Tuesday, October 25, 2016

fabric fail

Can you believe there are only two months until Christmas?  From my perspective, there's just so much to happen in between now and then.  How will it ever fit? 

I do love the holiday season though, especially our family traditions selecting and decorating a real, fresh-cut Christmas tree.  And the carols and the pretty wrapped gifts and the twinkly lights!  I'm glad it's coming soon, but I'm also committed to taking it easy this holiday season and, hopefully, enjoying a newborn baby of my own.  I don't plan to make any gifts this year, but I have taken to the idea of making a new Christmas tree skirt.

Christmas time is here!

Years and years ago (2010!) I made a tree skirt from spiderweb quilt blocks.  I actually wrote one of my first tutorials for the project, in parts A and B.  Sadly, my version had some fatal fabric flaws.  First, I backed it with red corduroy which I failed to prewash.  Oops.  Not surprisingly, there's been some bleeding.  In addition, I used Essex linen for the main neutral that becomes the star.  Since them I've learned that linens are not as durable as quilting cottons for patchwork, tending to unravel at the seams.  If I had reinforced the patchwork with dense quilting, it may have stood a chance.  As it is, many of the seams have split open.  I've repaired them over the years, but I'm ready to move on.

QAYG Christmas Tree Skirt

Months ago, instead of sleeping, my brain came up with this plan for a quilt-as-you-go Christmas tree skirt.  It wouldn't let me relax until I sketched it out.  Of course, now I'm glad I did, because here it is waiting for me!  The basic concept is to quilt-as-you-go with strips of fabric on diagonal upon a batting base.  Next I'll cut the batting/patchwork into wedges.  Sewn side-by-side the wedges will create a circular skirt with zigzag striping.

I think it's a fairly straightforward and doable design, but I'm a bit stumped on fabrics.  I know I don't want to limit myself to red and green.  My Christmas tree is decorated in multi-color, as is my living room, so a scrappy-happy color scheme would be best.

QAYG Christmas Tree Skirt

Yesterday was a crazy-busy day, but I did have a slice of time in the morning to pull some fabrics.  Although I'd like a colorful, scrappy color scheme, I plan to use mainly stash fabrics so that I can cut consistent-width strips for the skirt.  Unfortunately, this initial pull is not inspiring me at all. 

Today I did some browsing online, looking for string-based patchwork with color schemes that might guide me in the right direction. 

scrappy roman stripes

This is an old favorite by Philistine Made. I see that overall the colors are both bright and soft/muted.  There's a lot of white in the work, something I don't tend to emphasize in my color schemes.



I'm also quite drawn to this quilt by Blue is Blue.  She used mainly Denyse Schmidt fabrics from various collections.  Again, as far as colors go I see both true reds and yellows (brights) and muted colors (soft green, baby blue, muted berry).  There's not a strong white presence, but there are some low-volume fabrics that lighten the overall mix. 

I'll return to my stash now and start a fresh pull.  Wish me luck!

16 comments:

  1. Looking forward to seeing this , it will make a great change to the green and red tree skirts

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  2. Can't wait too see more - I love where this is going!

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  3. QAYG tree skirt is a great idea, seems really manageable.

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    1. Thanks, Paige. Also seems very durable, which is key for me it seems. I wash it every year before putting it away because it does get dirty with having a real tree.

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  4. Oh I love this pile of fabric. Especially.... all of them

    Our Christmas tree skirt, at present, is an old very wide red white and green, eyelet lace embellished creation that was at one time a skirt I made for Lizzie when she was in 3th grade. They celebrated Cinco de Mayo at school for some reason. The skirt was crazy, when she twirled around it was perfect. Then is ended up in the dress up box for a while. then folded into the box of old sewing projects.
    I would love to make a tree skirt.... but we cannot have a tree right now. Our cats are so bad. They are cornish Rex and chew and climb everything. So the past years I have decorated the house with lights and hang the special ornaments with fancy hooks all around.
    I can't believe it is two months until Christmas.
    Happy making, Rachel

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  5. i think its the brown and mustard print that throws it off for me, i like the rest together

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    1. The brown print is definitely wrong for what I am going for. I'll not be bringing it back out.

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  6. Good luck. I think it's the low volumes you are missing.

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  7. Audrie makes lovely scrappy Denyse-Schmidt-heavy scrappy patchwork. I like the log cabin you picked, too! I never thought about using it as inspiration for a wildly happy Christmas decoration, but I like the idea.

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  8. That sounds like a great plan for a tree skirt! Mine was made by my sister in law out of felt, with appliques of Santa being pulled by polar bears because we were living in the arctic at the time, along with Inuit silhouettes and stars.

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  9. Moda has a Christmas fabric this year by Basic Grey called "Juniper Berry". I just love the colors ... several shades of green ranging from olive to chartreuse; several shades of turquoise/teal; a dark crimson red paired with coral; brown; grey; on a black background with random small white dots. I really like using colors that are not the typical Christmas red and green. Good luck choosing. Oh, by the way, I had a dream last night about a beautiful dark-haired girl named "Glow". No idea where that came from, but I kind of like it.

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  10. Can't wait to see how it turns out!

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