Christmas in July? I am definitely not that person, call me traditional but I like Christmas crafting at Christmas! This week saw lots of Christmas Wish Advent Calendar Panels leaving Homemakery HQ so I popped one aside to do at one point. Who am I kidding it sat there calling me and before I knew it I was Christmas Crafting in July!!
This is one seriously cute little project and I loved making it. The Christmas Wish Advent Calendar Panel handily comes with instructions printed on it. The instructions are quite basic so I thought I would share how I chose to make my advent calendar. I do deviate from the instructions somewhat, namely that the panel proposes using a box pleat so that the pockets have some give at the top so you can pop larger treats in them. I wanted my pockets to lay flat against my panel rather than gape open at the top so that is how I made mine up. Its great this panel is versatile enough that you can make it both ways.
When finished the panel measures 54 by 47 cm and each pocket measures 7cm x 7cm.
Christmas Wish Advent Calendar Panel
1 FQ of backing fabric – I used Snowflakes Blue the only fabric I don’t recommend using is the Christmas Trees as they will go in the wrong direction on the back of the panel.
Warm & White Quilt Wadding
3m Pink Stripe Bias Binding
1m Grey Strip Xmm ribbon
2 Large Wooden Heart Buttons
2805 Aurifil thread
Wooden Dowel (I used a garden bamboo pole which I wrapped in Washi tape).
*UPDATE: I had a few requests for other coordinating fabrics and bias bindings that go well with the advent calendar panel, you can find my suggestions here*
1. First cut out your backing panel by cutting around the green border. Next cut out your pocket strips by cutting around the ecru border.
2. To create your pockets first fold over the top ecru seam allowance and press flat, make sure no ecru shows on the pocket. Once you are happy all the pockets will look ok from the front, tuck under 1/4 inch at the back and iron.
3. Pin the seam down and top stitch in place. Repeat for remaining pocket strips and press.
4. To save time later I then turned under the bottom seam allowance of each pocket strips and pressed
5, Line up all your pocket strips and cut along the dotted line to create your individual pockets
6. With you pockets all cut up fold over and press each side of the pocket
8. Once you are all pinned its time to top stitch the pockets in place
A note on top stitching. The pockets come in 5 colourways red, light pink, light green, light blue and teal. When I started I thought about stitching each colour way with a different thread, then I decided I just wanted to get on with it and sew! I opted for Aurifiul thread 2805 in Robins Egg. It goes really well with the greens and blues and because aurifil thread is so fine its looks absolutely fine on the red and pink.
9. Once your pockets are sewn in place pick out a fat quarter (55 lenghth x50cm width) for the backing fabric and layer right side down, pop your wadding on top and then you advent calendar panel on top right side up, make sure they are all lined up and then pin the layers together.
10. Now for the quilting, if you have a walking foot you will probably want to pop it on your machine, although the warm and white quilt wadding is quite thin so a walking foot isn’t essential. Select a thread for quilting, I carried on using the Aurifil 2805, and quilt the panel however you like. I sewed around the red border and then sewed along the centre of the red border. The centre of the panel will need some quilting. I was going to do straight lines between each row of pockets but in the end I decided to play with the stitches on my sewing machine and opted for a scallop underneath each row of pockets.
11. Once you are all quilted its time to square up your panel for binding. I used the red border as a guide and using my ruler measured 1 1/4 inch from the red border to cut off the excess wadding and fabric.
12. For the bias binding I opted to used pre-made binding in a pink candy stripe to match the pink used throughout the panel. Pin the bias binding in place and sew down the pre-folded line which should measure 1/4 inch from the side.
If you haven’t sewn on bias binding before when you get to a corner stop 1/4 inch from the bottom and backstitch. Remove from the sewing machine Flip the bias binding to right away from the panel to form a diagonal line. Hold that diagonal line in place and flip the bias binding back so it lines back up with the panel. Pop back in your machine and carry on stitching down the line.
Repeat at ever corner. When you have sewn all around the panel I fold the starting piece on a diagonal line and then sewed my end piece of bias binding over the top.
13. Once your bias binding is sewn in place cut off any excess and hand stitch it to the back using whip stitch (there is a great video for whip stitch here).
14. Your panel is now almost finished just time for a few finishing touches! I decided to sew on a couple of wooden heart buttons for decoration
I also sewed three loops of ribbon to the back of the panel to hold a dowel in place.
This makes sure your panel will lie flat when its hung up . To the dowel I then tied some ribbon to form a hanger.
Thats it. Advent Calendar finished!
I really love this project and there are so many ways of personalise it to make it special to you: different bias binding and backing fabric, buttons, ribbons and quilting you really can make this Advent Calendar your own. If you fancy having a go you can find everything you need to make your own Christmas Wish Advent Calendar here
Happy Christmas Crafting and if you make your own Christmas Wish Advent Calendar do link me up, I would love to see it!