Under the Tree
Designer: Sue Marsh of Whistlepig Creek Productions
- 1-1/8 yards red tone-on-tone (blocks, binding, tie)
- 1-1/3 yards blue snowflake print (blocks, tree skirt top)
- 1/4 yard gray dot (inner border)
- 1-3/8 yards ornament stripe (outer border)
- 3-5/8 yards backing fabric
- 65" square batting
Finished tree skirt: 56-1/2" square
Finished block: 10" square
Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.
Measurements include 1/4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.
Press seams in directions indicated by arrows on diagrams. If no direction is specified, press seam toward darker fabric.
Cut pieces in the following order.
From red tone-on-tone, cut:
- Enough 2-1/2"-wide bias strips to total 50" in length for circle binding and tie
- 7—2-1/2×42" binding strips
- 4—5-1/2" squares
- 32—3" squares
From blue snowflake print, cut:
- 1—36-1/2" square
- 16—3×5-1/2" rectangles
- 16—3" squares
From gray dot, cut:
- 4—1×36-1/2" inner border strips
From ornament stripe, fussy-cut:
- 4—10×36-1/2" outer border strips
Assemble Sawtooth Star Blocks
1. Use a pencil to mark a diagonal line on wrong side of each red tone-on-tone 3" square. (To prevent fabric from stretching as you draw lines, place 220-grit sandpaper under each square.)
2. Align a marked red tone-on-tone square with one end of a blue snowflake print 3×5-1/2" rectangle (Diagram 1; note direction of marked line). Sew on marked line. Trim seam allowance to 1/4" and press open attached triangle. Add a second marked red tone-on-tone square to opposite end of rectangle to make a Flying Geese unit. The unit should be 5-1/2×3" including seam allowances. Repeat to make 16 Flying Geese units total.
3. Referring to Diagram 2, lay out four blue snowflake print 3" squares, four Flying Geese units, and one red tone-on-tone 5-1/2" square in three rows. Sew together pieces in each row. Join rows to make a Sawtooth Star block. The block should be 10-1/2" square including seam allowances. Repeat to make four Sawtooth Star blocks total.
Assemble and Add Border Units
1. Referring to Quilt Assembly Diagram, sew a gray dot 1×36-1/2" inner border strip to top long edge of a directional ornament stripe 10×36-1/2" outer border strip to make a short border unit. Press seam toward inner border strip. The unit should be 10-1/2×36-1/2" including seam allowances. Repeat to make four short border units total.
2. Join a Sawtooth Star block to each end of one short border unit to make a long border unit. Press seams away from blocks. The long border unit should be 10-1/2×56-1/2" including seam allowances. Repeat to make a second long border unit.
3. Sew short border units to opposite edges of blue snowflake print 36-1/2" square, making sure ornament stripe is on outer edge. Add long border units to remaining edges in same manner to make tree skirt top. Press all seams toward border units.
Finish Tree Skirt
1. Layer tree skirt top, batting, and backing; baste.
2. Quilt as desired. The featured tree skirt was quilted with an overall swirling star design. (If you want to make this a table topper, skip steps 3–6 and bind quilt top using six red tone-on-tone 2-1/2×42" binding strips.)
3. Using a ruler and pencil, draw a 28-1/4"-long centerline perpendicular to one side edge of quilted tree skirt (Diagram 3).
4. Referring to Diagram 3, draw a 5"-diameter circle in center of quilted tree skirt using a compass or saucer and a pencil. Cut along marked centerline, and cut out circle.
5. Starting at bottom of circle and left-hand straight edge of opening, bind inner straight edges and all outer edges of quilted tree skirt using the seven red tone-on-tone 2-1/2×42" binding strips.
6. Turn under 1/2" on each short end of red tone-on-tone 2-1/2×50" bias strip; press (Diagram 4). Fold bias strip in half lengthwise, wrong side inside; press, then unfold. Fold long edges to meet in center; press again. Refold in half and press. Leaving a 15"-long tail on one end, enclose edges of circle opening with prepared bias strip (Diagram 5). Topstitch folded edges in place to make ties, bind circle opening, and complete tree skirt.