Christmas In July ~ Stockings from a Vintage Quilt

on July 30 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 12 Comments

One of my employees, Lauren, recently got married and I was honored to be invited.  I love weddings–they’re like the birth of a new family.    I wanted to give Lauren and Matt a gift that was representative of my best wishes for their future–something that spoke of the children they hope for and new traditions.  I decided to make Christmas stockings from one of the vintage quilts in my stash.  The old, the new, the traditions, the ho ho ho–it all comes together, right?

I do own a fabric store, and although I highly encourage everyone to make lots of projects with new fabric (insert winky here), I’m a big fan of making something useful out of vintage quilts.  I know there are many quilt collectors who consider it a crime to go at a blanket with a pair of scissors, but I think that if you’ll get more use out of it by making something else, then by all means, cut away!  (Just a reminder, I do have a great love of quilts and their history.)

Vintage quilts are pretty easy to come by these days and, although not dirt cheap, they can be fairly affordable on ebay.  If you’re considering finding a quilt to make some stockings of your own, here are some suggestions.

1. You might have a hard time finding something with Christmas prints, but it shouldn’t be a problem finding one that relies heavily on red or green–they were popular choices in the 40’s.  Red, especially seems to make an apprearance quite a bit no matter what decade.  (Many quilts are constructed with patriotic sentiments, so perhaps this is the reason.)  The quilt here is the one I used for the stockings.   The red really says “Christmas”, without being over-the top.
2. Try to find something that has a variety of prints and solids so the overall feeling is neither masculine or feminine.
3. If you shop on ebay, try searching for a “cutter quilt”. This can mean a lot of things, depending on your definition of cutter, so be sure to look for good images and ask lots of questions. The quilt above had 2 fabrics that were shattered wherever they were used, while the rest of the fabric and quilting was in excellent condition. You should also ask about stains and whether or not the batting is still in good shape. (Sometimes it gets really clumpy in some parts of the quilt.)

I made a basic lined stocking, and added red piping around the outside to give it a little more structure. Here are a few Christmas stocking tutorials that you might try.

Scrappy Christmas Stockings from Moda Bake Shop

Saint Nick’s Stockings from Grand Revival

Keepsake Stocking from Martha Stewart Living

If you know of other stocking tutorials, please put them in the comments.  Also, feel free to add to my suggestions about shopping for cutter quilts, and/or using them in projects.  Happy sewing!

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12 Responses to Christmas In July ~ Stockings from a Vintage Quilt

  1. Annette W says:

    These are beautiful and classic!

  2. andrea says:

    Such a great idea! It is great to get thinking about Christmas early, so we have time for all these fun projects!

  3. Lea Blakney says:

    These are simply darling! Thank you for the inspiration ~ now I know exactly how I will use that old cutter quilt on my sewing table!

  4. Stephanie says:

    what a great idea! I am loving all this Christmas in July stuff! :)

  5. Lauren says:

    Such a great idea! We love our stockings!! :)

  6. Molly says:

    I love reusing items from the past and giving them a new life.

  7. judi says:

    I’ve been wanting to do something special with the quilts dh’s grandmother made for him but he won’t let me cut into them. The sad thing is that they’re so worn out that they’re sitting in a box in our basement. If he’d let me turn them into something else he could enjoy them and the love they represent.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Great project! I am always happy to see quilts being USED instead of tucked away in closets.

  9. Leslie Newton says:

    I have salvaged a vintage quilt and made pillows from it. My dad was using the quilt as padding when he moved furniture, so I rescued it from his truck and put it to better use. There were many places where the fabric was completely gone. Some people have chided me for cutting the quilt, but for me it is a way to share my heritage!

  10. Helena says:

    Thats a great idea a way to re-use an item, you can find some well love quilt in thrift stores too.

  11. Lynne in NC says:

    Awesome idea! I’ve gotta try this one for sure. Thanks!

  12. Whistlepea says:

    The Grand Revival link is leading to Martha Stewart. I must go google it!

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