Last year I realized we had outgrown the advent calendar I'd made in 2002 or so. That one was a cute (if I do say so) felt, little pockets numbered with puffy paint. Each day held a gold wrapped chocolate coin for #1, Mr. Wiedz and myself. Two years later #2's coin got added to the pockets and when the time came #3 got his chocolate added too. But at that point the little felt pockets were no longer holding their shape.
Before last year I attempted another advent calendar made from fabric envelops. I got the fabric, cut out a million envelope shapes, sewed envelopes with stabilizer in between so I could turn each envelope right side out and applique onto my base fabric. Are you seeing the vision? That's as far as that project went until I gave up.
After our move last year one of my first sewing projects was a new advent calendar. Much simpler than my prior attempt. Pockets again, like my felt masterpiece, bigger this time to accommodate the 7 chocolate coins that will need to be enjoyed each day of December.
I remember the quiet evening I spent over the sewing machine hemming each pocket while Mr. Wiedz was in China and the children were asleep. I got all the pockets hemmed and sewn onto the base fabric before December 1st. Then I hung it up. With a binder clip and a paperclip holding the rolled-down corners onto tacks in the wall. The raw edges of the fabric swaying.
We made it through Christmas season 2009 and when I took the decorations down I put the calendar in a easily accessible spot in my sewing room so I would be able to finish off the details before next Christmas. I was thinking quilting it. Stamping numbers onto the tags...water-coloring the tags to match the fabric. Making a nice hanging sleeve. A title...something reflective of the season and Jesus and warm and family...all the things I want Christmas to be for our family.
Tuesday night after I got 4 of the kids into bed and await Mr. Wiedz and #2 from Cub Scouts I went out to the sewing room and retrieved the advent calendar from it's "easily accessible spot" and started the search for some backing fabric. I was determined not to hang it back up in it's sad-loose-strings-raw-edges form as before.
I sewed the two fabrics right sides together, flipped the puppy right, folded down the top and there you have a hanging sleeve. The poor thing still has the numbers written on unpainted tags which are still safety pinned to the pockets and there are even faint lines that were supposed to be where I quilted the piece then washed it...
It's December...well 2nd now...and Advent is here. We are waiting. We are anticipating. We are explaining to the 3 year old that the chocolate gold-wrapped coins are for after dinner and only for everyone who eats their dinner.