Monday, December 31, 2012

Why my "homework" was almost late!

I managed to get my December Challenge done for Free Motion Quilting Challenge, but more about that later.  Most of the month of December, however, was spent in getting ready for Christmas - I hosted our extended family this year, which means a "super clean" of the house, and boy did it need it!  Since I tend to gravitate towards quilting and other fun pursuits instead of house-cleaning, my annual super-clean took a good week to complete.

In addition to cleaning I finally decided to finish a project that I'd been planning and working on for a good year and a half (or maybe it was two and a half) - a Christmas Tree Skirt.  I got it done with just enough time to wash it on gentle (to get the markings out) and dried before everyone got here on Christmas Eve.

The FINISHED Tree Skirt

Love this pattern!

I used a great pattern from Chickadee Hollow Designs.  It's a Log Cabin sewn around a hexagon.  It was quite easy to piece.  I've made several of these table-toppers, but decided to modify it by slitting it up one side and cutting a hole in the middle to accommodate the tree trunk.

This book has nice continuous line quilting motifs.

I used the holly, doves and tree motifs from "501 Quilting Designs" from Quiltmaker magazine.  I traced them using Don Lin's tulle pattern technique that I learned in April.  It worked great!


I used gold metallic thread for all of the quilting and ended up swearing grumbling quite a bit because it had a strong tendency to break. 


The doves weren't continuous line, but I like doves to start with, and I thought they'd be perfect for this project.


And I just had to make trees on a tree skirt!  These were very forgiving.  You do know that not all trees are exactly the same, don't you?

center tree

I made my own pattern for the large trees in the center - a tree that matches the ones in the border, with a diamond "star" added in the middle.

stars and loops
To finish off the quilting, I did stars and loops in the portions between the trees.  I had to piece the backing, and that metallic thread kept breaking every time I went over the seam.  So, I marked where the seam was on the top and avoided it.  I finally got all the stars done and turned it over only to find that the tension had messed up when I changed a bobbin.  I had to take all of one section of stars out! ARGH!

the back


But I persevered and the back looks good too! I even added Velcro to the slit so it would stay closed.  Unfortunately, I discovered that the lower branches of the tree sit right on top of the tree stand so it doesn't quite fit the way I wanted it to, but it still looks good!

Here's another view or two...

one section

another view

I used 80/20 cotton/polyester batting.  Other than the metallic thread breaking, the batting worked great.  I washed the tree skirt in cold water, but then I dried it in the dryer on regular.  I was running out of time!  It shrunk a bit, but not so much that it bothers me.

I got the tree skirt all done (in time for Christmas!) and then put presents on top of it, and it's on the floor... and it's really hard to show off down there!  Oh well, I know it's beautiful!  But I sure wouldn't mind you "ooh"ing and "ahh"ing over it!  ;-)

Merry Christmas and Happy Quilting!

Kathy R.


  1. More than ooh and ahh - it's fabulous! After all these years, we're still using a red and white frayed flannel sheet, strategically folded, LOL. Maybe next year ...
    Beautiful job on this - I love it!

  2. Real nice tree skirt Kathy! Great year quilting with you in the challenge. Happy new year!