Part 1 : Getting to Know Caley Hicks of therewillbecute
My inspiration for this year’s holiday collection was:
“Oh it was a variety of things! Vintage Christmas wrapping paper, greeting card designs, the old claymation Rankin/Bass Christmas specials, etc. I just tried to focus on elements of Christmas that always bring a smile to my face. I even tried to incorporate a tradition of mine into one of the designs. Each year I bake a batch of gingerbread kitties. So I thought how fun it would be to draw the cookies and create a pattern out of it!”
The technique I used to create this collection was:
“I always start with a rough black and white sketch on my iPad just to get the initial idea planned out. I’ll bring that sketch into Adobe Photoshop and start refining and coloring each element within my design. Once all the pieces are built I’ll create a repeating pattern within Photoshop. Building the pattern tile is probably the hardest part of the process for me. I tend to do a lot of test runs before the pattern is perfectly arranged. It’s a puzzle but I love doing it!”
A handmade holiday is:
“A handmade holiday sounds like the perfect time to unplug, turn off the tech, gather up your supplies, relax and make something special. Although I am a digital artist there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction and joy of creating something by hand. I’ve been working so hard creating patterns for my Spoonflower shop but this holiday season I want to slow down, order some fabric and start playing!”
Before we get started, I must make a confession. The Christmas tree skirt you are about to see was not the first one I made. In my first attempt I approached the skirt like a regular quilt and had sandwiched a layer of fleece batting between my top and bottom layers before quilting the layers together. Little did I know that my lack of pins and walking foot, along with zero quilting experience, would result in a bunched Christmas Tree Skirt that made me feel more like the Grinch than Cindy Lou Who.
But my Christmas decorations would not be ruined!
In my second attempt, I went with a more beginner-friendly approach and quilted the skirt after I had stitched the front and back pieces together using the pillowcase method. The tutorial below uses this method but if you feel comfortable quilting, you could follow standard quilting methods. This project was the perfect example of why I love sewing so much. While my first attempt was not successful, I learned from the experience and can’t wait for you to see what I came up with! – Meredith
Materials for a 54″ skirt
First, you’ll want to create your Fill-a-Yard Cheater Quilt project. You can choose to stick with a solid design for the top but I loved Caley’s designs so much that I wanted to highlight three different designs (two on the top and one on the bottom).
Step 1. Cut out a 54″ square from your top fabric.
Step 2. Fold your top fabric in half, top to bottom.
Step 3. Fold your fabric in half again, left to right. Your fabric should now be a 27″ square.
Step 4. Using a ruler, measure a 27″ arch starting from the corner, so you’ll end up with a quarter circle. Cut off the excess fabric.
Step 5. Using a ruler, measure a 2″ arch starting from the corner, so you’ll end up with a quarter circle. Cut off the excess fabric. The small hole you’ve just created will sit around the trunk of your tree.
Step 6. Repeat steps 1-5 with your bottom fabric. Unfold the top and bottom skirt fabric and cut along one of the fold lines from the inner edge to the outer edge.
Step 7. With right sides facing, pin the two skirt pieces together and stitch with a 1/2″ seam allowance. Be sure to leave a 4″ opening at one short end so you can flip the fabric right side out.
Step 8. Flip the fabric right side out and topstitch, making sure to close the opening from step 7. If you used the Cheater Quilt Fill-a-Yard template, quilt your tree skirt!
Optional : Add pom pom trim for an extra pop of fun!