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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas Projects’

Welcome Back

Last month I started a sew along to create an advent calendar, did you make one too? I’d love to see your pictures. Here’s how mine turned out.

Finished advent calendar project 2013

Finished advent calendar project 2013

I started by ironing on lightweight interfacing onto the back of the panel (well DH ironed it on for me) We did this as there was so little fabric on the turn ins that I was worried it would fray.

Makower Advent calendar Panel.

Makower Advent calendar Panel.

Advent calendar panel: Backed with interfacing

Advent calendar panel: Backed with interfacing

DH had the idea of putting a thin strip of iron on interfacing on to the top and bottom edges again resisting any fraying and to stop things catching on the edges of the pockets. Thanks to my crocked hands DH put this on for me too. Turned into a joint project ;)

Advent calendar panel: Pockets ironed into shape and ready to sew on. (Backs of the pockets)

Advent calendar panel: Pockets ironed into shape and ready to sew on. (Backs of the pockets)

Advent calendar panel: Pockets ironed into shape and ready to sew on.

Advent calendar panel: Pockets ironed into shape and ready to sew on.

Any pockets that spread over more than one square had box pleats. First I placed the pockets in place and sewed along the dotted line between the pockets. Next I pinned the two side edges in place and sewed the other edges in place. This has made for a nice secure pocket that should stand up to a few years use.

Advent calendar panel: Pockets ironed into shape and ready to sew on. Match them with the squares on the panel.

Advent calendar panel: Pockets ironed into shape and ready to sew on. Match them with the squares on the panel.

Advent calendar panel: Pockets with box pleats pinned in place and sewn along dotted line to form center of pleat first, this makes them secure.

Advent calendar panel: Pockets with box pleats pinned in place and sewn along dotted line to form center of pleat first, this makes them secure.

To hang the panel I made some tabs using the same fabric that was going on the back and I sewed those across the top inside the seam allowance and pointing down towards the bottom of the panel, so that when it’s turned through they will point up.

Advent calendar panel: Tabs to hang panel, pockets sewn in place and top stitched the edges to firm up the result.

Advent calendar panel: Tabs to hang panel, pockets sewn in place and top stitched the edges to firm up the result.

Not convinced that sewing into wadding would be a good plan without getting LOTS of fluff into the machine. I pinned the tabs in place so they didn’t get in the way, pinned the backing fabric on to the panel, right sides together and sewed around three and a half edges. I clipped the corners and turned everything right side out. Next I put the wadding into the ‘envelope’ of fabric and DH pinned it in place using curved safety pins. Then I sewed around the inner side of the decorative edge and finally it was finished.

I sewed around the fireplace area of the design and around the clock to highlight that. If I’d thought in advance I’d have sewed some blue ribbon under the pocket but I didn’t think of that till the pockets were already in place. DH pinned the bottom edge in and I top stitched around all the edges. This looks nice and holds things firmer.

Can’t say I loved the process, it took ages coz I over thought the whole thing made worse by never having quilted anything before and I was scared of getting wadding jammed in my machine. Change your needle as you go through the project it helps a lot. I am very pleased that I went with the interfacing, it has given a nice sturdy result and having now seen a few of these made up in a shop, I like the result the interfacing gave and would do it that way again.

Did you make an advent calendar for the sew along? I’d love to see your results.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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Welcome Back

Today I’d like to share a picture of the hand-warmers I made for the family for Christmas.

Hand warmer, with gift bag and instructions tag

Hand warmer, with gift bag and instructions tag

Often hand warmers are scented, which not everyone likes. My husband’s family have wheat intolerance and often the hand-warmers sold are filled with wheat. I have filled these with dried lentils and no fragrance :)

There is an inner bag that contains the filling and then an outer cover, this allows the cover to be removed and washed as needed. These are a small size, so they will fit into your coat pocket. Great for when your hands get cold when walking the dog/ de-icing the car.

Hand making Christmas gifts are a great way to share meaningful presants with friends and family. You can create them in the warmth of your home, no long cues, no bad weather and if you start making them early in the year, no rush :) Take the stress out of Christmas and hand make your gifts. Short notice for this year, perhaps, but make a plan for next year for a more relaxing build up to the holidays.

The card explaining how to heat the hand-warmer and what it contains, I created in Craft Artist :) Really pleased how professional they look. I also layered papers to make the gift bag using digikits in Craft Artist, plus matching gift tag. These were a lot of fun to make and I’ll be showing a video tutorial on how to make the gift bags next year, once the brighter weather returns.

Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon

Billie :)

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