Follow the Start Tree Skirt
Triangle Tips and Tree Skirt Pattern
I had the fun opportunity to be a guest blogger for Elizabeth Chappell over at Quilter's Candy. I appreciate Elizabeth letting me share this free pattern with her readers, and I'm so glad to share it with you as well! Get your pattern here.
Are you looking for a modern version of a classic Christmas tree skirt? Pairing triangles with Chenille-It gives this skirt an argyle pattern. This preppy look will update your Christmas tree whether your tree was freshly cut or dragged from the attic!
If you’ve never sewn with triangles before, you’re in the right place! I’ll share a few tips and tricks that’ll turn triangles from tedious to terrific. (I love alliteration, don’t you?)
As a beginner, there’s no need to buy another ruler before trying out triangles. There are numerous triangle rulers with various heights and degrees. Creative Grids make an equilateral triangle ruler. Die cuts can be used as well. For this tutorial, I’ll be using this 6 ½ʺx 24 ½ʺ ruler with a 60 degree mark on either end.
First, cut your fabric to your desired width. For the Christmas tree skirt, you’ll be using 6 ½ʺ x WOF strips. With the selvage to the side, line up the 60 degree line on your ruler with the bottom of the fabric. Make sure the ruler is over enough so the end of the 60 degree line meets the selvage at the top edge of the fabric. Cut along the side of your ruler.
Flip your ruler to the other end to use the opposite 60 degree marking line. Line the ruler with the triangle point, keeping the 60 degree line along the edge of the fabric.
Straight-of-Grain vs Bias
Before piecing, you must find the non-biased (or the straight-of-grain) edge of each triangle. When sewing with triangles, it is crucial to keep the non-bias edge of the triangle on the bottom or top of your pieced strip. Why is this important? The biased edges will stretch and can distort your quilt top. The straight-of-grain can be found easily by gently tugging on each side of the triangle. You need to find the side of the triangle that doesn't stretch. Remember, two sides will stretch (bias) and one side will not (straight-of-grain). We will piece the biased sides so the straight-of-grain will be on the top or bottom of the triangle.
Match up your triangles perfectly, RST. Stitch along the biased edge. When you open your triangles, the straight-of-grain will be on the bottom of the first triangle and the top of the second triangle.
I finger press the triangles open, but you can press with an iron. However, pressing after every triangle takes a lot of time. I’m busy and usually in a hurry (or have a child climbing into my lap!) so my finger pressing is sufficient for me! I press to the left so that the triangle on the right is flat across the back. Whichever way you press, continue to press in this direction for the entire row.
Line up another triangle and match the points. Stitch again, press open, and continue until your row is assembled.
When attaching rows, it is very important to match the triangle points. Your points should be ¼ʺ from the edge of the row. This way, your points will match when you sew your ¼ʺ seam. You can pin carefully or use a dab of glue to hold the fabric in place.
Sew with a ¼ʺ seam to piece your rows. You can press seams open to reduce bulk or press in one direction. There you go!