Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tutorial: Textured Tree with Ruffles

Happy hellos to you all!  We're celebrating Christmas in July this week and today is the first of two tree tutorials ... this one is a textured tree with ruffles!  Both of the trees I'll be showing you this week will become wall art ... I will show you more about that on Thursday.  Let's get started!

Grab a sheet of computer paper and mark off an 8 x 10 rectangle (or whatever size frame you might like this to fit into.  And then rough out a sketch like I've done here.

Then, measure the two background pieces.  Just a ballpark ... we'll trim this down a little so if its a little big its ok.  :-)

Piece your background with two prints.  I am using a tonal floral from Etchings as my "wallpaper" and Bella Weathered Teak as my "ground."

Next, you'll trace the tree, trunk, and the tree skirt onto some fusible interfacing. Fuse your pieces to the wrong side of your chosen fabrics.

Trim the pieces and Fray Check the edges and allow them to dry.

Then, grab a pair of pinking sheers (or if you have a pinking rotary cutter that works too!) and cut some strips of green prints.  I am using two different prints from my stash.  My strips are about 1.5" wide ... no such thing as perfect here ... just cut some strips!  :-)

Grab your tree and a strip.  Stitch along the center of the strip and smush some ruffles under the foot as you stitch.  I like to use a clear foot and keep the needle in the down position and every few stitches, lift the presser foot and smush some more fabric underneath the foot to make some fun and casual ruffles.

When you're done it will look something like this.

Now, for the next row, flip the first ruffle up and hold it in place with a pin.  Position the next strip so there will be a little bit of overlap, but not too much and repeat the process.

Looking cute, right?!

Keep going ... alternating green prints and moving the top row out of the way as you stitch.  Be sure you are backstitching at the beginning and end of the ruffle.

Here's how to add more fabric on the fly if your strip is too short.  Grab another piece.

Fold both ends under about 1/4" and tuck the new one under the first one and keep on going.  Notice the overlap in the photo below.  (Hope this makes sense!)

Keep on going until your tree is covered.  (I ended up trimming the bottom of my tree shape a little since it was longer, but not long enough for another strip.)

Trim your tree from the back with your pinking sheers. Perfect isn't important on this ... just give it a haircut!

Now, lay all your pieces on your background and arrange as you'd like.  Use some Stitch Witchery to tack all the pieces down.  (Note: in this photo, I've placed the Stitch Witchery on top to show you placement, but it will go under the pieces and stick the tree, trunk, and skirt to the background.)

Stitch the pieces down with a zig zag stitch (I shorten the stitch length and the stitch width when I do this for a tighter stitch) using a coordinating thread starting with the trunk.  Move the tree and skirt back a little to stitch the trunk.

Then stitch the skirt down.

And finally the tree.  Because of the ruffles, I couldn't go all the way around, so I just held the ruffles back and stitched in between them.

I did get all the way around the bottom corners and along the bottom in one stitching session.

Here's my tree .... I haven't decided whether or not I want to add buttons ... so here's a picture auditioning a few ... maybe all the same color?  Or a different shape or buttons with shanks tucked between ruffles?  Beads?  Or just plain?

Decisions, decisions.  :-)

On Thursday, come back for another textured tree tutorial and I will show you how to turn these into wall art or a fun framed gift.

If you have any questions about the tutorial, please feel free to ask.  If you make a ruffled tree, I'd love to see it - link it up in the comments. :-)

Happy Sewing!  :-)


  1. So cute. I just got in some Christmas fabrics (still on the lookout for a few more prints though) and this has definitely been added to my project list!

  2. This is just toooo cute! Love the buttons!

  3. You are so very clever and talented. Thanks for the tutorial.


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