Saturday, November 26, 2016

An Unlikely Muse

The original muses were 9 Greek goddesses to whom poets and artists prayed for creative inspiration. To be a modern muse, one doesn't need to be a beautiful deity, but must inspire uninhibited, original creative work. My inspiration comes from joking around, silly stories, crazy prompts, oxymorons, other people's weird ideas, the worse the better.

I'll take an idea, pull fabrics to express the feeling, audition neutrals to create dimension. Then I'll look for patterns. The internet is a wonderful cornucopia of free patterns, I also have a few quilt books for ideas. And then there is my fabric collection, my stash of possibilities.

This project started as a question in my etsy shop last summer. Could I make a Christmas Tree skirt with photos? Not my idea of the best tree skirt, but, yes, I can do that. I didn't hear back from the client for several months. Then, in September I received an email with 7 stunning professional photos of a beautiful, Land's End type family. She wanted a style of classic modern country Christmas. No Santas, angels ok. My muse had arrived.

I found a pattern on a blog I like called Quilt Inspiration. They offer 30 different quilted tree skirt patterns. I found one with 7 stars on point, perfect for my 7 photos. It was designed by Margrit Hall for RJR Fabrics. Slightly larger than the traditional 48 inch tree skirt, this one comes out at 54 inches across.

In early October I attended a Kaffe Fassett lecture on color  inspiration. With his ideas fresh in my mind, I chose one of his prints with red and orange flowers, and small turquoise and forest green jelly beans. The orange gives the quilt some nice zest. The rest of the fabric is Moda.

I didn't bother with fastening ties for the skirt opening. I doubt the skirt will fall away from the tree.

Tree skirts make elegant table toppers. Therefore, you can never have too many tree skirts.

The client was happy. Here's her review on my shop: Absolutely gorgeous! I ordered this tree skirt for my parents as a Christmas gift with family photos as a memento for Christmas over many years to come. It is truly beautiful and Jane combined her skill and eye for patterns into a great piece of art that I am so excited to give to my parents. They are going to love it.


  1. Nice work! I would not have thought of Kaffe and Christmas in the same sentence, but it works.
    Thanks for the link to the site with all the patterns. I have been meaning to make a tree skirt all year, but I can tell that my tree is going to have a naked bottom again in 2016. Maybe 2017.

    1. ha ha ha. I have another skirt cut out that is already doomed to the time out pile, good intentions, bad follow through. Christmas time warp always zooms at the last, doesn't it?

  2. This is such a beautiful quilted tree skirt, Jane! And a wonderful family memento. No surprise your client was pleased!

    1. Thanks, Lorna. I was able to machine stitch the binding and it went together nicely. A great finish. Jane