Nativity Applique Pictures

The last couple of weeks were really busy for us because we had to figure out which school our kid should go to next year. If you’ve been there then you know it is not an easy process, to me the emotional part is the most difficult. Anyway, we visited the schools nearby and made our decision. Now we wait until May when they let us know if he got in. Until then it’s time for me to get back to sewing and blogging! Yeay!
I wanted to try out a new project for Christmas and since I was hoping to get into a local Christmas market, I started as early as July. But the answer came and I didn’t get in and for weeks I stopped working on my nativity pictures. But a couple of weeks ago I thought I would finish them anyway and maybe give them as presents for Christmas and share the work-process with you because it was awesome!

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So I came up with the idea of sewing nativity themed pictures for Christmas using applique methods. I tried out a few design, some were printed from the internet, but for the most part I drew the designs myself. The first pieces aren’t as fabulous as the last ones but I still find them lovely.

falikepek1-003I bought lots of picture frames on flea markets, traced the picture size onto an other piece of paper, drew the design, cut it into little puzzle pieces and used those sometimes tiny pieces as my template for the applique.

falikepek1Then I ironed those applique puzzle pieces onto a background fabric and started sewing them with a zigzag stitch. When a picture was done, I pressed it again and taped onto a piece of white paper (cut to the size of the picture frame). And voila!

falikepek1-001When I made these three pictures I wanted to create a design that could be duplicated, so for the next four frame I used the same template:

falikepek1-002I wanted to have a stained glass effect on these, so I used only black thread to sew them. I think I was successful in this attempt. If you want to make a picture like mine, you can download my template here. Print it in size A/4 and you get yourself a template for a picture frame of size 18x24cm! (7×9,5 in)
Print the template twice: cut one up and use the little pieces to trace your applique! The other one will be used as a template that you should put underneath the backdrop fabric: it will help you place the little pieces when you iron them onto the backdrop fabric:

dsc_4142I cheated a little when i cut out the puzzle pieces because I rather cut bigger ones where it was possible and then added an extra seam to make it look like more pieces:

dsc_4144And the same trick already marked on the other fabric:

dsc_4284This is how it should look before starting to sew:

dsc_4145When you are sewing along the puzzle edges, make sure to cover both fabrics with your zigzag stitch! The sewing itself actually didn’t take longer then an hour, the preparing part was probably an other hour or maybe a little more. It shouldn’t take longer since you can just download the pattern and you don’t need to design it!
I think my family members will be very happy when they open these presents (and no, my parents and granny doesn’t read my blog, so I am not ruining the surprise)!
And if you make a picture like this using my template, please, let me know in a comment below! I’m looking forward seeing your creations!

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Just an idea

When I prepared the advent calendar for my son, I was thinking that I should do something for myself, as well. But not getting chocolate every day (I do it anyways and not just in advent…), instead something that actually means something to me. Than I came up with the idea: lets make a list of 24 friends and send them letters. Sounds wired, right? Let me explain.

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We have been living abroad ever since we got married in 2007. I consider it as a long time especially because we only planed to have an adventure for one year. These years passed by and we were not able to keep in touch with all of our friends. Not just from Hungary but we also lost contact with the new friends, too when they moved away or we did. This is not entirely a bad thing. What I mean is that you don’t need to keep in touch with every one but you must appreciate your good friends who stood by you when you needed them. And moving to a foreign country shows you exactly who are your true friends. Many of them will probably think that you are the one who moved, you shall make the effort to keep in touch. But I disagree. It takes two. For me it was hard to realize that many of my friends didn’t even care to send an email once in a while, they just didn’t care about me as much as I thought they would.

But what can you do? You take a deep breath and move on: appreciate your real friends!
And this advent I am trying to do that by making the time and effort and sending them a decent letter instead of making an empty new year’s resolution or just signing a Christmas card. I might not finish my list before Christmas but I don’t think that it matters. Just make the effort and show your appreciation and love!

Have a blessed Advent!

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Do you remember my posts about the advent calendar from last year? If not, you can check them out here. I created that calendar for my three years old son who is now one year older of course. Last year he decorated the tree at once, maybe played with the ornaments a couple of times but I think he is appreciating it even more this year because he puts up the ornaments one by one, each morning just one. He is at the age where he tries to understand the meaning of “yesterday”, “tomorrow”, “next week” and “at Christmas” and probably this is why he gets it more.  And he didn’t recognize it from last year which is also great.

The other thing that I made as a present last year was a nativity themed applique:

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If you are looking for a similar project, you can find my tutorial right here. I might make an other but bigger one this year with the three wise man, animals, angel etc. At least that’s the plan…

Have a blessed Advent!

 

After Christmas…

Well, here we go: the holidays are kind of over now and I still owe you, my dear Readers a post about the Advent Calendar and other Christmas stuff. There is no excuse, I am terribly lazy with writing these days but keep in mind: there is always a next advent and Christmas when you can actually use some of these ideas!

As I wrote it in a previous post, I decided to finish the small ornaments for the advent calendar as we go and so I did. But to be honest, I was a bit disappointed because my three-years-old son lost interest in decorating his tree after about two weeks. He might enjoy it more next year. At least I hope he does.

Here are the ornaments: all 24 of them! As you can see 22 of them is hand-stitched felt. The first one is also self-made but I used air-dry clay. The last one was a present from a friend who makes the most amazing Christmas ornaments from stuff that she finds in nature (and with the help of a hot glue gun).

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My favorites are the little house, the snowman and the holy family. The drum and the penguin was kind of made for my husband who for some reason always wanted to have a penguin ornament and plays the drum.

The base with the tree looked like this:
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I attached the curtain robe to the door with tape and added wasi tape on the edges around. It was necessary to keep it from falling off but also looked much nicer with the red frame on the white door.

And finally the tree with all the ornaments:
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Do you like the it? If you want to make something similar for next Christmas keep in mind: it takes a lot of time but looks so beautiful at the end!

 

Our other holiday project was to make a fake fireplace. I am not kidding. My husband and I both love fireplaces but unfortunately don’t have one. However we did have a pallet in the garden that we no longer used and I had the idea to make a fake fireplace out of it. My husband wasn’t a big fan of this idea but he helped me anyway because he knew it was important to me. (Best husband, ever!) We used other pieces of wood, not just the ones from the pallet and a left-over fabric for the back. Wood and lights were also already on hand in the household, so the total investment wasn’t more then 6-7€ and a couple of evenings working together.

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I’m really happy how it turned out: made our tiny living room very cozy and we also had place for those Christmas-cards. We set up our tree next to it and even my husband loved it at the end.

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And our little son was playing camp-fire in it: he was grilling toy food on the fake fire… Is it really cute or just weird?

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Anyway, it’s all packed up in our basement since yesterday and we are getting ready our apartment and ourselves for the new baby’s arrival now.

Advent Calendar Part 3.

As I mentioned in the last post, I still try to catch up with many things in my life including the advent calendar for my son. I decided to continue making the small ornaments from felt and fill the pockets up as soon as I can. I know it’s very lame but I do have an advantage this year: my son can only count up to five and so far he did not notice that a few pocket is actually empty…

When Advent started about a week ago I managed to get done 17 ornaments. I took these pictures on the first day:

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Since then I was able to make a couple more and now only four is missing. The good thing is that my days seem to be calmer and now I have a bit more time. So hopefully the whole project will be done in a few days and I can share the details with you!
Until then check out “sewchat’s” calendar on this link who was able to finish her beautiful calendar just in time for Advent and kept my spirit up by sending me supporting messages! Thanks again!

Everything is last minute…

Lately it seems like everything I do is last minute. I don’t know how did this happen but I definitely have to catch up as soon as possible. I have big hopes for December: no more working and still (almost) two months before the new baby arrives into the family. I am crossing the fingers and doing my best.
There are two things for today that I would like to share with you.

First I have an invitation for everyone who lives in Aachen or happens to be there on the weekend:

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There is a Hungarian-German Friendship Club at the Giselastße 5. (Ac-Burtscheid 52066) where a few hobby crafters will organize a small but lovely market on the up-coming weekend (29-30. November). You will find here crochet-animals for kids, paintings, Christmas decorations made out of natural materials, jewelry, knitted goods and my patchwork creations. Besides the crafts we will be offering very yummy Hungarian cakes and sweets with coffee. On Sunday there will be also great live music (Guitar and Violin) provided by two young talented man. Come, take a look and enjoy this weekend with us between 1 and 6 PM! (Both days)

The other thing that I wanted to write about this week is the Advent Calender that I have been working on. Well, it is still work in progress, to be honest. I’m afraid that it won’t be ready until Monday but I still have a couple of nights to work on it. Or maybe I shouldn’t come up with impossible ideas all the time and my life would be much easier…

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So far I have 12 tree ornaments done and 12 more to go. I might cheat with sweets and finish the project for next year or I will make the rest during Advent, as we go.

Advent Calendar Part 1.

I will present this project in two (or maybe three) parts because it takes a long time to finish and I do hope, that someone will try to make it and finish it on time with me! I started to make an Advent calendar for my three-year-old son but my biggest concern was that he should not get chocolate every day in Advent. I hate the idea and because he does not get chocolate usually more then once a week, I had to figure out something else for him. I found many tree-decorating-kind Advent calendar on the internet but using only velcro and felt seemd a bit easy for me. Yes, for me, he might love playing with that but we will never know. So my idea was to make the 24 little pockets and fill them with even smaller tree-ornaments which he can hang on the felt-tree.

1. First I chose the basic fabric, hemed the edges and added a little loop on top for the curtain robe. The size of the finished basic is ca. 68x100cm.

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2. Then I cut out a tree form accordingly. It’s about 58cm tall and 53cm wide on the bottom. Pinned onto the baige fabric and sewed it. I also added a little pice of brown felt on the bottom for the tree trunk: I slipped it under the green felt.

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3. For the next step I hand-sewed 24 small buttons onto the tree. We will hang the ornaments on those. I think this is a great idea because the tree doesn’t look so naked at the beginning.

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4. After attaching the buttons, I also added a star to the top of the tree. For that I cut out a sample first: it was important not to cross the seam for the curtain robe. This is why the star looks a bit strange.

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First I pinned and sewed the yellow layer of felt, then the orange.

DSC_0341Then the tree was done and looked like this:

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5. Then I cut out 24 small pockets from felt again. Their size is 6,5×5,5cm. Now I am hand-stitching the numbers onto them. This step is not finished yet but take a look anyway!

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When I am finished with the pockets, I will start working on the small ornaments (to hide in the pockets and later) to hang on the tree. I will make samples for those and upload them for you! Of course, you can hide sweets in the pockets, as well. Just decide what is best for your family and get started in time!

 

Advent

I know that Advent started last Sunday and I am late with these ideas but I will share them anyway, you can use them for next year if you like.

First take a look at our Advent’s calendar! I made it last year and it is not too complicated but it takes a little bit of time.

IMGP3925This was originally a no-sew project, I used my hot-glue-gun but only because I did not have the time to sew it. I plan to sew all the lines over and make it stronger and nicer once I have the time. Chose whatever is more comfortable to you. For each pocket I cut out a trapeze out of felt. I also used felt for the numbers and let me tell you this part will take some time! For decorating the pockets I applied two different kinds of lace preferably glue or sew the lace and the numbers onto the pockets before applying the pockets onto the board! I filled each pocket with a tea-bag, a piece of chocolate and a quotation (from the Bible, Christmas songs, novels and poems).

My other project was quiet last minute, I made our advent wreaths the very last night before advent began. I am not going to describe step by step how I made it but I will give you one tip. Our advent wreaths had to be kid-friendly because our son is now almost 15 months old and he absolutely has to take apart everything. This is why I figured instead of candles we will use led-lights. And it works!

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Yes, it does not look the same and it certainly does not smell the same but I think it’s better to have this then nothing.

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