Patriotic Christmas Tree Skirt from Remnants

My DH is of that ilk of folks who must have a “real” Christmas tree. I came into the relationship with my artificial stand-by tree, the one I bought at a yard sale for $5 and I still say that’s the best five bucks I ever spent. So lately, at Christmastime, we put up both trees. Since I have a son who is sometimes deployed overseas with the army during the holidays, my ol’ standby has become “patriotic tree,” the one with the flags and yellow ribbons and soldiers and Lady Liberty ornaments and all things red, white and blue.

My daughter-in-law recently posted a pic of her patriotic tree on Facebook, with a caption “Until they all come home.” Considering that both her parents passed away this past year, and some happy relationships she knows have gone bad, and that many soldiers’ families aren’t enjoying the best of times this year, it reminded me that Christmastime can flood some of us with bittersweet memories. Sometimes, we just won’t get what we really wanted.

I planned to do a lot of sewing. But the Ruby is still in the shop. I went back and reclaimed my old mechanical Janome from the last person I lent it to. What a pleasure to discover that after enjoying all the bells and whistles of the electronic machine, the Janome is as reliable as ever. Considering the gargantuan price gap between the mechanical and the electronic whiz-bang machine, I’m not sure I got such a great deal on the Viking.

Anyway, I found a marvelous free pattern for a tree skirt from -check it out! A link led me to a fun and easy-to-follow tutorial that came across a bit snarky but friendly too. I had some patriotic and holidayish remnants. The pattern-maker called for muslin for the backing, but it needed to be 49 inches square. Of course, you didn’t have to use muslin, but they reasoned that you might want to use a cheap fabric for the part that doesn’t show. I found an appropriately sized piece of heavy white fabric that still had the yard sale sticker on it from years ago when I snagged it: 10 cents! I didn’t have a 49-inch square of batting, but you know me, I pieced it! All good!


the Velvette ribbon

the Velvette ribbon

I needed some binding for the edges of the skirt, and for ties. I spotted this 25-yard roll of maraschino cherry-red Velvette, that I apparently bought somewhere for $2. If you zoom up the skirt photo and look into the shadowy depths, you can spot a glimpse of the evil Pauly. Of course she had to crouch on the skirt as quickly as it was set down, to transfer her contagion onto it.


the patriotic tree with skirt

the patriotic tree with skirt

My mom was up visiting over the weekend. She spent hours looking at the ornaments, wanting to know who made them or where they came from. She saw this Christmas mini-quilt on top of the end table and exclaimed, “Oh, I love it! Looks like that had a lot of work put into it! Did someone make that for you?”

Mom's mini-quilt

Mom’s mini-quilt

“Yes, Mom, you made it for me.”
She brightened up, wanting to look more closely at the hand-quilted holly leaves in red thread on the evergreen background, and the many little patchwork blocks perfectly lined up in the center. “I did?”
“Yes, it was probably 15 years ago, I think.”
“Oh! It’s beautiful! I really don’t remember making it.”

DH reminded me, “Put a note on the back of the tree skirt!” Jenyjenny 2012. Project Remnant Redo.


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ethgran
    Dec 04, 2012 @ 17:53:42

    It is beauuuutiful, Hon. Goes nice in your newly reclaimed formal living room. I was able to spot Pauly putting her contagion on the skirt but only after I blew the pic up. Naughty puss. Yes, do put your mom’s name on the back of that little quilt. My mother did that for the various handmade things I inherited and thank goodness!


  2. Tina
    Dec 04, 2012 @ 19:50:36

    How lovely and I agree with DH, you do need to label your tree skirt!


  3. LubbyGirl
    Dec 04, 2012 @ 22:04:01

    So happy I found this. I follow too, but somehow I missed this one. I’m heading over there now to check it out. Thanks so much!


  4. gussie
    Dec 05, 2012 @ 14:35:47

    beautiful skirt! i’m surprised the cats havent gotten into the tree! maelo’s been all over ours and this morning he literally fell off our coffee table into it. his bumps from that compliments the black eye he got from falling forward onto one of his big christmas presents under the tree.


    • jenyjenny
      Dec 05, 2012 @ 15:18:38

      Ha, ha! The cats do bat around some of the ornaments on the lower branches. The funniest thing is that Bob keeps stealing this little teddy bear that can stick on the different rooms of a house advent calendar with velcro. He had it under his paw and was doing a kind of Michael Jackson predatory moonwalk with the bear under his foot. He has to get up pretty high for him to knock that bear off the wall hanging. Poor Maelo! You might have to get one of those play yards and put the tree inside it instead of Maelo!


  5. fgassette
    Dec 24, 2012 @ 14:27:58

    A very beautiful idea. Your skirt looks wonderful under the tree. I just may have two trees next year. MERRY CHRISTMAS!



  6. Naomi Baltuck
    Dec 28, 2012 @ 13:34:54

    Great story. Your mom is so cute!


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