‘The Hood’ : A Christmas Tree Skirt

The Hood Tree Skirt

Finished just in the nick of time! I’m not sure why I continue to do this to myself year after year, but once again I started a project for Christmas just days before needing it to decorate. All year I told myself I needed to make a new Christmas tree skirt. Our old one was pretty cheap and junky and literally falling apart. Last Friday I decided to “whip one up”. Ha, famous last words, right?

The Hood Tree Skirt Front

I knew I wanted to make this particular pattern after seeing it in last year’s Fat Quarterly Holiday Special. This pattern was designed by Brioni Greenberg.

Tree Skirt Progress

I think I was delusional in thinking this project would only take me a few hours. Friday I spent the day cutting and placing the houses. Saturday I spent the day pebble quilting. I ran out of thread in the middle and had to stop and go to the store. Sigh… This quilting technique took a long time, but after seeing Brioni’s example, I had to do it. It is SO cute and my daughter thinks it looks like clouds. I also spent some time Saturday stitching down the houses. I finished those and the stars up yesterday and also added the binding. I used a red polka dot print by designer Sarah Jane’s Children at Play line.

The Hood Tree Skirt Buttons

Overall I’m really happy with how this tree skirt turned out. The pattern was fabulous. Well worth the $5 cost of the issue. I know this particular holiday decoration will be getting years of use at my house.

The Hood Tree Skirt Pebble Quilting

Things will be quiet here on the blog for the next few days as I take some time away from the sewing machine and enjoy being with my family. Wishing all my US readers a happy Thanksgiving!

Pillows!

Pillows

I really was slacking in my sewing during the last week. My husband spent a lot of the week traveling for work, and well…the kids were just exhausting. My 2 year old wasn’t napping much and there just weren’t a lot of breaks (until Friday when they spent the day with my in-laws). I did finish a couple pillows though!

Little Apples Pillow

I am kind of embarrassed to admit that these have been sitting around for at least two weeks, waiting for me to finish and hand stitch the binding. But I just love how they turned out.

Little Apples Pillow

One features Aneela Hoey’s Little Apples fabric (again). I built a log cabin around the children playing in coordinating prints and then quilted it in a free motion meandering design.

Meet the Gang Pillow

The second pillow features the new Meet the Gang fabric (and coordinating prints from my stash) which is crazy adorable. This one is quilted with straight lines between the multicolored squares.

Meet the Gang Pillow

I made these for my Etsy shop, I thought I should add a few smaller ticket items for the holidays. Is anyone else doing that as well? I’m going to spend the next few days finishing up my Christmas tree skirt. Those of you who follow me on Twitter have seen a lot of sneak peeks of that project. I can’t wait to share it with you all!

A Tale of Two Pillows

Pillow Gifts

I mentioned in my Sewing Summit recap post that on Saturday night I went to a great dinner organized by Jennifer and Elena. Well, besides all the work that goes into getting together a group of 20-something people you have never met before…they also put together swag bags for us with items donated by some very generous sponsors. When they gave them to us at dinner, I swear you would have thought it was Christmas! Lots of squealing going on. (Pretty sure the table of men next to us watching the football game thought we were nuts!)

Pillow for Jennifer

I wanted to make a gift for each of them as a thank you. First I was thinking a mini quilt but then opted for pillows. Because, as Amanda says, anything can be a mini quilt, even a pillow!

Pillow for Jennifer

In Salt Lake City, someone smart said that life would be a lot easier if everyone you made a gift for had a Flickr Favorites photostream. How.true. I did some snooping in Jennifer’s photo stream and noticed a lot of work by Stitch in Dye’s Malka Dubrawsky. Luckily I just took a class on Improvisational Piecing by Malka so I sort of knew how to start.

Pillow for Jennifer Embroidery

I made four improv blocks, each around 5 inches. There is a bit of curved piecing – yes, that’s on purpose! LOL A bit of adding fabric to the square to make it fit to the block next to it. Then I off-centered the block for the pillow. I’m 95% certain the tan is an Essex Linen. I wish I had marked it when I bought it! Then I embroidered Jennifer’s name on the pillow to personalize it a bit. I quilted the front with straight lines, about 1/2″ apart, in the sashing. I made a scrappy binding for the pillow, love scrappy binding!

Pillow for Elena

When I was looking through Elena’s favorites, I noticed she liked bright colors and stars…she had a lot of stars in her Favorites! Remember that tutorial on Y-Seams last week? I needed to learn those to make her pillow, which is a block from the Jazz Hands quilt in Material Obsession 2.

Pillow for Elena

I quilted Elena’s pillow using straight lines on either side of the diagonal seams. Then I also embroidered her name on the front. The binding and backing of Elena’s pillow are both from Erin McMorris’ Summersault fabric line.

Pillow for Elena Embroidery

Both pillows are a bit smaller than 18″ (I like the overstuffed look…I hope they do too!) Jennifer and Elena received their pillows this week so I’m not spoiling the surprise. Thanks again to both of you!

New Colors for the Couch

Saturated Pillow

I took a break yesterday from a “secret project” to make a new pillow for my couch. I decided to bring some new colors into the room, which is mostly earth tones. I really love these prints, half from Anna Maria Horner’s Loulouthi collection and half from Tula Pink’s Parisville collection. The solid is Kona Ash. Since I am feeling much more confident in paper piecing after the Summer Sampler Series, I created my own templates for this pillow. I think it turned out quite well!

Pillow Quilting

I quilted 1/4″ on each side of the seams and I love this little star it created in the center of the pillow.

Pillow Binding

The binding is a yellow print from Parisville. I was going back and forth on that choice, worried it was maybe too bold. But in the end, I think it adds a little extra punch to the pillow.

Pillow Front

I plan on making one more pillow for the other side of my couch, but I will probably do another design with the same fabrics.