Have you ever had a WIP project lying around that just struck pain in your soul every time you thought about it being unfinished? That’s what this Advent calendar has been for me for the past 2 years. I started it with the best of intentions– to mimic the Advent felt pocket calendar my mother had made for us as children –but life got in the way and somehow I wasn’t able to finish it by Dec 1 the year I started it (which drove my OCD self crazy), so I ended up putting it off until the next year…2 years later and it still sat buried in my vintage picnic basket. Ack! Meanwhile, my children continue to grow… Well, this is the year. I ignored all of my pressing deadlines this past weekend and spent a day finishing up the calendar so we could finally enjoy it come Dec 1.
I know what you’re going to say…pattern? I know, right?! It turned out so cute and I’d love nothing more than to share my process, but goodness help me if I can’t even remember exactly how I put this thing together! It was truly an improvisational experiment, and I’m so glad it worked out.
The tree is made of strips of scallops that a made by drawing around a cup. I fabric glued the strips to one another to create a large piece of layered scallop fabric, and then cut out the tree shape and appliqued it to a linen background. The tree is covered with velcro patches to hold the ornaments. I found these darling wooden numbers at Hobby Lobby for crazy cheap, and then fabric glued them to the pockets.
And the ornaments! Ah! I think this is one of the reasons it turned into a long term WIP– I had planned to make individually stitched felt ornaments by hand, just like mom had done 30 years ago, but unfortunately, that just wasn’t in the cards. The quilting was tedious enough as it was, and I might as well have intended to breed the sheep, harvest the wool, and make the felt myself. Nope, not gonna happen. Thanks Hobby Lobby, for carrying such a darling selection of inexpensive Christmas-y felt do-dads. Glued on velcro patches and we were in business.
Success! Finished it just in the nick of time for the kids to enjoy on Tuesday morning.
AND– I couldn’t resist –I also found this darling little nativity set (for like $3!), so we put these guys in the 25th pocket so the kids can set up a little scene at the trunk of the Advent tree on Christmas morning. My mom’s calendar had a little plastic baby Jesus that went in a manger. We couldn’t find one of those, but I think this will be even better.
And I think we found just the perfect spot for it!
Once the calendar was up, everything else just fell into place. I love how my summery Potluck quilt looks 100% in-season next to our skinny white tree!
Oh, and I almost forgot- Ellsworth, our elf. He made it just in time for our first morning with the calendar. Ellsworth, stop swinging from the paper garlands!
I even spruced up my desk area with a pop of cheer- the Stargazer quilt (another from my book), which still manages to look festive even though it’s more summery. And there’s my good ol’ picnic basket on the floor- happy to be rid of a half-finished Advent calendar, I’m sure!
I hope you’re having fun this week getting your house in festive holiday order too! Thanks for stopping by!