Elizabeth’s Fabric Focus ~ Christmas in July Advent Calendar

on July 27 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 51 Comments

Elizabeth’s Fabric Focus kicks off a week of Christmas in July on the blog! Print out your Advent Calendar PDF tutorial (and corresponding number templates) and get started; you’ll thank yourself on December 1st! Elizabeth from Oh, Fransson! shares a new project every month featuring some of our favorite collections in the shop. We have a really nice selection of holiday fabric right now, and Elizabeth’s Advent Calendar project is the perfect way to feature a variety of prints.

From Elizabeth: To celebrate Christmas in July, I made an advent calendar using Michael Miller’s wonderful Funky Christmas fabric. It’s made like a small quilt, but has pockets pieced into the quilt blocks. Even if you don’t need an advent calendar, you may want to check out the PDF tutorial to learn a fun way to add little pockets to your quilts!

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For the pockets and quilt back, I used 11 prints from Funky Christmas and a red and white Lecien stripe. I also used the Widestripe Pink from Tanya Whelan’s French Hatbox for the binding.

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Because the Funky Christmas prints are so big and bright, I paired them with contrasting solids in red, green and pink. Each pocket is made from one print and one solid and each print/solid pair are used to make one print pocket lined with the solid and one solid pocket lined with the print. This may sound complicated, but it’s really just a matter of shuffling a bunch of 4.5″ squares on your work table. The PDF tutorial explains it all.

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The tutorial doesn’t go into a lot of detail about techniques for machine applique or quiltmaking steps like machine quilting and binding. But, never fear! Sew, Mama, Sew already has more detailed tutorials for all of those steps:

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As an alternative to applique, the numbers could be added using embroidery or painted on using freezer paper stencils. (If you use these techniques, you can get away with one fewer 4.5″ square of each print and four fewer squares of each solid.)

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The back of the calendar has pockets in the upper corners into which you can slip a piece of dowel or plywood to make it easy to hang your calendar on the wall. Both dowels and plywood lengths are available in the woodworking section of most craft stores. Both can be trimmed to the proper length with a simple hand saw.

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As always, we’d love to see your own advent calendars in the Sew,Mama,Sew! Photo Pool or our Handmade Holidays pool.

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51 Responses to Elizabeth’s Fabric Focus ~ Christmas in July Advent Calendar

  1. Erin says:

    Hi Elizabeth! I love your blog and it gives me lots of ideas and inspiration. I created an Advent calender using your tutorial. My color scheme was kelly green, ruby red, gold, and ivory. It will be a gift for my 1-year-old nephew so his family can start a Christmas tradition. You are welcome to take a look at my photo or put it in your Flikr pool etc. ~Erin

  2. Pearl says:

    I love this advent calendar and the pocket tutorial. Beautiful.

  3. Selena says:

    I can’t wait to make one for both of my daughter’s doors! Then they won’t argue over who gets to check the pocket!!

  4. Rachel Wadsworth says:

    What font did you use for the numbers? I’d like to write something at the top of mine but I want the numbers to match. Thanks!

  5. Kathy says:

    Hi Elizabeth-I’m just finding this and can’t wait to make it. How much of the 12 prints fabric do you need? I’m having a hard time figuring that out. Thanks so much!

  6. Simone says:

    Hi I linked to your picture and tutorial. Hope you don’t mind.

  7. Claudette says:

    Is there a way to purchase one of these? I can’t seem to find anything quite as lovely on etsy..Thanks. please email me if yes. cgcunnane@gmail.com

  8. I LOVE this! I keep finding really fun advent calendars and I need to sit down and actually make one. I really like this idea…maybe this one will be the one!!!


  9. Margaret says:

    Just gorgeous!

  10. kern says:

    I love the corners on the back for hanging!

  11. This Advent Calendar is adorable – great job on the tutorial by Elizabeth of Oh Fransson!!

  12. Lindsey says:

    love, love, love this! if I start now, I just may finish it before December 1. Thanks so much for sharing!

  13. Michelle says:

    This whole project is brilliant, but those easy triangle pockets on the back are sheer genius. I’m putting those on all my wall quilts from now on, to simple and too fabulous! Thanks, Elizabeth. This is a fantastic project, I definitely want to make one. Or two…

  14. Kristina Hepworth says:

    I have been looking for a cute, yet easy advent calendar for a while. I love this one! Thanks so much for sharing, going to have to stitch one up for this year, and maybe an extra one or two for some friends and family!

  15. Kelli says:

    Love it…I’ve started receiving my Christmas books to buy by mail too, it seems like it might be time to get into the holiday (gift-making if nothing else) spirit! I LOVE this and am bookmarking it right now!!!!

  16. Kate says:

    This is so great! Thanks for doing this- it’s been at the top of my Christmas to-do list for YEARS, and maybe, just maybe, this will be the year that it happens.

    I guess the trick is probably to do it in July. And I second the comments on making a kit for this- those fabrics are so lovely. And this is the perfect excuse to finally get a darning foot! Thanks.

  17. Sandy says:

    I’m going to try and make this for my niece and nephews before Christmas this year!

  18. jacquie says:

    i’m making this for my new niece! beautifully designed as usual!

  19. LOVELY! Can’t wait to get started on my own. Thanks for sharing all of your endless skills with us.

  20. Those fabrics really make this project look so fun to make. It’s really adorable!

  21. What a cute project!

  22. Courtney says:

    Adorable! Thanks for the tutorial. Wouldn’t it be great if Sew, Mama, Sew had a kit for this one?!?

  23. Michelle says:

    This is sooo cool!

  24. Becky says:

    That is one seriously adorable calendar!
    thanks for sharing!

  25. Cheryl says:

    The calendar is so cute! And I love the fabric!

  26. Shawna says:

    This is great! I really do want to make it! I was wishing this past year we had something for advent

  27. Helena says:

    that is so darling. thanks for the tut.

  28. Monica says:

    I absolutely love that. Hopefully i can get it done before Dec 1st.

  29. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks, everyone!

    Bree, I just drew the numbers templates — It’s not a font. 🙂

  30. Janice says:

    Oh man, this is SO adorable! I am having a baby in September and my husband and I would love to start this tradition with him!

  31. Carol says:

    Simply adorable! Your colors choices always work so well together.

  32. meg says:

    How cute is this?! Thanks for the tutorial, Elizabeth. And now is certainly the right time of year for it, because by December (when I really really want one), it’ll be way too late. . . again.

  33. Elena says:

    Amazing elizabeth!
    What a great idea for this christmas. I’ve downloaded the pattern and I will start to make my own calendar very soon.
    Thanks for sharing with us your tutorials, and advices they’re so helpful.

    Elena 😀

    I can’t wait to see your megaquilter in action.

  34. Heather says:

    Really cute! Thanks!

  35. Teddi says:

    absolutely adorable! Thanks so much for showcasing a Christmas craft this early in the year! 😀

  36. eileensideways says:

    that is so incredibly cute. love that fabric line with the stark white. so effective.

  37. isabel f. says:


  38. Faith says:

    Wow! That is amazing! It is so beautiful!

  39. Kristin says:

    Very cool! Love this idea. I am already thinking about other uses for pockets on quilts! Like dollies place to sleep or hanging book display quilt.

  40. Donna says:

    This is the BEST advent calendar ever!!!

    I am hatching plans to pull one off for this year!!

  41. Alice S says:

    This is so cool! I would love to make one if my children didn’t already have a very nice advent calander. I’m going to file it away to perhaps make for nieces and nephews in the future.

  42. Mary says:

    Very cute. Wish I had the patience to try a quilt!

  43. Ali says:

    Wow!! That is JUST the project I’ve been looking for. Something to get me through this HOT summer. Very Cute!! Thanks for posting!

  44. Bethany says:

    What a beautiful and wonderful project! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  45. Bree says:

    What a great project! May I ask what font you used for the numbers?

  46. Angela N says:

    I love it! The boys will be thrilled with a new advent calendar! Thanks

  47. Emily S. says:

    This is amazing- thanks for sharing!

  48. Lorene says:

    This is so cute!

  49. Lyric says:

    I LOVE this! And I’m SO glad that you posted this when there’s still time to make one! Thanks!

  50. Rita says:

    Wow, this looks like so much fun!! Oh and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the fabric!! Can’t wait to get started 🙂

  51. Margie says:

    Wow your advent calendar is so bright & beautiful! I never can get anything for Christmas made in July. I’m seriously in awe!!!

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