Monday, December 1, 2014

Advent Calendar

It's finally time to pull out Christmas decorations! I try to resist Christmas decor until Thanksgiving, because Thanksgiving feels like the cusp of fall and winter to me. Over the past few years, I've been making Christmas decorations for our home, and I love how handmade makes it feel all the more homey and Christmasy. I'll post about some of my other projects later, but today I'm sharing my advent calendar.

I made this advent calendar as part of a class at American Quilting one summer. I was pregnant at the time, and ended up being very sick after the class, so I didn't finish it for a few months, and it wasn't ready until January 2013. And then my husband and I were traveling during most of December 2013, so even though we hung it, we didn't actually use it as an advent calendar. I'm excited to finally do the advent calendar thing with my girls!

American Quilting held the class and based the pattern off of this one on Sew Mama Sew I believe. They adjusted it to make things a bit more even and easy to sew. I used Christmas Countdown fabric by Sweetwater that I had been hoarding for a few years, plus a polka dot fat quarter I had. I used a different line for the snowflake background fabric because I hadn't bought the cream snowflake from the same line, and it was obviously impossible to find. That was such a darling line!

I chose to cut out the circles from one of the fabrics for the numbers, and I appliqued them on. I can handle circles with the template applique method.

I had a really hard time hanging it last year; I don't have a lot of experience hanging quilts, and I cut a yardstick down to size, but the command hooks I had didn't work with the yardstick. I'm going to pick up some smaller ones this year, and I bought a narrow dowel to try, so we'll see. It seems to be working. If you have tips for hanging, I'd love to hear them!

I didn't know any long-arm quilters when I had this done, so I dropped it off at American Quilting to have one of their employees do it. I LOVE the swirls, and they were so careful to not quilt any of the pockets closed. That's obviously very important.

And, I've debated about what to do for our advent calendar for years, but finally figured it out. I bought a kit from 25 Days of Christ, and finished the ornaments a few weeks ago. There are 25 ornaments, and each ornament symbolizes a story from Christ's life. There's a booklet to go along with it that gives the scripture references. I plan to put the ornaments in the pockets and we'll use that as our daily advent calendar activity. I'm really excited to start a more Christ-centered Christmas tradition. Santa is fun, but I feel like Christ really makes the season special.

Completion date: January 2013

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