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.
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.
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.
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.
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!