Monday, March 11, 2013

Christmas tree skirt - 6 years in the making!

So way back when we got married (cough - fifteen years ago - cough), I crocheted a tree skirt for us to use under our new tree.  In the spirit of marital harmony, I even let DH pick out which pattern he preferred from the book.  I don't think I have any pictures anywhere, but it was simple and pretty.  It was crocheted all in one piece, but it looked like squares joined together, with tree images made from front and back post stitches.  The skirt itself was ecru, and the trim was a beautiful hunter green.  As I recall, I found a matching plaid ribbon to run through the outer spaces and kind of tie it all together (no pun intended).  Anyway, it took a long time to crochet, but it turned out great, and we used it happily for years.  Then about eight years into it, we bought a new artificial tree (I'm allergic to real ones), and DH was thrilled to burn the old one.  Since then, we've been unable to find the tree skirt, and we suspect that it was packed in the box with the old tree.  (DH burned the tree in the box.)  :(

I bought prequilted tree skirt panels from Wal-Mart before Christmas in 2006 and made them into a tree skirt for my aunt's Christmas present that year.  And I liked the finished tree skirt so much that I bought the same prequilted panels for myself - but on clearance in January. :)  Well, every year I plan to work on my tree skirt, and every year I get bogged down in Christmas gifts and other things that jump ahead in priority.  So after years of a naked tree, I finally decided to work on the tree skirt immediately (or close enough) after Christmas.  And here it is!

I lined the tree skirt with a coordinating Three Kings print (also purchased on clearance from WM that year).  I knew it was unnecessary, but I wanted it to be really pretty, especially after all this time. And I went a step further and cut the lining in four quarter circles so that the print was always oriented correctly.  (My aunt's was lined with a simple white flannel sheet, but I've had six years to think about this.)

And I agonized over the binding fabric, too.  When I made my aunt's tree skirt, I used a purchased blue bias tape that went pretty well with the light blue in the tree skirt.  And I had enough of the same bias tape to make this one, but when I asked DH for his opinion, he wasn't thrilled with it.  SO I asked for opinions in my online sewing group, and I got some good advice, including some that I had no intention of taking (to find a gold that matched).  I made trips to both local chain fabric stores without any luck, so then I took the tree skirt to the fairly local quilt store.  I came up with three options, including this gold fabric with metallic swirls in it, and I took them all up to the cutting table and asked the women working there.  It was unanimous - the gold carried the day!  So I used my trusty bias tape makers to make bias tape from the gold fabric, and I have to admit that it turned out beautiful.

There are two pictures that are repeated around the tree skirt.  This is the Nativity scene, with the three kings worshipping the Christ child.

And this is the picture of the kings on their journey (which is very similar to the picture repeated in the print that lines the skirt).

I'm so very happy with how this turned out, and I am thrilled to finally have it done and ready for next Christmas.  Obviously it was time to make my own stuff a priority!  (Also, there's 7.5 yards of fabric in this thing, between 2 panels, the lining which had to be cut unidirectionally, and the bias tape - I needed that to be in my "out" column of my spreadsheet!)

Each panel also included a Christmas stocking, so I have four of those to make up.  I'm thinking about lining them with the Three Kings print and giving them out at Christmas....we'll see....

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