When I was a kid, the Christmas stocking was a feature of our family holiday celebration. My mom, an incredibly creative woman, lovingly made our stockings, decorating each differently. We all knew the stocking itself was a manifestation of her love for us. Besides that, though, we never had a lot of money, and the nuts, fruit and candy in the stockings were a relatively large part of our presents. Last but not least, we were allowed to open our stockings immediately, not waiting for the rest of the package opening ritual!
When our son was born, it was important to me that he have a stocking, too. I didn’t have a sewing machine, nor the creative skills of my mom, so I bought one for him, which he still uses. I chose a plaid stocking, with plaid representative of his Scottish heritage. On his first Christmas, Santa brought him one present, a small stuffed Curious George doll that fit just right into the top of that stocking. I’ll never forget the look of wonder on my son’s face when he locked eyes with the little monkey.
After he got engaged to his high school sweetheart, he asked if I would make a stocking for her. Her parents live a few blocks from us, and she has a stocking there, so I hadn’t planned to. But she is part of our family now, too, so I did anyway.
I started by visiting the local fabric store to see if there were pre-quilted fabrics I might use. Late in the season, all choices were gone.
Instead I decided to quilt my own. I had a couple of Christmas fabrics in my stash and chose one with leaping reindeers. I like it to represent her because she grew up as a dancer, and I see the deer dancing across the fabric. I also found fabric for the back (the inside of the stocking), and I quilted it on my long-arm. For this small of a project, it would be easy to use a DSM, too.
Next I used his stocking to make a pattern, adding about a half inch all the way around to make a seam allowance.
I drew around the pattern with chalk, reversing the pattern for the back of the stocking. I cut on the chalk line to make the front and back of the stocking. With right sides of the fabric together, I sewed around, leaving the top open. It looks like this when turned right side out.
The cuff came next. I didn’t have any white eyelet, which was used on his so sweetly. I decided to use a contrasting piece of Christmas fabric. Ultimately I might update his with a cuff like this. Once the cuff was constructed with a thin layer of batting inside, I attached it to the top.
Last step is to wait for Santa to fill it with goodies.
Do you have memories to share of Christmas stockings? Did you get special trinkets or gifts, fruits, crossword puzzle books? What do you like to fill stockings with now? Who do they go to in your family — just the little children?