Weeks 32 & 33 – Maddy’s Advent Tree
For the first time ever my parents will be absent for Christmas – they will be spending time overseas with relatives. As my Mum was preparing for her departure she remarked that it would be wonderful to have an Advent calendar for my niece (her grand daughter) Maddy, so that each day leading up to Christmas Maddy could uncover something from her Oma and Opa in their absence. Me, being the enthusiastic sewer that I am, volunteered to make a fabric Advent calendar as part of my ‘sewnitemaweek’ – with a pocket for each day in December leading up to Christmas.
Thus my project began. I already had some lovely Christmas fabric from a few years ago, so I only purchased additional fabric for the backings. I sketched up some options within a tree shape, and tried to configure all the pockets to evenly pyramid their way up to the 25th pocket at the top of the tree.
Eventually I was satisfied that both pocket and tree were configured adequately, and started to put it together. I constructed the 65cm high Tree like a quilt. With a backing piece and and a front piece, I put two layers of cotton/wool batting between to give the tree a bit of thickness and stability. I cut out and hemmed 24 pockets (8 x 10cm), 6 of each of my four Christmas fabrics. And then hand cut felt numbers for each pocket.
It took a little while to work out the best way to construct the pockets such that they looked different after the day had passed. With my husbands brilliant inspiration, I ended up putting a folded ribbon inside each pocket, that would assist in taking out the contents of the pocket, and could then flop over the pocket to indicate the day has passed (as demonstrated in the video).
I spent 4 hours applique-ing each number onto its respective pocket with gold thread, and then topstitched the pockets to the backing tree. I was reminded during this process, that this is why I do not make quilts!! Azrael, our cat, did try to help too, but he’s paws just aren’t that handy with a needle.
Along with the 2.5m of bias binding that I had to create to sew around the perimeter, the whole project took around 20 hours of fiddly cutting and sewing to complete. Yes, it is certainly rewarding sewing such a project, but it has managed to set me back even further with my sewn items (and you’ll notice I’ve sneakily claimed this item for two weeks worth!).