{No Excuses} Holiday Sew-Alongs–The Details

on September 29 | in Christmas Tree Pants (Skirt) Sew-Along, Color Block Placemats + Napkins Sew-Along, In a Pear Tree Advent Calender Sew-Along, Sew-Alongs | by | with 63 Comments

We’re very excited to share with you the details of our {No Excuses} Holiday Sew-Alongs! Every year we hear from dozens of people who tell us that November is simply too late to start sewing tree skirts, advent calendars and table linens. We can totally relate. By November we’re heavily involved in gift making, with no time to think about starting home decor projects. That’s why this year we are starting in October (thus the “No Excuses” aspect — all meant in good fun, of course.) Here is how it will work:

The instructions for each project will be posted in multiple segments throughout the month, but on the same day of the week. (Placemats on Mondays, advent calendar on Wednesdays and tree skirt on Fridays.) If you are sewing along, join the corresponding Flickr group to share your photos and post your questions to the designers, who will be checking in on the discussion boards there.  To give you a little incentive to keep sewing along, every week we’ll have a drawing for a great prize. All you have to do to enter is post a photo of your progress in that project’s Flickr pool. These are fabulous projects created by talented, experienced designers and authors. Join one, two or all three sew-alongs. Ready? Set? Sew!


Color Blocks Placemats and Napkins


Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Fransson!


These modern patchwork placemats and napkins are all dressed up and ready for your next holiday dinner! We’ll use basic quiltmaking skills to create a set of four placemats and four napkins that are each slightly different, while remaining a beautiful coordinating set. Do you want to use your scraps? Do you want to make more than four? This sew-along will include helpful hints for adapting the pattern to your needs.


October 3, 10, 17 and 24 (four Mondays)

Flickr Group

Color Blocks Placemats and Napkins Sew-Along


Post photos of your progress in the Flickr group each week for a chance to win:

  • a copy of Elizabeth’s book, The Practical Guide to Patchwork
  • a $20 gift certificate to Sew,Mama,Sew!
  • a pack of 12 Kona fat quarters
  • a fabulous sewing book (tbd)

Pear Tree Advent


In A Pear Tree Advent Calendar


Linda Feldman of Craft Apple


A wall-hanging advent calendar that has 24 windows that open to reveal images of the Christmas season, photos of your family, simple sayings or whatever you choose.


October 5, 12, 19 and 26 (four Wednesdays)

Flickr Group

In A Pear Tree Advent Calendar Sew-Along


Post photos of your progress in the Flickr group each week for a chance to win:

Tree Pants


Christmas Tree Pants (because not all trees like to wear skirts)


Monica Solorio-Snow of Happy Zombie


A simple Tree Pants quilt that’s fun to do in solids or prints, with scraps or with yardage. So fun you’ll want to make multiple pants. Simple “stitch and flip” star points = no triangle piecing.


October 7, 14 and 21 (three Fridays)

Flickr Group

Christmas Tree Pants Sew-Along


Post photos of your progress in the Flickr group each week for a chance to win:


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63 Responses to {No Excuses} Holiday Sew-Alongs–The Details

  1. […] Machine. For book details see this post, and don’t forget to add your progress photos to our Sew-Along Flickr Pools for more chances to WIN! This entry was posted on Friday, October 28th, 2011 at 6:22 am and is […]

  2. […] Machine. For book details see this post, and don’t forget to add your progress photos to our Sew-Along Flickr Pools for more chances to WIN! This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 at 5:30 am and is […]

  3. […] Machine. For book details see this post, and don’t forget to add your progress photos to our Sew-Along Flickr Pools for more chances to WIN! This entry was posted on Sunday, October 23rd, 2011 at 10:51 pm and is […]

  4. […] Designs. For book details see this post, and don’t forget to add your progress photos to our Sew-Along Flickr Pools for more chances to WIN! This entry was posted on Friday, October 21st, 2011 at 5:56 am and is […]

  5. Libby says:

    I just love those placemats – so many possibilities with different fabrics!

  6. […] Comment on any post all week for a chance to win a new sewing book! Add a photo to one of the Sew-Along Flickr pools for your chance to win some fabulous prizes EACH WEEK! This entry was posted on Sunday, October […]

  7. I just found this site and can’t wait to try the recipes!! I love this one and hope to get my husband OUT of the vending machine at work.

  8. […] calendar for October 14 and October 21! Start today and you’ll be set to trim that tree. Find prize details here, and here are Sew-Along Materials Requirements for each of our three sew-along projects. Have […]

  9. Carol says:

    I love the Tree pants idea 🙂 it will make my tree very stylish.
    Wow, I get to go shopping for fabric what could be better… Can’t wait to start on this.

  10. Char says:

    Pants! Pants! We all need Pants!

  11. Dayna says:

    Oh, I can feel the inspiration mounting!

  12. Kelly O. says:

    can’t wait to start the placemats!

  13. Gwen says:

    Love the “tree pants”, and my tree needs something more stylish to adorn it than an old white tablecloth. Now to go figure out how a sew-a-long works since I’ve never done one before.

  14. Kristin S says:

    I’ve never done a sew along, but I’m excited about that advent calendar!

  15. Charlotte Lund Rasmussen says:

    This will be the first sew along I enter and I can’t wait! But how do I enter exactly…?

  16. Janet says:

    Locked and loaded for the Advent Calendar!

  17. Christine says:

    I love the placemats!! And, I love the Christmas tree pants. I always wanted a white Christmas tree and the pants are perfect for it.

  18. […] Handmade Holiday inspiration! Even if you don’t have time to participate in each of the {No Excuses} Holiday Sew-Alongs we think you’ll find something fun to make. The tutorials feature fun items to top presents, […]

  19. […] a great prize, including some of the fun books we’re showing you today! Learn all about our {No Excuses} Holiday Sew-Alongs in this post, which also includes links to the Flickr pools. We also have information about all of the Sew-Along […]

  20. JudyC says:

    Christmas Tree Pants! How cool, can’t wait for the 7th!!!

  21. Melissa Lake says:

    What fun! Can’t wait to see all of the cool projects. I may even jump in and make something!

  22. Colleen says:

    I love the tree pants! And since it’s school holidays (here in South Australia), I have no excuses. 😉

  23. Jean MN says:

    The table mats & Advent Calender are headed for my To Do list! Looking forward to the tutorials.

  24. Roslyn Power says:

    I would love to join in on doing the Advent Calendar it looks fabulous.
    ((HUGS))) Roz.

  25. Bridget says:

    These are great! Are the fabric requirements listed somewhere or will these be given at the start of each one?

  26. MarciaW says:

    These all sound fun to do! Partial to tree pants and color block placemats & napkins.

  27. Mary Ann says:

    The advent calendar looks like such fun – can’t wait.

  28. Lindsey says:

    The advent calender is for me! How unusal it is. I love it.

  29. […] been putting together an advent calendar tutorial for SewMamaSew. Information is on her blog  here (note: there are prizes […]

  30. Tammy S says:

    Oh it looks like sew much fun – I might have to do both the placemats and tree pants.

  31. Stephanie S says:

    The napkin and placemat set look perfect for some gifts this year! What a great group of sew alongs!

  32. Julia says:

    I’m so excited about these! I’ve been in a sewing funk since last Christmas (only 1 project in 9 months!!!!!!) and an approachable, finite sewalong is a brilliant renewal for me. Thanks, bloggers & SMS!

  33. krystina says:

    Starting in October is a great idea. Usually by the time November rolls around, I have great ideas and intentions but no time! I’m probably going to join in the placemants sew along. Thanks for hosting this!

  34. Rita says:

    I’m wanting to do a sew along and have never done this. I’m sorta new at sewing, but I’m sure I can make the placemats and napkins.
    I don’t understand the the button thing, can I still take part.
    I really love you website I’m making the sachet bags for Christmas
    presents now.

    Thank you and I will watch for any response from you.

  35. Julielorene says:

    I’m new to blogging & sew-alongs & am finding it a challenge to navigate (& feeling kinda dumb, hanging head). Can someone tell me how to find the instructions for the projects please? I’m especially interested in the advent calendar.

    • Irene says:

      Julielorene- Glad to hear you might be joining us! The instructions for each project will be posted in multiple segments throughout the month of October, but on the same day of the week, i.e. placemats on Mondays, advent calendar on Wednesdays and tree “pants” on Fridays. Each post will have more information regarding materials, cutting instructions as well as tips and advice for putting it all together. Elizabeth will kick it all off on Monday!

  36. NancyinSTL says:

    Thanks for the quilt-alongs. Coincidentally, I have already started placemats, an advent calendar and a tree skirt for Christmas gifts this year. My placemat and tree skirt designs are more labor intensive than the ones in your quilt-alongs. So, I might play along. However, my advent calendar is being made using the shirt pockets of the thrifted shirts that I used in making my version of Elizabeth Hartman’s Clothesline quilt. My tree skirt is being made using the Pine Burr method of lots of prairie points and looks great so far. My original placemat design can be found here—> http://www.flickr.com/people/nphinstl/

  37. Can’t wait for that advent calender!

  38. Tonya says:

    Love the advent calendar. Will definately be carving some time out of my schedule to sew-along for that.

  39. Erika says:

    is there anyway to get the fabric requirements early so that we can shop this weekend or the 15% off coupon that ends Saturday. I am new to sewing so I can’t gauge my fabric requirements very well and I have zero stash.

  40. Debbie says:

    Wonderful! I can’t wait.

  41. Jess says:

    Yay!! I think the tree skirt is my top priority but I also love the style of the placemats and may turn that idea into a table runner. I’d loooove to make the calendar, too, but we’ll see if I have the time and materials required! I may also adapt that one to be sort of a fall-colored tree.

  42. Asta says:

    oh Franson, I can’t resist anything you offer. I’m gonna join this one for sure.

  43. This sounds like fun and the projects are beautiful! I’m in (o:

  44. PennyDog says:

    I’ve never done a sew along but I think I could do the placemats and napkins! I do quite fancy the advent calendar too but I don’t trust myself to do 2!

  45. Cat says:

    I totally want to make the tree pants!!

  46. Kristin H says:

    What a fun idea! I’m looking forward to both the placemats and the tree pants sew-alongs!

  47. Andi says:

    This is great! I love the early start date – maybe I will finally be able to use all the awesome holiday fabric I have been collecting!

  48. Ginger says:

    Looking forward to these sew alongs.

  49. Kerri says:

    These look wonderful! Just a quick question. Will the instructions be posted to the blog and then we join the sew along by posting on Flickr?


  50. Michelle says:

    Ha ha! Christmas Tree Pants. So funny. Can’t wait for all these great projects. Thanks, ladies!

  51. YES! Finally a Holiday Sew Along I can get behind. Tree Pants – I am all over you!

  52. Erika says:

    beautiful projects. I’m excited to start my first sew-along

  53. VickiT says:

    Oh, these all look just wonderful. Was reading while talking to hubby on the way home from work just now and started laughing. He thought I’d gone nuts, but I explained that I’d just read a title for Monica’s sew along ~ tree pants. lol Too cute. It sure sounds like a lot of fun; every single one of them!

  54. Foster says:

    Can’t wait to get started. Tried to grab the Sew Along button for my blog but it didn’t work. Any suggestions?

  55. Jessica E says:

    Christmas Tree Pants! Hah, I love the title.
    I am looking forward to joining the Advent Calender Sew along…this will be my first sew along, and I’ve been searching for an Advent Calender to make too, so how perfect.

  56. Jen V says:

    Every year I wish I had a tree skirt or pants, knickers – anything to dress up the underneath! Thank you! I getting myself pumped up for this project!

  57. Cricket says:

    I’ve been meaning to make placemats for ages and yet – haven’t. Maybe a little sew along nudge will help. I really love those – simple, but not boring.

  58. jen says:

    advent calendar is going on my to-do!

  59. Kate says:

    I am so excited about the advent tree! I have been wanting to make one so bad, and this is perfect. I need to add this button to my blog.

  60. Sonja says:

    Oh, this is going to be such fun! And they will make great gifts come Christmas. I can not wait. Going now to choose some fabrics from my stash!

  61. Beezus says:

    Looking forward to that advent calendar project. I’ve been looking for something like this for a couple of years now and have been disappointed by most of the patterns that I’ve come across. This is lovely, and will go well in my MIL’s dining room or living room at Christmas time! 🙂

  62. Christie says:

    With a name like “tree pants” how can I possibly resist? A. I don’t wear skirts myself, and B. my current tree “skirt” is an old blue towel. Same one for at least 10 years!

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