This year, my sister and I both gave in and got our own Christmas trees at our respective apartments. I helped her set hers up and decorate it when I was there just before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Being the first year she’s had her own tree, she didn’t have a good tree skirt yet. So, being broke and having some free time, I decided I’d make her one for a Christmas present. I took photos along the way as I made it, partly to make sure she liked all of the patterns I’d picked out and partly to document the rare instance of me being a domesticated woman (I can cook pretty well, but rarely do. I can also clean, but procrastinate on everything except for things that smell or rot – like food or sweaty clothes.)
So here are a few photos of my process and a picture of the final result. It was really not that difficult to make, and I completed the thing in maybe ~20 hours of work spread over a week. I think it turned out pretty well, and I guess so did my sister (she said she loved it) and my mother (she wants her own, but Florida Gators themed because she has a separate, smaller Florida Gator Christmas tree and it’s difficult to find a cute blue tree skirt).
I lucked out and found all of the holiday patterned fabrics on the 50% off rack at my local fabric store. So I grabbed a few and brought them home and cut them all into 4in squares (well, 4.5in squares, since the stencil I was using allowed a 1/4in seam). If you’re going to make this skirt too, I highly suggest spreading this out over a few nights and watching a movie while you do it. It’s tedious and takes forever.
Done with round one of cutting out squares. This is the slowest and most tedious task. It took more than a few hours...
After looking at all of the squares together in a group, I decided I didn’t think a few of them went with the others, so I just excluded them.
Then, I ironed. I ironed each of those little damn squares. This was highly annoying and far more ironing than I’ll ever enjoy doing. My clothing didn’t end up getting ironed for a few weeks because I was so tired of ironing after this project (I stuck stuff in the dryer for a few minutes to avoid being wrinkly).
There was far more ironing involved in making this tree skirt than I am comfortable with.
So after all of my little squares were cut out and ironed, I began to lay out my tree skirt. I wanted to make sure that no white square was next to a white square, or green next to green or red next to red. It took a little bit of finagling but I think I got it spread out well.
All the squares, laid out and ready to be sewn together!
Then I sewed the squares into strips
…and then I sewed the strips into a big square. There was even more ironing after each of these steps to make sure the seams laid flat. I’ll be happy if I never have to iron again.
It's getting all quilt-like
This night I was a little slap happy. I’d decided I wanted to finish the damn thing already and ended up watching White Christmas on AMC three times in a row (hey, they showed it three times in a row), mostly because I liked the Christmas-y theme but also because I was too lazy to search for the remote control in my sewing mess.
For those of you following my sister and I on Twitter, this was the night of our arguing about which White Christmas character each of us was, and who would win if we had a feather-fan fight. My sister and I are usually this goofy, but this night I was the epitome of ridiculous.
Think I could call this photo "The Ghost of Future Christmas Presents"?
After I calmed down a little, I layered the quilt layer, the batting sheet, and the backing sheet together. Then I put a bunch of safety pins around the edges of the quilt layer, cut off the extra backing and batting around the edges.
The next step was to cut the slit to allow for the skirt to be placed around the tree. I decided to cut diagonally from a corner, because my backing fabric was two triangles sewn together along the other diagonal. Cutting the seam here allows my sister to use the backing sheet as her tree skirt without having a seam right out of the front of the skirt.
Pinned and trimmed
Then all that was left was to sew on the binding, which I (stupidly?) decided to machine stitch on to the front, and then fold over and hand stitch on the back. I watched two movies while hand-sewing the binding to the back.
When I make my mother’s tree skirt, I’m going to allow for another entire week to hand-stitch on the binding. I didn’t do the greatest job stitching on my sister’s skirt because I was rushed and I’ll probably have to re-do it in a few years.
Looks pretty good if I do say so myself!