This small embroidery has been rolled over on my 2015 Finish Along list each quarter since the beginning of the year.
Back in September, I decided to use it as the top of an advent calendar. I didn’t know how much more embroidery or the amount of time I was letting myself in for.
First, I added white squares of Kona Snow to either side to make it 12 1/2″ wide as I thought that would be a good width for the calendar.
Then I added a piece of candy cane fabric 12 1/2″ X 13 1/2″ as a base for the pockets and another strip of Kona Snow to the bottom.
The “Keep calm Santa’s on his way” embroidery was part of a set of 4 free embroideries offered by Red Brolly in 2012. (edited to note: Red Brolly has temporarily closed their site but say they hope to be back up and running sometime this year.)
To keep with the Red Brolly style, I used Santa’s sleigh from their “He’s Coming to Town” Sampler, placing the reindeer on one side and the sleigh on the other.
For the words Merry Christmas on the bottom, I attempted to copy the style of lettering used in “Santa’s on his way.”
Next came the challenge of how to make the pockets.
In the end I decided to make them in 4 rows of 6 days. On a large piece of Kona Snow, I lightly drew a grid with each pocket row being 12 1/2″ wide X 4 1/2″ tall. Then I centered the embroideries in those rows so that I would have pockets that were 2″ square.
Here again, I used motifs from various Red Brolly Christmas samplers… The Night Before Christmas Sampler, Believe Sampler and Christmas Sampler.
After I finished stitching them, I cut along the lines I’d drawn. A strip of fusible interfacing was ironed to the wrong side in the center of each strip. Then these were sewn wrong sides together to form a tube, turned right side out and pressed so that the seam was centered down the middle of what would be the inside of the pocket.
I fused a 12 1/2″ X 20 1/2″ piece of batting (<-affiliate link) onto the wrong side of the Advent Calendar, pinned and sewed the pockets in place.
If I’d been brave enough, I would have topstitched those pockets in red thread. Should I make another one sometime, that’s what I’ll do.
The backing fabric was then pinned on and I stitched-in-the-ditch between the top and bottom panels and the center panel and then along the bottom of each row of pockets.
I finished hand sewing down the binding last night and it’s now ready to hang up on the first of December.
A close-up of the top half:
The bottom half:
The Advent Calendar was my goal for October for A Lovely Year of Finishes. It’s obviously a little late for that but it’s done now and can be checked off my 2015 Finish Along Q4 Goals list.