Equestrian Christmas Stockings
I began the horse embroideries for these stockings in a sewing class. They were to be for pillow cases, and I used my own original image instead of the "canned" image they wanted me to use in class. When I got home, I embroidered out a second stallion in a different manner, and then created a smaller mare. After that, I set the embroideries aside. I just didn't feel like they were appropriate for pillow cases because they would just wear out or become damaged. The embroideries had taken me too much time to make; they were too special. Perhaps I could later incorporate them in a quilt.
As the holidays approached, I realized the embroideries would be appropriate for a small family whose life is based around equestrianism. They would make perfect bands for their Christmas stockings. So I set about finding the perfect fabrics to go with the bands and began pantographing (quilting on a short-arm machine). I used fun, fanciful motions and words and sparkling, holographic threads. For example, Stallion contains the word "fun" and Mare, the word "love."
For the child, I concocted a pony embroidery, which I appliqued onto the top band in the shape of a heart. I further personalized the socks by embroidering names and special images on the band backs. I made a pattern for the socks, cut them out of the quilted fabric, and sewed the bands on top. I sewed the socks together and added binding and ties to the tops. They were done and crafted to hold up for centuries. Mission accomplished!
Salli McQuaid, December 2007