Do you ever wonder where certain Christmas traditions come from?
Well if you do and want to know more about Christmas stockings here is the story:
The Christmas stocking tradition started in Europe, I have to add, a lot of Christmas traditions have, not sure why though, I have to get into that some other time.
Christmas stockings traditionally have the owners name written on them, makes sence, otherwise Santa wouldn't know where to put the presents, right?
" The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that St.Nicholas soon would be there."
- a visit from St. Nicolas
The Christmas stocking tradition is said to have started with the good deeds of a king noble man named Nicholas, who was born 280 AD, in Patara a city on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. ( If you ever visit Turkey , you have to visit that coast, it's beyond beautiful).
Nicholas became a priest and used all his money to help the poor, the needy, sick or suffering. He was very religious and was made Bishop of Myra at a young age.
He never married or had children. But he loved children and gave gifts often, this is why he also became known as the gift giver of Myra.
He was a rich man and traveled all over the country and gave his gifts generously.
He didn't want his identity to be known, so he gave his presents late at night.
Children were told to sleep early, otherwise Nicholas wouldn't come.
He became known as Saint Nicholas the patron saint of children and sailors.
The most popular legend about why stockings are hung on Christmas is this:
A very poor widowed father of three girls was worried his daughters weren't able to get married because of their impoverished status.
St. Nicholas heard the story of the man and wanted to help, but he knew the father wouldn't accept any charity. So he slid down the chimney of the family's house and filled the girls' recently washed stockings, which were drying by the fire, with gold coins.
When the girls woke up in the mornig, overjoyed with the generous gift, they were now eligible to marry and they all were happy ever after...
And there you have it, the Chrismas stocking tradition was born.
Now lets make some great Cristmas stockings ourselves:
Fabrics needed for a Hexie stocking:
- fabric scraps for about 42 - 1" hexies
- 2 pieces of fusible interfacicing 16"x 9"
- 2 pieces of fabric 16"x 9" for front and back lining
- 1 piece of fabric 16"x 9" for the back
- 1 strip of fabric 2"x 28" for binding
- optional: tassels, fabric hangtag
Sewing the hexie Christmas stocking:
1. Print the stocking template and glue the two pages together and cut out the template.
Find the PDF to the template here .
2. Baste about 42 - 1" sized hexies and place them on your stocking template. Depending on how you place them, you'll only need half hexies on the sides.
This is a perfect way to use up all your adorable Christmas fabric scaps and do some
3. Sew togther your hexies.
Add the fusible interfacing to your 'hexie fabric' piece and add the lining as well, wrong sides together and quilt as desired.
I quilted diamonds.
Repeat the same for the back of the stocking. Add the fusible interfacing to the back fabric, add the lining fabric wrong sides together and quilt as desired.
4. Now cut your quilted pieces into stocking shapes , use the stocking template.
5. Place front and back of your Christmas stocking right sides together and stitch along the outside edge using a 1/4" seam allowance.
6. Turn your stocking inside out.
Attach the binding strip to the top edge of your stocking right sides together and raw edges aligned. Add a little hanging tab to the back of your stocking made out of the same binding strip. Clip or pin in place and stitch along the top edge with a 1/4" seam allowance.
Fold over to the inside and stitch in place by hand.
Add pompoms and/or tassels.
8. Make a little name tag.
I used white fabric and embroidered the name on it. I added some fusible interfacing, to give it a little volume and topped it off with another piece of white fabric.
I stitched the 'sandwhich' in place with a small piece of fussy cut motif and cut the outer edge of the white fabric with zig zag shears.
Add a metal eyelet, or just use a hole punch and thread a little ribbon.
Attach your name tag to your stocking.
Et Voila .... all done!
Now let your phantasie go wild and create stockings with all sorts of different patchwork techniques and styles. Whether you're using clamshells, triangles, hexies or just simple squares, these Christmas stockings will definitely make a lasting impression.
If you are celebrating Christmas, What's your choice of Christmas stocking?
Are you making one yourself? let me know in the comments.