set table with christmas decoration

Quilted advent calendar

It’s not Christmas without an advent calendar. Shop bought ones can be a bit boring, so why not make your own this year and pass it down as a family heirloom?


Our wall-hanging design is bright, fun and modern. The main body of the advent calendar is quilted, with appliqué, embroidery and sparkling rhinestone embellishments.

We’ve appliquéd the numbers onto each advent pocket, but as an alternative to the embroidery designs, you could sew the pouches and cut the images from vinyl or appliqué them. All the downloads – embroidery PES data, ScanNCut cutting files and appliqué outlines – can be downloaded here.

Sewn advent calendar

Finished size: 1 x 1.10m

You will need

Background, backing and binding

  • 1 x 1.10m piece of med weight linen fabric
  • 1 x 1.10m backing fabric
  • 1 x 1.10m thin batting
  • 4 strips of 9cm (3 ½ “) each in Magenta fabric for binding

Advent pockets

  • Approximately 0.5m of white fabric with golden stars – we used Grunge Seeing Stars Vanilla 30148 11M Moda Metallic#1
  • Approximately 1m of white fabric with metallic accents
  • Small pieces of bright coloured fabric for numbers – we used a variety of Moda Grunge and Stof Melange fabrics in yellows, oranges, pinks, reds, purples, blues and greens
  • See our list of fabrics and coordinating embroidery threads here.
  • Tearaway stabilizer: 2m
  • Thread: we used Madeira Polyneon – see our list of fabrics and matching thread numbers here.


  • For tree: three shades of green. We used Moda grunge with metallic dots and stars – this way the tree already looks decorated! You will need a piece of material that is 12 x 12 inches for each layer of the tree
  • For Father Christmas, his sleigh and Rudolph: purple, light purple or grey and golden yellow for the sleigh, light and dark red, peach and white for Father Christmas and ginger, red and purple for Rudolph
  • For the snowflakes and stars: light and dark blue
  • Double-sided fusible: 1m
  • Threads: matching the colours of your appliqués, plus some metallics of your choice
  • If you want to cut your appliqués with ScanNCut, you can download the cutting files here

Rhinestones embellishments (if you have a ScanNCut DX)

You can choose to skip this step if you don’t own a ScanNCut DX. Or you can hand embellish with rhinestones!

  • Rhinestone template and transfer sheet
  • SS10 size, colours that will compliment your colour choices for fabric
  • Cutting files: download them here


Embroidery files – download them here or from our Resource Centre here.
Please note: there are two types or pockets for this projects.

  1. Pockets with only a number will fit in a 10 x 10 cm hoop.
  2. Decal pockets, which have a number and a decal, eg. an elf

Some of our larger decal pockets may not fit in your largest hoop. But don’t worry, you can still make the large pockets, no matter the size of your hoop.

Draw out the size of the completed pocket on the fabric you’re using for that pocket. Hoop and embroider the number. Re-hoop and embroider the decal picture. Complete the pocket as described in the instructions below.

Note: If you want to use only vinyl for your advent calendar, please download all the cutting files here.


How to

Step 1

Embroider all the pockets: each file has a running stitch around – that is the ‘tacking’ or stitching line for the pocket.

Tip: if your hoops are too small and you are using the separate files to rehoop, draw out the size of the pocket first (as instructed above), and place your designs inside that area.


Sizes of finished pockets

Table of Sizes of finished Pockets

Step 2

Trim all pockets to ½ inch (13mm) from the ‘tacking’ or drawn line.

Step 3

Cut a corresponding size of white fabric for all the pockets, and them lay right sides facing.

Step 4

Sew all around, leaving an opening on one of the sides or the bottom. Trim, clip corners and turn out. Use a point turner to poke the corners out neatly, tuck the seam allowance of the turning hole in and press.

Tip: Sew just inside the tacking – that way you do not need to remove the tacking stitches.

Step 5

Now it’s time to prepare the appliqué Father Christmas, Rudolph and the tree. Firstly, prepare the linen fabric – this is the main fabric that will make up your quilted wall hanging. Cut the linen fabric to 1 x 1.10 m (about 1“ larger (26mm) all around than the finished size).

Step 6

With a water-soluble or heat removable marker, draw a grid on the linen fabric – make the grid lines three inches (76mm) apart. Place the linen fabric to one side.

Step 7

Apply double-sided fusible interfacing (appliqué paper) to the wrong side of all the fabric you’re using for your appliqué pieces.

Step 8

Using the cutting files provided, cut the pieces on your ScanNCut. We recommend using a low tack or standard mat and a rotary blade. If you do not have a ScanNCut machine, you can download the PDF files here, cut out, trace and scissor cut.

Tip: apply your fabric with glue side down to the cutting mat and cut (it sticks better this way round). Be careful to not peel the glue off when removing your fabric from the mat. Alternatively, you can apply the fabric right side down on a fabric mat, but make sure you flip your designs using your ScanNCut’s design functions, otherwise your designs will come out the wrong way around!

Step 9

Arrange all your appliqué pieces onto the linen fabric, using the image below as a guide. Fuse in place using an iron. Make sure you turn the steam setting off.

Tip: use an ironing cloth or piece of baking paper. This helps protect your iron from any glue seeping around the edges of your fabric. It also protects any metallic fabrics from dulling in the heat.
Santa and christmas tree

Step 10

Using coordinating embroidery and metallic threads, sew blanket stitch or satin stitch all around the edges of your appliqué. We did some free motion stitching on the snowflakes to add some fun detail.
Snowflakes applique

Step 11

To make Father Christmas’ reins, couch a length of heavy thread, like hand embroidery thread, in place using a zig zag stitch. Use a much longer piece than you’ll need and leave a long tail (at least 15cm) at the start and end. When done, thread the end into a needle and thread to the back of your linen fabric.
Santa on his sleigh

Step 12

Pin all the pockets in place and sew around sides and bottoms with blanket stitch. Remember to leave the tops open so you can place treats inside! We used a golden metallic thread for this.
Advent calendar pockets close up

Step 13

Sandwich your advent quilt front with the batting and backing fabric, using basting spray. Quilt irregular straight lines – see our diagram below for guidance. For an extra festive feel, use metallic threads for this too.
diagram showing where to quilt

Step 14

Trim to size, add a hanging sleeve at the top back and bind.

Now all you need to do is hang this up and stuff with surprises. Do you traditionally fill your advent calendar with sweet surprises? Little games? Presents? Or something else?

Extra step!

If you have a ScanNCut you can use it to add rhinestone stars and snowflake embellishments.

  1. Cut the templates for the rhinestones from the rhinestone template material using our cutting files.
    Download here.
  2. Peel the template off, stick to the card in your rhinestone kit and sprinkle stones. Sweep them into place, remove excess stones and apply the transfer sheet.
  3. Fuse in place with a hot iron.
Rhinestones forming stars
We can’t wait to see what you make! Remember to tag in Brother on Instagram and Facebook so we can share your makes and inspire others.

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