Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Count Down to Christmas

T'was the night before Christmas, well it's not that far off. When I was little my mom had an advent calendar for me to count down to that special day. When my kids were young I carried on the tradition with them. A couple of years ago I made one for each of my kids homes. I then decided that this year Grandma needed one for her home so this is what I created. This was a lot of work; but also a lot of fun.
1/2 yard front
1/2 yard back
1 yrd green for tree
fat quarter for bag
fat quarter for tree trunk or just use scrapes
1 yard of heavy pellon
1/2 yard of heat and bond
2 yards of rick rack to trim your tree.
scraps for applique words
1 1/2 ribbon for your numbers
For the ornaments:
I used 1 pkg small clothes pin.
1 1/2 yards ribbon
24 Christmas buttons

Lets get started; you will want to do this in sections;
Sew back and front together with heavy pellon in between.

Cut your tree out. Cut two of each branch section (a front and a back) and sew together with heavy pellon in between. Repeat and make three branch section. See picture.

I put 3 button holes on the bottom section, 2 in the middle section and 4 on the top. Theses buttonholes will be used to hang the ornaments on. You can decide how many and where you want them. The rest of the ornaments will hang off the edges. Sew the rick rack onto the bottom of each section.

Cut your trunk out of the brown fabric  3"x5" cut 2 fabric & 1 pellon

Cut a 6"x7" piece out of your red for your bag. Fold down 1" on the top and fold each side over 1/2" to create a pocket. Do a stitch along the top to create a 1" casing. Thread a 4" piece of elastic and secure at each end. You can make a little bow from leftover ribbon to put in the center top of the bag.

Now lets assemble the advent calendar;

Place bag in lower left corner sew on three sides to create a pocket. Above the bag and in the middle of your background fabric place the trunk of tree and sew into place.
Then add the bottom branch of tree, then middle, then top. Sew each section before adding the next. When sewing the branches on just sew down the 2 outsides. Leave the bottom open so that you can hang your ornaments off.

Once the tree has been placed added your "ho ho ho" or what ever you want it to say. This is done with cutting each letter out of fabric and attached with heat and bond. Trace your letters onto the smooth side of your heat n bond and then iron the rough side of the heat n bond to the wrong side of your fabric. Once you have it pressed on cut the letters out and arrange them how you want them. Press them into place and iron onto your background. Use your favorite applique stitch to keep them in place.
Repeat this same process to make the numbers. I used ribbon to make my #'s and I didn't stitch them in place but you can if you want to make them a little more secure.

To make your ornaments cover each clothspin with ribbon and then glue buttons on to the side of the clothspin. Once you have them all done and they are dried put them into the bag you made.

Hang up and count down to that special day. Every day pick an ornament and hang it on the tree on the number for day.

Happy Holidays to all and to all a good night.

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