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Your Christmas crafting cosiness checklist (oh, cosy!)


Hot Chocolate? Check.

Fire lighters? Check.

One slipper on and the other stewn aside for the purpose of the sewing machine pedal? Check.

Then you've everything you need for the perfect cuddly crafting night in. As the early nights draw near, there's nothing more I want to do than cuddle up with a hot mug of something comforting and sew my evenings away. And it's also the time that I start to think about what I would like to make for the Christmas period. The children are back at school and the inclination to leave the house is ever dwindling as the temperature drops, making these perfectly conducive conditions for some Christmas crafting!

First up is our Dashwood Advent Calendar supplied as a measure of fabric complete with instructions and cutting guide to denote exactly where and how to piece this cheerful creation together. A stunning gift and a really enjoyable project to watch unfold.


One of the most underestimated tasks of the Christmas period is the amount of time it takes to write Christmas cards. Get ahead with our truly personal crochet cards that will let everyone special in your life know just how valued they are.

Christmas Cards

Given that it's already October, I've almost admitted to myself that it might not be possible to hand make everything as intended, and that is where these fabulous mugs come in. One of these wouldn't look at all out of place on my sewing table or any of my sewing circle friends' and we think they're super! Happiness is INDEED a full bobbin (and a mug from a good friend!).

Sewing Themed Mugs - Set of 3

If you're still intent on making all your gifts yourself and you're feeling felty then we have the most stunning collection of kits from the Gilliangladrag Fluff-a-torium no less! And if you do run out of time then these are all packaged beautifully and make thoughtful gifts in their own right - there, that takes the pressure off!

Vintage Laundry Peg Bag Wet Felt Making Kit Hottie-bottie Colonel Nocturnal Wet Felting Kit Gwendoline-Penguin Vintage Vignette Bag - Felt Making Kit - MOLLIE MAKES










And now for a peek at some of our sublime Christmas crafting fabrics. The biggest hurdle is deciding what to do with them all...

Dashwood Studio - Festive Friends - Christmas Cats - FEST-1172 Dashwood Studio - Festive Friends - FEST1171 Dashwood Studio - Festive Friends - Christmas Stripes - FEST-1174 Dashwood Studio - Festive Friends - Christmas Puddings - FEST-1173Dashwood Studio - Festive Friends - Snowflakes & Stars - FEST-1175

Tasha Noel - Pixie Noel -c5251- White









And don't forget your trimmings for the holly on the Christmas cake effect!

IMG_1860 Scandinavian Christmas - Winter Flower Ribbon Christmas Moose Ribbon Green Scandinavian Christmas - Merry Christmas Ribbon Rustic Christmas - Bobbin Robin - Ribbon










Whatever projects you are planning to embark on, we'd love to see your final creations -

Happy, happy crafting!

Yours, with a cat on my lap x


Dashwood Studio - Quilted Advent Calendar - Your step-by-step guide


Festive Friends Quilted Advent Calendar

Tutorial by Louise Ambrosi, Sew Sofia

Seam allowance, unless otherwise stated: 0.25inch


1 Dashwood Festive Friends Advent Panel

1 FQ coordinating fabric for the backing

1 FQ wadding

3.5inch x 13inch piece of fabric for dowelling pocket

2 decorative buttons

2m bias binding

11inch piece of narrow wooden dowelling

2 small metal or plastic rings (I use Prym 16mm café rod rings)

0.75m ribbon

Basic sewing kit



Poppies & Polka Dots have a ready made kit with virtually everything you'd need to make this Advent Panel check it out here

Points before you start.

Consider using a contrasting thread like mint green.

A Rotary cutter and long ruler can help with precision cutting.

A walking foot is recommended for any decorative quilting at the end but not essential.

Backstitch at the start and finish of any sewing to secure stitching.

Seam allowance is 0.25inch throughout.


Cutting instructions:

First iron the advent panel to remove any creases. This will help with more precise cutting of all those pockets!

Cut along the central dotted lines of the panel piece to separate the backing panel from the pocket strips.


Cut around the back panel piece leaving a 0.25inch seam allowance all around in the pale mint green.


Preparing the pockets

Cut the 5 pocket strips horizontally leaving a line of mint green and a line of white above the pocket strip (we’ll call them the seam allowance) and leave just the white seam allowance below each pocket.


Fold over the top green edge of the pocket strip and press.

Fold over the short edges of each long strip, press, then fold over the white edge and press again.


Pin and stitch close to the edge along the top of each strip.


I sew on the right side to make sure I’m not sewing over any pictures.


On the advent panel instructions they suggest making pleats using the dotted lines as a guide. I find it simpler to cut along the dotted lines … it also means you can place the pockets wherever you like and not necessarily in numerical order.


Press under the sides of each pocket, then pin on to the backing panel.


Sewing on the pockets

I find it easier to manoeuvre the panel by sewing from the bottom right corner. Starting at the top right corner of each pocket, sew down one side till you reach the bottom, raise the foot with needle still in the fabric, pivot, lower the foot and continue sewing the bottom and other side of each pocket. Remember to backstitch at the top of each pocket to ensure it is secure.


Prepare the Backing

 Dowelling pocket

Fold the 13inch x 3.5inch rectangle in half lengthwise and press to make a centre crease. Open out, then fold each short edge in by 0.25inch, press and stitch. Fold in half lengthways, then fold in each long raw edge to the centre. You will have a 12inch x 0.75inch piece with no raw edges showing. Pin and stitch to close the open edge.


Position the dowelling pocket 2.5inchs down and centred on the right side of the backing fabric. Stitch in place along the same stitching.


Layer your quilt sandwich

Lay the backing fabric wrong side up, place the wadding on top, then place the advent pocket panel right side up on top to make a sandwich. Pin or use wonderclips to secure the three layers together. Baste stitch using a longer length stitch all around to secure.


Quilting the advent calendar

If you have a walking foot, now is the time to use it! With contrasting thread stitch along the solid lines that frame the advent. Get creative by using a decorative stitch below each line of pockets. Make sure you don’t sew over the ends of the dowelling pocket when quilting…!



Open out the bias binding and with right sides together pin along the raw edge of the calendar. Sew along the first fold line leaving a 0.25inch space at the corner edge to help ease the binding around to the next side. Continue until you reach the last corner. Cut the binding about 0.5inch off from the edge so that you can fold it under and hide the raw edge on your last stitch.


Now fold the binding over to the backing side of the calendar, pin in place and stitch in place, taking care to ease the binding around the corners before sewing. Take your time, this can be quite fiddly but worth the end result!


Finishing off

Cut an 11inch piece of dowelling and insert into dowelling pocket. I slip stitch each end of the pocket just to make sure the dowelling doesn’t come out.

Hand stitch two small rings 1inch in on either end of the dowelling pocket


Hand stitch two decorative buttons to the front of the calendar at the top corners.



Thread through a length of ribbon, tie into a pretty bow and your calendar is done! Now all you need to do is fill it!

finished_advent_calendar_4 finished_advent_calendar_3 finished_advent_calendar_2 finished_advent_calendar_1

Dashwood Studio - Christmas Dreams versus Winter Wonderland

Back in February I asked the question on social media, should I order Dashwood Studio's Christmas Dream collection for 2015 or their Winter Wonderland collection?

Dashwood Studio - Winter Wonderland Fat Quarter Bundle Christmas Dreams

I loved both, although they are very different and really didn't know which one to opt for.
The response I received was completely overwhelming, it was wonderful to receive so much feedback and the overall opinion was the need for both!
To be honest in the end I didn't need much persuading, I had been so torn myself that the sensible option seemed to be "when in doubt, go for everything!"

So here we are five months on and I am delighted to say that both collections have now arrived and are available on the website:
Dashwood Studio - Christmas Dreams
Dashwood Studio - Winter Wonderland

Neither have disappointed, as previously said, they are quite different although both are a playful representation of Christmas and the festive season. Christmas Dreams uses bright pinks, greens, grey and teal with very bold illustrations. Whilst Winter Wonderland uses a darker pallet with navy blue and strong reds however still combines these with muted greens and teals. The combinations work beautifully, whilst the drawings are more delicate than those featured in Christmas Dreams, and include nordic-like details.

The Winter Wonderland collection also has a fabulous Advent Calendar Panel - which I cannot wait to get started on....I'll hopefully get a tutorial up on here as soon as possible!

Let me know what you think....any preferences between the two collections?

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