Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Advent Calendar

Merry Christmas!


I finished this project last year before my sewing machine jumped off the table and smashed it's face. Needed a bit of reconstruction and tension adjustments before it was up and running again. Yikes!

This was my first, and pretty-much last project for the holidays until I got my machine fixed. So once it was finished it was a huge relief...as well as excitement! (The Advent Calendar - that is!)

This has to be my PROUDEST project! I've done a lot of really tedious, long projects but this was a huge step for me and my sewing career. I didn't know where to start. How to cut a Christmas tree? How to add buttons and rick-rack? Make felt ornaments? And pockets? With numbers? Woah woah woah...now we all need to settle down!

Then, suddenly I found this beautiful pattern/tutorial on A Bright Corner and used it as inspiration before I had a complete panic attack. My sister was asking me to make one, and I had a very limited amount of time. Once I found the image that I liked, I figured I could copy it into my own version and hopefully it would turn out?! AND her Family would love it too! I was counting on this to be the perfect Christmas present. No pressure or anything. They wouldn't be able to use it until the next year anyways....but it was worth a try.

First things first- I ran to store and bought a bunch of fabric and felt. I constructed an entire quilt. Top, middle, and back. Basted and quilted, now onto the next challenge!


I had no template to use or anything as an example. I mean, I've cut, glued, and made Christmas trees before, but I was nervous. I wanted to make sure it was the perfect size and had just the right amount of branches, and such....

My husband and I actually made a poker table out of a card table, staple gun, and green felt. We ended up having about a yard of green felt leftover. Perfect! I used some tailors chalk to stencil a tree. I folded the felt in half and used the chalk to draw half of the tree onto the felt. Once I was satisfied, I cut the tree out and ironed it onto the quilt using heat n' bond. After that was set, I appliqued around the edge of the tree using green thread and 1/8 seam allowance. Looking great so far! I was nervous about ironing the felt, but it wasn't made out of plastic so it pressed out fine.

 I wanted to leave room in the upper right-hand corner to add 'The Family Name', so it would be personal and they could continue to use it for years to come. Once the tree was secure, it was time to add the rick-rack. I watched a great YouTube video about how to sew on rick-rack. You want to sew directly in the middle of the ribbon, so it lays flat and even. Go slow and use coordinating thread. It was definitely more fun and satisfying than anything sew far! :) Doesn't it make the perfect tree garland?

The pockets were the most challenging part. I didn't have a clue what I was doing. In fact, I sewed them upside down at first, and had to re-do them a few times. Ideally, I wanted to use the same pocket color, but ran out of the hot green fabric and used some of the red fabric in between....which ended up turning out better than I expected! The pockets were about 2x2 inches, and the end pockets are slightly smaller. Like I said before, No Clue!?! Somehow they all managed to line up perfectly. Hooray!

I gathered an entire jar of white buttons, and thought they would make perfect snowflakes to hang the ornaments on. Buttons are easy and fun to sew! They were a little time-consuming...but definitely makes the Advent Calendar sew much better and hands-on for the kids too. If you want the quilt to look like it is snowing, add some fabric circles or sew extra buttons around the entire quilt. I stuck to just the tree. Portion out exactly 24 buttons! BAM, DONE!

I bought some stick-on numbers at JoAnn's on clearance. They suck! You can't wash the quilt, and probably the older it gets the more likely they are to lose there stick, and fall off. If you are smart, I would applique or use some permanent heat n bond to solidify the bond. I guess you could always buy more stick-on's? Also, just one pack of numbers wasn't enough, which is why there are red and white numbers. Ha ha! It works just fine. 

Now, onto the ornaments. I grabbed some polyester felt from JoAnn's Fabric store in every color. I also printed a template here to use as an example. They helped, but made it harder than necessary... There are a lot of little details that were hard to cut and glue perfectly. For example, the candy cane, holly, and Santa! I think the best part is that they are all handmade with LOVE. Even down to the MSU present and Mom and Dad mittens! I just cut out pieces of felt and glued them together using a hot glue gun. Added a green ribbon to use for hanging.

Santa, Candy, Gingerbread Man, Ornaments, Stocking, Mittens.....Oh My! And don't forget about the STAR! That is the most important part, in my opinion. What I am unsure about is whether you wait until the end to put it on the tree, or is it the beginning? What do you do? Here is a close-up of all the ornaments hanging on the tree.


Advent Calendar 

This advent calendar turned out so good! It was completed November 23, 2014. Here is it this year at my sisters' adorable house! It looks wonderful hanging next to all the Christmas decor. Her kids love picking an ornament to hang each day of the month. 
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Can't wait to see what 2016 has to bring! Thank you to all of those who have supported me and my sewing habits! I Love You...


No comments:

Post a Comment