The Stockings Were Hung by the Chimney with Flair

We’ve all heard of quilt fabric stashes and how they grow. And grow. My sister-in-law, Pam Elliott, has a very special stockpile she started after seeing beautiful, designer home fabrics on eBay. Beginning with sample sizes of spectacular silk-velvets, damasks, & lampas from houses like Scalamandré & Brunschwig & Fils, she added odd bits to her shopped stash. And of course, it grew.

Most samples were too small to use for pillows or too heavy for quilts. But what about Christmas stockings? Matching a luxurious fabric for the body with a different design on the cuff could be fun. A master seamstress, Pam lined the stocking interiors with satin & attached leather hangers cut from old, soft gloves purchased at an antique store. The first stocking turned out better than expected, so she made more. When her family saw them hanging on the fireplace that Christmas, they all wanted their own custom stockings.

Pam's Green Stocking.1

Though time consuming to make, Pam estimates she has sewn thirty stockings or more. Most are given as family Christmas gifts. Many become wedding presents and others celebrate the arrival of new babies. Her recipients seem ecstatic, even honored to have their own Pam designed heirlooms. All agree they are works of art & a labor of love.

Hanging out in Pam’s sewing room during a visit, I was transported into something like a secret cave full of treasure where she showed me piece after piece of marvelous material collected for her stockings. I couldn’t choose a favorite. Nor could I stop stroking the lush velvets or examining the intricate patterns, woven with silk thread.

One particular fabric fascinated me – a pale cream silk with a big, embroidered flower of scarlet. Pam admitted her daughter had dibs on that one & I put it back with regret. Later, I received an unexpected package from Pam, containing my own stunning, designer stocking. According to an attached note, the fabric she had chosen for the stocking’s body was truly special. A reintroduction of a 17th century, Old World Weavers design of silk & cotton-cut velvet. Though I knew Pam had finished her daughter’s stocking, somehow she’d found fabric enough to create another cuff from the cream silk with the scarlet flower.

Pam's Christmas Stocking.1

At Christmas, I love to display my exquisite stocking. It is my grandest decoration & truly, I never expect anything to materialize inside. Why would I?

After all, it’s already filled with love.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “The Stockings Were Hung by the Chimney with Flair

  1. Sharon Owen

    Lovely stockings, Cathy. Happy Holidays!! SharonO

    On Sun, Dec 2, 2018 at 10:16 PM Crafting Mysteries & Suspense wrote:

    > Cathy Elliott posted: “We’ve all heard of quilt fabric stashes and how > they grow. And grow. My sister-in-law, Pam Elliott, has a very special > stockpile she started after seeing beautiful, designer home fabrics on > eBay. Beginning with sample sizes of spectacular silk-velvets, da” >

  2. Beautiful, beautiful. Love this.

  3. Love your blog . . . love this story. I have a stocking story, too. For each of my first three children I made them stockings. No. 1’s was made out of needlepoint. No. 2’s was done with crewel. No. 3’s was counted cross-stitch–boy was that a bear! Six years after he was born came No. 4. That meant One More Stocking to make. I’d started working full time as a teacher, so I bought a kit with the expectation that I’d get it done “sometime.” Well, sometime never happened, and out of guilt a few years later I bought one at a craft fair. Yes, it was homemade and lovely . . . but No. 4 still feels slighted. Do I feel guilty over that? Maybe 1 percent. That’s all. I simply did what I could to make things happen. #nomamaguilt

  4. Aww…love your story, Janet! I think you handled it well, even if not by your own hand. 😉 I wrote a blog about a Raggedy Ann doll I never made for my daughter. I gave her a box of fabric with an IOU. Terrible! BUT…I did make her a cool quilt. Sort of instead, since she’d grown up in the meantime. She still mentions that doll once in a while. I try not to hear. Thank you for the kind words & for dropping by.

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