To try to get away from the rampant commercialism of Christmas, we always try to do as much for the holiday as we can from scratch. That is, we don’t go out and buy lots of ornaments for the tree (though we did have to buy new lights this year). Instead, we always try to make some. Ditto for cookies, cakes, breads, and other treats. And some years, I have even made a few gifts. Two years ago, I made everyone slipper socks. I’ve knit hats and sweaters, too.
This year, I am a little behind in my plans for knitted Christmas items (and if I did have more concrete plans, I couldn’t tell you because of certain people who read this blog). But, that does not mean that nothing has been handmade. Remember this?
Well, now it is this.
I have to say that I am really pleased with this project. For years, we have been making do with a long swath of Christmas fabric just wrapped around the base of the tree. It was nice and simple, but I always admired more tailored looking ones. This is by no means perfect, but considering the fact that I pretty much made up the whole thing myself, I am happy with it, wonky binding and all.
The first part of the project was the cutting of fabric and sewing it all up into a huge 10 foot by 45 inch piece of fabric.
I had no idea how big this would be when I started. I just chose my fabrics, cut it all, and sewed it all up. Next, was the task of how to cut it up. This is where my geometry skills were tested. Originally, I had planned to try to cut the pieces to maximize the area of the fabric and to minimize wasteful cuts. This involved some pretty complicated visualizing, not to mention math. The husband was a big help in this area with his penchant for origami. Unfortunately, when he explained to me what I had to do, it was too late at night and my little brain could not comprehend it. So, since it was right before my birthday, I asked him if he would cut it for me, pretty please. And he did, adding his own manly touch.
Yes, he is cutting my fabric with a knife. Fabric that I painstakingly sewed together all week. And you know what? It was fine. It wasn’t the most accurate cutting, but my goal at this point was completion, not accuracy. After it was cut, I had 8 triangles that looked remarkably like trees. (Hmm…thought I took a picture of them, but I must have just dreamed that part. I’ll just show you another picture of the skirt itself.)
After some trimming, sewing, quilting, and binding, I now have a new tree skirt and I really like it too. I wasn’t sure I would. The fabrics do not scream Christmas, it is minimally quilted (because I just wanted it to be done), the binding around the octagon “corners” was a little tricky, and it turned out a little big, but it’s all ok. The holidays are not about getting it all right or “making it perfect.” In fact, I could make the case that Christmas is all about imperfection, but we can talk about that another time.
Right now, I have some more gifts to show you–not Christmas ones, birthday ones. Look what I got from the husband!
Eight different colors of Jared Flood’s new yarn! Plus a fair isle book I can use for inspiration. I will have to think about this some, but I am really looking forward to digging into some more colorwork very soon.
Right now, I have some other Handmade things to work on…
Those are the little triangles I cut off the tops of the big triangles–aren’t they cute? I am thinking about a table runner or maybe some placemats. But first, I have to think about what I can make with this Greenery.
P.S. I don’t want you to think that crafting happens in a vacuum. It doesn’t ( for me anyway). I get a lot of inspiration from other bloggers. For my tree skirt, I was inspired primarily by Completely Cauchy and her Compost Quilt and Stitched in Color‘s ZigZag Binding tutorial.
P.S.S. Yesterday’s word was Gift. Today’s is Handmade.