Christmas Tree Skirt

christmas-tree-skirt-2014

Christmas Tree Skirt 2014
Quilt #141 on the 200 Quilts List
(Post updated August 2019)

Comparing oldnew Christmas Tree Skirt

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.

Christmas Tree Skirt wo Binding

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.

Deciding on Binding

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.

Christmas Tree Skirt 2014_detail1

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?

Christmas Tree 2014 w new skirtWe finally finished decorating the tree, and I’m enjoying the new tree skirt!

 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.