Christmas Tree Skirt 2014
Quilt #141 on the 200 Quilts List
(Post updated August 2019)
Here I laid out the old Christmas Tree Skirt on top of the new one; it was made in the early 1970s out of pre-quilted fabric with a tricot backing, and homemade bias tape.
I was inspired by Betty’s skirt that she made last year, as well as others. The original inspiration was a tree skirt from Fat Quarterly 2013, but since I didn’t have a pattern and it was all proportional squares, triangles and rectangles, I just started cutting. Here I’ve laid an embroidery hoop so I could judge how the center circle would look. It took me about two days to get all the houses and trees arranged, partly because I wanted to use my stash and it that necessitated some color and value balancing. I have a piece of fabric from my first quilt in here, as well as some scraps from dirndls made from German fabric (which I love). I even have scraps of fabric from cotton I’d purchased in Rome, Italy some 14 years ago, as well as some Japanese fabrics, also purchased on a trip. Build your stash, everyone. It’s a fun place to visit.
UPDATE 2019, BASIC DIMENSIONS:
Fuse a series of fun fabrics to Steam a Seam II. I cut everything a bit larger, then trimmed to make sure the fusing covered the back completely.
- Basic skirt circle: 52″ diameter (piece some white cotton fabric to allow for this dimension of circle)
- Center hole is a traced 6″ circle embroidery hoop.
- Tall Skinny House: 9″ tall by 3.5″ wide
- Pointed triangle roof is 6.6″ wide and 4.5″ high. Follow the basic directions for tall Christmas Trees to cut yourself a wonky triangle.
- Two-story house, short: 7″ tall by 6″ wide
- Two-story house, taller: 9″ tall by 7″ wide
- Trapezoidal Roof measures 8″ across the bottom, 3″ across the top and is 3″ high. So, cut a rectangle 8″ by 3″ and fold in half. From the outside lower corner, draw a line so it ends 1.5″ from the fold. Cut that section off and you’ll have the roof.
- Pointed Roof for two-story house measures 7″ wide by 4″ tall.
- Tall Christmas Trees: Cut a rectangle 7″ tall by 4″ wide. Fold in half lengthwise, and cut from lower outside corner to the center fold at the top, making a Christmas Tree shape.
- Medium Christmas Trees: 6″ tall by 4.5″ wide (cut as above)
- Stacked Christmas Trees are formed the same, but the dimensions are 3.5″ tall and 3″ wide.
- Christmas Tree Trunks are 3.5″ tall by 1″ wide…but some are shorter (like 1.5″ tall). Cut them to your liking.
- Wonky-cut stars (Do a search for a 2″ pattern online; trace the outlines onto fused fabric, then cut). —-> Or use this one: 5-sided-stars <——
Use my photograph at the top of this post to plan and map our your pieces, but cut some different dimensions if that’s what you like (like making a shorter, skinny house).
WARNING: Prewash your reds!!! I did them once with Dye Catcher Sheets. I should have done it three times, so my tree skirt suffered. We still use the tree skirt, as the discoloration is up near the binding in the center circle, but I wish I’d washed them more than once. Now we call it Christmas Tree Skirt at Sunset.
I thought I’d use a large red/white dot for the binding, but when I cut it on the bias, I got this effect. So I went with a narrower stripe than the one shown, cutting it on the bias so it would go around the curves. I pieced it, then folded it in half, then sewed it to the back and topstitched it to the front. A trick I learned in Clothing and Textiles in college was to press a curve into the bias tape. It went on like a charm.
In working on this, I zipped through two books and am in the middle of one more. The two I couldn’t wait to listen to were both Inspector Gamache mysteries, set in Canada. One was titled Still Life and the other was titled A Fatal Grace, both by Louise Penny. And I’m halfway through The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. Fitting, isn’t it?
Bobbin Statistic: 5 (in other words, how many bobbins it took to get this thing quilted)
Quilting: First I stitched through the quilt sandwich on the raw-edges of all the house and tree shapes, letting it be slightly wonky as I went. Then the top-stitching on the stars. I switched to white thread and did a loose, large meandering quilting around all the shapes.