100th Post: A Giveaway and a Psuedo-Stitch-Along

Welcome November and the holiday season! I love this time of year. In risk of being redundant, I will tell you that this is my 100th post here at Beauty All Around, and in honor of that I’m giving away a little something to you, my esteemed, devoted readers. I just wanted to say thanks for joining in my efforts to create a beautiful life all around me. I love hearing from you and knowing that you’re there. Thank you!

So, what is the giveaway? Well, I have been working on a project off an on for a year (yes, one of those) and I’ve been dying to share it with you. So when I started getting close to my 100th post and thinking that I wanted to give a little back to my readers, I decided I would really share this project with you.

So here it is, a project that we can all do together. A 24-piece nativity set. Hooray! I hope you’re all as excited about this as I am. I’ve drawn and redrawn these little guys at least a dozen times now, and I finally think they’re ready to share. I had originally intended this to be simply an embroidery pattern, but as I was making it, I thought of several other applications.

My favorite non-embroidery idea was to print these out on cardstock, color them (get your kids involved with this!), cut them out and then glue them onto popsicle sticks for a set of nativity puppets to use when you share the Christmas story with your family. They would also be great as Christmas ornaments, printed on paper or embroidered. One other idea I had was doing CitraSolv transfers (like the great tutorial here) of the template  to wooden blocks for a blocky nativity set. I bet you can think of other ways to use these, too.

I chose to make a 24-piece set so that this could also serve as an Advent calendar, with one piece being added for each day leading up to Christmas. In order to make it up to 24 pieces, I had to include a couple extra characters beyond the standard family,  wise men and shepherds. The set includes

  • Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus;
  • 3 angels;
  • 3 shepherds;
  • 3 wise men;
  • Anna (read about her in Luke 2: 36–38; I decided if the wise men are included in the nativity, even though many believe they didn’t get there until Jesus was a toddler, see Matthew 2:11, I would include her, too; since she was a witness of the baby Jesus when he was just 8 days old.)
  • Simon (read about him in Luke 2:25–35; included for the same reason as Anna)
  • 1 sheep and lamb;
  • 1 goat and kid;
  • 1 cow
  • 1 donkey;
  • 2 camels;
  • a star; and
  • a manger.

Here’s a little preview of the template:

My original idea for the nativity came from several areas. I knew since I’ve been married that I wanted the nativity to a be a focal point of our Christmas decor, since the nacimientos were a big part of Christmas for my husband growing up. I knew I wanted to make one, but I wasn’t sure what form it would take until I got an idea looking at a wood-block nativity that my aunt had made. I like the overall idea of a sturdy nativity that kids could actually play  with, and I also liked the simplified figures, but I didn’t want to do it in wood (I confess, it’s mostly because I don’t know how to use, or have access to, wood cutting implements). Also, I didn’t want any decorations to become dangerous projectiles, since I wanted the nativity to be something my kids could safely play with. So I decided to make fabric blocks, with just enough weight in the bottom to make them stand upright.

To make it a decently ambitious project (and hence why I only have 3 pieces semi-completed), I decided to make each piece double-sided so that there was a front view and a back view. Though it’s more labor for me, I really think this adds a nice dimension to the finished pieces.

What do you think?

Would you like a copy of your own 24-piece nativity set template to color, embroider, or transfer? I am giving away a copy of the 18-page black and white nativity template to the first 20 readers who leave a comment with their e-mail address. You can now purchase the full template in my brand new Etsy shop. I will also be giving away a 3-piece template of Joseph, Mary, and Baby Jesus to the next 50 readers to leave a comment with their e-mail address. After that, I’m hoping to make the full template available for sale in my soon-to-be-opened Etsy shop . Should I throw one more thing in? Sure, why not? I’m also giving away this (completed) prototype of Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus to one reader, who will be selected at random from all the comments (US residents only, sorry, if someone international wins, I’ll definitely give them the full template, and choose a different reader for the prototype set).  I will leave comments open from now until Monday, November 14th at midnight, and I will announce the winner Tuesday.

So here’s where the psuedo-stich-along comes in. I would love to see you guys using these templates to stitch up a great set of nativities. I know, realistically it’s very unlikely that any of us (me especially) will have the full 24-piece set ready for Advent, but I think it would be great to see how far we can get in the next (almost) two months before Christmas. If you would like to join in the stitch-along, I would love for you to share your photos of your work in progress in the Nativity Stich-Along group.

ps. I’m linking this up on skip to my lou and at the weekend wrap-up party..

39 thoughts on “100th Post: A Giveaway and a Psuedo-Stitch-Along

  1. Beautiful idea! I have a soft spot for nativity sets, and keep meaning to make one. Maybe this will encourage me to get going on that project. Although I came to your blog for the puzzle tutorial on Sew Mama Sew, and I’m feeling all ready to get started on that project, too…

  2. Very Nice! The idea of a play ready nativity would be awesome! The toddler is into throwing things lately (driving me a little nutty I must say– same reason for not doing a wooden nativity here, too!) and it looks like it’s something that can be done in tiny moments here and there and stashed away quickly when tiny hands are looking grabby! Love the coloring idea as well!

    I’d love to try it! (palomino_m at yahoo dot com)

  3. I love your idea! I have an 11 month old who would benefit from these soft nativity characters. I just found your blog today with the link from sew,mama,sew 🙂 I usually have several projects going, although none in the embroidery category…

  4. I’d love to get your template! I’ve been trying to figure out a good, hands on way to do advent with my little girls (3 & 2) and this would be perfect! hope2417 at gmail dot com

  5. I would love a copy of the templates! The Nativity is my favorite “symbol” of Christmas – i like them big and small and especially ones I can share with my children.

    kimberlyhearn10 (at) gmail (dot) com

    Thank you

  6. What fabric did you use in your samples and what are you using to weight your characters? I haven’t done a project like this before and am trying to plan out my supplies. Thanks for the templates, they are all really lovely! 🙂

    • I used a medium weight natural linen, but you could use a tight weave white or natural-colored cotton (I prefer Kona). I’m sorry, I’m not sure how much fabric you’ll need, because I haven’t actually stitched up the entire thing. I imagine about 2 yards should be a good start. I used a few fishing weights in the bottom, but you could also probably use dry beans or rice. Good luck!

  7. What a great idea! I purchased my family’s first nativity set when my husband and I were first married. I would love to make one the entire family could enjoy. What a wonderful idea to include 24 pieces and options for creation. This is just the project to take along and stitch over the course of the year. I’m anxious to see more pictures. Thank you for sharing. If you still have copies – I would love to be included . . . daposners@yahoo.com
    Happy holidays,

  8. What a beautiful idea! I’m always looking for nativities to add to our collection, and especially ones that will be toddler friendly. I’d love a copy of your template if it’s still possible – beckybee80 (at) yahoo (dot) com. Beautiful work!

  9. I hope I am not too late to recieve a copy of the templets. I have been away from my PC for ages and just tonight found this posting! (I get your email updates)
    Thanks, Terase

  10. This is such a beautiful project! Your images are so unique. I would love to create such a Nativity set for my 10 month old! I love the idea of doing some of it this Advent season and adding more parts in the future–I love how you have incorporated Simon and Anna. Thank you for sharing your talents, both with a giveaway and thru your shop. Also, I loved seeing the progress of your felt Creation book. That is a masterpiece! ~ Rachel ( rachelkittel at gmail.com)

  11. I’m so inspired by this lovely set. I work for a church where the older ladies crochet or knit prayer shawls for those who are sick or going through hard circumstances. One of the traditional prayer shawl practices is to “stitch” prayers into the work. Wouldn’t this be a lovely devotional for making this Nativity set?

  12. Rats! I think I missed the boat on this one – love the idea and the “simple” embroidery. I was hoping to make a nativity for a friend who is getting married next year – any leads on where to search?

  13. Any chance you will be re-listing the pattern on Etsy? I’d love to purchase it, but the links in this blog post no longer work! Thanks so much!!!

  14. I have only just found your wonderful nativity set. I looked on Etsy, but it is no longer there. I would gladly pay for a copy of the templates, if you are willing to deal with an individual. Please contact me if you wish.

    • Amber:
      I’m so glad you like the pattern. I would love for you to be able to share it with your family. If you are still interested, I have re-listed the pattern on Etsy for you to purchase. Enjoy!

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