I’m pretty proud to say that I finished my first ever quilting project!! I’ve been meaning to try quilting for years, but I have to admit I’ve been a little intimidated. I already know how to sew, so you would think it would be pretty straightforward, but all the quilting terminology and the precision sewing was kinda scary to me! Thankfully, after watching many YouTube videos, I felt brave enough to try.
This is our first Christmas in our new house and our first time ever having a live Christmas tree! It felt appropriate to celebrate the occasion with a handmade tree skirt.
I have to start out by telling you about this tree skirt pattern. I stumbled upon this great quilter on YouTube – Jordan Fabrics. Donna Jordan is so full of knowledge and she shares it so beautifully on her channel. I love watching her quilt and I have learned a lot from her. She posted this video about this tree skirt and it felt very do-able to me! Pretty large pieces, simple construction, and no binding!
I wanted a classic tree skirt in Christmas colors, so I went with several green and red quilting cottons from Needlework Hamilton. I love how these mix classic and modern design elements. Donna suggests using a larger scale print for the big squares, so I put the green foliage print there. She also suggests that you do not make the border green so that your tree skirt will pop under the green tree. I’m glad I went with the red border for mine. I sketched out my plan for the placement of the colors using felt markers.
Next, I cut out all my pieces carefully and got right into the sewing! I was shocked by how fast this came together. I made the top part of this project in about 2 hours. It is SO satisfying! I can’t wait to make another quilt top soon. I have some fabric left so maybe some holiday placemats or a table runner?
Once the top was sewn I cut my backing and batting to match the star shape. I pinned them together and sewed it. It wasnt until after I clipped and graded all the seams that I realized I SANDWICHED THEM WRONG! When I started turning it right side out, my backing was sandwiched in-between the batting and the top. Moments like these can be so frustrating. I took a second to let out a frustrated groan and I got my seam ripper. Within 30 minutes I was re-sandwiching and re-sewing.
Once I pressed everything flat I was ready to quilt it. I knew I wanted to go simple so I started by topstitching around all the edges. Then I added some stitching that followed the pattern in the quilt here and there. I knew I didnt need much since this was a decorative object and the stitching was not showing up very much on the prints. It also became clear that my pieces were a bit warped and bumpy in some spots, so I didn’t want to make matter worse by trying to sew on top of them.
I am so pleased with how this project came out and I know I will be using this skirt for years to come – maybe even my whole life! It will be a lovely reminder of this first project (first of many, I’m sure).
Happy Holidays to you and yours!