Thursday, December 05, 2013

Advent Calendar

It's finished, and surprisingly, was on time!  I actually finished it on December 1st, but that still counts!  I LOVE how it turned out.  I think it's beautiful!  I will boast, yes, because this was a big step for me and I'm very proud of myself for diving in and pulling it all off.  

I've never quilted before, which brings with it many new skills - making the binding, attaching it, using a walking foot, working with batting, and many more new steps which involve a lot of math, cutting and careful planning.  I didn't have a pattern, either, so I was trying to figure it all out as I went along.  Thanks to the internet, though, you can pretty much figure out how to do anything!

I really enjoyed making it, especially the quilting sections.  I'm excited to do another quilted project soon!  I'm also really enjoying embroidering these days.  I think it looks so beautiful.  I thought long and hard about how to put the numbers on this calendar and I just kept coming back to embroidery.  I knew it would look the best but I was worried about how long it would take and how tedious it would be.  In the end, it wasn't that bad.  I stitched the numbers onto some cotton ribbon and then sewed it on top of the pockets before attaching them to the background (linen).  


One thing I forgot to include in my plans was a way to hang it.  This never even occurred to me until I was attaching the last side of the binding by hand.  I tried to come up with a last minute attempt but I'm not completely sold on it.  I attached 3 looped tabs under the binding to hold a piece of dowel which I then tied some ribbon to.  I wasn't happy with the way the ribbon hung and the way it pulled on the calender, so I ended up just hanging it over a nail for now.  I'll have to tweak it later.  

I had fun filling the calendars pockets with little surprises.  I tried to do a variety of things - some stickers, stamps, notepads, tiny ornaments, and of course a few chocolates.  But I also included some notes with little messages on them. They say fun things like, make a gingerbread house together, make a snow globe, bake Christmas cookies and go see the Santa Claus Parade.  The girls really like it a lot and look forward to checking the little pocket each morning.  

It was a lot of work, but I know this calendar will be around for a long time, while providing my little girls with lasting memories of all the joy that the Christmas season brings.  I look forward to pulling it out each December and filling it with special little treats for us all to enjoy together as we count down the days until Christmas.  

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