Sew Christmas Stockings
Using Crazy Quilting
Easy Decorative Stitches!
With the holidays right around the corner, now is a great time to sew a few Christmas stockings to hang for that magic night when Santa comes. Using the quilting as you go technique, also know as the crazy quilt technique, and using the decorative stitches on your sewing machine, or even just the regular utility stitches, you can create your own fun and beautiful christmas stockings. And it's a great way to use up fun fabric scraps as well!
Make The Pattern to Sew Christmas Stockings
To get started, you’ll need to make a stocking pattern. Using a stocking you may already have is an easy way, just trace around the shape on a large piece of paper like newsprint or freezer paper, even wax paper works. Just use what you have. If you don’t have a stocking, freehand draw one on the paper, and cut out. For this stocking, the total height is 18 inches, with a width of 12 inches for a large stocking to hold lots of goodies.
Cut four stockings from muslin and two from batting. Two of the muslin stockings will be the inner liner, and two will be the quilting foundation. If you’d like a prettier lining, cut two of the shapes from a lining fabric, making sure you have one toe facing left and one right for the two pieces.
How to Crazy Quilt on Christmas Stockings
For the stocking front, layer batting on top of one muslin, and add your first shape. It should be a five sided piece. Fussy cutting this piece allows a cute motif to be in the center. Place it on the stocking about halfway down from the top to the bottom.
Add the first scrap on one edge right sides together and stitch with the quarter-inch foot in neutral thread. This is a quilt as you go technique, and we will add to it a bit later.
Flip the second piece to right side up and press the seam. Trim any excess.
Add more scraps, working around the pieces just added in a circular manner. For longer pieces, instead of having one big piece, sew a few smaller bits together, then cut one edge straight with your rotary cutter.
Continue until the entire piece is covered with scraps. You may wish to use a white on the toe and heel for accent.
Add Decorative Stitches to your Christmas Stocking
Adding a cuff to the top is a nice touch. Use a single piece of white fabric folded in half with the raw edge at the top. For mine, I used a six-inch piece x the width of the stocking top, folded in half for a 3-inch cuff. Use a narrow seam allowance to stay-stitch the cuff to the top of the stocking.
This will allow you to do an embroidered name if you wish. Do this embroidery first if desired, then add the cuff to the stocking and continue.
Next, mark a quilting line on the back fabric right side, and layer it with muslin and batting. Make sure the toe for the right side of the back faces the opposite way from the front crazy quilted piece. I'm using heat erasable fabric markers for the quilting lines.
Now the fun part begins, over-quilting with decorative threads. There are so many threads to choose from! Rayons and metallic threads work really well for this application.
Change your needle to an embroidery needle or a metallic needle. Both will have larger eyes to reduce friction and thread breakage. If you use metallic threads, slow down considerably to reduce the heat that causes metal threads to melt and break.
Using the open toe foot, select a decorative stitch and do a test to see if you like it. If your machine doesn’t have built in decorative stitches, use the utility stitches like zigzag, buttonhole, overcast, or faggoting stitches.
Most machines will have something you can use that will look decorative when stitched with rayon or metallic threads. Start on a sample piece to be sure you like the look of your selection, and to let you see where the pattern will stitch.
Some stitch in the center, others will stitch to the left or right. For demonstration purposes, I am using the green rayon for all the stitching, but you can certainly use many colors if you wish.
Sew the decorative stitches on the seam lines beginning with the seams in the middle of the piece. Work outward from the center, stitching over the ends of the inner seams on the next seam line.
This is a simple faggoting stitch in the utility stitches. Looks nice in the rayon.
Sometimes your machine will mess up, like this. Although frustrating, don’t let this bother you. Consider it as just an opportunity to add something more. Here, my machine got stuck in one place from a loop of thread caught on the presser foot.
Not a problem, as a button embellishment saves the day. Add buttons, charms, ribbon roses or any other embellishments after you finish the decorative stitches but before assembly. And you don’t have to mess up to add them, embellish to your heart’s content!
Continue stitching with your decorative threads until all the seams are covered.
Assemble the Christmas Stocking
To assemble the stocking, first add a loop to the top edge on the back side at the top of the heel edge for hanging. This can be anything from a fabric loop to ribbon. I chose a gold ribbon for mine. The loop can be whatever size you need, mine is four inches total length. Change the foot back to the quarter inch foot, and stay stitch the loop in place.
Using the two muslin lining pieces, sew one to the front stocking and one to the back stocking at the top, right sides together.
Then, placing the stockings and liners right sides together, and stitch around the edge leaving an opening in the lining for turning.
Clip the curves to help the stocking lay flat after turning.
Turn right side out through the liner opening.
Stitch the opening closed by machine on the right side. This will be inside the stocking so it won’t show. If you prefer, you can hand-whip the opening closed.
Work the lining into the stocking, then top-stitch around the top edge. Press when you are done to sharpen the seam line and smooth out the curves.
And there is your Crazy Quilted Christmas Stocking!
If you are into elegance, this same technique looks superb in velvets with gold decorative cording added to the stitching.
The finished stocking has three buttons, lots of decorative stitching, and is ready to be filled up with goodies.
I hope you enjoy making lots of stockings this year. It is a fun way to use up bits of holiday fabrics, and novelty fabrics. Although I used all Christmas theme fabrics, your christmas stocking can be any theme you like - golfing themed for the golfer, big game for the hunter, kitchen themes for a cook, sewing motifs for the quilter or sewing enthusiast, whatever you like!