Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Making of the Cross-Stitch Chrismon Adventcalendar

My sister-in-law Jane has stitched the most beautiful things in the 40 years I am married to her brother ... but not lately. When I asked her about it (with a certain thought in my mind) she told me that she only likes to do it with a purpose, not just for the sake of stitching. No need to hang anything on her walls any more. I asked her whether she would stitch something for me.
James is one of five and the siblings had arranged to meet in Windsor England (their hometown) in January 2015. I assembled a "kit" and sent it with him. I had cut the little AIDA squares and it only needs three different DMC colors. I had found 15 different Chrismon patterns in these books:

In May Jane came to visit and it was an opportunity to stitch the rest of the Chrismons.

I designed 9 so there would be the 24 needed for the Adventcalendar. I had to hurry to stay ahead of Jane. I will share my design here later too (have to make nice drawings first).

After Jane's work was done, it was my turn. I borrowed last year's raffle wallhanging from the lucky winner to test the size, discovering that this design would not work.

But I had bought a pattern which I thought would work and went to work.

At that time I was not very familiar with paperpiecing so I cut the pieces ...

... numbered the fabrics I was going to use

... and cut the pieces with the 1/4 inch seam allowances. I used 505 spray basting on the back of the paper pattern so it wouldn't slip on the fabric. It worked really well.

Trying out the size. I think it will work well.

I bought 24 of the little round frames at a craft store. Ladies at an ECW workshop cut out 24 circles from quilting batting the size of the white backs and also the numbers drawn mirror image on the back of the cream fabric prepared with iron-on material.

The green circle got running stitches all around.

This part was easy: green fabric circle good side down, batting, white back, pull tight and knot. Iron on the numbers.
The layering: frame front down, clear plastic circle, stitching face down (cut into a circle by using one of the clear circles for fussy cutting and drawing around it), a circle of batting and the back. Since I made a booklet with the explanations I had to be sure to put the correct number with the Chrismon.
Still laying face down I pressed the back down and dripped super glue all around but carefully and sparingly.

The finished wall quilt. My husband is holding it up.
It can be used year-round without the Chrismons.

Advent calendars are originally a German custom. Ornaments are numbered from 1 to 24 which means you turn # 1 over on the 1st of December (#2 on 2nd of December etc) to reveal (in this case) a Chrismon, a symbol which reminds us of the real meaning of Christmas.

On the back is a pocket with a little booklet explaining each day's symbol.

This is the ECW (Episcopal Church Women) of St Martin's 2015 raffle. For a donation of $5 you get 1 chance to win this treasure (yes, I am very happy with the results) or for $10 you get 3 tickets.
The money raised is for a good cause and ... you could win it. Somebody will go home with it (or gets it mailed) !!! If you would like to have a try, you could mail a check to:
St Martin's Episcopal Church
Attn: Christa
9000 St Martin's Lane
Richmond, VA 23294
I promise I will take care of it and your ticket(s) will be in the box. The drawing is on Sunday November 15.

If you would like to make one for yourselves and have a question, feel free to contact me.