My three boys love advent calendars and I have always wanted to do one for them but have been intimidated by all the pockets and finishing work. I discovered the trusty one seam flying geese block and finally felt confident to try. This is so easy and best of all, you can fill the calendar with what you want...healthy snacks, bible verses about the Christmas story, small toys, whatever!
Each calendar requires:
- 24 Charm Squares (Flurry by Kate Spain)
- approx 100" binding (1/4 yard will yield approximately125" of 2.5" binding or approximately 165" of 2.25" binding)
- 20"x29" rectangle of backing fabric (will give you 1" over overhang on all sides)
- 12 5"x9.5" rectangles for the pockets (1/2 yard will yield 16 pockets easily)
- A fusible web product such as Wonder Under, Steam a Seam, or Heat&Bond
Ric Rac (about 2 2/3 yd per calendar)
Cut your flying geese fabric (I used the solids from the Flurry Collection along with Moda Bella Solid in White into 12 5"x9.5" rectangles. Save all extra fabric for creating your calendar letters.
With this particular charm pack, I first removed all the solid squares and saved them for making calendar letters. I was able to do 3 calendars with 2 charm packs.
Now let's make our one-seam flying geese blocks to serve as our pockets.
Layer in the following order:
- Bottom: 5" charm square, right side facing UP
- Middle: 5"x 9.5" rectangle, folded widthwise with wrong sides facing (right sides out) Your fold should be at the top and the ends of your folded rectangle should line up with the bottom of your charm squares.
- Top: 5" charm square, right side facing DOWN
Now sew a 1/4" seam on the side. The fold of your rectangular fabric should be 1/4" from the top.
Repeat until you have a whole pile of one-seam flying geese ready for pressing. Each calendar requires 12 one-seam flying geese blocks. Each block makes 2 pockets.
Press ONE of your side seams down. Do not press the fold of the rectangular fabric or you will end up with a crease in your geese.
Take your finger and spread your geese fabric out and press.
Now turn your block over and trim any excess geese fabric from the bottom of the block.
Now you can add letters if you wish. I like to do this before I sew up the top because it is a more manageable size if you plan on securing the numbers with stitching. I am going to be using raw edge applique & heat bond. You could also choose to label your calendar with embroidery, fabric crayons/markers, needleturn applique, wool/felt applique. Here is how I chose to do my letters:
Take your leftover fabric and adhere it to a fusible web product according to manufacturer instructions. If you have a die cutter that will work on fabric, you can use this to cut your letters easily. I happened to find one on sale and thanks to Darlene from Insights from SewCalGal for emailing me back and forth until I figured out how to work it!
If you do not have a die cutter, use a number stencil to trace your numbers backwards on the adhesive side of the fabric you have just treated with heat and bond. Cut numbers out and then peel any adhesive paper from each number.
Apply with an iron to your blocks..double check your layout because once these numbers are down, there is no going back. You can use a blanket stitch or zigzag stitch to secure your numbers. My calendar will only be used as a wall hanging so I chose to only secure my letters with tight machine quilting and the fusible adhesive.
Now assemble your blocks. I used a 3 column, 4 row layout. You could also use a 4 row, 3 column layout for a long skinny calendar...choose what is best for the space you are planning to hang your calendar.
Baste & Quilt as desired. DO NOT quilt over your geese. Quilt between them. Trim up your quilt top after quilting.
Add a ric rac as a binding flange if desired. If you hang your calendar with sewing pins like I do, the ric rac will hide those nicely. Simply cut 4 pieces of ric rac to correspond with each side of your wall hanging and attach with your machine. Finish your wall hanging by binding.
If you would like to make a traditional hanging sleeve, you can visit this MBS tutorial to learn how.
One 20"x30" advent calendar to help the little ones you love count down to Christmas...
and start some family traditions.
If you enjoyed this tutorial then pop on over to the Tulip Patch to see what I'm up to.
Mary Lane Brown