Thursday, December 06, 2012

Preparations and the Tree Skirt

So I've pored through my stack of Christmas magazines, shortlisted my baking/making/etc. list, then shortened it to something resembling reasonable. Today I cut it down to what might even actually be reasonable, and then made up a calendar with everything sorted into its place, theoretically leaving me enough time to do it all. Theoretically... The important thing is that I'm almost done the baking, particularly the indispensable sugar cookies, and I have a plan for everything else (along with a sense of what can be axed if need be).

I'm determined to make this month a happy, low-stress, fun month in which I nonetheless accomplish at least most of what I intend to (after all, that is part of happy; it's a great feeling to finish projects that I set out to do).

I have a few magazines from over the years, but the one that I buy consistently at this time of year is Canadian Living, particularly their special Holiday issues, but often lately the December issue as well. This year, there was a pattern for a Tree Skirt that is also available on the website, and it reminded me of our first Christmas in our house, for which I was determined to do things right and make a tree skirt now that we had a real tree.

I went to Fabricland, found a tree-skirt pattern thingy where there is a semi-circle of printed fabric right there to cut out following the directions directly on the fabric. I selected fabric for the backing, and a nifty bit of braided cord to embellish the edge with. I had to use curtain-leftovers in the end for backing, as I had miss-measured, so that backing-fabric is still sitting around waiting to be made into a pillowcase or something.

I had no sewing machine, but that wasn't about to stop me! Besides, my Mother-in-Law has always been generous with letting me borrow hers. As it turned out, whether it was because the machine was not available at the time, or because I couldn't seem to coordinate picking it up (I truly can't remember), I decided to just get started and sew it by hand. I took it with me on the bus, and did a few stitches there and on my lunch break at work. I stitched in the evenings and the weekends, and I finished it on time, but I wouldn't have if my Mother-in-Law's machine hadn't become available later (it's a pretty big tree skirt, and the layer from the cord was a bit tough to get through)!

That Christmas, under the tree for me from my husband was a large box, wrapped with the unused backing-fabric pinned in place, was a sewing machine of my very own. That machine has been a big help getting things done at a quicker pace, but I must say, I am proud of that tree-skirt!

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