Saturday, November 18, 2017

Beading the Christmas Stockings

Our family's stockings are gaudy, loud, and out-of-style but they are the ones we grew up with. Most children like shiny and colorful with jingles; we were no exception. My mother told us not to put them on our feet. Of course we did... and found they didn't fit. It took me years to realize the lining is a simple tube; it doesn't reach to the toe at all, only to the heel. Thank goodness or we'd have ruined them.

Many wonderful patterns for quilted stockings have been published over the years. Almost every family I know has a set of their own. Whatever they look like, it's a joy of the season to group them on the mantel annually. QS made two pair for her in-laws: one to keep at their house and the other pair if they visit hers. Subtle and tasteful.

String quilted Christmas stockings  with holly applique.
Christmas stockings for the in-laws

But they aren't "ours." So back to bright and bling-y. Or loud and brash. Whatever.

Decisions for the first stocking include the Bethlehem star, the New Horizon satellite flying by Pluto, a Christmas tree, a butterfly, a sailboat, and his Yorkie. This one should have been finished last year but it's only getting started now. Bad Santa!

Beads and sequins on velveteen Christmas stockings.
Starting the 2016 Christmas stocking

Each object takes me two or three days to bead. I'm not fast... and sometimes I'm not too good either. For example, the mainsail looks okay but I'll be replacing the jib.

Beads and sequins on red velveteen Christmas stockings.
Partially beaded Christmas stocking
On the other hand, the bunny is delightful and the tree's ornaments swing freely. I beaded the Yorkie's hair so some of the beads stand up, mimicking his rough coat. Pretty good.

Friends told me to use Nymo thread, made for beading. Check. If there was any doubt, you can tell I'm not a regular beader. That needle was straight just a while ago. Any advice about how I should be holding it would be appreciated.

Nymo thread with a bent beading needle
Nymo thread and a bent beading needle

Two more ornaments to go {plus the jib.} It will be complete once the name is beaded across the top, the parts are sewn together, and bells are added. Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat. I'd better get busy.

Enjoy the day, Ann


Quilting Babcia said...

Your stockings look totally original, and very fun to make! I think people always remember the Christmas stockings they had as kids, and it always feels like 'home' when they can hang them. We have country-style quilted stockings here, but alas, no mantel.

Robin said...

Oh, the beading really adds a dazzling touch!

tess stieben said...

Beading needles are very fine and do tend to shape around ones finger. The gentle curve that the needle acquires tends to help with picking up beads with it. But if its getting to much of a curve in two opposing directions you may be holding it to tightly.

Janie said...

Tess has the same experience I've had with beading needles. They do easily pick up a curve. And I've had them break when I was
too rough.
The Christmas stockings are perfect!

Ann said...

Thanks for the information, Tess. I do hold it too tightly but am glad to know the curving is partly natural.

Ann said...

Thanks, Janie. Every time I make one I recall how fun they are.

Ann said...

We always like our childhood stockings best. I’m fortunate my family still wants me to make these.

Ann said...

They are bright indeed. Thanks for the note, Robin.

Mary Marcotte said...

No help from me with the needle, but Tess and Janie seem to know enough.
Those stockings are looking more fun with every post. Why replace anything? They are perfect with the imperfections! Seriously, the little oops add character and become a conversation piece. I love them just as they are.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Mystic Quilter said...

Love your Christmas stockings Ann, I made them for all my kids and also for our grandchildren and they all still have them hanging up at Christmas!

Ann said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, Mary.

Ann said...

What a treat for you to see the stockings you made for your family still in use. Enjoy!