Over the last many years, I’ve tried to put out some fun designs and projects to stitch for Christmas. This year, I had six ideas floating around in my head.
But only one really emerged. And once it did – well, it became an obsession! I kept coming back to the notion of little projects that combine fun stitches, a bit of sparkle and bling, and an easy finish into something usable … and these little mini stockings are what developed.
I’ve been dying to share them with you! You’ve seen a few sneak-peeks now and then, but I didn’t want to go all out until I was sure that I could do with them what I wanted to.
But they’ve been So Much Fun to stitch and to develop into finished ornaments, that I just can’t wait any longer. I haven’t even taken Christmassy photos of them yet – I just want you to see them now!!
There’s nothing quite so fun as sampling stitches and threads and making something usable at the same time!
Whether you’d use these for gift-giving or for decorating your own tree, you really can’t go wrong with this kind of hand stitched ornament!
My goal was to make little stockings in very accessible designs for beginners and beyond, incorporating a variety of stitches, some sparkly metallics to add to the festive flavor, and of course, some beads to liven things up even further!
And then, as an added little finishing touch, a little dangly charm seemed Just the Thing.
The front of the stockings are stitched on a fabulous linen – which easily helps establish a guide for straight sampler lines and even spacing, without having to mark up the ground fabric with a design.
At the same time, though, the stockings could be stitched on plain weave, cotton, or other types of fabric. (Tips and ideas on how to do that are part of the project e-book.)
Really, your imagination is your only limit when it comes to this type of stitching! You can combine colors, threads, beads, stitches – from simple to complex – in myriad ways, and each time, you’ll produce a unique little ornament. The e-book will have a step-by-step photo guide for embroidery stitches and ideas for working the decorative sampler bands.
I love the fact that the simplest stitches work so well on these little things! But at the same time, I love the fact that I can get all fancy-schmancy with stitches, too, if I want. Anything works!
Even the finishing on these is fun. They require only a few supplies to finish them, they’re completely hand finished in a simple way, and they come together in a jiffy.
And of course, they’re stockings… so they open! You can slip in a note, a mini candy cane or two, a little treat or tiny gift, and hang them up. They’re so wonderfully functional!
If you can’t tell, I’m a little over-enthused about them!
It’s funny. When I put together the Twelve Trees for Christmas designs a few years ago, I thought, “What could be more fun than this?” I really enjoyed stitching that set of designs!
And then when we did these Snowflakes last year – adding a bit more bling with the Au Ver a Soie metallic threads and a lot more beads – I found they were possibly more fun than the trees!
And then I started working these stockings and I found myself thinking, Gosh, where have you guys been all my life?! Could there be anything more fun than this?”
I will admit, I love my job.
Thinking, Sourcing, Kitting
Because I know it’s sometimes difficult to gather together specialty fibers, fabrics, beads, and the like, with these stockings, I thought a kit might be a good idea.
I had to think long and hard about that, though. I didn’t even know if the threads would be available, or if I could source everything in time to assemble kits before Thanksgiving weekend, which seemed like a logical deadline since I missed the more reasonable deadline of, say, mid-July.
Plus, there’s the investment. Kitting requires a pretty large front-end investment, and I hesitated at first about taking the risk.
But then I realized that the kits could bring you quite bit of joy, too! And that thought made it worth pursuing the possibilities.
So I took the leap! I’m going to launch my Mini Sampler Stocking kits on Thanksgiving weekend – and I’ll let you know exactly when as we get a little closer.
As usual, I only sell what I have in stock and ready to ship, so I can’t take pre-orders. I guess I just don’t have a very good business sense, but I can’t see taking people’s money if I don’t have something in my hand ready to mail. So that’s always been my policy.
For those who can’t do the kit, no worries – an e-book will be available separately, too.
So that’s one of the Very Exciting Things that’s been going on behind the scenes here in my absolutely-freezing-cold-this-morning little studio.
I’ve also been working at night on some other Christmas stitching that I’ll show to you soon. Just some casual, cheery stuff for gift giving that keeps me occupied in the longer evenings.
It’s been a very busy last several months – a very good and necessary kind of busy.
I’m so grateful, every day, for my needlework and for all of you who share it with me! It really is a balm for the soul!