We’ve got our pockets all prepped and our numbers cut. This week we’re going to sew the numbers to the pockets, and then sew the pockets to our advent calendar. (Steps 9-12) I always love when a project starts to come together, and I love this week’s assignment because by the end of it our projects will actually start to look like real advent calendars.
Don’t forget to share your progress with #SplendidSnowmen!
Placing and Ironing Numbers
Last week we prepared our pockets for number placement. This is specifically important with the top and bottom pocket pieces, which will each be divided into 9 different pockets. This week you’re going to put your pocket pieces right on your ironing board, place the numbers just right and iron them in place. I found it very helpful to use my quilting ruler to help with placement. (See photo below.) It helped me see where the middle of each pocket was so I could be sure to place the number in the center. Plus, it helped me create a straight base line so I could be sure all the numbers were placed at the same height along the pocket piece.
Once your numbers are ironed onto their own pockets, it’s time to sew them in place. Be sure to unfold your pocket fabric so you only sew through one layer of fabric for this part.
The stitch you’ll use to sew on the numbers is up to you. It’s good to consider the type of material used to create your numbers. In the photo above, the number 16 at the left is made with a cotton with a loose weave that frayed easily. I found that I’d get the cleanest look with a satin stitch (or a very tight zigzag stitch). It looks great, but takes quite a bit of time to sew around all those little numbers! This time around I’m making my numbers out of wool felt. Wool doesn’t fray at all, so I had a lot more freedom with the stitches I chose. I did a couple practice rounds to see what I liked best- the 1 & 2 on the right were done with my free motion quilting foot and sewed up quite fast. The 2 on the left was done with a traditional straight stitch around the outside and took a bit longer to sew. In the end, I decided the outlining straight stitch was worth an extra bit of time and settled on that method. It might be a good idea to do a couple practice rounds to see what you like best with the material you’ve chosen.
When your numbers are all sewn to your pockets, it’s time to get those pockets into their permanent positions! There will be a few places where the Sky fabric pokes past the edges of the numbers, and that’s ok. They will be covered up with our binding later on. For now, step back and enjoy the fact that your calendar is starting to take shape. 🙂
Extra Credit: If you know next week will be a busy one, get a head start on the assignment! Next week we’ll be quilting and binding our calendars. Save yourself some time by preparing your ‘quilt sandwich’ so it’s all set and ready to quilt. (If you’re new to quilting, this is a great video tutorial by Wendi Gratz on how to prepare your quilt.) If you’re making your own biased tape for the binding, you can go ahead and get that ready to go as well.