craft, misc, sewing

Handprint Christmas Tree Skirt

I worked my fingers to the bones. Okay, well, not to the bones, but I put in a lot of hours in on this tree skirt.  I figured out that I spent something like three or four minutes per yo-yo (making it, attaching the button then attaching to the tree skirt). And there were 100 yo-yo’s. That’s a lot of minutes. The tree skirt was a HUGE success though, and worth every minute I put into it.  The auction was a blast and the tree skirt sold for a pretty penny, which makes me happy. The tree skirt went to a friend of mine and I know it will be well loved for years to come. That’s the reward for me.

For anyone wondering, and on the off chance you want to make one, here are the instructions.

I began with nine fat quarters and, basically, made a gigantic nine patch. I started with an 18 1/2″ center. I decided that the tree skirt would look more symmetrical if the center was square. I added a fat quarter to each side of my green center,  then took three more fat quarters and stitched them together along the short side (the 18″ side) to make a side panel. I repeated this to make two side panels.  After the side panels were made I attached them to the center panel. Note that the side panels will be larger than the center panel since the center piece was cut smaller.

Then I assembled the back. I started with 1 2/3 yard of fabric. I cut off the selvedges and stitched a 10″ x 60″ strip to each side of the main fabric. I placed the top over the bottom, wrong sides together.

To make sure I accurately cut the center and opening of the tree skirt I found the center of the green square by drawing a line 9″ from each side.  I then used my blue chalk marker and drew an approximation of the circle size and opening I wanted. I made a few measurements then determined I should have a 4 1/2″ radius for the circle – meaning I marked a 4 1/2″ spot all the way around the center of the square to get a 9″ opening. You could also use a plate or other round object – this just worked for me. I drew the opening lines using a ruler.  I then decided to use a 23″ radius for the outer portion of the tree skirt and made those marks. Then pin, pin, pinned the heck out of the thing.

After the pinning madness I stay-stitched a quarter inch around the center opening (or something like that), along the sides and around the bottom of the skirt.  I didn’t want the tree skirt to stretch while I was sewing on the binding. Next steps- sew on the bias binding, attach the yo-yo’s and stitch down the handprints.

ps- Worth noting is that the buttons in the center of the yo-yo’s were a variety of sizes and colors. Blue, purple, turquoise and black buttons gave the tree skirt a little zip! Enjoy!

craft, misc, sewing

Auction project – part 2

I am making a Christmas tree skirt for Little Mister’s class auction project.

I started by cutting out 8″ squares of white on white fabric and putting them in a 9″ square in a manilla folder – secured on the back side with masking tape so the fabric wouldn’t bunch or move. Each folder was labeled with the child’s name so I couldn’t mess it all up. Genius, right?

I let the kids choose which hand to use (i.e. right or left) and they could choose from four green paint colors. I’m pleased that we’ve used left and right hands and all four of the paints. Variety is nice.

Each hand print has been bordered with a complimentary green fabric. The hand prints will get appliqued around the border of the skirt, along with yo-yo’s and stars. Well, maybe some stars. Each yo-yo has a button in the middle. The buttons are shades of green, red, black, white, gold; there are a few purple, blue and pink buttons for variety and to break up the monotony.  I might make a few blue and purple yo-yo’s too. I have about 50 yo-yo’s made so far. If I am calculating correctly I need about 100. The auction is March 4th. I need to start whipping those things out!

I “found” some time this weekend and was able to cut out the skirt (it started as a giant block of nine fat quarters) and I put on a red and white stripe binding. I used red ric-rac for the ties and I’m considering putting bells on the ends just for fun.

Here’s what I have thus far

I took this photo on Monday. I have a little more than half the binding sewn on as of this afternoon.

I used ric-rac for ties and really LOVE the bias binding so I’m showing it off here.

craft, holiday

Parts is Parts

I’m a room mother for Little Mister. One of our responsibilities this year is to make the auction project ( oh, sigh….I hate it when people ask me to get involved in fun, creative projects with children. hehe). Several different ideas were going through my head.

  1. A mandala. I could paint a canvas with a neutral background and in the center paint a series of rings (like Saturn has). Then I’d have each child in the class put a handprint on the circle with their fingers pointed out like the sun.
  2. A puzzle. Have a piece of wood cut into eleven puzzle pieces and have each child in the class paint a piece.
  3. Make a mandala puzzle

After chatting with a friend of mine I scrapped all those ideas and (unilaterally) decided to make a Christmas tree skirt. Who doesn’t need a cute one? Besides, Little Mister is in a Presbyterian pre-school so I don’t have to worry about offending anyone’s religious preferences.

My plan is to piece a 45″ square piece of fabric. Strips, stars, log cabins and the like will be in the malay of the red background. I will have pops of gold and green, too, but mostly it’ll be red.  Here are the fabrics I have thus far

Once I have the base of the tree skirt assembled I need to get green handprints. I plan to have each child “stamp” his or her hand on a white piece of fabric. I’ll cut out a tree trunk and applique each hand print and trunk on the background – fingers facing out so they look like tree branches. I’ll have each child stamp a star of his or her choice, too, and put that on top of the tree. I might have them decorate their “trees”, too, but I’m not entirely certain about that. I’m hopeful that I’ll get started this week. Little Mister is with his grandparents this week so I’ll have (just a little) more time during the day. Well, when I stop my home reorganization project, but that’s another post.