It's not what you gather, but what you scatter, that tells what kind of a life you have lived.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Day 10 of the Twelve Days of Christmas

It's getting closer and closer to the actual time to start the 12 Days of Christmas! I hope you're getting everything ready to go. For day 10, I have my husband's birthday, plus a project for you. :) It's a little yo-yo Christmas tree, and it's so cute! To start with, you will need a thread spool with a dowel that fits snugly in the hole and cut to 4" above the dowel. Paint or stain the spool and dowel brown, like a tree trunk. You'll see it a few photos down the page.

If you don't know what a yo-yo is, it's a circle of fabric gathered at the edge to make a smaller circle, sometimes with a circle of batting inside to give it body. They are used for any number of things, from quilts to toys to hot pot pads. They are used for decoration on clothing, too. They are very versatile and easy to make. Here's how. For our tree, you will cut 6 circles in these sizes: 8", 7 1/2", 6 1/2", 5 1/2", 3 3/4", and 2 1/2". I made patterns from chipboard and traced them onto the fabric. You get better circles that way.

Using a needle threaded with heavy button and carpet thread, run a gathering stitch around the outside of the circle. Because these circles will be stacked on top of one another, and the gathering won't show, I didn't turn down the edge. You can tell by the photo how much smaller the finished yo-yo is from what you start out with. Pull up the thread tight and trace the yo-yo for your batting size. I wanted my trees to be fat and fluffy, so I used two layers of batting in each circle.

Open your circle back up and lay the batting in the middle. Pull up the threads again, and tie the ends in a knot, leaving a hole big enough for your dowel to fit through.

Put your little finger inside the opening and flatten out the batting so the yo-yo lays nice and flat.

Turn the yo-yos over and cut a cross-shaped slit in the middle, so that your dowel can go through the yo-yos. You can stack them onto the dowel now, or you can make ruffles to go in between them. The ruffles can be made from wire-edge ribbon or net. (I was going to use net in red and green, but I had some scraps of ribbon left over from the bows I made for the front porch, and since I made a commitment to spend as little this year as I could, that's what I used). Cut 2 pieces of either net or ribbon about 12" long and 2" wide, one for under the big yo-yo and one for on top of the big yo-yo, and work your way from there. Make each ruffle half as wide as the finished yo-yo. Gather one edge up tight on the wire and tie it by twisting the wires together, leaving a hole big enough for the dowel. Stack a yo-yo, gathered side up, and then a ruffle, and then a yo-yo, and then a ruffle, until you get to the top little yo-yo. Slide it onto the dowel and use a nail file or something thin like that to tuck the edges down into the circle. This gives you a finished top.

Tie a little bow around the top and you're done, or you can add a little wooden star, too. I found this cute little house box at the dollar store and I bought one to see if my tree would fit in it for storage and gift giving, and it does! But I don't think it will fit with a star on it, dang it.

These trees take a little bit of time, but not too much, and it's something you can do in the car or while watching TV. If you're like me, you have to be doing something every minute or you feel like you're wasting time! So I always have a project to keep my hands busy when the rest of me isn't.

Thornton Wilder said, "We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." I think that the treasures he was talking about were family and friends, not material things. I try to be conscious of those treasures always. I love them very much. See ya tomorrow!

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