Mix sweet scrappy prints with improv piecing and quilt-as-you-go techniques to make a stylish Christmas tree skirt
■ Seam allowances are ¼in, unless otherwise noted.
■ Templates include seam allowances, where necessary.
■ For templates see page 92.
■ RST = right sides together.
■ WOF = width of fabric.
■ Wash and press all fabrics well before cutting.
■ Fabric supplied by Windham Fabrics (windhamfabrics.net)
All fabrics are from the Sugarplum collection by Heather Ross for Windham Fabrics.
Cut the print fabrics into strips of varying lengths between 1½in–3in x WOF. These strips can be as varied or as uniform as you like, based on the effect you want.
From the batting cut:
■ Two (2) 22in x 60in pieces.
From the binding fabric cut:
■ 2½in wide strips on the bias. Once sewn together, you will need the strip to be approximately 8¼yds long.
PIECING THE CHRISTMAS TREE SKIRT
Line up one corner of one of the batting panels with the 45 degree angle on your quilting ruler. Mark along the edge of the ruler for placement of the first strip (Fig A).
Place two strips RST and line up with the marked line, pinning in place (Fig B). Sew a ¼in seam along the edge (Fig C). 6
Press open and trim the excess around the edges (Fig D). Put the trimmed lengths aside to use later.
Line up the next strip RST on top of the inner strip. Sew a ¼in seam and press open (Fig E). Continue working this way, adding strips across the batting panel until it’s entirely covered.
DON’T WORRY ABOUT MATCHING SEAMS, THE IMPROV STYLE IS PART OF THE FUN!
Repeat steps 4–7 with the second panel, starting with a line diagonally opposite from the first panel (Fig F). This will result in two panels with opposite slanting lines (Fig G).
Use the Wedge template to cut the first wedge from the panel. Rotate
180 degrees before cutting the next (Fig H). Continue cutting until you have nine wedges from each panel, for a total of eighteen wedges.
Lay out the wedges, alternating diagonals to make a circle (Fig I). Piece the wedges together along the long edges. Piece together in pairs, then piece the pairs together. Keep working until you form a circle, leaving one seam unsewn. This will create the opening for your Christmas tree skirt. 11
Even out the edges along the outside of the tree skirt. Use a large bowl to trace a circle in the middle and trim the panels back to your desired size (Fig J), making sure the circle is large enough to fit the trunk of your tree.
Cut the backing fabric in half across the width and sew together along the long edges. Lay the tree skirt on top. Baste around the inner circle, opening edges and outer edge of the circle (Fig K). Quilt as desired. Evie quilted straight lines in the direction of her strips. Trim away the excess backing fabric around the edges.
Trim two pieces of binding to 23in lengths. Use these to bind the two straight opening edges of the skirt, as you would a quilt. Trim the excess at each end. Evie used a contrast colour for this. 14
Sew your bias binding strips together end to end using diagonal seams. Apply the binding around the outer edge of the tree skirt, as you would a quilt. Leave approx. 12in hangover at each end to become the closure ties.
Fold and press the excess binding, and then topstitch along the length to neaten the ties.
Repeat step 14–15 to add binding to the inner circle of the tree skirt to finish.
YOU WILL NEED■ Sixteen (16) to twenty (20) print fabrics: ¼yd each■ Backing fabric: 3yds■ Batting: 45in x 60in■ Bias binding fabric: ¾yd■ One (1) copy of the Wedge templateFINISHED SIZE ■ 52in circle
piecing THE CHRISTMAS TREE SKIRT
Evie Jespersen After sewing for ten years, Evie recently started quilting FCKN[!CU!C!YC[!VQ!"PF!C!UGPUG! of calm and focus evquilts.com evquilts