North Pole Tree Skirt

Welcome to Tree Skirt Week of the Holiday Craft Bash!  Don’t forget to check out the tree skirts by Jessica (yesterday), Meredith (Wednesday) and Jacey (Thursday) and add your project to the Flickr group to be entered to win prizes each week and a grand prize at the end.  Meredith will post some sneak peeks of next week’s pillows on Friday.

I can’t seem to think of holiday decorating without using stars.  Bright stars in a cold winter night sky is a classic image for holiday time.  This time, I set my stars in a pretty green (Kona Peridot to be exact) and used white scraps for the stars.  The four half square triangles that I added remind me of four compass points so I’m calling my tree skirt the North Pole Tree Skirt.

Here’s what to do to make one of your own:

You’ll need:

Green:  1¼ yards
White:  ½ yard or 7
8″ squares or 26 4″ squares
White for binding:  ½ yard
Ribbon for ties:  3
yards 1/4″ ribbon
Backing:  1¼ yards
Batting:  45″ x
24″ ribbon or string
Cutting Info:
Cut your white fabric to make 26 4″ squares.  If you are using one fabric, 3 4″ strips, subcut to 4″ squares will do it.  I substituted 4 black/white print squares for 4 of the plain white ones just for some variety.
From the green, cut:
3 4″ strips – subcut these to 26 4″ squares
2 3½” strips – subcut to 16 3½” squares
1 12½” strip – subcut to 1 12½” square, 4 3½” x 12½” strips and 4 2½” x 12½” strips
1 6½” strip – subcut to 4 6½” squares and 4 3½” x 6½” strips
1 3½” strip – subcut to 4 3½” x 9½” strips
Half Square Triangles (HSTs):
Draw a diagonal line on the back of each of the white squares.
Place each square right sides together with a green square with the white square on top.
Sew ¼” away from the drawn line on each side of the
line.  I chain stitch about ten squares
at a time sewing one side first.  Then I flip
the whole chain around and sew the other side.
Press.  Cut along the
line.  (I use scissors since an exact
¼” seam allowance is not important at this point).
Press seam open.
Lay out your HSTs and 4 of the 3½”  green squares (corners) according to the photo.  Sew the squares together into rows and then the rows into blocks.
Make 4.


Compass Point blocks:
These are a little tricky since you have to make two pairs that are opposites.  Pay close attention to the pictures and the orientation of your pieces.
Sew a 3½” x 6½” strip to one of the white edges of your HST.  Two of these are sewn to one white edge and two are sewn to the other white edge.  Just keep turning your pieces until they look like the picture.
Next, sew a 3½” x 9½” strip to the long side of the previous piece where the green triangle is. (Click on the diagram to read the words if this isn’t clear).
Now, aligning the top raw edges (as in the lower two blocks), sew a 6½” square onto the other white side of the HST.
Sew the 3½” x 12½” strip along the top edge of all three pieces.  You should end up with four compass point blocks like this:

Block layout:
Lay your blocks out as follows:
Compass Point block, Star block, Compass Point block;
Star block, 12½” square of green, Star block;
Compass Point block, star block, Compass Point block.

Sew these blocks together into rows.  Now, before you sew your rows together, add the 2½” x 12½” strips to the outer edges of the stars.  (I added mine after I sewed the rows together when it became obvious that I needed more background there).

Sew the three rows together.

Your top is done!  Before we make the sandwich and quilt, we need to mark the final cutting lines for the tree skirt.  As with most quilt marking, it is easier to do this before you have the bulk of the batting and backing added.  So, press your top and spread it out on a hard surface.

Measure 6″ from the top and left sides of the center 12″ block and mark this point (the center of the block).

Tie some ribbon or string (not the three yards) around a marking pencil.  Measure 18″ from the pencil and place a pin in the ribbon/string at this point.

Place the pin at the center point you marked earlier and, keeping the ribbon/string tight, draw an 18″ diameter circle to mark the outer edge of the tree skirt.  Do your best to keep the pin and pencil in the same position while you are drawing.  Repeat this process with the pin 2½” from the pencil to mark the inner circle.  Next, line up your ruler with one end at the center mark and the long edge running between a star block and a compass point and draw a line.  This will be where you cut to fit your skirt around the tree.  See the finished picture above if this is confusing.  I tried to take pictures of these marks but they would not show up at all.

Don’t cut on these lines yet!!  Sandwich your backing, batting and top and quilt the tree skirt.  I quilted mine along the diagonal lines made by the triangles in the star blocks and compass points.  When you are finished quilting, cut along the outer circle, along the inner circle and the line connecting them.


Fold the 3 yards of ribbon in half 4 times and cut at the loops to make 8 roughly equal pieces of ribbon.

On the back of the tree skirt, place a piece of ribbon 1″ from the inner and outer edges of the skirt on each side of the opening.  Place the other four pieces about 5″ apart.  Baste in place.

We definitely need bias binding here with all these curves!  Cut 7 2½” wide bias binding strips from your binding fabric.  Join them together and apply them to your skirt as you would to any quilt.

All these steps make this look kind of hard, but it really isn’t.  Basically you make a strangely shaped quilt top, quilt it, cut openings and bind it. You can do that!  Don’t forget to add your projects to the Flickr group to win prizes!  Come back next week for pillows 🙂

  • Kristin A Jacobson
    Posted at 20:11h, 02 November Reply

    when set up to print, the image at the top of page 5 covers the written instructions. Could you fix that so I can make this fabulous tree skirt?? Thank you so much. Kristin J.

    Posted at 19:33h, 25 November Reply

    I have just made this with a “Harry Potter” wizard print for the background and dark blue stars—-lovely! Thanks for the pattern. I will make more variations, for sure.

  • Anita
    Posted at 03:03h, 24 October Reply

    Great tree skirt! Thanks for the tutorial 🙂

  • Jessica
    Posted at 02:10h, 24 October Reply

    Wow Debbie, your tree skirt is so serene and gorgeous. It makes me happy and all ready for Christmas. It's really so beautiful!

  • Marg
    Posted at 21:50h, 23 October Reply

    It looks great, I love that you have used black and white instead for some of the white pieces.

  • Jacey
    Posted at 21:31h, 23 October Reply

    It's lovely! Peridot is one of my favorite Kona shades. I love your take on the skirt!

  • Nat at Made in Home
    Posted at 13:11h, 23 October Reply

    Thanks for the tutorial! Need one of those this year..

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