Christmas Advent Pockets

I designed this Christmas Advent Quilt for my children, my grandchildren, and for each of YOU. The quilt has 25 pockets that are perfect for hiding treats, small toys, coins, or even different Christmas activities that you can do with your children or grandchildren. I hope you are inspired to make this Christmas Advent a yearly tradition with your family.
I’m sorry about the last minute inspiration (sometimes that’s how it comes) but thinking on the positive side of things. . . did you realize that you can take advantage of the Christmas Fabric Sales? Now hurry out and hit those sales and start working on it today so it will be ready for next year.

Finished Quilt Size: 37″ x 53″
Finished Block Size: 7 1/2″ x 7 1/2″

  • 1 Layer Cake of “Fruitcake” by Basic Grey for Moda
  • 4 Fat Quarters of Moda Wool in Red, Ivory, Black, and Teal
  • 1/2 yard Red fabric for block borders
  • 1/2 yard White fabric for block borders
  • Heavyweight Heat & Bond for numbers
  • 13″ of Brown Snowflake fabric for large border
  • 1/4 yard of Brown Polka Dot fabric for small border
  • 2 yards fabric for quilt backing
  • 2 yards batting for quilt
  • 2 yards Red Medium Ric Rac
  • 2 yards Green Medium Ric Rac
  • 2 yards Teal Medium Ric Rac
  • 2 yards Brown Medium Ric Rac
  • 2 1/4 yards Red Jumbo Ric Rac

Part One:
Cutting the Layer Cake for Advent Pockets
& Fabric Yardage for Block Borders

1. Choose 25 fabric squares from the Layer Cake then separate them from the pack.

2. From each of the 25 squares you will cut the following:

  • Cut 1 foundation square 5″ x 5″ for inside pocket lining
  • Cut 1 rectangle 1 1/2″ x 5″ for top portion of pocket
  • Cut 1 rectangle 2 1/4″ x 5″ for top pocket binding/lining
  • Cut 1 rectangle 3 1/2″ x 5″ for bottom portion of pocket
  • Cut 1 rectangle 4 1/4″ x 5″ for bottom pocket binding/lining
3. You will be making 13 Red Blocks and 12 White Blocks for a total of 25 Blocks.
4. From the 1/2 yard cut of red and white border fabric, cut the following:
  • Cut 26 red rectangles 2″ x 5″ for side borders
  • Cut 26 red rectangles 2″ x 8″ for top and bottom borders
  • Cut 24 white rectangles 2″ x 5″ for top and bottom borders
  • Cut 24 white rectangles 2″ x 8″ for side borders

Part Two:
Making the Advent Pockets

1. Cut 2 pieces of Ric Rac measuring 5 1/4″ out of any color you wish to use.
2. Choose the outside pocket fabric for the top and bottom pieces measuring 1 1/2″ x 5″ and 3 1/2″ x 5″

3. Then choose the matching top and bottom binding/lining fabric pieces measuring 2 1/4″ x 5″ and 4 1/4″ x 5″

4. Place the 1 1/2″ x 5″ piece with right side facing up on your sewing table. Then sandwich the Ric Rac in the middle with the 2 1/4″ x 5″ piece of fabric with right side facing down on top of the Ric Rac. Pin in place to prevent any shifting. Sew the seam using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

5. Repeat this process for the bottom portion of the advent pocket. You will use the two pieces measuring 3 1/2″ x 5″ and 4 1/4″ x 5″

6. Open the two fabrics revealing the Ric Rac inside. Press the larger fabric piece up and over and around toward the back of the pocket. This forms the pocket binding and the inner lining of the advent pocket.
7. Trim off any excess lining fabric.

8. Place the finished top and bottom pocket pieces on top of a 5″ x 5″ foundation square with the right side facing up. Make sure the bottom edge of the top pocket and top edge of the bottom pocket meet. Baste pockets at both sides of pocket opening to secure the pocket to the 5″ x 5″ foundation square.

9. Turn pocket over and trim any excess to match the 5″ x 5″ foundation square.

10. Repeat this process for the remaining 24 advent pockets.

Part Three:
Adding the Borders to Pockets

1. Divide your advent pockets into two groups. Group One will have 13 blocks with red borders and Group Two will have 12 blocks with white borders. Remember when it comes to dividing the blocks into groups that it’s important to have contrast between the advent pockets and the border fabric. For example, you wouldn’t put a red advent pocket with the red border fabric but, you would pair it with the white border fabric. The same holds true for the light advent pockets. The other 3 colors (teal, brown, and green) can be paired with either the white or the red borders.
2. The red border strips measuring 2″ x 5″ are sewn to the left and right sides of the advent pockets and the 2″ x 8″ border strips are sewn to the top and bottom of the red blocks.
3. The white border strips measuring 2″ x 5″ are sewn to the top and bottom of the advent pocket and the 2″ x 8″ border strips are sewn to the left and right sides of the advent pockets.

4. All seams are sewn using a 1/4″ seam allowance and seams are pressed outward, away from the advent pockets.

Part Four:
Finishing the Quilt

1. Take the 25 finished blocks and lay them out in the following order:
  • Row One: red, white, red, white, red.
  • Row Two: white, red, white, red, white.
  • Row Three: red, white, red, white, red.
  • Row Four: white, red, white, red, white.
  • Row five: red, white, red, white, red.
2. Sew blocks and rows together using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the block seams toward the red blocks and the row seams can alternate up then down on each row.
3. Now measure across the top row of blocks (it should be 37 1/2 inches). Cut two borders measuring 6 1/2″ x 37 1/2″ out of the brown fabric with snowflakes and two smaller borders measuring 3″ x 37 1/2″ out of the brown polka dot fabric.
4. Cut two pieces of Red Jumbo Ric Rac measuring 40.” This will allow for any fraying that can be trimmed off later.
5. Baste Ric Rac in place, making sure to line up Ric Rac so that when you baste it onto the fabric, the stitching line will barely cross over the curves in the Ric Rac. Trim off the tops of the Ric Rac as seen in picture.
6. Place smaller binding on top of the Ric Rac with right sides together. Sew seams using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press seams toward the darker fabric making sure the Ric Rac lays on top of the polka dot fabric. Repeat for both bottom borders.

7. Take the two finished borders and sew one to the top of the quilt and the other one to the bottom of the quilt using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press seam toward the brown polka dot fabric.

Part Five:
Attaching the Numbers
I used 4 different colors of Moda Wool but you are NOT limited to using wool if you don’t have access to wool in your area. You may use any leftover layer cake squares to make the numbers in place of the wool.
I used a heavy duty Heat N’ Bond for the wool but I would use a lighter weight or medium weight if you decide to use fabric for the numbers. I tried to use the color of wool on each pocket that gave the best contrast. You can do the same if you use fabric. Remember that contrast is important.
To make the numbers, I used my Sizzix Die Cut Machine (an older version) along with a set of number dies (that are no longer available) to cut out the numbers. I realize that most of you won’t have access to a die cut machine so, I’ve included 4 different fonts that are very similar to the dies that I used. I’ve included the numbers in the pdf download file for this pattern. You may also choose to create your own numbers by using any computer program like WORD or PAGES. You will want the numbers to be approximately 1 1/4″ in height.

1. Follow the instructions for using the Heat N’ Bond product especially if you haven’t used it before. In the printer friendly version below, you will see that I’ve already flipped the numbers so you can easily trace the numbers to the paper side of the Heat N’ Bond.
2. Cut around the outside of each number (NOT on the traced line).
3. Press each number(s) with shiny side down on the wrong side of fabric or on either side of the wool.
4. Using sharp scissors now cut out each number on the traced line.
5. Center the number(s) in the middle of the bottom half of the pocket, then press the numbers with your heated iron to activate the Heat N’ Bond.
6. Now it’s ready to take to the Quilter. A special Thank You goes to Kaylene Perry who willingly fit my quilt in to her busy quilting schedule. Kaylene has been my quilter and friend for many years now. Didn’t she do a marvelous job quilting it? I love it!!!
Merry Christmas Everyone!
To CELEBRATE my 50th Birthday. . .
I’m having a giveaway!
So, if you want to play along visit me HERE.
See You There!

1 Advent Pocket Quilt

Christmas Tree Card Holder

Happy Holidays Moda Bake Shop-ers! It’s Ellie from Craft Sew Create. Don’t know where to put all the lovely holiday cards you are receiving this year? I have just the place! A tree shaped bulletin board that’s just right to display cards from family and friends. There is a bit more than sewing with this project, but if you’re up to it, you’ll be rewarded with something beautiful and functional!

One Christmas Charm Pack ( I chose Fruitcake by Basic Grey)

1/2 yard or one Fat Quarter solid fabric for tree trunk (I used Fruitcake – Grunge in Hot Cocoa)

One piece of 1/4″ plywood or hardwood that is at least 32″ x 48″ (Home Depot & Lowes sell pre-cut plywood that is 4 ft x 4 ft. You can get two trees out of it.)

Thin craft Batting

7 yards 5/8″ coordinating ribbon

20 Upholstery Tacks (sold at most home improvement and craft stores)

Sawtooth picture hanger

Tools you will need:
Staple Gun

Electric Saw

Using your quilter’s ruler, you need to draw the outline to cut out your tree with the dimensions as shown. Use an electric saw to cut out the tree. If you don’t have one, it’s time to call in that favor from your neighbor who does :). Some home improvement centers will even do it for you! Sand the edges as necessary.

Next…Time to Sew (yay!)
Layout your charm pack in a tree shape as shown. Start with 8 squares on the bottom and use one less for each row until there is only one.

Piece together by rows then sew the strips together. Because they need to be staggered, fold the center square of each row in half and finger press the middle. Use that center point to match the seam on the next row and pin in place.

Be sure to press your seams! I like to press my seams open. 
You will end up with a beautiful patch worked fabric tree!

Next steps:

I am showing the picture of this after the tree is complete, but you need to do it first! Hammer in the sawtooth hanger about 4″ from the top of the tree. *The nails will go through to the front! They need to be bent and hammered down before your fabric goes on.* 🙂

Now, layout your batting, place your wood tree on top, and cut out along the edges leaving about an inch extra batting all the way around. Clip the batting in the corners of the tree and trunk.

Then lay your fabric tree on top of the batting and wood. Make sure you center the fabric on the top and the bottom.

When you have the fabric centered on the board, place 3 stabilizing staples at the very bottom of the fabric into the trunk of the tree (They will be covered by the trunk fabric later). It’s time to staple baby!

Carefully flip the board over. Start at the top, pull the fabric over and fold the fabric under so it’s taut but not too tight. Staple in place. 

After a few staples just check to make sure it’s not pulling too much on either side, keep it even and centered.

When you get to the pointed edges, pull the fabric back together and fold over as best and least bunchy as possible.

When you come to the trunk you need to cut a notch in the side of the fabric.

Continue to staple until the whole tree is done.

Next: The Tree Trunk

Cut your trunk fabric to 14″ x 18″. You need to fold over the top of the fabric about 2″. Place at the top of the base of the tree.

Then you fold over the fabric two more times making each fold 2″. Wrap the fabric under on the bottom to make sure it is even with the other folds.

Pin in place so the folds don’t come undone when you staple.

Staple the trunk. You can reduce some of the bulk at the corners by cutting off batting. Fold in like you are wrapping a present.
Next up: Attach the Ribbon

It’s important to start your first ribbon in the lower corner, right next to the trunk. Angle the ribbon up to about 17″ on the opposite side. Carefully staple in place. This ribbon will be the measuring point for the rest of the ribbons going that direction.

Next, take your quilter’s ruler and measure 5″ between each ribbon. Staple in place. Finish for all the ribbons going that direction. Then repeat on the opposite side.
It should look like this when you are finished.
Last Step: Nail the Tacks

At each point where the ribbon intersects you need to hammer in a tack.  Be careful! It will go through to the back of the board. Make sure you are hammering off the table or on the carpet so you won’t harm any furniture.

 Because it does go through to the back, you need to hammer it down as shown.

One cute and functional Christmas Card Tree! Hope you will enjoy making it, it really is a fun project. Come visit me at Craft Sew Create for more fun sewing and crafting together!

Ellie Roberts
{Craft Sew Create}

Snowflakes are Falling

Hi again! It’s Natalia from Piece N Quilt. I am so excited about this new Christmas quilt. Even though I pieced and quilted the whole thing while it was 100 degrees outside, it still makes me excited for Christmas. Don’t forget to stop by my blog and my online quilt shop where kits and Fruitcake materials are available.
1 Fruitcake Layer Cake
Kits are available @ Piece N Quilt
Start by cutting 168 – 4 1/2″ squares.
Now take your 4 1/2″ squares and draw a diagonal line across them. As shown in the image above.
Snowball all 42 of your layer cake squares. Sew across that diagonal line.
After you’ve sewn across that diagonal line you will trim the excess material away. As shown in the image above.
Now press the block. You should have 42 blocks that look like the above block.
From the white material you will cut 18 – 1″x width strips.
Now cut those strips into 4″x1″ strips.
You will now create the point for your snowflakes.
As shown in the image above, cut a diagonal line.
Cut another diagonal line in the opposite direction to create a point.
Using our starch applique tutorial , applique the points onto the 42 layer cake blocks as shown in the image above.

Using the white grunge material, set your blocks using 1 1/2″ sashing. Arrange the blocks 7 across by 6. Refer to the picture below.
Aadd a 3 1/2″ strip off Avalanche grunge material to the top of your quilt.
Then add a 9″ strip of the Fruitcake Sugar Cookies material to the top.
Now quilt, bind and enjoy all winter long.
I like to add coordinating pillowcases to my quilts. Use our pillow case tutorial on my blog to make these darling Christmas pillowcases.
1- 72 1/2″x74″ Snowflakes are Falling quilt.

Thanks again! You can save 10% off your total purchase @ Piece N Quilt when you use discount code “modabakehop”.

Fruitcake under my tree

How many of us have been sewing on Christmas Eve…just trying to finish up one. last. project???

My sister-in-law inspired this project when she requested a tree-skirt for Christmas; however, I think this little beauty will probably be on my personal to-gift list three or four times.  It’s quick, easy, cute, and oh-so-Christmas.

Leah, over at Burgundy Buttons, has even made this little tree-skirt in to a kit…just for you.  (And you have six months from today to get it done!)

If we haven’t met yet, I’m Tracey; I blog over at traceyjay quilts, and I hope you enjoy Fruitcake under my Tree…erh, uh, or under your tree.

1 Fruitcake Layer Cake

1/2 yd Maraschino cherry red damask (30228-12) – Setting triangles
1/2 yd Brown Bias stripe (30223-23) – Binding
3 yd Maraschino cherry red ornaments (30221-12) – Backing  (Note: I used 2 1/2 yd and threw in a few of the left-over layer cake squares)

*Please note: 

WOF = width of fabric
All seams are right-sides together, with 1/4″ seam allowance, unless otherwise noted

  • Break open that layer cake, and sort in to lights and darks.  You will need 12 light and 12 dark layer cake squares for this project.

  • Grab a pair of contrasting squares.

  • Draw a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner. 

  • Sew 1/4″ away from the line you drew, on both sides of the line.  (Using a 1/4″ sewing foot makes this so easy.)

  • Cut on the line you drew.  Press seams toward the dark square.

  • You now have two half-square triangles (HSTs)!

  • Put them right sides together, with contrasting sides touching (as shown).  If you press your seams to the sides, you will feel them nest in to place.  (The seams are pressed open in this photo; however, for most the blocks I pressed them to the side.)

  • Draw a diagonal line from opposite corners, perpendicular to the seam you just sewed.  Sew 1/4″ on each side.
  • Cut on the line you just drew.
  • You now have two hourglass blocks!  (Repeat 11 more times for a total of 24 blocks.)

Setting triangles:

In order to make this tree-skirt in to an octagon, and not a square, we will be using setting triangles on the sides.  We use these triangles because we don’t want to have bias edges on the perimeter of our quilt.  Here’s how they work for this project:

(size of finished block) 8.75″ x (nifty math formula number) 1.414 + (allowance for the seams) 1.25 = 13.6225 which means 13 5/8″ *parent squares*

  • Cut two 13 5/8″ parent squares.
  • Cut in half diagonally.

  • Cut in half diagonally again to yield four right-triangles.  The long-edge of the triangle (hypotenuse) will be the outside edge of the tree-skirt.

  • Lay-out your blocks with setting triangles as shown below.  I alternated the darks and lights, in a classic hour-glass block design.

  • Pile them into rows for sewing.  (I like to pin and number my rows to keep them sorted.)

  • Sew into rows, pressing seams to alternate sides before joining rows together

  • Use some kind of circle to mark center cut-out of tree (but don’t cut yet).

  • Baste.  
  • Quilt.
  • Cut.
Yes, your next step is then to cut along one edge and inside the circle you marked earlier (as shown in the photo below.)

Binding measurements:

A note about binding:
I used the bias stripe for my binding fabric, but I cut it on the bias, which made my cuts parallel to the stripes. You can also cut them perpendicular (which I kind of wish I had done).  I only needed 1/2 yard and got around 300″ of binding.  I use this tutorial to make continuous cut bias binding.

Here’s how much binding you’ll need:
(24.5″ * 4) = 98 + (18 * 4)= 72 + (22 * 2) = 44 + 26 (inner circle) = 240″ of binding

1/2 yard of continuous bias binding yields over 300 inches of binding tape. 🙂

Before you sew your binding down, make your ties by cutting about a yard of binding off the end, and folding the sides to the center and then in half.  Fold one side under and sew closed.  You need 2 ties, each about 18″ long.

  • Pin in place near opening of circle, on the backside of the quilt.
  • Bind
(Though the corners were not all ninety degrees, they still worked fine to miter!)
  • Wash, Dry, Love.

A wonderful tree skirt… ready in time for Christmas!

Measures approximately 54 inches in diameter (pre-washed).

Kits are available at Burgundy Buttons!

If you have any questions (or want to see some out-takes), hop on over to my blog, and ask!