Patchwork Tree Skirt Tutorial
This one will be more of a mini tutorial. I’m assuming if you’ve been reading my blog long enough, you get the workings of putting little fabric squares together. If not, give me a shout out and I can put together a quick tutorial on how to line your squares up to get those perfect butted rows where your corners match up every single time.
If you want a tree skirt to whip up and throw under your tree all in one day, this is not the one for you, haha! If you want something to cherish that is going to last you year after year, you’ve come to the right place. This baby took me five hours to quilt. I made it for my mom, whom I love, so it was totally worth it and I know she’ll appreciate it. The perfectionist in me likes quality. No glue or quick corner cutting on this one.
- 400 3″ squares
- 6½ yards double fold bias tape (I bought my striped bias tape on ebay)
- 3 yards 44″ wide fabric or 1½″ yards 58″ fabric
- Batting 50″ × 50″
Sew your 3″ square together in rows of twenty. Sew twenty rows.
Sew the rows together to make a 50½″ square. Just like if you were making a quilt.
I used all my Christmas scraps lying around and watched a movie while cutting them out. I had some 3″ squares already cut out from another project so I stuck with that size. You can always do the math and cut out a different size square or use pre-cuts. We are shooting for approximately a 50″ square. For example if you are using 5″ square pre-cuts, you’d want to do twelve squares per row with twelve rows.
Once you are done, it should look something like this. I don’t know what it is about little squares but they just make me happy.
Sandwich your tree skirt together. If you are using 44″ wide fabric cut your three yards in half and sew the two together to make it wider for your backing. If you are using a wider backing, just iron it out. Place your backing on the floor with the wrong side up. Lay your batting over top, and then add your patchworked piece on top. Sorry — I spaced photographing this part. I use basting spray and a few curved quilting safety pins to hold my sandwich together.
Take to your machine and quilt it. I sewed straight lines because that’s all I am capable of at this point. I do have a free motion quilting foot but I stink at it. Something I’d like to improve on. As I mentioned it takes awhile and you might need a treat.
Fold your tree skirt in half and then in half again. Grab a piece of yarn that’s 24″ long and a pen (I use Frixion Pens, the ink disappears when you apply heat) Starting from the center point– raw edges should be on the outsides facing away from you. hold one of the of the string at the bottom point of your folded tree skirt and tie the other end to your pen. A helper is preferable 🙂 Keeping the string tight drag your pen from one edge of your fabric to the next making a quarter-circle.
Still not sure what I’m trying to communicate? Advanced Embroidery Designs blog has a great diagram for this step here.
Shout out to my nine-year-old for stepping in to take this photo for me! Thanks, Mal!
At your center point, draw a smaller circle (I traced some painters tape). Cut on the line through all four layers OR mark your center point, open your tree skirt and continue the circle around the whole quilted skirt.
Pick a line between the outside of your tree skirt up to the smaller circle in the middle and cut a straight line up. If you have directional fabric (like my Santa and Snowman’s) and have them facing all the same way, make sure to cut on the side where they are upside down. Not like me who didn’t think of this so mine are upside down. Whoops! Cut the smaller circle in the center out, too.
Now it’s time for the bias tape. Bias tape and circles are a little tricky. I cut mine up to make it a bit more manageable. First, sew your bias tape to the small inside circle. Then do the two straight lines followed by the outside circle. At the corners, I fold the bias tape end in ½″ on itself to prevent any fraying as shown in the photo. These wonder clips are your best friend when binding.
All we have left to do is the ties. I make 6 ties (3 sets of 2) but you can do more or less. Whatever suits your fancy. For each tie, cut a 4″ × 6″ rectangle.
Fold each the same way you would making double fold bias tape. Only difference is we will be folding the ends in to prevent fraying as well. Fold the fabric in half length-wise, fold the edge of the 4″ sides in ¼″, then fold each side of the 6″ in towards the middle. Fold once more so it’s like a sandwich, then top stitch.
Tack the ties in place. I did one set on the top, one set on the bottom, and one set in the middle.
Put it around your tree, knot the little ties, and you are done. As I mentioned, I made this one for my mom. I’ve already started cutting out 2″ squares from all the different Bonnie and Camille fabrics to make one for myself. I’d ordered some 2½″ squares online and they came hand-cut rather carelessly so I had to trim each one up. That’s why the squares are so small — I’m really not a glutton for punishment. My goal is to have it done with matching stockings for next year. Fingers crossed.
Let me know if you have any questions!