Monday, 21 November 2011

Get ready for Christmas!

I made this Christmas Advent Quilt a few months ago so that I could offer a workshop on making it. I had planned that, at the same time as I was doing the workshop, I would make a wee tute for the blog.
However nobody booked for this workshop :(
I have found it difficult to book workshops in the run up to Christmas and it could be that it is just too busy a period for everyone at this time of year. Next year I will probably have less and stop them earlier.
But as it is December in a couple of weeks I thought I would share it with you and hopefully give you enough instructions to make your own. Plus, further down the page, some Christmas Ornaments I will be workshopping (did I just make that word up?) in a couple of weeks (and I do have a few bookings for this one, even though I could do with a few more!).

I have to say that the original inspiration for this Advent Quilt was this photo on Flickr. It is quite a few years old and the blog post for it is in Spanish so I haven't been able to find out whether the blogger made it up or if it is from a pattern, but this is basically a version of that original design.
I used this tutorial from Patchwork Pottery to print the labels, which I found via this tutorial on Poppyprint's blog. I wanted a way to quickly number the pockets. I love the look of appliqued fabric numbers, but they are quite time consuming, and the idea was that we would make this quilt in a day workshop. So I printed out a sheet of numbers in rows onto T-shirt printing paper and cut these into strips and ironed them on to a plain white cotton tape. I then cut them up leaving enough tape above the number to fold over. My idea was that I would have this all done in readiness for the workshop.
I then cut my Christmas fabric into 7.5 x 3.5 inch pieces and planned out the layout as above. I then sewed the long edge of the fabric pieces into rows and folded these rows in half, right sides together. Poking a folded over tape number into the centre of each fabric piece (the raw edge ends inside the seam), I then sewed up the other end of the strip to form a tube and trapping the folded tape in the seam. Turn these tubes right side out and press.
I cut 2 pieces of white fabric 31 x 21 inches and made a quilt sandwich with wadding. Next I pinned all the fabric strip tubes into place, turning in and pinning the tube ends. I then sewed them straight on to the quilt sandwich, machining round three sides of each strip and leaving the top open to form pockets. You can see this better from the back of the quilt above. The finished pockets are 3.5 x 3 inches each.
I then marked out (with a hera marker) and machine quilted a grid to match the grid made by making the pockets.
Red binding and triangular hangers in the top corners finish the project.
I hope these instructions have been enough for you to make your own and apologies for not taking more photos of the piecing. Maybe I will get another chance if I offer this class again next year!

So a week on Saturday I will be taking a workshop on these Hand Sewn Christmas Ornaments. This should be a nice, relaxing sewing day, with mulled wine and cake to finish (still a few places left, local peeps!).
Here is a little hexagon garland. It is backed with felt and slightly stuffed.
I actually machined this little bauble. Just strips of fabric with ribbons sewn across the seams. But you could just as easily hand sew it.

More EPP. This little star is a scaled down version of the Liberty Star quilt I am making at the moment.
And lastly this little fat robin. This pattern is all my own (though it's very simple so I am not making any great claims here!). And I am definitely going to do a proper tutorial for this next weekend before the class.
So pop back in about a weeks time and bring some felt, ribbon and buttons!