Tuesday, December 16, 2014

No-Sew Oilcloth Tree Skirt

If you're like me you really love a retro tinsel tree. But, one of the drawbacks of artificial trees is the tiny little pole that holds all that kitschy bling. It's really hard to find a tree skirt that has a small enough hole that will cover up the tree stand. So when I set out to decorate my tree this year, I knew it was time to make a quick and easy tree skirt that would go right up to the pole.

My silver Christmas tree sits in a corner that has a radiator and a fireplace hearth, so I went with a small 28" diameter tree skirt. It's just a few inches bigger than the tree stand and works well in the space allowed. Oilcloth is 47" wide, so you can make it much bigger than my sample.

Once I picked out the red lace oilcloth, I needed to find the center of the oilcloth. Notice how the print has a medallion motif in the center of the width of the oilcloth? This motif repeats every 16 inches, so when you are working with a print with a predominate repeat you need to buy a bit more fabric than you need, so you can adjust your pattern left and right so your circular tree skirt looks its best.

Once I found the center of what will be my oilcloth tree skirt, I folded it in half and did a little finger press to mark my center with a crease.

Next, I fold it into quarters so the wrong side is out; do so by folding it half width-wise and then length wise. Thankfully you can see a faint bit of the lace on the back side to help you fold properly and find dead center of the medallion.

To double check the placement you can place a pin in the corner as shown above. Open up the fold and check to see if your pin is in the center. If not, make any adjustments needed.

Refold and place some clothes pens along the folds to keep the fabric from sliding around. Use your ruler to measure out a quarter circle. Once you decide on the diameter of your tree skirt divide your that number by 2. My tree skirt is 28", so I drew an arc that is 14" from the corner, or pivot point. Using a ruler or table measure, make a series of dashes every inch or two from the top to the bottom of your arc, then connecting the dots into a smooth curve.

Do the same process for the smaller hole that is in the center of your tree skirt. This hole needs to be the same diameter as the hole in the base of your stand that holds the pole of your tree. My stand has a 1" diameter hole so I make a tiny 1/2" arch at the corner of my folded tree skirt fabric.

Oilcloth doesn't fray or ravel so you don't have to finish off the edges. I used pinking shears to cut out the outer circle and regular scissors to cut out the center hole.

Now unfold the tree skirt and cut a straight line from the outer edge to the hole. I did this with a rotary cutter and ruler on top of my cutting mat. I just followed the print of the fabric to do so. This slit allows me to get the tree skirt on and off with ease.

June Suggests: If you have the time to make this super fancy you could trim off the edges with 1/4" bias tape, but you don't have to.
Simply wrap the tree skirt around the base of your tree and allow it to cover the stand. The back of the skirt will overlap and create a little volcano like shape. See, easy peasy!

Helpful tip: Oilcloth tree skirts are great for pet owners; the non-stick, water-proof, easy-to-clean surface helps with many issues.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Dana Made It + Oilcloth

You all know Dana from the popular Made blog, right? Of course you do! She's the talented blogger that brought us orange lace oilcloth slip covered bar stools and many more great oilcloth creations of the years. 
Dana is also the author of the book called Fabrics A to Z and The Fabric Selector. Dana believes that no fabric should be feared so she and Kate from See Kate Sew have teamed up  for a new series called Don't Fear the Fabric!
Dana has been focusing on Oilcloth and Kate has been sharing tips, tricks and tutorials about leather. I love this combo, in fact I think it's perfect. When I was a costumer for film and theatre (B.M. - Before Motherhood) I specialized in tailoring. In the 90's it was very popular for classical productions to have a modern look and leather was the fabric of choice for many costume designers. For example, I was on a team that made a dozen leather pants for an opera St. Louis Opera. I believe it was this set of sewing skills that have made me fearless enough to become Modern June, Oilcloth Addict!

Dana covered the the how to's for working with oilcloth,  
Cute and easy oilcloth coasters.
A simple geo banner.

A fun no-sew project - Oilcloth Planters

She's also giving away a great gift from Modern June for two of her readers. Head over to Danamadeit.com to enter to win a copy of my Sewing with Oilcloth book and a four pack of fat quarters of oilcloth!

Happy sewing!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Pairings: Santa and Aqua Cherry Oilcloth

Not every holiday gathering requires the fine china and freshly pressed linens. Come events are just for fun and no fuss, for those parties it's all about the paper plate! Besides some of these paper plates on the market are just so stinking cute that people like me just can't refuse them!!

Recently I've started hosting a craft night with some of my friends at the Modern June studio, we lovingly call it Stitch and Bitch! Every few Friday's we gather up our current craft project, some hors d'oeuvres, a bottle (or 2) of wine and sit around crafting and chatting the night away.

I've been using large scarps of oilcloth to cover one of the cutting tables at MJHQ to add a little cheer and for easy clean up. Food on the cutting table is normally a big no-no! Last week I showed up with my super cute Santa plates from Target and I knew right away which oilcloth to use, Aqua Cherry!! How cute is this combo? Tablecloths don't have to scream Christmas to totally rock the holiday spirit!

Oilcloth is the best for quick and easy decorating. And it's pretty darn cheep too! Use it for the buffet table and for the craft table. Just grab a few yards of oilcloth and cut it down to size. For this craft night, I started with 2 yards of oilcloth and I cut it down the center; in other words I cut it in half lengthwise. Oilcloth does not fray, so I didn't have the hem the edges. It's just a simple cut and go project!

I used a 24" x 72" piece of oilcloth for a table runner on the cutting table and I the other half could have been used on the project tables if they weren't already covered. Clean up was a breeze, I just wiped it down with a gentle household cleanser and a paper towel. Once is air dried, I rolled it up to store it for next time. 

Come back for more of my holiday ideas soon!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

DIY Kit: Hanging Chalkcloth Banner!

Perfect for the holiday chalk art, dinner party menus, or an everyday to do list! Use this kit to make your very own Hanging Chalkcloth Banner. Click here to see the tutorial! 

Kit Includes:
- 18" x 47" of chalk cloth
- 24" dowel rod
- 1 yard of mini pom-pom trim
- 1 yard of ribbon
- 1 yard of bias trim
- 3 yards of 3 different rick racks
- 1 piece of chalk
- 1 permanent chalk marker
- Instruction sheet

Kit Price: $20.00

Choose from 3 colors, green, aqua and red!