Editor’s Note: We are so excited to have guest blogger Margit O. of Colorado Springs back! She has been sewing, quilting and crafting for over 45 years. She brings expertise on hand applique and creating her own designs from blocks and patterns. Thanks for sharing, Margit! If you would like to share your projects, please write your post with step-by-step directions and pictures included and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. If your submission is selected for publication, we’ll get in touch with you!
We missed Christmas in July, but Jenn and I managed to get a day of sewing in on one Sunday in August. So I took the opportunity to work on a Christmas project I started last January. I don’t know about you, but every Christmas I forget what I have and what I want to make. It seems I start a new project during the season or shortly after, then pull it out again when I’m decorating. I finally feel a little ahead of the game this year.
To start this project I used my old tree skirt as a pattern and cut a circle out of 45 inch wide cotton fabric. If you don’t have a circle that large, you can cut a square 45×45 and fold it In half then quarters, eights and cut a curve. Remember how you used to fold paper to cut a snowflake? It’s the same principle.
This photo with the ruler gives you an idea of the size of the trees.
To make the trees, I cut different scraps of fabrics into free form triangles. I stacked smaller ones to make a taller tree. The trunks are simple free form cut rectangles. Before cutting the shapes, press fusible paper to the scrap. So when you cut, you cut it all together. Then it’s easier to peel off the other side of the paper to iron onto the tree skirt. Follow the instructions for your fusible web of choice. I typically use wonder under.
Once all the trees were ironed into place, I did a simple straight stitch in matching thread around each one. I like the rough edge look so I typically don’t use a blanket stitch or satin stitch.
Then it was time to layer it all together. I basted with safety pins, but I also hand basted around the edges. I showed Jenn how to use a spoon to close the pin instead of using your fingers or worse yet–your nails 🙂
Originally I chose a variegated red thread to quilt with and a free motion loop design. Yeah, I did half the tree skirt before I realized you really couldn’t see the stitching. Big mistake! Why do all that work if it doesn’t show up? So, I spent about 3 weeks ripping out all those teeny stitches. And I started over with white thread after practicing again and finding this loop and star design on Pinterest. It’s easier than it looks. Once you get the rhythm going, just keep going! It only took me a couple of hours to finish it. Here’s the entire skirt quilted, but it still needs binding. It was totally worth redoing the stitching on this so you can see it. Here’s a close up view of the quilting. It was so much fun!
Make sure you create a bias binding so that it curves with the edge of the skirt making it lay flatter. There are several good tutorials on Pinterest.
Once the binding was stitched on the top side, I trimmed away the excess batting and backing and folded the binding to the back. Here’s the back—you can’t see the quilting, but I like the fabric.
Slip stitch the binding by hand and you are done. You could add finishing touches like ties, buttons and loops or hooks to hold the edges together. I haven’t decided what I want to do about that yet. Heck once the packages are on it, you won’t notice😉
It’s probably too late to start this project now, but if you start in January like I did, you’ll have it done by next Christmas.
Merry Christmas everyone and happy sewing!