The Art of Needlepoint Christmas Stockings

Reader Miranda is our guest blogger today, sharing with us her stunning needlepoint artistry and a family story to match. Her words. Her photos. Take the stage Miranda. We are all in awe of your talent!

My maternal grandmother began making needlepoint stockings for us when I was about three and my twin brothers were newly born. Eventually she made one for my mother and father as well. When I married and started my own home and family, I was shocked to learn that my mother said I could not have my stocking, and would have to make my own! I hadn’t done any needlework since middle school or earlier, so I was worried if I could manage a stocking. I tested the waters with a belt for my husband, and bought him a stocking for his first Christmas with our family (pre wedding):
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Next, I coughed out the $$$ for a hand painted canvas and fibers, using myself as the guinea pig. I managed to finish it in about a year, but I didn’t try anything too fancy. It is Santa, obviously, flying over my hometown, which is pretty cool. If you’ve spent any time in this small town, you’ll recognize it.
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The Christmas when I was pregnant with my first I purchased a canvas for him and for my husband. I think my mother may have purchased the one for my son, because I probably would have chosen something less religious. I love Jesus, but it’s not about his body, for me. Anyhow, it took me ten (!!!) years to finish. I went rogue on the night sky stitch, then couldn’t remember what I did to match and finish it, and I was really stumped on how to give the angel wings an ephemeral quality. My son finally got it in the year he leaned we help Santa out…happily, though, he chose the word at the top, an apt reminder.
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So, the stocking I had purchased for my husband, became destined for my second son. He was five when I started, so he watched the whole process and gave me input on colors and stitches. Hence, it is a bit extra sparkly and bordering on overworked. But! I finished it in two years this time 😀the beard was the most vexing, along with that clock! I’m most pleased with the trim on Santa’s suit. Those ante hundreds of little French knots, giving it a fluffy and sparkly texture.
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In the meantime, my mother passed away, and I laid claim to my childhood stocking, used for my mother-in-law when she visits, as its girlish:
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I also claimed my mom’s stocking, which I am trying to get my husband to use. But he loves a good 🥕 nose on a snowman, so he is still loving the factory made from LL Bean.
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I think I also have my dad’s stocking, but it hasn’t materialized from the attic. Additionally, I have my grandmothers leftovers and I’ve finished a couple of ornaments but the store wants $90 each to sew them up for the tree, so I’m shopping for a better option. First one stitched by my Gran, next two by me. Merry Merry!
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Bravo Miranda. Thanks for sharing this.

11 thoughts on “The Art of Needlepoint Christmas Stockings

  1. Beautiful “Miranda”. 🙂

    My effort to needlepoint one Christmas stocking decades ago was so bad I didn’t have it finished. Needlepoint is not in my wheelhouse. Nor is knitting.

  2. Needlepoint and knitting are making a comeback in my children’s generation (30s). My daughter wants to needlepoint a stocking for her son so I forwarded this post to her to get some ideas. They are very time consuming and frustrating, expensive too, but so rewarding when hung.

    Thanks Miranda for telling us the family story behind the stockings.

  3. My wife bought ones from Lands End and they look machine made. I love the look of handmade ones, even with off kilter or bad stitching. Way to go Miranda.

    1. Yeh, the store bought ones are okay, from a distance. Up close, they do look machine made, well, probably because they are machine made! But hey, not everyone has the time and patience to needlepoint their own.

  4. my wife inherited several handmade needlepoint stockings from her grandmother, stitched in the 1930s. still vibrant in color probably because they were stored in tissue paper all winter in a cedar chest. we treasure them.

        1. We used to have a couple but in downsizing to this house, we gave them away. I regret getting rid of them. My grandmother always had cedar chests at the end of every bed.

  5. Miranda, this is all very impressive and very cool. Thanks for sharing. Do you do Christmas in Florida? I am still not reconciled to a semi tropical Christmas.

    1. So far we tend to go mid January. We spent a couple of Christmases in Lauderdale by the Sea when I was a kid and I still remember them. You’re right, though, it is a bit surreal.

      We have a cedar closet. I should probably store the stockings in there going forward…

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