Even though snow seems to be the general topic these days, being the first day of March, I couldn't help but think about dirt, about the garden.
Each year we have made something new to help plan the family garden, from paper garden planners to seed tape, or seed starters, but they all have one thing in common. They're only good for one go around. So, this year I wanted to make something that could be used over and over. . .
. . . a cloth garden calendar with sweet stuffed veggies for little helping hands. . .
. . . and felt pockets to put them in (to show which date the seeds need to be started). The calendar numbers have Velcro tabs on the back so they can move around depending on where the dates land each year.
Once everything has been planned and sewed, all that's left to do is wait and watch things grow.
Cloth Garden Calendar
- Fabric roughly 20" x 13 1/4" (for a calendar the same size as the one shown)
- Felt (I used it both as a backing for my piece of cotton muslin and for the pockets, but you only need it for the pockets if you are using a sturdier piece of fabric)
- Scrap fabric for the numbers and veggies
- Velcro (I used the adhesive variety, but you could also sew it on)
- Fabric Paint or Markers
- Ribbon (optional- tie it closed or hang it up)
- Needle and thread and/or sewing machine
Cut your fabric to the size you would like your calendar to be. If you are using a piece of felt or another material to put behind it, cut this as well. Then cut six strips of felt that are the same with as the shorter size of your rectangle or a bit shorter. If you are making a calendar the same size as the one shown this would be six pieces that are roughly 2" x 12 3/4"
Sew the two large pieces of fabric together. I chose to cut my muslin piece a bit smaller so that I would have a green felt border all the way around, but this is purely an aesthetic choice. I wanted the calendar to be simple and rustic so I simply sewed the muslin directly on top of the backing piece and left the edges raw.
Once this part is complete, lay out the pocket strips on your base fabric making sure to leave enough room between the rows so that you can get the veggies in and out easily. When the rows are pinned in place sew them down along the full length of the bottom edge of each row (the long edges of the rectangles). After you've sewn these lines, close up the sides of the long pockets by running a line of stitches along the entire length of the calendar, about 1/4" in from the edge of the felt (you will be sewing from the bottom of the calendar to the top, going over the felt and the space between the rows).
Now that you have six long pockets sewn up, it's time to divide them into seven pockets per row. Measure out where the dividing seams need to go and mark those spots on each row. If you are making one like mine the pockets will be roughly 1 3/4". After the pocket dividing lines are marked, sew them in the same manner you did for the pocket edges.
For the numbers I simply cut scrap fabric into roughly 3/4" squares and used permanent marker to make the numbers. For yours, you could do this, you could stamp or paint the numbers on, sew your squares instead of cutting them, it's up to you. Once you have 31 numbers attach small tabs of the rough side of Velcro to the backs so that they will stick to the felt pockets.
To make the stuffed veggies, I cut out simple shapes from scrap fabric and hand sewed them inside out before turning them and stuffing them. I used green felt to finish them off and cover up my stitches, but you could use whatever you have on hand. Alternately, you could make the veggies completely out of felt, or sew simple squares and paint pictures of the veggies on them, whatever suits your needs. This is also a great activity to do with the kids. They can choose their favorite veggies, sew or paint them and then plant their seeds in the garden when the weather is right.
Happy Spring Dreaming!
*Last time in Crafts and Activities: Spring Catalog!