Thursday, 29 December 2016

It's Christmas

For some this evokes thoughts of turkey, cold weather and playing in the snow but here in the southern hemisphere it is sunshine and Christmas stocking production time.  For a northern hemisphere girl, who re-located way down south, December 25th will never have that Christmas feeling - the essential ingredients of grey and freezing cold are missing.

So I turn to Christmas stocking production something I started in 2007 so that I could send a little something to friends and family at this sharing time of year.  Production has gradually increased over the years and now 130 sweetie holders are produced, travelling far and wide to the UK, USA and around New Zealand.

For 2016 it was a snowman, with the pretty Van H chocolate insert expertly packed by the staff in Ballantynes pantry department.
For some the 2015 snowman
And for everyone the 2016 snowman
The staff in Ballantynes expect me now and are not phased by the strange request for four chocolates carefully packed in cellophane to fit into the sweetie holder. They even offer creative advice and suggestions for next years sweetie holder. This is very helpful because after nine years the ideas are starting to run thin.  Well not the ideas exactly just ideas which can be produced en masse in a reasonable amount of time (about 4 weeks of weekends and during the week too if panic sets in).

The 2016 snowman was produced in a number of places around New Zealand...
At home on the Bernina 830
At the hotel in Wellington on the Bernina 210
Away for the weekend with Dorrie the Singer Featherweight
The view whilst sewing on Dorrie
The names were embroidered on the large at home machine.  Even this takes more time than you plan for. Although it does have the advantage of continuing by itself whilst you are doing other things (apart from when the thread breaks).

And sweetie holders from years past...
Elf stocking 2008
Santa boot 2012
Christmas present 2013
Santa sock 2014
The 2007 Christmas stocking was slightly different: (i) it was produced on my embroidery machine using the sock outline and technique from The Patchwork Stocking by Jim Suzio; (ii) some were personalised with embroidered initials; (iii) I only made 42 for those in NZ; (iv) I made two for us.
Our 2007 stockings - reused every year
If you wondered what you could do with 9-years of Christmas sweetie holders here is a festive display created by one of the recipients.

Now what shall I do for the 2017 design - answers on a postcard please.


  1. It's an amazing achievement every year. As one of the lucky recipients we look forward to getting these stocking each year and the tree now always has a selection of stockings from the previous years. For next year how about a tree or a candy cane, might be doable with a red and white stripe fabric cut in the right. direction

    1. It is sometimes uncanny how in tune we are. Not that I'm revealing any clues about next year's design - I may still surprise you.