Thursday, November 8, 2012

Handmade Holidays - Christmas Tree Skirt Tutorial

Hello!  Welcome back to Spotted Dog Quilting Blog's Handmade Holidays series!

This week, we will be making a Reversible Christmas Tree Skirt.

Here is a list of materials that you will need to make your Christmas Tree Skirt:

  - 1 yard background fabric (I used Kona - White)
  - 1 yard backing fabric
  - Combination of 1 yard of Christmas fabrics or scraps that are at least 4" x Width of Fabric (WOF)
  - Pom-pom trim (in increments of 44")
  - Ribbon (in increments of 44")
  - Rickrack (in increments of 44")
  - 1/2 yard of binding fabric or 8 yards of pre-made binding
  - 36" x 44" piece of batting (I use Warm & Natural)
  - Thread to match your Christmas fabric, pom-pom trim, ribbon and rickrack
  - Walking foot for your sewing machine
  - Sewing machine and sewing notions

***A note about fabric and trim selections - This is a wonderful opportunity to use novelty fabrics or special fabrics that you have been saving, as well as special ribbons and trims.  I am in love with the gnomes on the fabric I chose, but I also could not bear to cut up the "Unruly Reindeer" Tammis Keefe tribute fabric.  I chose to use the Tammis Keefe for the back so that I would not have to cut it up.  Since the Christmas Tree Skirt is reversible, I can use that side face up as well.  Also, the plaid ribbon with the cherries and strawberries is from a special trip to Carmel with my great friend Alethea.  I wanted save it to use for a special project and it looks perfectly Christmasy with all of the other fabrics and trim!***

Ready to Sew???

First we are going to make a quilt "sandwich".

Layer your fabric and batting in the following order:
     1.  Backing fabric - right side down
     2.  Batting
     3.  Background fabric - right side up

Your "sandwich" should look like the photo, except with all of the edges straightly aligned.

Using safety pins, pin the layers together, the same way you would if you were making a quilt.  You could also use basting spray if you prefer.

Cut pom-pom trim, ribbon and rickrack into increments of 44" in length.  Make as many or as few as you would like - remember - you can always cut more later if you don't have enough.

Cut your Christmas fabrics into the following strips:

Fabric 1:  1 strip 4" x WOF
                1 strip 6" x WOF
                1 strip 8" x WOF

Fabric 2:  1 strip 6" x WOF
                1 strip 8" x WOF

***If you are using scraps for your strips, any combination of the strips will work***

Now we will iron your strips so that the edges are finished.

On the top of the long (WOF) edge of your first strip of fabric, turn the edge down 1/4" and press.

Repeat for the bottom of the long (WOF) edge.

Your strip should now measure 3-1/2" x WOF.

Repeat for all of your strips of Christmas fabric.  When finished, they should now measure:

Fabric 1:  1 strip 3-1/2" x WOF
                1 strip 5-1/2" x WOF
                1 strip 7-1/2" x WOF

Fabric 2:  1 strip 5-1/2" x WOF
                1 strip 7-1/2" x WOF

Arrange your fabric strips, pom-pom trim, ribbon and rickrack on top of the quilt sandwich.

Pin fabric strips, pom-pom trim, ribbon and rickrack in place.

Using your walking foot, topstitch all of your fabric strips, pom-pom trim, ribbon and rickrack to the quilt "sandwich" you made.

When you are finished, your Christmas Tree Skirt should look like a small embellished quilt.

Trim all excess backing and batting from your quilt.

Find the center of your quilt.

Fold your quilt in half vertically and press.

Fold your quilt in half horizontally and press.

Open your quilt.  Where the iron creases create an "X" is the center of the quilt.

***Take a moment to consider the average trunk size of your Christmas tree.  Artificial trees usually have smaller trunks than fresh trees.***

***Also, note which direction you would like for your Christmas Tree Skirt to face.  Make sure the center line that you cut will be in the back of the tree to allow your skirt to face the correct direction.***

Find a circle template from your home (drinking glass, plate, bowl, etc.) to use to draw the hole in the center of your tree skirt.  I used a glass Pyrex storage bowl so that I could see through the bowl to the "X" to make sure I was properly aligned.

Place your template over the center mark of the quilt (the "X" from your pressing lines) and draw a circle using your template.

Using a ruler, draw a straight line from the middle of your center hole to the outer edge of your Christmas Tree Skirt.  This line should follow your center pressed line.

Cut, following the line you drew, to the center hole in the middle of your tree skirt.

Cut out the center hole as well.

After cutting your center line and the center hole, your Christmas Tree Skirt should look like this:

Bind using your method of choice.  Remember that you are binding a circle in the middle of your Christmas Tree Skirt.  Bias binding works best for this.


Your Reversible Christmas Tree Skirt is finished!  

If you have any questions about this tutorial, please leave a comment below.  If you make a Reversible Christmas Tree Skirt using this tutorial, please let me know, I would love to see it!!!


  1. Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing. Btw, I LOVE your fabric choices. So cute! : )

  2. That is a beautiful tree skirt. I second the cute fabric choice, the gnomes and reindeer rock!