These directions are for a tree skirt 48" in diameter (you can make it wider by adding an optional ruffle).
Cut out the center
- 1 yard off-white Christmas fabric (or 1/2 yard of wider fabric--we used f6bss2097) for the center
- 1-1/2 yd red fabric for outer border (we used moda marble 9881-36)
- 2-5/8 yds lining fabric (we used a candy cane stripe)
- 8 fat quarters of greens for trees and holly (we used 4 different moda marbles)
- 15 large red buttons for trees and 18 small red buttons for holly
- 48" square of batting (we recommend Warm&Natural or Warm&White)
- newspapers for drawing patterns
- basic sewing supplies
||Because we have to have a seam on the edges of the opening, to go around the tree, we can't simply cut out a circle of fabric (though if you don't mind a little gap in the back, feel free to simplify these instructions and just cut a circle). You're going to make a pattern for a half circle, then you're going to add a quarter inch to the flat side, that will allow for the seam.
Because this project is so large, we're not attempting to have you print out 24 pattern sheets and tape them together. Instead, tie a string around 2 pencils, with one pencil eraser side down and one pencil lead side down. Using a yardstick or measuring tape, make the string 18-1/4" long. Tape 2 sheets of newspaper together to make a large rectangle. Place the pencil eraser at the middle of the longer edge of the paper, about a half inch in from the edge. Draw a semicircle. Measure from the edge to the opposite side of your circle. This measurement should be about 18-3/4 inch. Whatever amount you have that is more than 18-1/2", you're going to remove. So draw a straight line that far in from the edge and cut off the extra. You should now have a half circle shape that's 36-1/2" wide by 18-1/2" tall.
Lay the straight edge of the pattern on the fold and cut out one circular piece. If the fold is not obvious, mark it with pins or marker because you're going to be sewing a seam and cutting an opening along this line.Assemble the skirt top
|The red border is cut in 5 pieces. To make the pattern, start with a rectangle of newspaper 23" by 21". With a 21" side facing you, measure in 2" from the upper left corner and make a dot. Draw a diagonal line from the upper right corner to the lower left corner. Measure in 9-3/4" from the upper right corner on this line and make another dot. Draw a smooth curve from the upper left dot, through the middle dot, to the lower right-hand corner. Measure 7-1/2" down from the upper left corner and make a dot. Draw a straight line from the left edge of the curve down to your new dot. You now have the outer curve and one short end of the pattern piece drawn. Measure in 7-1/2" from the lower right-hand corner and make a dot. That marks the other short end of the pattern piece. All that's left now is to draw the inside curve. Going back to the dot on the diagaonal line you used for the middle of the outer curve, measure 7-1/2" more toward the middle and make another dot. That's the midpoint of your lover curve. Draw a smooth curve from the points along the edge through your new midpoint. Cut out the pattern and cut 4 pieces of red fabric (it's ok if some of them are reversed since the shape is symmetrical).
Sew a 1/4" seam on the straight edge of the center circle of fabric, rigtht sides facing, from one outer edge to approximately the center. Using a plate or any measuring device you like, cut out the center for the tree--we made our center circle 4-1/2" in diameter, but you can make it larger or smaller. If you cut out one piece, now is the time to slit along the fold from the middle circle out to the edge (along the half you didn't seam). Because you made one half narrower by the twice the width of the seam, the cut side overlaps a bit. This is exactly what you want.
Attach the short sides of the 5 red fabric pieces and then, right sides facing, pin the center seam of the red border to the center seam of the center piece. Continue pinning around the edges, baste, and sew. If the red piece comes out a bit longer than the beige, trim in line with the beige fabric.
Cut out backing and batting
Use the completed top as a pattern to cut out the backing fabric. If you use a fabric at least 50" wide, you can cut the back out of one piece. Otherwise, you can seam two widths together before laying your top over the combined piece and pinning and cutting out the backing. Use the same pattern to cut out the batting.
Appliqué trees and holly
Download the Christmas tree pattern and the holly pattern from the website. Print them out.
Assemble the Quilt Sandwich
[Our instructions are for fusing pieces to the background and using a satin stitch to appliqué them. If you prefer to do needle-turn appliqué, then just use the patterns to cut out the shapes, allowing 1/8" extra to turn in the edges.]
Iron a fusible web to the wrong side of your assorted green fabrics, trace the patterns onto the paper backing, and cut out the shapes. You need 5 trees, 10 small holly leaves, and 20 large holly leaves. The easiest way to cut out the trees is to cut out the whole tree in one piece, and then cut along the lines to cut each tree into 4 pieces. When assembling the trees onto the background, mix up the greens, using 2 darks and 2 ligher greens for each tree.
|Referring to the illustrations, you'll see that there are 5 trees evenly spaced around the inside, and the red border has 10 pairs of holly leaves and 10 split holly leaves. First appliqué the trees onto the center, and then you'll space the holly evenly around the edges, with 2 pairs and 2 split leaves per tree. It doesn't have to be geometrically perfect. We just pinned one pair of holly leaves beneath each tree, then pinned one more pair between the ones below the trees, then positioned the split leaves between each pair. We split the last pair so that one leaf is on one end of the border and the other leaf is at the other end, just inside the seam allowance.
Pin all the trees onto the background and make sure you like the arrangement. Then press the trees in place, using a press cloth. Then use your favorite method to appliqué the pieces permanently (we used a satin machine stitch, but you can use a blanket stitch).
Once the trees are in place, appliqué the holly leaves in the same manner.
Spread out the quilt top, right side up. Lay the quilt back on top, right side down. Lay the batting on top of this and sew a 1/4" seam around all edges, leaving about half of one straight edge unsewn. Trim batting close to the sewing line and clip curves. Turn right side out through the unsewn section. Close this seam with hand stitching.
Add the Buttons
Add buttons as shown in the photo.
That's all--you're finished and ready to put the skirt under the tree.