How would YOU quilt the quilt – Quick and easy Christmas tree skirt (FREE PATTERN)
Are your stockings already hung by the chimney with care, or are you still hustling to prepare your home for the holidays? Just in case you need a little help decorating the tree, APQS Education Director Dawn Cavanaugh has created a quick tree skirt pattern that is sure to complement your holiday décor.
To show you some options for quilting the tree skirt we asked APQS store owners Brenda Shreve, Susan Rubin, Chris Wenz and Myrna Ficken to quilt the skirt with a pattern of their choosing. Each skirt turned out differently – but they all sparkle.
Brenda Shreve’s design
Brenda Shreve at APQS Oklahoma chose colors to complement the name of her Quilt Shop, Red Barn Quilting. Her red stars are a perfect shade of holiday red, and the red backing fabric she chose makes the skirt uniquely reversible for a change of pace. The gold colored Glide thread added special sparkle. Here’s how Brenda described her quilting process:
“This project can be completed start to finish in one day. I used two layers of Pellon 80/20 batting for to add texture and loft and complement the quilting density. The double batting makes the tree skirt a substantial presence under the tree. (Pun intended.) I sewed the fusible appliqué stars down with my APQS long arm using a freehand lacy wiggle—so super quick and easy.
Then I had fun selecting patterns for my APQS Quilt Path computerized system that were ‘everything trees.’ In the star points you’ll see a pattern called “Christmas Tree Modern” from Wasatch Quilting, and in the center of each star I placed pine trees in a circle using my Quilt Path. I used my imagination and placed an isosceles triangle that somewhat resembled a tree in between the stars pointed to the center of skirt as well as pointed to the outer edge. I used branch quilting as a background filler to add more texture.
The full photo of my skirt shows the project after cutting out the outer circle. t was simple to cut that one out plus the center circle for my tree opening. I chose to add a slit between two of the stars to slip the skirt on my tree and finished with bias binding. I’m ready for Christmas now!”
Susan Rubino and Chris Wenz’s design
Susan Rubino and Chris Wenz, owners of Over the Top Quilting and APQS Austin changed things up a bit by selecting two different colors for the stars on their project. Of course, stars seem to be a very appropriate design to adorn Christmas trees in the great Lone Star State. They had fun searching through digital designs to use on their APQS Quilt Path system and found the perfect complement to suit their interpretation of the pattern:
“When we were challenged to quilt this tree skirt, we knew we wanted it to have a whimsical feel because, after all, isn’t that the spirit of the holiday season?
What better says Christmas tree than Christmas ornaments? We wanted to utilize one of the many digital quilting patterns for our APQS Quilt Path available from Jessica Schick, a fellow APQS machine owner. Our choice of her fun and flowing ‘O Rings’ pattern reads to us like hanging Christmas balls. The circular shape of the ‘balls’ also nicely mimics the roundness of the tree skirt itself. It was quilted with medium density to give the skirt some stability yet a nice drape. It’ll have a nice home this season under one of the family trees.”
Myrna Ficken’s design
With stars as our Christmas skirt design, we couldn’t leave out APQS West in this comparison challenge! This project is one of the first ones Myrna Ficken of A Quilter’s Choice and APQS West completed at her new location in Littleton, Colorado. After completing the tree skirt, Myrna discovered that the pattern and process could lead to more exciting classes at the new APQS store:
“I chose not to put the traditional slit in my tree skirt project. Putting the tree skirt on as you put the tree in the stand always made more sense to me. Also, I can use it for a table topper and sit a candle in the center—I love that it is more versatile that way.
I like the old fashioned look so I chose unbleached muslin and a little muted red fabric. To keep that style I used Quilter’s Dream Select cotton batting in white. I chose a gold Glide thread on top and used several different colors in the bobbin. I wanted to experiment with how different colors influenced the top thread color. When I used a gold or orange bobbin thread, the top appeared a bit darker compared to when I used a white, yellow, or cream bobbin. It was an interesting exercise and color study!
For the quilting design I did a Freehand Exploding Feather. They all jump off of another feather without having a defined stem. For the stars I chose to do a spiral in the center and small loops around the edge just to tack each one down. The stars were fused with Steam-A-Seam light.
I don’t really like making binding so instead I let my APQS longarm work some binding magic for me! I chose to do thread play around the center opening and the edge instead of the traditional binding. Stitching the edge heavily and trimming next to the stitching worked really well. This was a fun and fast project. Isee a workshop in the near future at A Quilter’s Choice -APQS West!”