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Stitch these pockets full of Advent wonder

If you’ve seen my columns before, you know that I’m a big fan of any project with felt. So when Crafty Living columnist Joyce McCartney suggested I make an Advent calendar out of felt, I ran with the idea.

I saw these little pockets in a Lowe’s catalog and thought they looked cute and simple. They are quick to whip out and could be used on a string, on a tree branch, on a mantle, down some stairs, anywhere!

What you need:

•Pattern found on our website

•Felt (in your choice of colors)

•Embroidery floss

•Needle (my favorite is a sharp-tipped chenille needle)

•(optional) If you don’t want to stitch your numbers on like I did, use puffy paint or something else of your choice.

What you do:

1. Download the pattern and cut it out (it can be found at www.journalgazette.net/craftyliving). The pocket part may look strange because it’s wider than the back, but that is so the pocket puckers out a little and can be stuffed with goodies.

2. Cut out 25 pockets and backs.

3. Stitch numbers onto your pockets. I purposefully sewed mine so the pockets would be in the red, white and gray pattern.

4. Use a blanket stitch along the top of the pocket. When you get to the end of the top of the pocket, hold the back of your pocket to it, and continue the blanket stitch all the way around. Make sure to line up your pocket with your backing so that the pocket puckers out a little.

5.When you get all the way around, finish off your blanket stitch; you can even put your needle between your two layers of felt and tie off your floss inside the pocket to conceal the knot.

6. Use floss or ribbon to make a hanger for your pockets, or just use little clothespins to attach them to your twine.

7. Display them on ribbon, twine, a branch, a Christmas tree … anything festive.

Alicia Tharp is a crafter and copy editor for The Journal Gazette. Regular Crafty Living columnist Joyce McCartney can be reached at 461-8364 or email craftyliving@jg.net. Also, read Joyce’s blog at www.journalgazette.net/craftyliving. There, you will also find the weekly knitting podcast Math4Knitters.

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