Lone Star Tree Skirt Sew Along: Cut Center and Bind

Welcome back for week five of the Lone Star Tree Skirt Sew Along!  Here we are in the last week of the sew along and we’re finishing our tree skirts!  Don’t worry if you’re behind or just beginning.  It’s a fairly fast project and there is plenty of time to make one before the Christmas rush.  Please join us!  The tree skirt pattern is available here.

Last week we quilted our lone stars.  This week we will cut them to make a tree skirt as well as make a continuous bias binding and ties to finish the project.  There are three videos this week.  The first demonstrates how to cut your quilt to make a tree skirt.

This second video covers making a continuous bias binding.


Here is the formula I use to figure out fabric requirements for continuous bias binding. Total inches of binding needed x width of binding = square inches of fabric needed.  Then divide square inches of fabric by the length of your rectangle, to get the width of fabric you need to make your binding.

First, measure the number of inches around the perimeter of your quilt.  For this project, including extra fabric to make your ties, you want 275 inches of binding.

Multiply the total inches of binding needed x the width of your binding.  I prefer a 2.25″ binding, so for me that’s 275 x 2.25 = 618.75.  The answer is the total number of square inches of fabric you need for the binding.  If you like a 2.5″ binding, then 275 x 2.5 = 687.5.  Next, take that total and divide it by the length of your fabric (in my case, the width of fabric, which I’m estimating at 38″).  618.75 divided by 38 = 16.28, which I round up to the next whole inch, or 17″.  To make a 2.25″ wide continuous bias binding that is at least 275″ long, I need a rectangle of fabric that is 38″ x 17″.  For a 2.5″ binding, 687.5 / 2.5 = 18.09, and round up to 19″, or a rectangle 38″ x 19″.

Finally, the third video covers attaching your binding and making the ties for your tree skirt.

My tree skirt has the binding and ties attached and I’m looking forward to a little quiet time to hand stitch it down to the back of the quilt.

That’s it for this week!  Have fun finishing your lone star tree skirt.  Next week I’ll share my finished tree skirt with the binding finished.  Please share your progress with the hashtags #lonestartreeskirt and #hopefulhomemaker because I love seeing them!

Remember that all posts for this project can be found on the Lone Star Tree Skirt Sew Along page.

Have a great week, and happy sewing!

Courage to Start: a log cabin block

For a year or two I have had an idea in my heart.  I want to make a quilt about some circumstances and experiences that have impacted my life.  The idea has a name and story; I’m just not sure how to make it turn out in fabric the way I feel about it in my heart.  So I delayed, but it hasn’t gone away.  Along came a moment that is burned into my memory, and it gave me courage to start.

This log cabin block represents that moment.  I realized that what I need, more than a pretty quilt, is the experience of making.  I need to try.  Does it matter if the outcome is something I’ll ever share?  Of course not.  That’s part of creativity.  Sometimes we make to learn, to experiment, to find our voice, and we know we will probably throw it away.

Last weekend I attended the studio show of a local artist whose work speaks to me.  Someone asked her about her creative process and how she found her creative voice.  One part of her response was that she bought a big pack of canvases to paint on and told herself that every one of them was intended for the trash.  She gave herself permission to paint something ugly.  Then she said, “I never made it through all the canvases because I started painting things that felt like me.”  I love that.

This log cabin block isn’t actually a part of the picture I have for my project but I realized I can make as many versions of my idea as I need to.  What matters is that I answer the call to try.  I’m sure the experience will be therapeutic, and I’ve got plenty of fabric, so it’s OK to make something ugly.  It’s part of the process, but it’s only a process if we find courage to start.

Be Brave Mini Quilt

A few years ago my sister made me this amazing improv quilt block that says, “be brave.”  I have a really bad habit of saving things that are special instead of just using them.  I always tell myself I’ll find the most amazing, perfect use for it and THEN I will use it.  Unfortunately, I did that with this quilt block.  It went in a box with a few pieces of fabric for the quilt I thought I would make.  Except I forgot all about it.  I rediscovered the block a few weeks ago and immediately made this Be Brave Mini Quilt.

At least I learn from my mistakes!  It only took a few minutes for me to quilt it with straight lines approximately 1/4″ apart.

After quilting I remembered a jar of labels that same sister gave me, and in it I found the “you matter to me” label.  The bright red message fit perfectly at the bottom of the mini quilt.  I chose a bright print from my stash for the back and added tabs for hanging.  A leftover piece of binding completed the project – perhaps the fastest finish of anything I’ve ever made!

I made this be brave mini quilt as a gift for one of my daughters.  2019 has been a big year in our home and brought many opportunities to be brave.  Sometimes we rise to them and sometimes we forget who we are and what we can do.  I gave this to her because I want her to know that she can be brave, and that she matters to me.  I hope this visual reminder will bless her life and help her in moments when she’s tempted to believe otherwise.

We all need this reminder sometimes.  I’m sharing it now because today we’re doing something brave as a family.  We’re sending our son away for two years of missionary service.  It’s the happiest, best thing and will help him become the man he needs to be, but it also hurts and our hearts ache with love and missing him already.  He matters to us; we matter to him.  So we’re being brave because we love God and know that EVERYONE matters to Him.

If you need this reminder today, let me say it again:  Be Brave.  You matter.

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