Well, I've been busy in the last week or so with traveling, eating, and of course Christmasing. When the electricity went out at my parents' house due to a fierce ice storm, my plans for posting this guest column got postponed. But now, I am visiting with the awesome columnist herself - my only girl cousin on this side of the family and my partner in Eurotravel. She's done a great job of showing me around Carrboro and Chapel Hill - home to UNC basketball, Carrburritos, a rocking PTA thrift store, and Cousin Becky's Easter-egg purple house.
According to Becky, she felt inspired to guest post because she wanted to take the burden off me to be creative all the time. Really, I think it's that she's so talented and awesome herself that she couldn't help but overflow her creativity into rhymeswithquilt. She is a talented seamstress (she told me to write that) who learned to sew in high school.
She's now completed a number of dresses, "pillow paintings" (as she calls them... see above), 4 or 5 quilts, and this tree skirt that she wanted to share with the rhymeswithquilt community. So, here goes ...
Here's my story:
My family has been using the same Christmas tree skirt for as long as I can remember and, given my advanced age, it has definitely joined the ranks of scrunchies, acid wash, and other thoroughly eighties memorabilia. The aforementioned Christmas tree skirt was made by our grandmother, Mimi, and is red with frilly lace around the edges and adorned with teddy bear elves, Santas, and angels. To give some background, this is the same grandmother that gave Katherine and me (the only two girls in the family) matching nightgowns with a kitty kat on them that was wearing the same nightgown we were... it happened to be Katherine's 18th birthday that day.
My mother would not dare throw away the Christmas tree skirt for fear that our 85 year-old grandmother would show up on our doorstep unannounced one day and not see her timeless skirt under the tree. I did the dirty work for her and decided that I was going to make one this year. When I told my mom that I was making it and I wasn't sure that she would like the fabric choices I had she replied, "Anything is better than teddy bear angels." Truth.
So I set to work on constructing a Christmas tree skirt with no idea where to begin. I started with a square (about a yard) of green polka dot fabric and added a 4-inch trim of a matching fabric. I repeated the same pattern with red fabric on the other side so that it could be reversible (versatility for the coming decades!) and laid a piece of quilting batting in between the two sides. To get the perfect size of our tree stand I laid out newspaper and traced the outline, cut it out and placed it on the skirt. I then outlined the perimeter of the stand with tape and cut it out. I decided to only quilt the outer border (and not the polka dots) because I didn't want it to be too busy. The skirt came to a finish with a hand sewn border and poinsettia beads that my mom picked out. The whole project, start to finish, probably took about 4 hours.
It made all the difference at the family Christmas this year and finally brought us into the new millenium. Now that we've left the teddy elves and Santas behind along with big hair and shoulder pads, we're ready to welcome 2010 in style.
Check the rhymeswithquilt blog again in twenty years for my granddaughter making fun of my super-outdated polka dots.