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

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

12 Days of Christmas 2014 - Day Ten

 How many of you out there have a set of Christmas cookie tree cutters from Wilton that are shaped like stars and have 10 sizes, ranging from 2 to 10 inches? I've had them for a long time and love to make cookie trees, but this year I used them for something different. 

I'm sure you won't be surprised to find that day 10 is another Christmas tree! And this one I'm NOT giving away! This one's for me!  I call it the Tall Tree and I really love the way it looks like a tall tree in the forest. Except, of course, for the fact that it's made from Christmas fabric!  lol

I used the cookie tree cutters for my patterns. I didn't use the two smallest ones, but started with the 3rd one. I traced them and them cut them out with an extra half inch all the way around. I included the photo above so you can see the shape of the stars and the size increments. I made the tree originally using these patterns and didn't like it. It wasn't tall enough for the look I wanted.

So I added 4 more larger sizes! Now I have twelve layers, and the tree looks just like I had it pictured in my head. Now it's time to get started!

First, you need to choose 3 different Christmas fabrics. I chose a green with candy canes, a red one with big green polka dots and a black one with ornaments on it. I bought a half a yard of each and had some of the red and green left over. I used the black for the largest layer and there wasn't much left after I cut it and the other three black layers. 
Cut four sizes from each fabric. It will make it easier if you number your patterns 1 - 12. Cut numbers 1, 4, 7 and 10 from fabric 1. Cut sizes 2, 5, 8 and 11 from fabric 2. And cut sizes 3, 6, 9 and 12 from fabric 3. Stitch around all sizes 1/2 inch from the edge. Sew all the way around without leaving an opening. Using a sharp pair of scissors, snip fringes almost up to the stitching and about 1/2" apart. After you have snipped all 12 layers, throw them in the washer and dryer to make the fringes fray and curl.

Now, snip a little hole in one side of the star. Eventually, you will snip a hole in the other side, too, but if you do it now, it makes it really, really hard to stuff it, because the stuffing wants to go out the other side! Stuff all your layers, but not too firmly, because they don't stack as well if they're too firm.

After you have stuffed them all, snip a hole in the other side of each one and using a needle and thread, stitch around the holes, stitching both layers together like a buttonhole. 

Using the pattern for the smallest star, cut two from yellow felt. Stitch around them with a buttonhole stitch, like I did, or stitch them on the sewing machine. When you get to the last section, stuff the star and then finish stitching it. Glue a tiny dowel or a bamboo skewer in the star.

Now it's time to make the trunk of the tree. I was out in my son's backyard one day and noticed he still had his Christmas tree from last year laying in a pile of scrap wood. My brain just clicked and I knew I wanted to use that! In fact, the idea for this tree started with that trunk! Anyway, I got my husband to cut it off at about 2 feet long and straighten the bottom so it would stand upright. He cut off all the branches except for one little outcropping that I thought would be a good spot for a bird's nest. I fastened it to a board that I had painted a light blue and drilled a hole in it for a dowel. The dowel is 1/2" or 5/8" and I drilled a hole in the top of that for the star.

 Now you stack your stars up on the dowel and put your star on the top and you have a nice little woodland-type tree. I will be using some batting to cover the board and make it look like the tree is standing in snow.

Here is a close-up of the bird's nest. The bird's eggs are red jingle bells!

I almost forgot.....I tied some raffia on the dowel right under the star. I like the look of it and it helps cover the space between the dowel and the star. I had the thought that the pinecone elves and the little log reindeer would look cute under the tree. Make a whole little scene!

Well, that's day 10 done! It took me two days to make this one, what with all the time spent cutting and sewing and washing and stuffing, but I love it and it was worth it! I hope you like it! And when you look at all the gifts under YOUR Christmas tree, remember this little quote by Burton Hillis: "The best gift under the tree is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other!"

Love to all and see you tomorrow!

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