Friday, November 22, 2013

A Quick and Easy Advent Calendar

I was shopping with my friend earlier this week. She saw this fabric and loved it. The colors were "purrfect" for her new house for Christmas. But she didn't know what she would do with it. Her daughter already had fabric for a table runner so she reluctantly put it back.

I went back and got 2 yards having no idea what I would do, but knew how much she wanted it. Then I decided an advent calendar was the way to go. OMG - it is November 20th - there's just 10 days before December 1 and Thanksgiving is right in the middle of that! I had to work fast. So this is what I did.

 I cut the fabric in half and put one half aside for the backing. With the remaining half, I made folds to be like rows that were three inches deep. I made 5 rows.

 I then pinned the rows together and stitched both sides to keep the folds together.

I then measured across the a row adding pins approximately 4" or 4 1/2" apart to create 5 pockets in the row.

Next I lined up my pins along the rulers edge on each row. I didn't have time to see if my invisible ink would really be invisible on the white part of the fabric and I knew I was not going to wash it once it was made, so I just "eyeballed" it to get it as straight as I could. You may wish to do it differently, but as time was not a luxury for me, I did what I could.

I sewd one row from top to bottom and then I measured from that stitching and sewed the next row. I only had to sew four rows from the top of the fabric to the bottom of the fabric to make five pockets on each row. Now I know most advent calendars only go to December 24, but I am adding an extra day and I will tell you why later.

Once all the rows were made, it was time to make the numbers. I went to my computer and printed out what looked like to be an easy font to draw.  I found a red fabric in my stash that matched. Fortunately I remembered that I needed to reverse the numbers on my fusible sheets. That would not have been much fun at all to have to redo them all.

This truly was the slowest part as drawing and cutting out the numbers was very painstaking at times. There were numbers everywhere and when I started adding them to the calendar, I realized that I couldn't count as I needed an extra 1, 2 and 0.

Once all the numbers were added, it was time to add the backing. Now I decided that I didn't want to do binding as that takes some time (which I didn't have) so I decided to put it together much like I do the Kennel Quilts for animal shelters. I will give you more information on that after the tutorial.

Using the leftover piece of fabric that I had put aside earlier, I placed it right side up on the table. I then added the advent calendar top with the right side face down and then I added the batting on top of that. I trimmed the batting to fit the fabric. So the right sides of the fabric are together with the batting on top.

 I then stitched around the calendar but left a 16 inch opening at the top so I could turn it and add a sleeve.

I trimmed the corners and then turned it inside out. I added a piece for the sleeve at the top and stitched it on when I stitched the top.

I then quilted the top by outlining some of the trees and I quilted in between each row. The hard part is done. I may add a few sequins or beads on the trees for sparkle, but it will depend on my time. Nevertheless I am very pleased with the way it turned out and how quick and easy it was.

 Before I give it to my friend, I plan on stuffing each pocket with  little candy canes and a note of what the kids can do each day - like give Mom and Dad a hug, take the dogs for a walk - you get the idea. As you see my calendar has 25 days and I plan on adding a note with the reference to the Christmas Story from Luke in the Bible for that day. It is one of my favorite scripture passages from the gospel of Luke, chapter 2 - verses 1 through 20.

Now as to Kennel Quilts for animal shelters - The Quilt Pattern Magazine has all that information and you may find it by clicking here! 

I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and if you make an advent calendar, please share. Thank you and have a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas and Happy & Safe Holidays!


Friday, November 1, 2013

Northern Lights - the 10th Bear in the Bullas Bears Quilt.

This little guy has decorated himself instead of the Christmas tree. He is ready and waiting for Christmas! He is called "Northern Lights" and the 10th and final block in my Bullas Bears BOM.
He is from the art work of famous watercolorist, Will Bullas.

Here is Will's picture:

 Here is my quilt adaptation:


The Bullas Bears BOM is featured in The Quilt Pattern Magazine. This is block #10 and the final block. Bali Hand-dyed Watercolors - Style #1895 from Hoffman Fabrics were used in this quilt as they are just "purrfect" for these bears! Batiks Plus is offering the Fabric Kits. Kreinik Threads is offering a thread kit featuring the speciality threads used with this quilt. 

So how can you join in all this fun? As the pattern is only available through The Quilt Pattern Magazine, all you have to do is SUBSCRIBE today! You will love making these Bullas Bears!