My AHA! moment #2, learned from a Christmas stocking last year, was a new gadget for my sewing skill toolbox. And like good tools, it was needed again this year to complete a project for the same sweet friend. Since the stockings for her family of four were “hung by the chimney with care” last Christmas Eve, the need for 3 more has arisen, one for their Elf on the Shelf “Snowflake,” one for their new dog “Jaxx” and one for visiting grandmother, “Sarah.”
This friend will be getting a Brother embroidery machine for Christmas (shhh!), but right now she knows very little about the process. So when she came to me with the 3 stockings to be embroidered, oblivious of the difficulties that they posed, all I could think was oh how I wished Santa had brought me that single head free arm Brother Persona!!!! But where there’s a will, there’s a way.
So….first I tackled the little red knit stocking for Snowflake, the elf. It seemed to be the easiest of the lot and I needed to warm up to the task. I was so happy to have already figured out the two-baste-frame technique from last year.
The cuff was turned down and basted, with difficulty, to heavy duty water soluble stabilizer. Then, it was embroidered “in a cave,” while I carefully kept the stocking lifted above the embroidery foot with long needle tweezers. And, as I expected, it worked. The lettering is very small, but so is the elf, so I guess it’s okay, right?
A tiny silver metallic snowflake was embroidered over the “o” in the name. It’s not very noticeable but I expect the children and the elf will see it.
Next came Jaxx’s sock. I knew the lettering would have to be bold in order to be seen through that ultra-hairy fur. In fact, even with heavy red stitching, I had to give the area around the lettering a haircut. Why I felt the need to make the x’s bones, I can’t explain. And they had to be gray ultrasuede, to look more like a bone. Why, I ask you?
Of course, the faux fur and its lining was very spongy and the embroidery machine was not crazy about stitching over it. When it came to the ultrasuede there was thread breakage. I didn’t dare go over it again for fear of cutting through the ultrasuede. So it is not perfect, by a long shot. But the children, 5 and 7 yo, will enjoy it and probably not notice. For sure, Jaxx won’t care so I’m not too worried.
The stocking for Sarah was the greatest challenge, mostly because I had been terribly sick with a vicious virus for nearly a week. This was my second Z-pack and my second go-round with this bug. I was long on chores and short on time. Tackling this sock on my first day out of pajamas was probably not a good idea.
First, the silky lined stocking was turned inside out and basted to stabilizer with a lot of whining on my part. I fiddled with the letters in PE-Design, printed multiple templates, tried to work around those snowflakes, and was unable to tell if the template, shoved into the already inside out and basted stocking, was in the right position.
I finally decided that this final version would work, MUST work. When all was said and done, the stocking could have/should have been positioned further to the left. I surely wish her mother had named her Sara. The “h” disappears as it wraps around the seam. But it does say Sarah. I’m calling it a win.
Before the stockings and between bouts of being laid low with the virus, I did manage to finish a relatively satisfactory stippled, scrappy Disney Christmas quilt. I will share with you soon.
I hope you are getting all of your Christmas sewing done and having fun with it. That’s what I’m going to be doing as soon as this Z-pack kicks in full strength.
Please share some of your Christmas projects. I’d love to see what you are sewing.