Rag Quilted Christmas Tree Skirt
Here's how to make a rag
quilted tree skirt...
- Fabric that is likely to fray (flannel, cotton, denim)*
- Flannel for inside the "quilt sandwich"
- Optional: Spring-action snipping shears (a handy tool to prevent hand fatigue when snipping!)
*For how much fabric to buy, it depends which option you choose, see the below...*
Cut a triangular pie shaped piece. Here are your two options for the angle of the skinny point on the triangle (or the acute angle to be mathematical about it):
- Option 1: A total of 12 pie slices (4 different fabric prints used three times each)... Cut your triangle to be 30 degrees PLUS a 3/4" seam allowance around the edges.
- Option 2: A total of 24 pie slices (8 different fabric prints used three times each)... Cut your triangle to be 15 degrees PLUS a 3/4" seam allowance around the edges.
Next, I cut off about 2" from the tip of the pie slice, giving me this shape. This is what allows for the center hole in the skirt. In hind sight, I think it'd probably be best to cut off about 4" or so for an artificial tree, or of course more if it's for a real tree with a thick trunk. But don't stress over it because you can always trim it later if the center hole isn't big enough.
Now that you have your pattern piece made, take it with you to the fabric store when buying your fabric. How much fabric you buy depends on which option you're doing (12 or 24 slices) and how long you decided to make your skirt (mine started as 24", though yours may be longer or shorter depending on your preference and tree width). Write down how many fabric slices you'll need (see the following step, under option 1 or option 2), and lay out your pattern piece over the fabric to see how much you need, keeping in mind that the fabric IS folded in half on the bolt. And always round up when buying- it's SUCH a pity to get home and end up a tad short!
Next, cut your fabric pieces:
Option 1: With fabric folded in half, cut three slices (giving you six slices) of EACH of your four fabric prints. This is a grand total of 24 slices cut out of fabric. Then, cut 12 slices of flannel.
Option 2: With fabric folded in half, cut three slices (giving you six slices) of EACH of your eight fabric prints. This is a grand total of 48 slices cut out of fabric. Then, cut 24 slices of flannel.
Now to make your quilt sandwich slices: Lay the bottom layer fabric right side down, then center flannel on top of it. Last, lay the top layer fabric right side up on the top. Pin the three layers together. This is one quilt sandwich slice. Do this with all your fabric/flannel for a total of 12 slices (Option 1) or 24 slices (Option 2).
After making all your quilt sandwiches, lay them out in the arrangement you want.
Now let's begin sewing the sandwich slices together! Join one slice to another, with raw edges turned up towards the top square layer of fabric, using a 3/4" seam allowance.
way around the circle, sewing to attach one slice at a
time until you have completed your circle.
After you've joined all
slices, sew a 3/4" seam line all the way around the
entire edge of the skirt, leaving no edges without a
Now you need to attach
your attachers: either three pairs of ribbon to tie the
skirt closed, or three buttons. I'll be doing three
buttons. First, I cut out the shape I wanted for my
button flaps, then sewed line around the edges with a
1/2- 3/4" seam allowance, like so:
Then I made button holes in them and then attached the flaps...
Last, I sewed on the buttons, so they'd line up with the flaps.
Now cut equal snips in the seam allowances, getting close to the seams but NOT snipping through them.
After all the seams are
cut, toss the skirt into the wash.
Dry the blanket on high heat to help it fray more and become soft and fluffy. You may want to pause the drying cycle and empty the lint trap a time or two in the middle of the cycle.
All done. The the top side will be raggy like this:
And under side of the skirt will be smooth, so if you're not in a raggy mood, it IS reversible, and will appear like a regular quilt except for the frayed edges.
Tip: The more you wash and dry this tree skirt, the fluffier and more frayed the seams become.
Optional Variations: Instead of using a single-piece for each triangle/petal, you can break it up a bit by quilting together triangles, like so:
Last, if you decided to
do this project yourself, please send me a photo of it
with your name and what state you're from! I've recently
decided to start featuring my readers' finished results.