Friday, November 16, 2012

{Finally Finished It Friday: Holiday Calendar & Snowflake Blanket}

Recently I have decided that I must finish half done projects and projects that I planned on doing and haven't started yet but have all the materials for.  When I started to clean out boxes in the closet I discovered many projects that I forgot about, some that were started 8 years ago, yikes.  I decided it was time to get these done and I've made some good progress.  On Fridays I'll share of these long over-due projects with you.

Two years ago I started to make a Holiday Calendar for my son.  He was almost 4 and having a hard time with all the holiday happenings and not knowing what was coming up.  To add to the normal holidays, his birthday is the end of November.  I came up with the idea of a re-usable holiday calendar that spanned from Thanksgiving week thru New Years.

For the main part I used a duck cloth and a nice holiday print for the border.  I made sure to wash and dry the duck cloth first because it shrinks significantly.  With a little guy around I knew that there was good chance it would eventually need to be washed.  I drew my grid on the duck cloth with a water-soluble or disappearing ink marker then used a small zig-zag stitch to make the calendar squares.  I decided to use snaps to attach the number and holiday tags.  I used snaps because, at the time, I was sure my son would re-arrange them at will if I used velcro.  Snaps were also something that were difficult for him to use so I was also sneaking in a bit of occupational therapy when adding the number tag each day.  If I were to do it now that is almost 6 I would definitely use velcro.

 To make the number tags I used a stiff felt to cut squares, sewed on the snap part then added some pre-made felt shapes.  For the November numbers I used orange felt for the square and for the decorative shapes I found a package of leaves, apples, pumpkins and flowers that already had an adhesive applied to them.  For the numbers I used my Cricut machine and vinyl to make the numbers.  The December tags used red & white stiff felt for the squares.  I used an assortment of candy canes, stars, trees and ornaments for the themed decoration.  For the numbers I used number stickers.  January tags are made from light blue stiff felt and snowmen, the numbers were also stickers.

I made several "special" tags to add to the calendar so Milo would be able to see when the holidays and special events are.  These were mostly round tags with a felt shape representing the occasion.

To hang this I used Command Picture Hanging Strips.  I sewed one part onto the back of the calendar and used the adhesive to attach the other to the wall and they click together, sort of like velcro.  I LOVE this product because I live in an older house with plaster and lath walls which make nails nearly impossible to hang decorations, etc.

I am so excited this calendar is finally done in time for this holiday season and is ready to be used starting Monday.
My second project was a quick one!  I found this lovely red and light blue snowflake fleece in a box, I'm guessing from 2 or 3 years ago.  I just love this color combination.  I wanted a light blue binding with a print on it so I knew I would have to make some bias tape, which sounds hard but it really isn't.  There is a great tutorial here if you are interested in making some too.  I used a light blue print with white stars to make the bias tape.  I cut the fleece too the largest rectangle I could then rounded the corners using a dinner plate as a guide.  I find the easiest way to attach bias tape to blankets is with a zig-zag stitch.  It insures that all layers are caught the first time around.  Every time I try use a straight stitch there are parts of the bias tape on the underside that do not get caught and I have to go back and fix several areas.  The zig-zag solved that problem for me.

Have you finished any long over-due projects lately?  I'd love to hear about them!

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