The grizzly bear project – part 2

It’s been a while since my first blog about this piece “The grizzly bear project – part 1”. Lots of studio and vacation time and not much writing time!

Stitching went fairly smoothly on this project, although it is always an adventure! I began with the bear and started with a light orange thread which I hoped to create highlights with. I ended up pulling most of this out and keeping only what was on the bear’s face. It didn’t blend to my liking. Pulling out free motion stitching is never fun and I avoid it if possible but this just had to be done. I used a variety of thread colors and a long directional stitch that I’ve used for many textures including tree bark, flames and now, wet fur. After that I used an all over stipple stitch for the top background to keep it in place. For the shoreline I used a pebble stitch to show the smooth medium sized rocks that salmon like for spawning. The water is a straightforward horizontal curvy stitch that reflects some of the churning and rippling waters. These are some in process pictures.

 

One of the things I like about this technique is that it is possible to make changes even after the stitching is done. Late changes included:

  • I made some slight alterations in the grey area defining the boundary between water and forest. I also added an additional piece of tulle to the dark shape on the left of the photo. This was done by positioning fabric and tulle where I wanted it – making the tulle a large overlay. I stitched around the edges of the tulle then cut it to the stitching, and then put in the topstitching to connect with the stitching already done.
  • I also adjusted the shape of the bear’s mouth and details of the salmon as it just didn’t look right to me. The salmon was not at all clear in the photo so is more or less made up – it’s also bright pink which is not a realistic color, but then neither is the bear! I did this the same way, by adding fabric and tulle on top, including some sparkly tulle and metallic thread for this salmon. I also added some detail to the bear’s eye which I think gives her more personality.

     

  • Final changes included adding the water streaming from the bear. Although I had positioned tulle for this in the initial collage, it blended into the background when stitched over and I wanted it to stand out more. I stitched some bits of sheers and tulle between two layers of water soluble stabilizers then washed out the stabilizer, leaving some if the starch in so that it was a bit stiff. I then cut and positioned these pieces on top and added more stitching to both keep it in place.

I took my time with this one and I’m happy with the result! This quilt looks very different in different lighting situations as you can tell by the photos.Bear complete

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The grizzly bear project – part 1

In 2014 we went to Knight Inlet, stayed on a floating lodge, and were taken on excursions to view grizzly bears fishing for salmon. It was amazing! Most of the bears were mothers and babies, or young bears.  The lodge is near a river that empties into the inlet – which is deep and narrow like a fjord. The salmon run starts in August and runs through the fall. There were so many salmon the water rippled with their bodies close to the surface. In spite of the numbers, it wasn’t always easy for the bears to catch them. We were told that grizzlies evolved on the prairies and have claws made for digging in the ground. The youngest ones don’t even like water.   The bear I chose for my quilt had just caught a salmon after many failed attempts. He or she looked very pleased! I have been wanting to make an art quilt to remind me of this experience ever since.

I started by selecting a photo out of the many we took. Here are a few I considered.

 

This is the one I chose.

Bear photo

The photo is in focus and high resolution which means I still have a decent photo once it’s cropped. I used a projector to blow up the image and traced it onto 24″ by 36″ flip chart paper.  I added in the main features and areas where colour changed. I’m always experimenting with the fabric collage process. I decided to reverse the image which was easy to do by flipping the drawing over. Since I use magic marker to draw it, the image shows on both sides.

Bear Drawing

I thought I could save some effort by using a fusible interfacing as the base for the collage as this worked well on “Ocean Crossing“.  This resulted in a very flimsy bear and for some reason it didn’t fuse well either (possibly too many overlaps in the fabrics). I found it difficult to work with on this larger scale.  I cut out the interfaced bear and fused it to a sturdy white cotton using fusible tape here and there. I had originally planned to have the bear as a separate piece, then attach it to a pieced background as I did in Dream of Fields and  Quirky Quail. I changed my mind about this and collaged the background to the cotton.  Once these basics were in place, I switched to using glue for fusing. I would describe this phase as chaotic! By this time the studio is a mess of fabrics scattered about. Some pieces are stuck down, others are still in the auditioning process – sitting on the surface while I decide if they are the right ones or not. I take many photos which enable me to see the work at a distance which helps me to decide if its looking right or not. Some pieces of fabric get glued and then removed (tricky) or covered over (easier but adds to the layers and bulk). There is always a stage where I don’t think its ever going to work. And then, thankfully, I start to like it again.

Here are some “in process” pictures. By the last two photos, I’m starting to like it.  The water is a very bright blue and pink batik covered by a layer of pale yellow sheer fabric which toned it down just enough to suggest water with pink fish in it. The white water at the bear’s feet is the reverse side of a flowered fabric, fussy cut around the grey green leafy sections. I also have some sparkly tulle for water and some cheesecloth on the light parts of the bear.

 

I covered the collaged fabrics with a layer of purple tulle and pinned it so that I could move it off the pressing table which I needed to press the batting and backing fabrics. With the use of some cardboard I was able to move it without folding it and dislodging some precariously positioned bits. I also covered the red flower on the bears chest with a beige one as my sister pointed out that it looked like it had been shot! This is the final look with batting and background, all pinned and ready for stitching. Stay tuned for how that turns out!

Bear layered

Ocean Crossing

I have an old and badly exposed photo that I’m very fond of. I think it is the only photo of my family aboard the HMS Corinthia in 1966 when we emigrated to Canada. My sister, myself and my mother are on deck looking at the coast of Scotland as our ship sails by before heading across the Atlantic. Crossing water feels like an end and a beginning. I remembered this moment when we recently moved from Ontario to British Columbia. We crossed Lake Huron on a ferry in Ontario, and the Strait of Georgia on a ferry to reach Vancouver Island. It seems fitting somehow that water is crossed when such a major change occurs.

This is a small piece measuring about 10 by 12 inches. I started by printing out a digitized copy of the photo and then tracing the main features that I wanted to include. I simplified the boat significantly and included only the deck and railings. I added details to my drawing from a close examination of the photo. My sister is wearing stirrup pants and sandals and standing on tiptoe to rest her elbows on the railing. I am standing exactly the same way as my mother, except that where she is leaning on the railing watching the landscape, I am standing back a bit with my hand on the railing. I think it was early morning.  My Dad took the photo.

 

I enlarged the drawing on my printer until it was a reasonable size. I had a stretched canvas that I planned to use to frame this and wanted it to be a specific size – not something I usually do.

I worked on the background first.  It is fused appliqué and the ocean has a layer if blue sheer fabric over it to add shine. Before I could position the top railing, I needed to have the figure of my sister done so that I could make it the right height for her to rest on. I traced each figure onto freezer paper and then cut out the clothing, hair etc and fused it to light weight fusible interfacing. It reminded me of the paper cut out dolls I used to play with as a child! This worked well as I could try out different options for positioning everything.

 

I added the batting and backing and free motion stitched the background before adding the figures. I fused them in place with bits of misty fuse and then stitched around them before adding details of shading and texture. I admit I removed some of the initial stitching around them as I didn’t like the appliqué stitch I chose. If I did this again I would simply stitch all around the edges which is what I ended up doing in the end. I also struggled with the framing. The quilt is the size of the frame with an extra piece of fabric around the edges to fold over and staple on the back. There is too much bulk from the quilted part at the edges of the frame.  Next time I will try having the quilt at least a quarter inch less than the frame all the way around so that the folded edge is not quilted. I did read several techniques on how to do this but I need to try a few for myself to see what I prefer.

I used a scribble stitch on my bulky white sweater and I like the texture it created. With thread sketching I added a bit of shading and detail but not a lot. I’m quite happy with the result.

Ocean Final

Interconnections

These two quilts continue the theme of hidden depths that I’ve been exploring. These are  about the connections and communication that we are generally oblivious to. I’ve chosen trees as the main subjects and the connections can be seen mainly in the background. Both were accepted into the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery Fine Arts juried show.

For both I started with a rough sketch or two which came together in the final full size drawing. Here are a few of the early sketches. They are messy, unfinished and done mainly as an idea generation and confirmation exercise.

These are the full size drawings. Each quilt is approximately 12″ by 33″.

Full size drawing

 

Interconnections 1

The tree top and the ground on which it stands are made from loose threads ends that I collect as I’m sewing. This project used up most of a year’s collection of thread ends! They were sandwiched between two pieces of water soluble stabilizer then free motion stitched. I dissolved the stabilizer under a cold tap, resulting in a lacy collection of threads that more or less stays together. The background is a synthetic scarf that I was given by a hotel in Nepal as a welcome gift. It’s light and inexpensive and started out beige. I took it to several dyeing classes and used it to mop up excess dye from dyeing containers. The only colour that took was red and the scarf turned out to be pink. It’s fused onto a greenish mottled batik that you can see the edges of in the quilt. I made a pattern for the trunks and which are tubes which I then intertwined with each other. An interesting skein of yarn, partly consisting of unspun wool forms the roots and trunks of the smaller trees.  I made the mistake of initially trying to quilt the tree top directly on top of the connected threads. My presser foot quickly became entangled so I added a piece of tulle on top to create a smooth surface for stitching. There are a few bits and pieces on top of that and some of the threads escape the tulle on the edges to allow more texture to show through. The yellow circles representing unseen communication are made from a piece of hand-dyed silk.

Interconnections 2

The tree top are scraps of batiks captured under tulle (lesson learned!) The trunk is a single batik that I thought bore a good resemblance to cedar bark. The islands are made from eco dyed wool. The wool was interesting to quilt as it stretches a bit adding to the bumpy texture. I added a layer of batting under the tree top and the islands to provide more texture. The background is a piece of hand dyed silk. It came out of a chemical dyeing process looking a bit pale and blotchy, so I added it to an eco dyeing batch as well. The result was a very inconsistent set of pale colors. As a piece of silk I though it quite ugly, but as a background where sea and sky are indistinguishable as is often the case when there is rain, mist and fog, it worked perfectly. The communication circles are more subtle in this one and there is a sense of distance. I used some silver and gold tulle’s to add a bit of sparkle. Interconnections 1 is a bit lightweight for it’s length and needed weights in the bottom to hang better. I added a heavier weight stabilizer to Interconnections 2 and it certainly hangs straight and feels much heavier!

 

I’m quite happy with how these turned out. Working with a variety of materials can be challenging but produces a greater variety of textures and sheen in the pieces. I don’t know which I like best.  I think Interconnections 1 has a happy, joyful feel about it, and Interconnections 2  has a somewhat sombre mood.

Quirky Quail

Ever since a family of California quail started visiting our garden regularly I’ve been wanting to make a fabric collage featuring quail.  I was trying to think of ideas for a show themed “Black and White” at our local gallery but what I really wanted to do were quail. So I set about making black and white quail, assuming that grey tones and a bit of taupe here and there would be ok. I started by selecting two photos where the quail’s pose looked interesting to me. The photos were not the best but cropping and changing to black and white helped to identify the main features. I spent quite a bit of time fiddling with the photos and wasn’t all that satisfied with the results. (Now I’m researching photo editing software again.) I printed the photos and then used a fine tip sharpie to outline the main areas. Then I projected this onto a wall to enlarge it and traced around the main features.

 

At first I thought I would just use black and white fabrics that I had on hand and stitch details with black and white thread. I wasn’t very happy with the fabrics I had as most of it involved black or white flowers. So I started rummaging through my stash and brought out some “failed”  fabrics from an eco dyeing class. My favourite turned out to be a silk that turned grey from too much over-dyeing (it had been yellow at one point). I loved the way this looked in the quail’s breast. My second favourite was an old linen that someone in our family had embroidered on the edges. It was meant for a dresser top but wasn’t very interesting so I took it to the dyeing class, where it turned into something I would never put on a dresser. This piece made lovely textured wings and feet for the quail.  I continued to experiment with different fabrics and incorporated some bits of lace curtains to add white to the lower body.  I also used  bits of black tulle netting to add shadows and a few bits of white tulle and sheers to add highlights.

 

I created the quail on white muslin with stabilizer behind it. The pieces are lightly glued or fused in place with bits of misty fuse or stitch witchery. Then I covered the birds with a bigger piece of tulle – silver with a bit of sparkle in it – and stitched all the pieces in place. I cut them out with a small white edge around them, more on the lighter side than in the shadows. This is very similar to how I made Dream of Fields. The quail got to hang around together on the design wall for a while but I knew I wanted to make two separate quilts – one would have been quite large.

Quail IP5

I’m still not completely sure that I like the starkness of the black background I chose (it’s a batik so not pure black) but it can always be changed later as the quail are only attached at their edges.  I added pieces of tulle to make a ground for them to stand on. This is not meant to look like night, or to be realistic . The contrast is to emphasize the subject’s personality. Quail do have lots of personality! They hang out in family groups where one or two of them is appointed as a lookout while the others look for seeds or take dust baths in the vegetable garden. I saw the entire family follow the lookout one day as he boldly strode towards a cat that was slowly creeping toward them. After a good telling off (quail to cat), the whole family flew away. The cat was suitably chastised.

I enjoyed using a variety of fabrics in this piece. I’ve previously used mainly cottons. I fused a lightweight stabilizer to the back of the silk as it’s difficult to work with otherwise. I like the way tulle makes shadows but it does have its drawbacks. Small bits of it are so light they will blow away if you breathe on them. Also glue of any kind comes right through it (my craft iron is a bit of a mess now). You also can’t really iron the finished piece to set the stitches on the front – the tulle may melt. It can be pressed from the back so it was helpful to do all the stitching on the quail before the quilt sandwich was made. My next quail will likely have much more colour and I intend to return to my handed fabrics for inspiration!

 

Skimming the surface

This is the second quilt in this series about hidden depths and the vastness of things. The first was called Thoughts and a few pearls of wisdom and featured earth. This one features water. In many of the guided meditations I’ve listened to there is the idea of thoughts and the mind being waves on the surface of the ocean that is our true self.  Thoughts are transient and small compared to what lies underneath but they demand a great deal of our attention.

I started this little quilt with a pretty good idea of how I wanted it to look.  From experience I should know that this is a bad thing.  My work always flows more easily when chance and serendipity play a role!

I started much the same as the last one, with a rough sketch which I then drew freehand onto stabilizer. The sky I coloured with Inktense pencils on a piece of white cotton sheet left over from another project. All my blue fabrics were too bold. The ocean started with a piece of hand dyed silk that was a mottled grey green. I later decided it was too consistent and added some wave shapes with black tulle and then covered the whole piece of silk with a blue tulle that had a few sparkles in it. I really liked the effect this created – more interest and flashes of sunlight on the water!

water in process

working on the water

The bottom section started with fused appliqué as with the last one. I managed to trace the image backwards – twice! (If you’ve worked with Steam-a-seam you’ll know it has to be traced on reverse side assuming I could figure out which one that is).  I decided I could live with a reverse image as the sketch was just a guide to flowing lines and could easily be varied, but it wasn’t coming together as I’d hoped. I finally gave up the detailed piecing and placed a piece of blue poly satin lining fabric under the sky and water and used it as a backdrop to the rest. I cut up the fusible bits I had made and arranged them without looking at the drawing. Once I abandoned the pattern and just played with what was lying around it came together in a matter of minutes!

 

Free motion stitching this also gave me some trouble which I think had to do with too many layers of fusible and not enough heat to melt the glue. One thing I’ve learned from working with tulle is that it’s not all the same. Some of it is quite sturdy under heat, and some of it melts if the iron get near it, making quite a mess! Turning down the temperature of the iron and using a silicone pad made it harder to melt the glue on the steam-a-seam. My needle got a bit gummy but it turned out all right in the end. I faced this with whole cloth as before and got a bit more adventurous with the shape.

I’m not sure what’s next, but I think fire and space need to be represented…

Water Complete

Quilt Completed

Thoughts and a few pearls of wisdom

That’s the name of this quilt. I’ve been doing a lot of meditation lately and the idea for a quilt series came to me. The theme is of the vast amount of our world and our minds that is unknown. It’s huge and bits and pieces of it bubble to the surface every now and then to impact our lives. This quilt is hopefully the first of several. I’m really bad at working in a series as  I generally lose interest after the first one and move on to something else. Although looking back I can see that my work on trees (see Quilting Trees and trees) could be considered a series.

I started with a drawing – several actually to remind me that it’s a series. I also coloured this drawing to try to get an idea of how much contrast was needed. Then I drew the image onto stabilizer – not exactly like the original drawing. I knew it would evolve over the course of the quilt so just started with the basic shapes. I assembled the full quilt sandwich – backing fabric, stabilizer, batting, more stabilizer. I fused the bottom layers with misty fuse. I pieced the top part of the quilt – sky, grass and a thin layer of soil. Then I traced bits of my drawing onto paper backed fusible (Steam-a-seam) and fused them in place. Somewhere along the line this became less organized and bits were added, moved around, layered on top, etc until I was happy with it. Only when I took a picture of it did I realize that from a distance it kind of looks like cliffs! I had originally envisioned a lot of texture in these layers but decided that the scale of this piece (about 13″ by 17″) didn’t lend itself to that. Maybe I’ll try this theme on a grander scale sometime!

Because all the layers were fused I was able to free motion stitch and add details with very little trouble. I’m learning that fusing is a very good way to ensure that thread painting goes well,  but requires lots of Misty Fuse! At the end I stitched a few embellishments onto it including some pearl beads which led to the name.

 

I feel like this is only a start on exploring this theme and I hope I do manage to continue it. I’ve only just scratched the surface, so to speak.

P1030291

Memory quilt – George

A little while ago my daughter’s pet rabbit, George, passed on.  My daughter rescued him from an uncertain future and loved him for several years, well into his old age.  He had a good life and although his later months involved illness and disability, my daughter and her boyfriend took great care of him. They set him upright when he lost his balance, and helped him to eat his favourite foods when he had trouble reaching his food bowl. I created this quilt for my daughter to celebrate his life.

The photo the quilt was based on was taken not that long ago, when George was not at his best, but still showing interest in everything around him.

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I traced the 8 by 10 photo and then placed a grid over it and freehand enlarged it to twice the size, outlining only the major features. Then I traced it again the 8 by 10 size and shaded it to better understand how the light and fur colouring played out. This helped me to choose fabrics and provided a reference for the later stages of collage when I added shade or light as needed. I also created a digital black and white version of the photo to use as a reference. I find I am still not that good at actually seeing the shadows and light, and playing with the digital images as well as drawing helps me to see it better. Interestingly, looking at the quilt in progress and the images in a low light setting actually helped with this. I must remember to turn off a few of the bright lights in my studio next time to get a different view of what I’m working on.

Next came my favourite fabric collage technique. For this piece I also used some tulle and sheer fabrics for shading and blending of colours. To finish it I used a lot more thread painting than in my previous two pet portraits, adding some of the dark and light features with thread.

I like to think George looks old and wise in this quilt portrait.  We will fondly remember him for a long time.

IMG_1199

George on my kitchen floor 2 years ago 

Busy Times

It’s been a long time since I posted anything! December last year- Christmas Boots. It’s not that I haven’t been working, just a bit busy. Since then I have bought a house, had two eye surgeries, sold a house, sold a cottage and travelled almost 5000km to my new home on the west coast of Canada! Phew. In between recovering from surgery, packing and moving I have managed to finish a few projects.

I made memory quilts for 3 of my spouse’s children whose mother passed away last year. This is the one wall hanging I made.

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I took a fabulous course on card making with the London Canadian Embroiderers Guild.

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Made a quilt inspired by fossils for my grand-daughter, Margaret, who inherited part of my fossil collection when I moved.

Brachiopod

And I finally finished another Debra Wirsu course that I signed up for ages ago and had to postpone due to everything else. I always like looking at the back of thread-painted work as well as the front.

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It’s good to be back in the studio again after a long hiatus!

Christmas Boots

This is my first attempt at writing a “how to” blog, and hopefully the instructions will make sense! I’ve been making these Christmas boots for several years. Many of my friends and family have received one or more as a gift, often with a bottle of wine which fits perfectly inside! I’ve had lots of practice and I think I’ve found the easiest and quickest way to make them so I thought I’d share it with you.

Attached are my two patterns for the bottom part of the boot. One features a flat bottom, with optional shaping of the heel and the other has a high heel which can be chunky or stilleto depending on what you like.

These boots can be made of any fabric you like, but here are a few suggestions and tips.

  1. The bottom part of the boot looks good in a fabric that looks like leather , suede or patent leather. Having said that, some fake leathers and fabrics with sequins or other super shiny bits  will melt if the iron gets even close to them! Be very careful not to press seams if using these fabrics.
  2. The tops look good in shiny fabrics such as satin lining, brocade or lamé.  I stay away from really stretchy fabrics because they annoy me (I don’t have a serger or anything that deals well with them)!
  3. If using lamé  or another thin or brittle fabric, fuse light weight interfacing to the back of it to stabilize it and prevent fraying.
  4. These boots started as a way to use up odd shapes of shiny fabric leftovers. In keeping with the initial idea, I make them from scraps, fabric remnants and sale fabrics (usually acquired right after Halloween!)
  5. I like to stuff the foot portion of the boot with with batting and fabric trimmings from other projects to keep waste to a minimum. It makes the boots heavier than using polyester fibrefill but keeps the scraps out of the landfill (for a time anyway). I usually use polyester batting scraps or cotton wool for the pointed toes and the stiletto heel as it’s difficult to get anything else in the tiny space.

Step  1

Cut out the foot portion of the boot using one of the patterns on doubled fabric, so you have two pieces (or cut one the reverse of the other). The pattern prints onto an 8.5 by 11 piece of paper. You can extend the heel past the pattern if you want it higher.

boot-pattern-a High heel

boot-pattern-b No heel

Step 2

Cut a 14 inch piece of cotton batting for the base of the leg portion of the boot. I have the following suggestions and examples on how to complete this. Note that the 14 inch square is a base that will be trimmed later – trimming to about 13 by 13 is good.

Option 1 – cover with a single piece of fabric and free motion stitch. The two samples below show slight variations of this. The gold boot has a piece of dark green lining fabric overlaid with a polyester sheer with Christmas trees on it. I lightly free motion stitched in gold to hold it all together. The silver boot (I love this snakeskin look!) has a purple piece of satin with a strip of the lower boot fabric as a cuff. It’s stipple stitched all over to hold it together.

Option 2 and variations – this option involves cutting strips of assorted fabrics in varying widths and stitching them onto the batting base using a “quilt as you go” method.  In the samples below you can see variations on this approach. The black boot has strips arranged vertically, while the white boot has them arranged diagonally across the base square. In both cases I’ve added a bit of free motion stippling to some of the strips.  Strips can also be arranged horizontally or you could use wedge shaped pieces and alternate the wide and narrow ends of the wedges.

Step 3 – When the top is quilted, trim it to the desired height and  width – I recommend between 12 and 13 inches for width, and 13 inches for the height. Cut a piece of fabric for the lining the same size as the top, plus an inch or two in length (see Step 5 below on this). Lining can be any fabric – you may see the very top of it but not much else. I often use a satin lining fabric in a coordinating colour.

Step 4 – Assembly – Now that you have all of the pieces cut out and the tops quilted, it’s time to put it together and do the final shaping of the boot.

  1. Stitch the two pieces of the foot portion of the boot right sides together from point A to point B as shown below.  You are leaving the back seam open for now. Don’t worry too much about consistency of the seam width, just make sure any shiny fabrics don’t slide too much and miss the seam. Each  boot can and should be unique!boot-pattern-b-picture
  2. Centre point A on the bottom edge of quilted boot top, right sides together. It will not fill the entire width of the top. Make sure it is centred as you will later be folding the boot in half lengthwise to stitch the back seam and you want the edges of both the boot top and bottom to line up when you do that. Stitch the bottom to the top.
  3. Lay the lining piece against the top of the boot top, right sides together and stitch them together.
  4. Now, fold the lining, boot top and bottom back seams right sides together and pin in place. If things have shifted a bit make seam between the  boot top and the lining matches up as this will be the most noticeable. Your stitching line needs to connect the boot top to the ankle in a nice curve. This curve can start about 5 inches before the boot bottom seam to form a shapely calf, or you can make it more gradual starting higher up. You can mark this curve onto the wrong side of your boot top with a fabric marker or you can just wing it! Once it’s stitched, trim away the excess fabric. Don’t attempt to shape the lining to match this. Hopefully this diagram will help! Once you’ve stitched this seam turn the boot right side out – use a tool to poke out the points at the toe and heel if necessary.

final-stitch

Step 5 – Now you need to stuff the boot bottom.  Fold the lining back over top of the boot to keep it out of the way while you do this. Stuff the toe and the stiletto heel first. If you  don’t stuff the tip of the pointy toe, it will fall to the side when a bell is attached, which I think is a nice look.  Once these are filled, add whatever stuffing you want to the rest of the boot to give it some shape and weight.  How far up into the ankle you go is up to you, and the length of your lining fabric. If you don’t stuff the full ankle, allow extra length on the lining to enable your stocking stuffers to get to the bottom!

Step 6 – After stuffing the boot, straighten out the lining. Fold the raw edges in to the wrong side to hide them incorporating a little pleat to narrow the bottom edge. Pin and stitch the edges together on the right side. Push the lining down into the boot. If possible press the top edge of the boot, and then top stitch around it to keep the lining in place. (This is a reason to not make the boots too narrow at the top edge – a 13 inch boot with a 1/2 inch back seam will end up making a circle with a diameter of 6 inches to stitch around.)p1080144Step 7 – Finishing touches! If you want to hang the boot up, add a piece of looped ribbon to the top edge. Stitch it down well but I don’t recommend hanging a boot with anything really heavy in it (like a bottle of wine )! Hand stitch a bell onto the tip of the pointy toe. Add a ribbon around the the ankle if you wish!