Thursday, September 10, 2009

Felt Christmas Stocking Pins

When our mother, Lulu, was a nursing home resident, our family made friends with many of the other residents, and often their families. Carolyn and I planned special events for the ladies (and a few men!). Each December we gave a holiday tea, with sweets from Molly's Bakery, music, fun and silliness.

For one of the holiday teas I made many of these cute little felt stocking pins. The ladies loved them! I was touched when, at our tea the following year at Christmas, some of the ladies wore their stocking pins from the year before.

The pattern for the stocking pins is below. Trace around the pattern onto doubled felt and cut out. Join the back and front with buttonhole stitch, in a contrasting color of two strands of embroidery floss. Cut a strip of white felt to wrap around the top. Scalloped or pinking shears make a pretty cut. Glue the white felt strip to the stocking using Beacon Fabric-Tac, joining ends of the felt strip at the center back. Glue a 3-hole pin back horizontally on the back of the stocking, on the white strip.

The miniatures that go into the stocking were found at Michaels, near the scrapbook section of the store. You will find a lot of these little holiday things in the months leading up to Christmas.

Join the various miniatures, plus a leaf or two pulled from a fabric flower, using a small piece of fine guage florist wire. (I glued the florist wire to the back of the tiny wrapped presents).

Put a small amount of polyester stuffing in the stocking, to puff it out a bit. Put some Tacky glue on the pre-wired miniatures and insert in the stocking, behind the stuffing. Let dry, wear your cheerful pin during the holidays! Make 30, host a tea at a nursing home and brighten the holidays for the residents there!

It might be fun to add a little embroidered flower to the toe of the stocking. I didn't do that because I was making a lot at one time.

Here is the pattern for the stocking. You will probably have to enlarge or reduce it on your computer or printer. The dimensions of the stocking are 2 - 3/4" high x 2" wide. If it is helpful, the frame around the pattern is 2 - 7/8" high x 2 - 1/8" wide.

These were fun to make, very colorful.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Beaded Button Brooch Workshops

On September 22 and October 10 I'll be doing Beaded Button workshops for RSVP in Oxford and the North Mississippi Fiber Guild in Hernando. The workshop is three hours and participants should be able to finish their embellished button brooch and wear it home!

Here is a sample of one of my beaded button brooches. To see more samples, click on the slide show of beaded buttons (on the right, the beaded cat button picture).

For RSVP participants, all you need to bring is a 1" or larger button. All other materials are provided. The workshop is from 10:00 to 1:30, so bring a lunch (dessert and drinks provided by RSVP).

(NMFG, please visit the guild Yahoo site for a list of materials to bring, though most supplies will be provided.)

What sort of button works well for this project? Well, just about any kind of button! If you have a button with sentimental value (perhaps it once resided on your mother's winter coat), bring that and wear a memory of your mother on your lapel!

Buttons old, new, plain, fancy, solid color or patterned -- they all work. The vintage button in the upper left of this photo was recently given to me by a friend. I can't wait to make it into a pin. It's so me, the pink gloved hand, holding the big rhinestone! The bottom left button was recently purchased, at M&J Trimming in NYC. The button on the right is from Africa.

Colorful and inexpensive new buttons make good beaded button brooches:

In Oxford you can find pretty and colorful new buttons at the Fabric Center on University. Ellen has a wonderful button selection there. Even Wal-Mart has a good, though smaller, selection of colorful buttons.
Lastly, if you want to spend a lot of money, you can find reproduction Czech glass buttons online.  The glass dragonfly button, below, was purchased at the big bead show in Tucson last February, and it cost about $10. I think the "work in progress" button is funny; I found it at M&J Trimming on my recent trip to New York City. The soft pink button in the center is plastic.

Remember, 1" or larger. See you on the 22nd!