Shepherds Advent Calendar

  Advent Calendar
File downloads
Shepherds calendar GSD file
Shepherds calendar Studio file
Shepherds calendar PDF
1-24 numbers GSD file
1-24 numbers Studio file
1-24 numbers PDF
This is my step by step guide for the quilted Shepherds Advent Calendar, with 24 little pockets to fill with small sweets or trinkets.

These are the materials I used:

23½" or 60cm starry fabric, 45" wide
18" x 19" wadding
scraps white felt, cotton fabrics, lace
8½" x 6" gold hot-flex vinyl
6 strand embroidery thread in yellow, brown, beige
5 white shiny seed beads
3 small black beads
navy thread, white thread, thread to match fabric pieces
12" length of dowel
10" navy ribbon or tape
fusible web
pockets Cut two pieces of the main fabric, 20" x 18" wide for the front and back of the calendar. Turn over a ¼" hem all round and sew.
To make 24 pockets, cut the remaining fabric into two lengthwise 3½" x 22½ " strips and one strip across the remaining fabric 3½" x 15" to make 24 pockets. The finished pocket size will be 2" wide by 1½" high.
Fold the pieces in half lengthwise, right sides together. The fold will be the top edge of the finished pocket.
Sew along the long edge, with a ¼" seam, to make 3 long rectangles. Cut these into 2½" wide pieces to make 24 pockets.
Sew one short side of each piece, with a ¼" seam. Turn the pockets right side out, and turn in a ¼" seam and tack.
Press the pockets.
Cut out the numbers in gold vinyl. If you are using hotflex in an electronic cutter, you will need to use the reversed numbers.
Follow the manufacturers instructions to press the vinyl numbers onto the pockets with a hot iron.
Pin the pockets in rows across the front fabric piece. Tack then sew around three sides leaving the top folded edge open.
angel Trace all the character pieces and the star onto fusible web, and cut out roughly. Iron onto your selection of fabric pieces and cut out precisely.
For the angels, pin the lace wings into place on the front fabric. Place the body piece on top and iron on.
Place the two arms on top of the body with the shoulders either side of the neck. Press.
Place the head above the body piece and lightly press, then fit the vinyl halo behind the head. Iron more firmly into place.
Oversew around the body, arms and head. I left the wings unstitched.
With grey thread, embroider simple features.
Take 3 pieces of yellow embroidery thread and couch into place around the head and face.
shepherd For the star, iron into place above the 24th pocket. Oversew the edges. I stitched a small shiny bead at each point of the star.

The shepherds are assembled in the same way as the angels. Press the body in place first, then the arm. Remember to reverse the arm piece for the second shepherd. Finish by pressing the headscarf on top of the body to cover the top of the shoulder.
Oversew around the body, head and arm.
Stitch a line in contrast thread across the headscarf.
Use a small length of embroidery thread to make a shepherds crook shape, and couch in place with cotton thread as pictured.
sheep Assemble the sheep in the same way. I used white felt so did not oversew the body. It is held in place with small running stitches. Tilt the heads up to look at the angels.
Catch the ears into place at the top narrow end only.
Sew a small black bead for the eye.

sleeve From the remaining fabric, cut 2 rectangles 2½" x 3½". Turn in a ¼ seam along the short edges and sew.
Turn over a ¼ seam along the long edges. Tack. Place on the right side of the back fabric piece with the top edge of the sleeve 2" down from the top edge and ¾" in from the side seam. Sew along the long edges top and bottom to form 2 sleeves for the dowel to slide in.
fabric and wadding sandwich Make a sandwich of the top fabric, the wadding and the back fabric, ready to quilt together. Pin in place.
Sew around the calendar, top side uppermost, half an inch from the edge. I followed the contours of the sheep and the shepherds where these were close to the half inch line.
Sew around the outlines of the sheep, shepherds, star and angels' bodies.
Trim back the wadding to the line of sewing. Pin the edges of the top and bottom quilt together and sew around them close to the edge, to conceal the wadding.
Finally, insert the dowel rod, and loop a short bow of ribbon half way along it.
Now the fun part. Fill the little pockets with sweets and goodies.
Hang it up and the countdown to Christmas begins!

I have endeavoured to make the instructions as accurate as possible, but no liability is accepted for any errors.

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© Karen Lowe 2013