On the first day of Christmas Sew magazine gave to me, an advent calendar pattern to stitch and place next to the tree! This classic design by Carolyn Letten showcases little owls guarding the pockets, button embellishments and a star-topper which doubles as a hanger – no matter what sweet treats or mini pressies you hide inside, everyone will love this decoration.
- Fabric: red, turquoise, grey print; four fat quarters, coordinating print; backing material
- Iron-on interfacing
- Red gingham bias binding
- Assorted red buttons
- Rubber number stamps
- Black ink-pad
- Use a 5mm seam allowance for the pockets and 4mm for the binding, unless otherwise stated
1 Download and print the templates. Take a printed fabric and place the pattern horizontally. Measure 50.5cm across the bottom edge and mark, then fold it in half vertically and mark the top centre. Draw two lines from the top to the ends of the straight line to make a triangle, then cut out. Apply interfacing to a piece of the owl print fabric, containing 11 single owls and one pair.
2 Cut four rectangles, 7cm x 10cm; one landscape rectangle, 7.5cm x 9.5cm; one large rectangle, 10cm x 11.5cm, from red fabric. Cut four rectangles, 7cm x 10cm; two landscape rectangles, 7.5cm x 9.5cm, from turquoise fabric. Crease 5mm up both sides and across the bottom, fold the top over twice, then iron and sew across the top seam. Repeat on all the pocket pieces.
3 Cut 12 white circles from a different fabric and apply interfacing. Lay out all of the pocket pieces, pin, then attach 2cm wide strips of the grey fabric using interfacing. Stamp each number in black ink and leave to dry.
4 Assemble each pocket in turn, stitching the white circles first. Place the number raw ends of the landscape rectangles just underneath the circle. For the portrait and large rectangles, slip the raw end underneath the owl. Sew around the numbers using red thread on the turquoise pockets, and vice versa. Stitch the owls using navy thread.
5 Machine-sew scallop stitch part way around the owls, and complete a line around the outside of the white circles. Press the wrong side of the pockets, then pin and sew each one onto the main tree triangle. Iron the wrong side.
6 Cut grey fabric, 11cm x 14cm, then use red thread to sew ‘Merry Christmas’ twice, and navy thread to sew over it once. Iron the wrong side, then pin right sides together at the bottom middle edge of the tree. Stitch a 5mm seam, then press it open on the wrong side.
7 Cut wadding and backing fabric slightly bigger than the tree. Turn the tree right side up, place the wadding and backing fabric wrong side up underneath. Quilt each pocket and sew a 4mm seam all the way around.
8 Trim the excess material, then sew the bias binding all the way around the raw edges. Cut a separate 15cm of binding and fold in half lengthways. Sew across the top of the grey fabric, folding in the raw ends, then embellish with red buttons to cover the joins.
9 Cut a large snowflake from the white circle fabric and apply interfacing. Use white thread to attach it to a circle of red material, cut slightly larger, and add scallop stitches. Cut red fabric and wadding slightly bigger than the snowflake, then pin together with the wadding in the middle.
10 Use red thread to sew around the edge of the red fabric, then trim away the excess and sew bias binding all the way around, folding in the edge as you finish. Attach a large red button to the middle of the snowflake. Add a loop of ribbon to the back for hanging.