The joy of Christmas lasts all year long, but the time for its decorations and trappings is about over. So before December 25 is too far in the past, I want to share two more stockings. As these were embroidered for my friend Zahra, I learned a few more things. Keep in mind that at times I’m a rather slow learner, so these little problem solvers may not be news to you. The techniques I discovered while working on Zahra’s stocking and were included in the post 2 AHA! Moments and 1 Stocking.
Do you learn something new on nearly every sewing project? I surely do, though sometimes I wonder if the new technique hadn’t been learned before and long since forgotten.
The other three stockings were, as they say, another kettle of fish. Actually, they were two kettles of fish. So let me tell you about them.
Zahra’s husband Rob and their son Kaden had identical Tampa Bay Buccaneer stockings because…well, why not? They’re huge fans. So their matching stockings amounted to just one kettle. The stocking cuff was embroidered with “Buccaneers” and Zahra wanted Rob and Kaden’s names embroidered instead.
I wish I had taken a before picture so you could see that “Buccaneers” was heavily embroidered and filled the area now covered with the gray linen oval applique. I didn’t even consider picking out those stitches.
Covering that text with applique’ seemed like a good solution, but confining the names inside the oval frame would have required small letters. The larger capital “R” would have been nestled into the most narrow part of the oval with the remaining two letters being smaller still. Kaden’s 5-letter name in an even smaller font would have been dwarfed by the Buccaneers logo. I mean, the name is the most important part of the stocking, right?
The AHA for these stockings came to me when I realized that I COULD break the rules and extend the embroidery beyond the applique’. (I told you I am a slow learner.)
The trick was to make two files, one for the applique’ oval and a second one for the name. First the oval was embroidered. Then, using the camera function on my Dream Machine, the “Rob” design was simply dragged the into place on the screen. It embroidered right over the oval.
Kaden’s stocking showed more dramatically how the letters escaped the oval, but somehow I accidentally deleted those photos. A good bit of his name was outside the oval applique’ and nothing bad happened! There were no alarms or whistles or Applique’ Police arrests. I was a little concerned that there might be a problem where the lettering overlapped the satin stitching around the oval. But my sweet Dream Machine went through it as if it were stitching over batiste.
FYI, I did open the side seam for easier applique’ and embroidery. The file splitting technique used on Zahra’s stocking would not have worked with the applique’.
Aliya’s stocking is as girly as the guys’ are macho. (See pretty little Aliya in The Last Hurrah post.) The hand quilted pink satin is trimmed at the cuff with a velveteen ruffle. A sparkly crown pin hangs next to her name. The “A” is from Sonia Showalter’s Fairytale Alphabet.
The fish in this kettle was the result of my failure to notice Zahra’s note in the stocking requesting “pretty silver lettering.”
Completely ignoring the rhinestone crown pin, I chose a candy cane font. This stocking was the first one embroidered, before learning to split the files. Waaaay too much time was spent resizing the letters to fit the stocking and then working in the cave. The circle was so tight that the ruffle rubbed high up against the needle and came away with a big black grease stain, requiring the services of a good dry cleaner.
When I realized that that candy cane letters were a mistake, I called Zahara to apologize and give her the bad news. She immediately said, “There are two sides to the cuff. Just embroider the other one.” I was so relieved! So that’s how Aliya got her princess stocking with her name on both sides of the cuff.
Of course, that meant her stocking faced the opposite direction of the Buccaneers. So I stitched Zahra’s stocking facing the same direction as Aliya’s.
This little diagram was included in Zahra’s sweet thank you note.
So the stockings are finished, delivered, filled by generous Santa and emptied by delighted children. Hurrah!