As soon as WoollyDaze and her husband announced they were expecting, I knew that Little Woolly should, one day, have an Aunty-made advent calendar of his very own (with the expectation that it be shared with future siblings). I also knew that knitting more than half an advent calendar was a route to madness – though making the first version (Ravelry link) was challening and fun, and we’re pleased with the result, I have no desire to repeat the slightly fiddly process. So when pre-printed fabric advent panels came into stock in my local fabric shop last Christmas, I did a little happy dance and promptly bought a panel and all the bits needed to make it up. And in the paper bag it languished until September this year, when it became evident that it wasn’t going to make itself.
The first step was to take advice from my sewing advisor-cum-mum, who supplied sewing threads in the right colours and suggested that hand-sewing would give a tidier result than trying to keep to the lines using a sewing machine. The first part to be made up was the ornaments (a quick win), though I would advise ironing on the Bondaweb on top of a piece of scrap fabric, as my ironing board cover still bears the (slightly sticky) scars. Having admired the ornaments for a couple of months, I faced my fear of doing it all wrong and tackled the quilt top. At idle moments I would pick up the quilt top/wadding/scrap cotton sandwich from where it was draped over the fireguard in the living room, to complete a seam – I started in the centre in the hope that this would help the fabric not to crease with the quilting (not entirely successful). Next I sewed on the buttons, before folding over the edges and backing with a holly-themed fabric that picked up the greens in the quilted top (folding the quilt top and backing fabric to the same size took a long, long, red-wine-assisted time). And finally I finished off the ornaments by sewing 2” pieces of narrow black ribbon to the back of each, and dabbing Fraycheck over the cut ribbon edges to prevent fraying.
As you can see from the pictures, I ran out of time and the hanging mechanism is currently a skirt hanger, but I intend to rectify this at Christmas. Some wooden dowelling cut to width and attached to the back (or inside the top, if I’m feeling patient) should do the trick.
WoollyDaze and I were careful when seeking out the knitted advent calendar pattern for our nephew that we wanted to create an item to mark the passing of the days without creating the expectation of daily trinkets or chocolate. Credit is due to Nancy Halvorsen for designing such a jolly Santa and I hope Little Woolly enjoys counting down for many years to come.
Nancy Halvorsen’s instructions:
- 24 red ½” buttons
- 13” x 17” heavy weight fusible web
- Black felt
- Black crochet thread
1. Iron the fusible web paper side up onto the wrong side of the ornaments following manufacturer’s directions. Let cool.
2. Cut the ornaments apart leaving some cream border around each ornament.
3. Arrange the ornaments onto the black felt and fuse with your iron following manufacturer’s instructions.
4. Cut the ornaments out just inside of the black ornament outline, so all of the cream fabric is removed.
5. Cut twenty-four pieces of crochet thread approximately 2” lng. Fold in half and hot glue the ends to the top back of each ornament to form the hanging loop.
6. Sew 24 red ½” buttons to the tree on the quilt at each red berry.
Advent Quilt: Add borders, batting and backing to advent quilt as desired. Quilt as desired. Cut three 4 ½” squares for loops to hang the quilt. Fold the squares in half with the right sides together. Stitch the edge opposite the fold. Turn and press. Fold in half with raw edges together. Baste or pin to the top edge of the quilt, matching raw edges. Position one loop at the center of the quilt, and place the other two loops 1 ¼” in from the raw side edges. Bind quilt in your favourite method.*
*This instruction implies that one has made a quilt previously and therefore *have* a favourite method…
Love it – Where did you get the material for the Santa Advent calendar?
Hi, the fabric came from Masons in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Website here: http://www.masonsneedlecraft.co.uk/zcart/