Friday, November 30, 2012

Merry Kicksmas! These Boots Were Made for Stockings

'Tis the season!  A few weeks ago my bff, Meredith, emailed me with a project request.  She wanted me to make some stockings for her and her hubby, Bart, to decorate their apartment for Christmas.  Meredith, knowing my quirky flair and applique all-star abilities, asked that I personalize the stockings. 'Of course I'll add your initials to the stockings,' I thought as I read her email.  But here's the 'kicker'.....she wanted me to make them birth-nationality specific.

Mere, newly granted dual Dutch/ US citizenship, has been living in the Netherlands for almost 6 years. She moved from her birth state of Ohio, USA to be united with her soul mate and husband, Bart, a 'Dutchie' in the purest form.  Since Meredith had requested for me to make the stockings 'nationality-specific'...a kind of 'his & hers UN-style', if you will, I pondered over what to design for the appliques.  Then a light bulb went off in my head!

Maybe it was that beer I just opened and those cute cowboy boots I found at the thrift store a few weeks ago that fueled my international inspiration....but thank goodness I have such great references laying around the house:
In all seriousness, though, instead of decorating Bart's stocking with tulip & windmill appliques or even worse, for Meredith I had envisioned elephant & donkey appliques atop stars & stripes fabric....I was inspired by footwear!!   GENIUS!  No wonder I love shoes soooooo much!?!!  And what better representations for the USA-  a cowboy boot, and for The Netherlands- a wooden shoe.  These appliques would be hardly lost in translation on a Christmas stocking!

So off to the drawing board I went.....
Mere's USA Cowgirl Boot Sketch
Bart's Dutch Wooden Clog sketch
Lucky me, I work for a fabric wholesaler- Clothworks- and like a kid in a candy store, I went crazy 'shopping' in our warehouse.  I found some fabulous tonal basics and holiday-inspired fabrics perfect to use in my applique designs!  I even added some fun trims- rickrack- and felt letters, for more personal flair!
Oh, and I forgot to mention!  I found the perfect lining fabric for my stockings-- Sweatshirt Fleece!  It works out well, as it gives just enough stiffness to maintain the shape of a stocking causing it not to droop or sag.  Before I appliqued my designs to the background fabric- I serged the edges of the background fabric with the fleece inner lining.  Then I stitched my appliques on to the front background fabric.  After that, I stitched both sides of the stockings together!

And after that, I added some contrast binding to finish the top of the stockings.  Sewed on a loop to hang the stockings.....and Presto!!!  Ameri-Dutch Christmas Stockings for Meredith and Bart!

Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!
that's....Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in Dutch
(thank goodness for google translate!!)

And off you go in a package and across The Pond!
Are you ready, boots?


  1. These are just genius!! I am soooo thrilled with these...I will be looking forward every year at XMAS to put these doggies on display! Thanks applique-all-star Steph!! :)

    1. You are most welcome, Merebear! Although we're separated by land and sea, I'm happy to know you'll have a bit of me in spirit decking the halls of your Dutch home!