Peppermint Swirl Christmas Tree Skirt

Happy Christmas in July! I’m Heather from Heather Kojan Quilts. I’m excited to share this tutorial for a super fun Peppermint Swirl Christmas Tree Skirt! Start now and you’ll have it done way before the holiday rush. (Tip: Make this in any fabric of your choosing to create a fun table topper for any season. Or, maybe a fun and unique baby quilt or play mat. Simply applique a center circle and you’re good to go!)

So, this is truly made in July, and nary a Christmas tree to be seen. So, here you have the perfect basketball hoop skirt!

Ready to get started?

12 Fat Quarters of Basic Grey’s 25th and Pine (4 green, 4 red and 4 white)
3 yards backing fabric
1/2 yard binding fabric

Batting, 54″ x 54″

Nine Degree Wedge Ruler

I’m using the fabulous 25th and Pine from Basic Grey. I love the feel of this fabric. So luxurious.

You’ll need 12 fat quarters to make your swirl: 4 green, 4 red, 4 white. 

Take each of your fat quarters and cut into strips, 2.5″ x 22″. You should get 7 strips from each fat quarter to yield 28 strips of each color.

Next we’re going to make strip sets. Following the chart below, we’ll make 9 unique strip sets. R=Red, G=Green, W=White. Use a 1/4″ seam allowance throughout this project.

Row 1
Row 2
Row 3
Row 4
Row 5
Row 6
Row 7
Row 8
Row 9
R
R
R
G
G
G
W
W
W
R
R
G
G
G
W
W
W
R
R
G
G
G
W
W
W
R
R
G
G
G
W
W
W
R
R
R
G
G
W
W
W
R
R
R
G
G
W
W
W
R
R
R
G
G
W
W
W
R
R
R
G
G
G
W
W
R
R
R
G
G
G
W
W
R
R
R
G
G
G
W
W

Sew your first strip set together, using the chart above. A finished strip set should measure 22″ wide and 18.5″ top to bottom.

After you sew your first strip set, lay out the next strip set beside the first. Try to avoid having the same fabrics next to each other. Label your strip sets 1-9 as you sew them. Press the odd numbered strip sets in one direction, and the even numbered strip sets in the opposite direction. After sewing all of the strip sets, you should have one leftover strip of each color. 

Now it’s time to cut your wedges.

You need to get 5 wedges from each strip set. Place the ruler so that the 22″ mark is aligned with the top edge of your strip set. Use your seam lines on your strip set and the lines on the ruler to make sure your ruler is placed correctly and everything is lined up straight. It’s helpful if you can place your cutting mat so that you can walk around it to make the cutting easier. Cut your first wedge. Re-position ruler at the top edge, and cut your second wedge. Repeat to make 5 wedges total. Stack the wedges (I clip them with a wonder clip) and label stack #1. You’ll end up with smaller “waste” wedges as you cut. Save these for creative play later!

Continue to cut your wedges from each strip set. Label and keep in order.

Find a nice open spot of “design floor”. Lay out your wedges in a circle, starting with one, continuing through nine, then repeating with one through nine and so on. Do you see the spiral happening? Cool, right? You’ll only need 40 wedges for this project. Again, set the remaining wedges aside for creative play (mug rugs? table runner?) After you have all 40 wedges laid out, check to make sure the spiral works and that nothing got out of order. (Your ending wedge will not create a continuous spiral with the first wedge.)

Let’s sew the spiral. I like to sew 8 wedges at a time. I pair the first 2, second 2, third 2 and fourth 2 by laying the right sides together. At my sewing machine, I sew the first pair, then 2nd, 3rd and 4th, chain stitching as I go. Because we did alternate pressing, the seams should nest together nicely. I then sew the first two pairs together, then the last 2 pairs together, and finally the 2 four wedge units together. Then I take this unit and return it to the spiral. Repeat for the reaming wedges. Once I have all 5 eight wedge units sewn, I check to make sure the spiral is continuous and nothing got out of order. Then I sew all the units together, including the seam where the end meets the beginning. I mark this seam with a pin.

Pretend there’s only 4 pairs of wedges above!
Back at the sewing machine, I do a little stay stitching around the inside and outside circle to keep the stitches from “popping”, about 1/8th inch from the edge. 
Cut your backing fabric into two pieces, 54″ in length x width of fabric. Trim selvages and seam the two pieces together. You’ll have a piece of fabric 54″ x 80″ (approximately). Trim to 54″ square. 
Layer your backing, batting and skirt top. Baste as preferred.
Time to quilt! I used my walking foot and did straight line quilting on each side of the seams. I started and stopped each line of quilting where wedge one and forty meet (where I placed that pin earlier.) Be sure to do an 1/8th of an inch stitch around the inner and outer circle edges as well. 
With your scissors, trim around the outer circle. Cut right down the seam where wedge one and wedge forty meet, then continue to cut the inner circle.

Make your bias binding. You’ll need approximately 240″ of bias binding. 1/2 yard will give you more that plenty! Lay out your 1/2 yard of fabric. Use the 45° line of your ruler to lop off the bottom left and top right corners of your fabric, approximately 10″ from the point. I do this so that I don’t have super short pieces of binding fabric. Keep the 45° angle going, and cut binding strips 2.5″ wide. If you want to make the optional ties, reserve two lengths, approximately 22″ long.

To join your strips, place two pieces together, matching the right angles.
Place right sides together. The strips will be at a right angle. Be sure to off set the corner by a 1/4 inch, as shown in the picture. Sew strips together with a 1/4″ seam. Continue to join all the strips until you have enough binding. Fold binding strip in half and press. Voila! Bias binding!
Optional ties: Take one piece of the bias binding strip approximately 20-22″ long. Fold in half length wise. Press. Unfold, then press so that each long edge meets the center “line” that you just pressed. Fold each short end under 1/4″ and press. Re-fold and press entire tie. Stitch along the long edge and short folded edges, close to the open edge. Cut into 2 lengths, approximately 10″ each. Repeat with second strip.
Pin ties in place with raw edges together, approximately 4″ from inner and outer circle. These will get sewn into the tree skirt as you sew on your binding.
Bind your quilt. Congratulations ~ your first Christmas finish of the year!


One Peppermint Swirl Christmas Tree Skirt, 45″ diameter.

Heather Kojan
{heatherkojan.blogspot.com}

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