Sunday, January 16, 2011

No! It Can't End Yet!

I've had such a fun time participating in this blog tour that I just can't stand to see it end, so I'll share with you some directions to make the project I worked on today--a Valentine's Day tree skirt. Yes, I know the idea of a Valentine's Day tree is a little different, but just look at Vickie's really darling heart ornaments, and you'll surely see the possibilities! I've had a Valentine's Day tree for several years now and I've always wanted to make a tree skirt but never have; in fact, I mentioned making one earlier this month. Finally I had the time! Here's how it turned out--


Cute, yes? Would you like to make one? First, do you have one of these 60 degree rulers? They're very handy for this project:


If you don't, that's okay--but you DO need something like this with 30 degrees and/or 60 degrees marked on it--


(60 degrees would be from the yellow line at the upper edge of the ruler around the 1/2" mark to the upper edge of the ruler; 30 degrees would be from the yellow line that starts around the 1-1/2" mark to the lower edge of the ruler.) I like to work with freezer paper because I can iron it onto the fabric for cutting but if you don't have freezer paper, regular paper will work to make a pattern too. First you need to find your long center line--either fold the paper or draw a line. Using that line as your reference, draw a line 30 degrees to one side and 30 degrees to the other. Alternatively, you could just draw two lines that form two sides of a triangle that is 60 degrees. Take a look at my template below for a visual of what I'm talking about:


My template above already has the bottom cut off where the lines meet at the bottom point, but yours won't to start. On your pattern, measure from the bottom point up along one of the sides to 9-1/2" and make a mark; do the same along your center line. Now figure out the measurement between those two marks--I think mine was 5" wide, so I used 2-1/2" as the mid point and put a dot there. I lined that dot up with the bottom point of the pattern and measured up 11" (see the drawn line on the pattern)--that's the top of the arc of my heart.

After that, I just drew what looked like a good curve from the outside dots to the center dot at the top of the heart arc. I folded my paper in half and cut along that arc to get my heart shape and make sure the curve was the same on both sides. After that, I cut off the bottom tip of the triangle 1-1/2" up from the point. (To make sure you're cutting straight, line the center of your pattern up with a vertical line on your cutting mat; line your ruler up with a horizontal line.)

Making the pattern is probably the hardest part. I may scan that to PDF and make it available to everyone but I won't be able to do that until I go back to work on Tuesday. But the rest is pretty simple. Let's get started!

First of all, you'll need six different fabrics--I picked two whites, two pinks, and two reds. I then layered three at a time and ironed my pattern onto the top layer and cut around the edges. I repeated the steps with the remaining three fabrics.


Once I had my six "hearts," I laid out the pieces to see how I wanted them arranged. [By the way, the reason this works out so nicely is that each heart is 60 degrees, and there are 6 hearts, so that totals 360 degrees, which is a circle, right?]


The next step is to sew all of the hearts together along the side seams. Leave one seam unsewn--this will be the open edge of the tree skirt.


At this point, you'll need to layer your backing, batting, and the pieced top. Don't layer as you would a quilt with the backing on the bottom. For this project, layer the batting on the bottom, backing with the "right" side up, and pieced top with the "right" side down. See the batting where I've turned back the upper corner of the backing?


Pin the layers together and roughly trim away the excess fabric. (You can use straight pins if you prefer.)


Where the two hearts meet at the open edge, turn the fabric back and pin so it's not in the way when you start sewing as I did in the photo above. You might also want to use your walking foot for the rest of the sewing.


Sew 1/4" inside the edges of the pieced top. Leave an opening for turning right side out--see below:


Now you can more carefully trim away the excess fabric. Cut along open edge to separate, being careful to leave enough fabric at open seam to tuck in and sew closed after turning. (I cut mine fairly close to the stitching on the red heart so I had enough fabric to turn inward on the side of the pink heart.) Snip around the outside and the inside stitched edges every 1/4" or so for a smooth curve and fewer puckers.


Now, turn right side out pulling fabric through open seam, press, and hand sew opening closed. Top stitch 1/4" from outside edge of each heart and along seams joining the hearts together. (See first photo for stitching/quilting detail.) Add additional quilting at this point if you wish (I didn't).


Finally, I cut and prepared bias binding and attached it to the inside circle of the tree skirt as I would the binding on a regular quilt, but I left the edges free until after I had turned and hand stitched the binding to the back. Then I folded and pressed the edges and stitched them closed--I think you can see what I mean in the photo above. I then tied knots in either end. Alternatively, you could stitch ribbons to the edges of the skirt to tie the sides together.


Done! And it only took maybe three or four hours. Isn't it cute? I'm smitten.

39 comments:

Quilting Kim said...

Oh that is just so dang cute. Thanks for keeping the momentum going. I pulled out an Alpine tree to decorate and then saw the look of horror on my son's face. I may just gather up some branches and spray paint them white, stuff them into a coffee can and hang some hearts on that. Hmmm.. maybe, I can put together the heart tree skirt as a mat to sit it on....

Sandie ~call me crazy said...

Oh that is adorable! I wish the tour would last a few more days too! :-)

Anita said...

Cute!!

Gran - Knot-y Embroidery Lady said...

SweetHeart - Well Done - MI-5 is on - ttyl WooHoo

Bonnie said...

Very cute as are your other projects. Thanks for posting this to help us get over the end of the blog tour.

manybooks said...

Cute, cute! I just wanted to tell you that I finished my tablerunner - the one you posted for the Be Mine Blog Tour! I made a couple changes to it based on my stash (i hope that is okay) and I needed it to be narrower so I only did one border, but I DID it (only my second tablerunner ever...) and I like it! I just finished binding it and took a picture, and now I figured out how to use Flickr and uploaded it there. Wooohoooo! What a FUN blog tour, THANK YOU THANK YOU!

May Kristin said...

Cute! That's the word!

Donna said...

May Kristin has the right word - Cute! Maybe next year I will have a Valentine tree. Thanks for the pattern.

LibbiesHome said...

That is adorable! I don't have a valentine tree but now I think I might need one... Thanks so much for sharing this! (And I hated to see the blog hop end, too.)

Pam said...

I wish I had a Valentine tree just so I could make this tree skirt-adorable!

Dorothy said...

Kim
Another Great idea -- I might work on that today, Dear Hubby has kept me busy Fri, Sat and today, he invite the neighborhood, yes the neighborhood not just a neighbor or 2 over for the Bears game today!
Thanks for sharing
Dorothy in IL

Brenda said...

You are so creative. Love it!

Marie said...

Thank you for sharing a great tutorial. This is one I will keep on file.

Sandy E-H said...

Cute project! I've got to make one and decorate a tree for Valentines Day. Thanks for another great project with good directions!
Sandy E-H
Bemidji, MN

Cindy said...

It's absolutely adorable!! I love it to go with the heart ornaments.
Thank you so much.

Staci said...

Very cute! It looks like a big flower with heart shaped petals.

Fiesta said...

It is more than cute Kim, it is darling.

Lori said...

Love the tree skirt! Also love the fabrics you selected.

Shirley said...

This project is so darn cute! Since I don't have a tree, I think I will make a smaller version for a table runner! Thank you for such a fun Blog Tour. :)

CaraQuilts said...

I was thinking those ornaments would be darling from my chandelier. But another tree sounds even better!

Sinta Renee said...

Kim- you amaze me! That is so darn cute! I love it!!!

Anonymous said...

The end of the Blog Tour would have been a downer EXCEPT that I couldn't visit the Fat Quarter Shop until I knew how much fabric I needed. Love your tree skirt -- bet you are still thinking of more ideas. Thank you for sending the pdf! Florence

Linda said...

Darling!! I love it and it IS perfect with the cute little heart ornaments! Kim you are a genius! Thanks so much for sharing.

Nicole said...

What a festive way to finish up the Blog Tour!

PunkiePie (Jen) said...

Love it!

Kelly said...

This is adorable!!

Rosa said...

That`s very cute.I love it.

Anonymous said...

How cute! Thanks for the bonus. Dori

Marcia W. said...

Very cute - miss the bemine tour too

Carol T said...

That is really cute. I hope somebody does a St. Patrick's Day blog tour because I am part Irish.

Bia, from Brazil said...

Lovely tree skirt.

Great idea to make the Christmas tree last a bit longer.

Wendy said...

This is adorable! You make it look pretty simple too, so thank you, I might have to attempt it :) ... btw ... love both your beefcakes YUMMIE!! lol Legal secretary? My past life I held that profession ... sometimes I wish I could return to it, but then I'd have to trade in my kids and I wouldn't want to do that ... most of the time! lol Love your blog!

Kim D. said...

Hi Kim, your heart tree skirt is adorable. I looked for a cute tree at Christmas time to leave out for all the holidays during the year. I just cut out some heart ornaments the other day and I may have to try your pattern to match. Thanks for sharing.

Dandelion Quilts said...

What a cute skirt!

WoolenSails said...

What a wonderful idea, I might try that one.
I was thinking of doing a valentine tree and that would be perfect for it.

Debbie

GeeGee said...

Kim, your Valentine tree skirt is adorable. Thanks for the tutorial! Yes, please make a pdf patttern for those of us who are pattern challenged. Thanks!!

VickiT said...

Oh this is great! Now I have a reason to leave my awesome new purple Christmas tree up even longer. LOL I already asked my husband a week ago if I should start working on Valentine's ornaments....of course, I WAS joking. I wonder what he'd do if I made this. HA

Thank you so much. (I really wish I had pink/red fabrics right now)

Aditi Nayyar said...

Really adorable!! must say very well demonstreat6ed. I wish i could have my hands on one of them right now!

valentine special forums.com

Robin said...

It's the cutest! You're amazing!! Now if I had a Valentine's tree to put it on...BTW, do your kitties leave that tree alone? Are your kitties well behaved enough that they don't jump up on the counters, even when you're away?