Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Christmas Tree skirt

I saw this tree skirt on someone's blog about three years ago or more and it is a pattern from Fat Quarterly e-zine. I bought it as a back issue and there started my relationship with Fat Quarterly as a reader, contributor and retreat attendee. All because this pattern caught my eye on someone's blog.
The fabric's I used are a Moda basic white on white with small swirls on both the front and back and scraps of Kate Spain and Bonnie & Camille. Only the Kate Spain fabrics are Christmas themed. I particularly like the scalloped Bonnie & Camille fabrics which look great on the roofs of the houses.
I had tried to freehand machine quilt on my Bernina, but it wasn't successful. I was trying to do tiny swirls but the tension was poor and the stitch length irregular, so my first job was to unpick the earlier quilting and remove the tacks and pins. Then I loaded it onto my longarm. You can see from the photos that I stayed with the swirls theme and made them larger.
A few quilting tips:
  • Take inspiration from your background or backing fabrics for your quilting
  • Work in from the side and then back out to the side so there's no need to sew in ends.
  • Break the quilting down into smaller portions.
 I was surprised how quickly I got it quilted and I was then ready for binding. I decided to buy some premade binding. Another tip is to read the packets of binding. I have no idea why, but I imagined there were three metres in each pack. This was after doing some quick maths to work out how much I needed. Fortunately I remembered that the piece almost took up the full width of regular fabric - so a diameter of 40". I was delighted that the shop had a third packet of binding as I envisaged a long internet search to find a match. And yes I did do a happy dance in the shop.

I felt that there was a vast sea of white above the roof tops of the houses, so I dug out my Kandi Kane and two sizes of hot fix jewels. The crystals are brilliant for when you should be doing a French knot and don't want to do a French knot.

They are quick and easy to glue onto the project. I just scattered the smallest crystals and adhered them almost where they lay. I then had to unplug the tool and wait for the tip to cool so that I could change it to a bigger tip. Then I took slightly bigger crystals and scattered them closer to the houses. They give a lovely sparkle and fill the whiteness. 

The last job should have been to sew on the buttons, but I decided that I didn't like how I'd machine down the binding so I unpicked it all and hand sewed it down instead. Annoying but it had to be done.
Then it was onto the buttons. Now why hadn't I anticipated during my several visits to town for supplies that I would need five buttons? I will admit that they are similar but don't match and come from Janine's Mum's button box which she gave to me a couple of years ago.
It's finished and ready to join our Christmas tree in the loft. And now that it's finished, I'm pleased with how it has turned out. My friend Dorothy can't now tease me that she's finished hers and mine is still a UFO. Now it's finished Dorothy, you'll have to find something else to tease me about. And you may not know all the other UFOs that I have.



Lucy @ Charm About You said...

That is so fabulous! Fun idea to add the crystals!

Sinta Renee said...

Nice story of how the tree skirt (which I have pinned also) led to a chain of events in your quilting life! It is such a cute pattern. Your quilting on it is perfect!

Ella and Nesta said...

This tree skirt is wonderful! The crystals are a brilliant idea!

Ella and Nesta said...
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SuperMomNoCape said...

Love that tree skirt. I remember seeing that on someone's blog too. I really like the jewels that you added... they give it a touch of elegance without overdoing it.

Adrianne @ On the Windy Side said...

Really beautiful finish! The jewels are perfect for a snowy feel.