Sunday, November 24, 2013

Stocking Inspirations With Fabric Cut Shapes

This post provides information about how to create 
a custom Christmas stocking
decoration using cut files from SnapDragon Snippets
available through the Silhouette America online store.
Three variations are shared.
Snowflake stocking has the most extensive tutorial.
Hidden Wreath stocking has a construction tutorial here.
Holly wreath center square stocking comes last,
with a few tips, but mostly as inspiration.
Hidden Wreath Applique Stocking


Step 1.
Begin by downloading the snowflake file, and a stocking design file. (I am using "stocking large overlay or doily" design #52003, and "christmas stocking chhidden wreath pattern to sew and quilt" design #52170.) If necessary, experiment with the snowflake size/scale as you want it to fit within the stocking outline. The three images shown here on the cut screen in Designer Studio include (L to R): a. my scaling and positioning choice; b. using the knife tool to slice through the part that won't need to be cut; c. the partial snowflake that I will position to be cut.

Step 2.  Measure the size (on screen dimensions guide), add 1/2" or so on each side as positioning margin, cut fusing (fabric interfacing from Silhouette) and heat-bond to fabric backside. Since this intricate design will NOT be stitched in place, I am using the "no-sew" or Ultra-Hold style which has more heat-melt adhesive to secure the shape in place. Once fused, trim the fabric edge to match the fusing edge.

Step 3. Position the fabric with fusing on the cutting mat (I prefer to remove the paper backing before doing this - paper difficult to remove from mat when it often separates from the fabric during "lift-off"), load and send the job to cut with appropriate settings. Once cut, carefully "weed" away the excess fabric. Take care that delicate parts were fully cut, especially at direction-change corners.

Step 4. Trace stocking front shape onto face of body fabric. Trim excess leaving at least a 3/4" margin all around. 

Position applique over body and use iron to securely fuse in place. (Since I used Ultra-Bond (non-sew) fusing, I will not need to stitch the edges of this intricate design, but I need to make extra sure at this step that all edges are secured.)

 Step 5. Cut and position ribbon accents. Use fabric glue stick to temp secure them. 
Step 6. Top-stitch ribbon on each edge with matched thread.

Step 7. Layer front with batting (flannel used here) and backing (lining).  Pin layers well.
Step 8. Machine baste next to the traced stocking outline on all edges.

Trim stocking ON OUTLINE.

Step 9. Quilt front as desired. I marked an echo line beyond the snowflake's edges to follow. 

I also quilted next to the ribbon (or wait to topstitch until layered when this stitching will act as quilting lines, too).

Step 10. Prepare stocking BACK by measuring to determine an over-sized rectangle that will contain the prepared front, cutting rectangle plus batt plus lining. Layer, then quilt as desired.

Look closely to see my completed 1.5 or 2 inch squares grid.

 Step 11. Prepare piping. Cut a couple of  1.5" bias strips that when joined will be about 1.25 yards in length. 

 Step 12. Overlap ends in the offset fashion shown so that the 1/4" seam lines of each line up. Stitch across. Press the seam open.

Step 13. Wrap strip around cording and baste next to cord. Trim excess allowance to 1/4" beyond basting.

Step 14. Align raw edges) of piping and stocking front. Baste exactly on previous baste stitching (check here for "flat" end shaping tip, see step 13). 

Step 15. Layer front with prepared back. Pin well. Stitch (permanent this time) exactly over the inner-most basting. Trim excess back to match stocking front all around. 

Step 16. Over edge the raw seam.  Turn stocking FACE side out and work seam fully out. Press edge lightly.

Step 17. Prepare binding and loop. Cut a scant 1.5" strip of fabric long enough for the top opening circumference plus about 6 inches. Fold side edges in to prepare a flat folded width of 3/4". Here I am using a Clover bias tape maker which folds the edges in automatically as it is pulled through, with iron following to press. 

Cut a 5" length for hanging loop.

Step 18. Fold loop edges together and topstitch through all layers.

Step 19. Overlap loop ends, baste, then position and pin in place at upper right side seam.

Step 20. Fold scant 1/2" of lead binding end under. Position and stitch at center BACK with right crease over the 1/4" stocking seamline. Stitch to attach binding all around. You may wish to double-stitch the hanging loop for security and strength.
Step 21. Overlap tail end of binding and trim approx. 1/2" beyond fold edge of lead end. Stitch across overlap. 

Unfold and re-fold to arrange a clean finish of overlapping ends, then fold crease edge to stocking inside to barely overlap attachment stitching line. Pin well, or quick-baste fold edge.

Step 22. Top stitch on front next to inner edge through all layers.


This is the Holly Wreath stocking.
It uses the body from the "Hidden Wreath Christmas stocking to sew and quilt" 
cut file as the body and cuff style patterns.
The center block is from a card design 
"Holly wreath shaped 5x7 card", enlarged slightly
and fused to an edge-folded 6" square (cut 7")
which is topstitched in place, then trimmed even with stocking edges.

Here are the stocking components. Notice that the stocking front makes the "J" shape, but the back is an oversized rectangle that makes the reversed "J".

Not shown are the applique pieces that can be cut with the Silhouette system with the "fabric interfacing" or paper-backed fusible web such as Heat N Bond lite, which is what I use, since I will overstitch the applique raw edges.

Here you can see the front and back components. At this stage, they have each been layered with flannel (or batting, if you choose), machine quilted, and ready for the final construction steps. View these as part of the Hidden Wreath stocking tutorial

My quilting choices: FRONT at edges of center squares, next to applique shapes, next to ribbon, a few vertical rows above square; BACK vertical and horizontal grid approx. 2" apart, following the print/weave guides of my fabric.

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