Tag Archives: tree skirt

Day 9: Repurposing Mom’s Tree Skirt

 

A #31dayblogchallenge post.

It’s a little embarrassing that I’ve got a blanket wrapped around my Christmas tree stand, Linus style.

linusblanketaroundtree

Thing is, the tree skirt my mom made didn’t survive the wash. It was smelly when I took it out of the ornament box so I tossed it in the wash.

momstreeskirt

I knew it might fall apart because of the materials she chose to use at that stage of her quilting journey. Plus the ties weren’t close enough together. Mom’s later quilts were better but this skirt is beloved and has been used under my tree for years. Well, it got all lumpy in the wash.

momstreeskirtlumpybit

All is not lost. I’m redoing my childhood reading quilt and I can do something similar with the fabrics from this tree skirt. So I cut it apart and set the fabrics aside to repurpose into a couch throw later. They’re a little threadbare but with the right interfacing it won’t be a problem. For now they’re in a UFO box next to the reading blocks.

cuttinguptreeskirt    christmasskirtprints

Will you please help? The turtles quilt still needs more pieced tree blocks for the final border. Click here for more information and here for the tutorial.

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Day 3: Setting Up The Christmas Tree

It’s December 3rd which means we’re on day 3 of the #31dayblogchallenge hosted by Cheryl Sleboda of muppin.com.

My husband surprised me yesterday with a trip to the Christmas tree lot. It’s one of those where you can cut a tree down for yourself, but we ended up going with a precut one to save $30. It’s nice to have a truck for times like this. No tie-downs necessary!
treeintruck

First things first. Let’s get the camera out to take some photos for the blog. Well, my husband wasn’t having it. This is the best shot I got of the goof. Can you see him in there?

jeffthroughtree

We hosed the tree down. This is a good step to get loose needles and dirt off before it comes in the house. And bugs. No bugs in the house please! After a few hours drying in the front yard (with the trunk in a bucket of water) we lobbed the bottom off and brought it in.

washingthetree

Here it is all pretty. It’s mostly decorated as is the mantle above our fireplace. Tree skirt’s in the wash and bubble wrap for the ornaments is all over the floor. The cats are going after that for now but I’m sure there will be sparkly ornament casualties soon.

decoratingtree

Where’d You Get That Skirt?

In January my Aunt Laurie asked me to make her a custom tree skirt for this Christmas. You can read about that process here. This year another dear customer wanted one for next Christmas. Here’s the story on her tree skirt. But first, my aunt’s skirt under her tree in all its glory.

treeskirt in use

This next customer wanted a tree skirt to fit her artificial tree. So, while I was in St. Louis on vacation, we measured the base of her tree (about 1″) and calculated how large the skirt should be so it looks proportional. She was using a tablecloth wrapped around the base, but would much rather return it to the table and I was certainly the gal to help her out with that.

The second step in the process (the first being measurements) was choosing the fabric. I recommended fabric.com because I’d used them before and was impressed with their selection and customer service. She browsed through fabrics while my brother and I watched a scary movie and put her favorite Christmas prints in the shopping cart before calling me over for advice. I recommended that she choose her very favorite print and then we’ll find a coordinating one. So that’s exactly what she did! She loved the flowery fabric and the red with white polka-dots goes so nicely with it. See?

Sheri's tree skirt

Turns out, she ordered enough fabric (on my request, I usually get more than needed in case of slip-ups) that I didn’t charge her for shipping the tree skirt back to her. I made a second tree skirt out of the extra fabric. It’s up for sale in my etsy shop for $70. Here’s a photo of that one. It’s similar, just the fabrics are reversed. The red pizza slices are larger than the flowered ones.

Tree skirt for sale 70

I’d love to do a custom order for you! It can be a tree skirt, bag, quit, or whatever you can think of.

Also, I’m completely honest about my skill set. If I’ve never done something before but am confident that I can figure it out, or it’s a new patter that I haven’t tested yet, I’ll make a sample before using your chosen fabrics to make sure there are no kinks that need to be adjusted out. If I’m not confident that I can figure it out, I’ll tell you exactly that. Usually I’ll have someone in mind to refer you to as well who can probably do it. I can do almost anything. I rarely say no, but I feel it’s important to be honest.

P.S. To whichever of my quilting friends who suggested I buy a bias tape maker tool, thank you! It has saved me soooo much time when making the binding for these tree skirts. Customers, time saved means less cost since I do charge for my time. We are sew worth it!

Even Tree Skirts are Creative Opportunities

Every project has its own unique story. For example, I just finished this custom ordered tree skirt for my Aunt. I chose some modern fabrics and ran them by her to make sure she didn’t want something more traditional…. and then, as I sometimes do… I stole them. More accurately, I used a LOT of the rusty red fabric in another project. I had it right there in my stash just waiting to be used… but it was waiting to be used for this project. Oops.

Well, that’s where creativity comes in. I had planned to make this tree skirt out of alternating print and red in 8 equal sections. Instead, I cut up the red that remained into four 1/16th wedges. I still wanted the main print to have 4 large sections. So that left room for two more 8ths which I pulled from another beautiful print. Putting them together, I inserted the red where I thought the patterns needed some rest. Guess what? That means it’s not symmetrical. And, I think it’s more modern and beautiful in its imperfection that it would have been if everything went according to plan.

I constructed and quilted this tree skirt and then put binding around the raw edges. Of course, the plan was to use the red print as the binding too… which would bring it all together nicely. Yeah, I don’t have nearly enough red print left to make binding. Another design opportunity. I’m creative; I can figure this out! Time to audition fabrics.

skirtauditions

I saw that the yellow would work nicely… and decided to go bold with the blue circles. Bold is good. It’s scary and could make the whole project wonderful. Once it was sewn on, I decided it was waaaay cooler than the yellow ever could have been. Adds some sass and whimsy.

skirtbinding

 

The backing? Yeah. That was going to be the red, too. (But that other project really needed it, honest! When I can I’ll show you the quilt I’m talking about. No other fabric would have done the job as well.) I often piece backings for my quilts, but I wanted this tree skirt to have the option of being double-sided… which called for a one-fabric back. So I pawed through my stash, hoping to find something large enough that would compliment the front. Turns out that the Asian fabric that I bought over a year ago because it was just so beautiful that I had to have it was just waiting to be used in this particular project. It’s the deep blue print in the photo below.
skirtbackopening

So here she is in all of her glory. It’s been a great ride. I’ve stretched myself and made something I’m proud of. I hope my aunt loves this skirt as much as I do. Now to throw her in the wash and send her off to New England. Safe travels, my friend. I really do love you.skirtfull

 

 

* It’s not too late to get your custom tree skirt order in for this year.