Festive foundation-pieced trees adorn a pair of stockings. Make several in seasonal colors to decorate your mantel.

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Designer: Jill Finley of Jillily Studio

Materials

Materials and instructions result in the red stocking. To make the green stocking, reverse placement of red and green prints.

• Scraps of assorted green prints (trees)

• 1⁄2 yard red print (stocking body)

• 1⁄4 yard solid white (cuff)

• Scraps of brown tone-on-tone (trunks)

• Scraps of assorted bright wool felt (star and light appliqués)

• 3⁄4 yard green plaid (stocking lining, binding)

• 14×27" piece muslin

• 14×27" thin cotton batting

• Embroidery floss: black

• 1⁄4 yard of 3⁄8"-wide green stripe ribbon

• 1⁄2"-diameter button: white

Finished stocking: 9-3⁄4×23"

Quantities are for 44⁄45"-wide, 100% cotton fabrics.

Measurements include 1⁄4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

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Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order. Click on "Download this Project" for pattern pieces. (Patterns A through D are foundations for paper piecing and will be used in Prepare Foundations.) Make paper templates of patterns E through J by tracing each pattern on a sheet of paper and cutting out on drawn lines. To make a complete Stocking Body Pattern, first tape together a few sheets of paper. Then trace patterns E, F, and G, matching up their dotted lines.

From assorted green prints, cut:

• 1-5×7" rectangle

• 1-4×4-1⁄2" rectangle

• 1-3×3-1⁄2" rectangle

• 1-3" square

From red print, cut:

• 1 of Stocking Body Pattern reversed

• 1 each of patterns E and G, cutting roughly 1⁄2" outside traced lines (Quilting will shrink the pieces a little, so you'll trim pieces to exact size after quilting.)

• 2-5×8" rectangles

• 2-3-1⁄2×5-1⁄2" rectangles

From solid white, cut:

• 2-2×6-1⁄2" strips

• 6-2-3⁄4×5-1⁄2" strips

• 3 of Pattern H

From brown tone-on-tone, cut:

• 1-7⁄8×6-1⁄2" strip

• 1-1×3-1⁄2" strip

From assorted colors of wool felt, cut:

• 1 of Pattern J

• 11 of Pattern I

From green plaid, cut:

• 1-16" square, cutting it into enough 2-1⁄2"-wide strips to total 72" in length for binding

• 1 each of Stocking Body Pattern and Stocking Body Pattern reversed

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Prepare Foundations

Use a pencil to trace each foundation pattern A through D once onto lightweight tracing paper or other foundation of your choice, tracing all lines and numbers. Cut out on outer dashed lines to make foundation papers.

Foundation-Piece Units

To foundation-piece, stitch fabric pieces to a foundation paper with the paper piece on top, right (marked) side up. Pieced units will be mirror images of foundation papers.

1. Trim green print 5×7" rectangle so it is 1⁄4" bigger on all sides than area 1 of Pattern A foundation paper. Pin trimmed green print piece to foundation paper area 1 with wrong side of fabric facing wrong (unmarked) side of foundation paper (Diagram 1).

2. Position a red print 5×8" rectangle atop the green print piece, right sides together, so a long edge extends 1⁄4" into area 2 (Diagram 2). To check placement, pin on first stitching line (the line between areas 1 and 2) and flip red print piece open. It should completely cover area 2 and extend into the adjoining areas at least 1⁄4". If it doesn't, reposition and recheck until it is placed correctly.

3. With fabric layers on the bottom and foundation paper on top, sew on first stitching line through all layers.

4. Finger-press red print piece open. Trim it even with edges of foundation paper (Diagram 3).

5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to add a second red print 5×8" rectangle to area 3 (Diagram 4). Finger-press red print piece open, then trim even with edges of foundation paper to complete Unit A (Diagram 5). To help stabilize the stocking, leave foundation paper in place until entire stocking front is complete.

6. Referring to Diagram 6, use two solid white 2-3⁄4×5-1⁄2" strips and one green print 3×3-1⁄2" rectangle to foundation-piece Unit B.

7. Referring to Diagram 7, use two solid white 2-3⁄4×5-1⁄2" strips and one green print 4×41⁄2" rectangle to foundation-piece Unit C.

8. Referring to Diagram 8, use two solid white 2-3⁄4×5-1⁄2" strips and one green print 3" square to foundation-piece Unit D.

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Assemble Tree Units

1. Referring to Diagram 9, sew together two red print 3-1⁄2×5-1⁄2" rectangles and the brown tone-on-tone 1×3-1⁄2" strip to make trunk unit A. Press seams toward red print pieces. Trunk unit A should be 11×3-1⁄2" including seam allowances.

2. Join trunk unit A and Unit A to make Tree A (Diagram 10). Press seam toward trunk unit.

3. Aligning long edges, sew together two solid white 2×6-1⁄2" strips and the brown tone-on-tone 7⁄8×6-1⁄2" strip. Press seam toward brown strip. Referring to Diagram 11, cut pieced rectangle into a 2"-wide B trunk unit, a 1-1⁄2"-wide C trunk unit, and a 2-1⁄2"-wide D trunk unit.

4. Sew trunk units B, C, and D to bottom of foundation-pieced units B, C, and D, centering trunks under the green tree pieces (Diagram 12). Press seams toward trunk units. Trim trunk unit edges even with foundation-pieced units to make trees B, C, and D.

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Assemble, Embellish, and Quilt Stocking Front

Use three strands of black embroidery floss for all embroidery stitches.

1. Center red print E piece along top edge of Tree A; pin in place. Using Stocking Body Pattern as a guide, position red print G piece along bottom edge of Tree A; pin in place. Join pieces to make stocking front. Press seams away from Tree A.

2. Center Stocking Body Pattern on stocking front. Trim side edges of Tree A roughly 1⁄2" beyond pattern (Diagram 13). Carefully remove foundation paper from Tree A.

3. Referring to photo, use a running stitch to embroider a garland on Tree A.

4. Position assorted wool felt I light and J star appliqués on Tree A (Diagram 14).

5. Blanket-stitch around star. To make a blanket stitch, bring needle up at A and form a reverse L shape with the floss (Blanket Stitch Diagram). Holding floss in place with your thumb, bring needle back down at B. Bring needle up at C, securing the stitch. Continue in same manner.

6. Stitch a French knot in the center of each light.To make a French knot, bring needle up at A, the point where the knot is desired (French Knot Diagram). Wrap floss around needle tip twice without twisting it. Bring needle back down at B, about 1⁄16" away from A, and bring floss through to back smoothly.

7. Layer stocking front, batting, and muslin 14×27" rectangle; baste.

8. Quilt as desired. Designer Jill Finley outline-quilted 1⁄2" from Tree A then machine-quilted remainder of stocking front with an allover stipple.

9. Center Stocking Body Pattern on quilted stocking front; trim all edges even with pattern.

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Complete Stocking

1. Referring to Diagram 15, join trees B, C, and D in a row. Press seams open. Use Pattern H to trim edges of joined tree row. Carefully remove foundation papers.

2. With right sides together, sew together joined tree row and a solid white H piece along long (bottom) edge to make cuff front. Turn cuff front right side out and press. Baste edges together a scant 1⁄4" from raw edges.

3. Using two remaining solid white H pieces, repeat Step 2 to make cuff back.

4. With wrong sides together, layer green plaid stocking lining reversed and quilted stocking front.

5. Place cuff front with tree row facing up; top with layered stocking front, right side up, and align top raw edges (Diagram 16). Stitch top edges together and press cuff front open to make cuffed stocking front. Trim batting close to seam line to reduce bulk.

6. With wrong sides together, layer green plaid stocking lining and red print stocking body reversed. With red print piece facing up, place layered pieces on cuff back and align top raw edges. Stitch top edges together; press cuff back open to make the cuffed stocking back.

7. With green plaid lining sides facing each other, align edges of cuffed stocking front and cuffed stocking back. Pin in place, then machine-stitch together, leaving top cuff edge open (Diagram 17).

8. Beginning 1" below cuff, bind stocking with green plaid binding strips; leave starting edge of binding raw to reduce bulk.

9. Turn cuff down over stocking and press. If desired, trim bottom corner seam allowances of cuff and use a dab of fabric glue to prevent fraying.

10. Overlap ends of 3⁄8"-wide green stripe ribbon to make a stocking hanger loop. Place loop on top left seam line and hand-sew a 1⁄2"-diameter white button on top of overlap to complete stocking.

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