Looking for a handmade way to keep your upcoming year on track? Or simply an easy DIY for the new year? Grab one of our wall hangings as a base and join Spoonflower Ambassador Andrea Tsang Jackson of 3rd Story Workshop to learn the sewing steps towards a reusable quilt block calendar! (Note: This post mentions Petal Signature Solids, which we sunset in June 2023. However, your projects will work perfectly with Petal Signature Cotton—it’s the exact same fabric and can be printed with any Spoonflower Marketplace design!)
Andrea: Got some scraps? Or an orphan quilt block lying around? Transform a wall hanging into a quilt block calendar that you can use year after year! Our 2023 calendar, a FREE downloadable for you, has two options: full year and monthly. Continue below for everything you need to know to put this together.
Skill level: Beginner
- Fabric A (I used Petal Signature Cotton® Solids in Lilac):
Cut 3 pieces measuring 2.5” x 7.5” (6.35 x 19.05 cm)
Cut 2 pieces measuring 2.5” x 5 (6.35 x 12.7 cm)
- Fabric B (I used Petal Signature Cotton Solids in Natural)
Cut 2 pieces measuring 2.5” x 7.5” (6.35 x 19.05 cm)
Cut 3 pieces measuring 2.5” x 5” (6.35 x 12.7 cm)
- Clear vinyl: 12 gauge
Cut 1 piece measuring 5.5” x 10.5” (14 x 26.5 cm)
- Embroidery floss or perle cotton
- Safety pins
- Hera marker or other non-permanent fabric marking tool
- Sewing machine
- Rotary cutter
- Quilting ruler
- Iron and ironing board
- Paper or cardstock
- Free calendar template PDF
1. Sew the Strips
Arrange the 2.5” x 7.5” (6.35 x 19.05 cm) strips, alternating the colors as shown with Fabric A at the top and bottom.
Similarly, arrange the 2.5” x 5” (6.35 x 12.7 cm) strips in alternating fashion with Fabric B at the top and bottom.
Using a scant 1/4” (0.6 cm) seam allowance, sew the strip together. Press the seam allowance toward the darker fabric. In the sample, the seams are sewn toward Fabric A (Lilac in this case). Alternatively, you can press your seams open.
Wondering what a scant 1/4” seam allowance is? Check out Andrea’s blog post all about it.
2. Cut the Strips
Cut the strip sets into 2.5” (6.35 cm) strips.
Alternate the new strips to form a checkerboard pattern. Sew them together using a scant 1/4” seam allowance. Press the seams all in one direction. Alternatively, press your seams open. The quilt block should measure 10.5” x 10.5” (26.7 x 26.7 cm). If it doesn’t exactly, don’t sweat it.
4. Mark and Sew to the Wall Hanging
Using a hera marker or non-permanent fabric marking tool, draw a line 1/4” (.6 cm) from each edge of the quilt block.
Place the quilt block 3.5” (8.9 cm) from the top edge and center the block horizontally (8” or 20 cm is the center of the wall hanging).
If your block is 10.5” (26.7 cm) square, the sides will lie 2.75” (7 cm) from each side edge of the wall hanging.
Pin the block in place using safety pins.
Using a simple running stitch along the marked lines, hand stitch the block to the wall hanging. This sample uses perle cotton in a #8 weight.
5. Mark and Sew the Pocket
The vinyl pocket will lie 2.5” (6.35 cm) from the bottom edge and 2.75” (7 cm) from each side of the wall hanging (see diagram above). Using a hera marker or non-permanent fabric marking tool, draw guiding lines for the bottom and side edges of the pocket on the wall hanging.
Sew the vinyl pocket on using a topstitch, about 1/8” (.3 cm) from the edge of the vinyl. Sew along the sides and bottom only and leave the top edge open to insert the calendar printouts. Backstitch at the beginning and end of your sewing line to secure. Use a longer stitch length (3 mm) and if you have it, a heavier thread.
6. Print the Calendar
Print this 2023 Calendar (full year or monthly) on paper or cardstock. The printable is black and white so feel free to use any paper color that complements your chosen wall hanging and quilt block.
Trim the calendar pages using the crop marks. Each page measures 5” x 10” (12.7 x 25.4 cm).
Slip the printed calendar into the vinyl pocket. If you’re using the monthly version, you can just put the whole stack in and pull them out as each month passes.
7. Assemble the Wall Hanging
Attach the magnetic hanger at the top and bottom and there you have it!