Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Santa Tree Skirt--post 1

Fabrics cut and labeled for stitching.
My niece is planning to marry in August. She has been planning her wedding for more than a year. I hope she will be able to hold the wedding in the venue that she has reserved. I also hope that she will be able to invite all the guests she  had planned.

I'm planning to stitch her a Christmas tree skirt with pieced Santas as a wedding gift. It is a Lorraine Stangness pattern called "Simply Santa" which was printed in 1994.

Problem is the right hand section
I made a similar tree skirt as a Christmas gift for her mama many years ago. I started that tree skirt in a quilt until you wilt class at my local quilt shop. Sadly, that quilt shop closed long ago. Years later, I made this pattern into a tree skirt for my daughter as well as one for a  niece when each one married.

These fabrics are from my stash. I didn't know if I would have enough of the background fabric; but I did! The background fabric was what I had purchased when I made her mama's tree skirt! I thought that the leftover pieces from a previous project would save me some cutting and piecing. . .alas. . .they didn't not!
Boot section of the block

The black in the leftover pieces were too small; it took me a couple of days to figure out the problem. I couldn't let it go because I kept thinking it was my stitching or the size of the triangle corners.

I would have been better off to have continued to cut all the pieces listed in the handout. Eventually, I did manage to stitch the bottom corner of the block together. I was thankful that I only needed to make six of these blocks!

Stitching the other two sections of the block went together painlessly. I was impressed with how well all the seam intersections joined. It did take me about six hours to stitch the other parts of the block. At the end of the sewing session, I was almost to the point of stitching the fourth section of the block together.
Progress at the end of the second stitching day

The next step was to ink the eyes and prepare the mustache. When I snapped the photo, I didn't have the pieces oriented correctly. Of course, I didn't realize the error until I had stitched parts together. . .UGH!!! I even managed to sew the parts together wrong in every possible way!

Eventually, I was successful. I appliqu├ęd each mustache using a zig zag setting on my Bernina that was about 2.4 wide and .60 long. Once I had the six blocks completed, I added the background pieces and stitched the blocks together.
Blocks one and seven stitched together

I'll admit, I was challenged with executing the directions. If the illustration had shown what my photo of blocks one and seven stitched together with the triangle positioned for setting into that space, I wouldn't not have been as challenged!  I do plan to make this project again so the photograph will be a helpful visual next time!

I liked seeing all the blocks together. The next step was to add the ruffle. The previous times I made the tree skirt, I gathered the ruffle. This time, I decided to try pleating it as per the directions.

All the blocks together
Pleating it took more time than I had thought and a whole lot of pins. I did stitch it to the ruffle. I also made the ties and have them pinned in place. The ties and the backing are the same fabric as the ruffle. I only used six of the eight widths of fabric so perhaps, there was an error in the directions.

While I liked the way the pleated fabric looked; I may plan to either pleat the fabric a little closer or to gather the ruffle for future projects.
Pleating the ruffle

I layered the project and stitched around the edge. . .but, I ended up ripping that out because the fabric didn't feed evenly. It is difficult to stitch when the batting is on the bottom of the quilt sandwich instead of in the middle.

I am planning to thread baste the layers together and I will stitch with a longer stitch and a walking foot. I anticipate that I will have a better result.

So far, I've spent about 36 hours on this project. I remember working on one of the tree skirts at a quilting retreat. I remember that it took me the weekend to get the tree skirt to a top and that was with precutting all of the fabrics!


Janice Smith said...

What a fun idea for a wedding gift! said...

Thanks, Janice! One of the unique items we received when we married were Christmas ornaments. This was great, because we started out with none! Since then, I often gift Christmas "something" to the bride and groom.