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project highlights video.
A personal note from Anna Maria:
If there were ever a project that served a real need in my house, it's this one! Okay, need could be a slight overstatement, but I have been wanting to create handmade stockings for my family for years. Anticipating Christmas typically has me over-planning just a bit (a ton), and I've always felt the stockings should be entirely made by hand... as in hand-stitched or embroidered. I do love that so much.
While designing my most recent collection of fabrics, Dowry, I had my hands on many special heirlooms. I decided it was time to take advantage of my family's gorgeous handwork tradition for more than just the fabric collection. Enter the Janome Horizon Memory Craft 15000. I feel so lucky to have had the chance to test-drive this machine, as well as to have many other Janome machines living in my sewing studio every day. The MC15000 had the inspiring technology I needed to turn my stocking daydreams into reality.
This Heirloom Stocking pattern has been such a special project for me since it is inspired by the beautiful hand-loomed blanket my Yiayia Eleni made some 60 years ago in Greece. It has been my joy to marry a centuries-old craft with the most modern technology available in a home sewing machine to design the embroidery.
The talented team at Janome America helped me translate my Yiayia's deer design into an embroidery motif (similar to my Lineage fabric). We used the Digitizer MBX software, which I can't wait to play with more! The results really exceeded my expectations, and the thought of being able to make something for everyone this year, using this meaningful artwork vignette, was thrilling. Any doubts I had about the stockings not being hand-embroidered quickly vanished. I realized that by using the machine embroidery, I could actually accomplish all of them this year!
I quickly settled on a full spectrum of embroidery colors on cream linen so everyone's could be a little different. After I selected nine thread colors from which to choose, I let each of the kids pick the color he/she wanted. I told my husband what color he wanted and swiped the magenta for myself. All the stockings are made from FreeSpirit Fabric's solid linen in Vanilla. One of the really fun parts was choosing the colorful linings to coordinate with the stitched design. I used a variety of mostly tonal fabrics from Dowry and True Colors. And then, I was having so much fun with the embroidery, I decided the back of the stockings should have each person's name. This also meant there wouldn't be a chance to argue next year over whose color was whose!
You'll see by watching the video how simple these stockings are to make, and how fun the embroidery is to watch! I feel so lucky to have a simple way to keep some heirlooms alive in my family while plotting what I'm going to embroider next. I think you'll feel the same.
Thanks to Janome, I'm thrilled to have the chance to offer this free embroidery design to you in a variety of the major embroidery formats. Click here to download.
A few notes on the project: I specified an interfacing for the stabilization of the embroidery, then I kept this stabilizer intact throughout the sewing to give the stocking a good amount of body. If you are using a heavier material that you would rather not interface, you could simply substitute a stabilizer which can be removed after the embroidery is complete. Also, I lengthened the leg of the stocking by a few inches for my stockings so the cuff could be a little deeper than the video version.
I hope you enjoy this stocking pattern and video! Now I think it's time to go make my house smell as cheerful as it looks... baklava anyone?
Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas!
xo, Anna Maria
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