, which is good.  ***  hot days here but cloudy and off and on showers.  so thankful to have my own apartment, climate controlled, electronically connected, all to myself....i am truly blessed!