I think I've said this before, but arts and crafts aren't exactly my thing. Drawing stick figures, okay. Crocheting, yes, but only rectangles. I sewed a quilt and some skirts back in high school, but haven't attempted more than basic mending jobs for years. So it still kind of boggles my mind that I suggested that I make Christmas stockings for the family. The insanity doesn't even end there: I volunteered to decorate them with appliquéd white satin silhouettes, a technique I have admired for years but have never once attempted.
Maybe Matt knows how many hours I spent working on the silly project today-- I don't want to know. After far too long spent trying to freehand a stocking pattern, tracing and painstakingly cutting out shapes on the satin, and learning to use the satin zigzag stitch on the machine (sewing machines have a special stitch just for edging satin! Who would have guessed?), the first silhouette has been safely attached to it's fleece.
I did my own first, so I could have a little more practice before doing the others (I.e. so that theirs will hopefully look better). The other two should actually be easier: Little Bear's star of Bethlehem is all straight lines, and Matt's bell is a simple shape with no tight turns. My angel had all manner of corners and curved edges to maneuver around! It's not perfect, but it went pretty darn well for a first attempt.
UPDATE: All three appliqués are done! The star was actually the hardest, because my bobbin thread broke and the machine kept insisting on making knots all the way up and down one ray. I'll have to go back by hand and fix it up a bit.
I'm pretty critical of them, of course; it's my own work. Matt thinks they look great, though, so I'm going to be satisfied and move on to the next step: sewing up the stockings themselves.