I’ve always imagined once I had a child everything would fall into place. We’d go out on Black Friday and cut down the perfect Christmas tree. We’d come home to a warm house and decorate with delicious hot cocoa, Christmas music, fresh baked cookies, the whole shebang. Then I had a baby. And understood real life.
When we were single (without children) some years getting ready for Christmas looked like this:
So it was not that unrealistic of a compromise to have a fake tree when Bean was only 9.5 months old. Then, the next year at 21.5 months old I had just come home from the hospital with Bug. Christmas looked like this:
Fake pre-lit tree. No ornaments. We fancy. It had two perfect little boys under it. That’s all I needed.
This year, with two crazy toddlers and what I’m going to say has been the hardest year of my life, I daggum earned my real tree. Complete with a star on top. (This part was very important to Bean. Yay bossy 2 year olds!)
A real tree deserves a real tree skirt. Something I was not in possession of. Some years I threw some fabric underneath, most years it was bare. This year, with many pinned ideas and a strong will, I made my tree skirt. Finishing on Christmas Eve around midnight. Just in time for Santa to have a place to leave some gifts. Woohoo!
This was my first attempt at a quilting project. It kept the quilting part simple and with a ton of advice from Amanda of Fabric Heart, I was able to do the binding myself as well! It was a huge learning experience for me and I’m so glad I did it. I now have the confidence to start on the many quilting projects I have purchased supplies/patterns/fabric for. With a goal to work on more projects that are for me in the new year, this was the perfect way for me to finish 2013.
Probably the most difficult part of this project for me was deciding on the layout. I am not a quilter. The colors and patterns overwhelm me and I am terrified of mistakes. When I got to this point in my layout, I decided more green was needed. I made a stop into the local Stitchwell fabrics to come home with an assortment of gorgeous prints. While working with so many patterns was probably the worst part of this project for me, it was also the best. Straight lines means there isn’t much room for screwing up, but I also got to incorporate fabrics that friends chose for me and fabric that I used for the boys’ Christmas PJs this year. I really love that more than just me went into this project.
I used a white on white snowflake print from Joann for the backing. I wish their cottons were a little heavier, but they did have exactly what I wanted. I figure the tree skirt can be flipped over to class this joint up a bit if I ever decide to grow out of colored lights and have some champagne instead of sparkling cider.
Lesson learned: Don’t cut your backing to approximately the same size as your facing. Make it MUCH bigger. Oops.
Things that terrified me about quilting prior to this project: basting, quilting, and binding. So basically all of it. Fusible batting took care of the basting fear.
Straight lines over and over again and look at me, I’m quilting!!!! I cheated and bought bias tape. I’d make it next time. It terrified me, but my lessons have been learned.
Buying the bias tape saved me a little time, and I was willing to deal with the fact that it just feels icky because this wasn’t a blanket and wouldn’t be against the skin. Mitered corners and perfect finishes? Not as terrifying as I thought. (Again, thank you Amanda for all your help!!)
The best part of all of this though is that I have something I made for my family to enjoy year after year. I MADE IT! I really still can’t believe that part. I wanted to focus on personal projects more and I completed an awesome one to kick things off.