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Trip around the Tree Skirt

tree skirt tutorial

I have this new little pencil tree tucked in a corner and I thought… wouldn’t it be fun to make a

Trip Around the World Tree Skirt!

It was actually my nephew Sammy that brought it up…

tree skirt tutorial

Imagine my embarrassment!  He was right… smart puppy!

My tree skirt is made from four of these 12″ scrappy trip around the world quilt blocks.

trip around the world quilt block tutorialThis was the perfect size for my ‘pencil’ tree, but if you want to make a larger skirt read on…

I used this yummy In from the Cold fabric by Kate Spain!

tree skirt 127 logo I’m making mine scrappy.  Want to make one too?

Let’s get started!

Cut yourself six fabric strips 2 1/2″ x 16″ ~ I used fat quarters so mine were a little longer @ 18″ (but that’s ok)… cutting accuracy is key so make some good 2 1/2″ cuts here!

tree skirt 129 logo

Sew the strips together using 1/4″ seam… slow and steady so your strips are nice and straight… You’ll thank yourself later!

This magnetic seam guide (below) helps me keep things straight when sewing long strips.  The magnet sticks to the plate on my machine bed :) and I can position it based on my seam allowance.  Handy!  If you can’t find one in your quilt shop look here on amazon.

tree skirt tutorial

Press seams in opposite directions… press from front as well, to be sure there are no folds at your seams…

trip around the world quilt tree skirt tutorial

trip around the world quilt block tutorial

Your strip set should measure 12 1/2″ wide if your 1/4″ seams are accurate.

trip around the world quilt block tutorial

Cut yourself a straight edge at the end of your strip set… notice how I have the horizontal lines on my ruler lined up with the seams on my pieced set?  This is important to get a squared up edge cut.

trip around the world quilt block tutorialFold strip set in half and sew the two long end strips together to make a tube… (the right edge in next picture)

tree skirt 137 logo

Next, cut six 2 1/2″ units from your ‘tube’…

tree skirt tutorial

Now you should have six little tube units…trip around the tree skirt tutorial

Since I wanted the red fabric to be the center on the diagonal, I used my seam ripper to open up the seam right above the red block…

trip around the world quilt block tutorial

For each tube, open the next seam above… sounds easy enough, but it can get confusing so double check before you pick that seam open.  Lay them out as you open them up to check that you’re diagonal fabrics all line up…

tree skirt 102 logoNow, turn each strip over and press the new seam (from making tube) in the proper (opposite) direction.

Sew strips together, nesting and pinning @ seams ~

trip around the world quilt block tutorial

Be careful to keep strips in order while sewing.  Double check before you sew it.

When you finish sewing those strip units together, your first block is done! Look over your block and be sure that all your fabrics line up on the diagonal and you didn’t turn any of your strips while sewing…trip around the world quilt block tutorial

For the little tree skirt (24″ x 24″) make four 12″ blocks…trip around the world block tutorial

This is how I quilted my tree skirt… (read my quilt sandwich tute here)

First sew your four completed blocks together, and layer:

1) tree skirt backing, right side down

2) batting

3) top (four block unit), right side up trip around the world quilt tree skirt tutorial

I spray basted mine together

tree skirt tutorial

and quilted on the diagonal in both directions using my walking foot.

trip around the world quilt block tutorial

Then I trimmed off the corners, cut a slit from the center to one side (right down seam) and added a circle cut out in the middle (I just traced a large jar for circle).

christmas tree skirt tutorialAll that’s left is the binding.  You will need bias binding due to the circle.  I cheated and cut one small strip of bias binding to do the circle and then I attached it to straight grain binding to do the rest… mainly because I had some of the straight grain binding left over from another Christmas project.

If you need a refresher on how to make bias binding  or how to attach binding, check out my tutorials.  On the tree skirt you can tackle these obtuse angled corners the same as a 90 degree corner.   Stop 1/4″ before edge, fold the binding to the right and line up with edge…trip around the world quilt block tutorial Then flip back to the left, pin and sew starting at edge. tree skirt tutorial

That’s all there is to it!  Fits perfect!quilted tree skirt tutorial


If you want to make a larger tree skirt make four larger trip around the world blocks.  Here are the measurements, read the column down for each size.

24″ tree skirt

(like mine)

42″ tree skirt 48″ tree skirt
Cut six 2 1/2″ x 16″


Cut six 4″ x 25″


Cut six 4 1/2″ x 28″


Cut tubes into 2 1/2″


Cut tubes into 4″


Cut tubes into 4 1/2″


Makes one 12″ block Makes one 21″ block Makes one 24″ block
Make 4 blocks Make 4 blocks Make 4 blocks



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4 thoughts on “Trip around the Tree Skirt”

  1. Sherri, thanks so much for this really cute tree skirt tutorial. I love it and will definitely use it for some gifts next year. Some years back I made lots of circular skirts with ruffled edges and these seem like a lot less work, and I’m all for that! Merry Christmas to you and family.

  2. I can’t thank you enough for this sweet tutorial!!! I have made 2 tree skirts from that same fabric line, but they weren’t for me. Alas…I don’t have enough fabric left to make one of my own from that collection, but I would love to have one like yours! Yay!

  3. Sherri,

    I’m another of those quilter/sewest without a quilted CHRISTMAS TREE SKIRT; each CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY I always remark that by next year I will make a tree skirt. AND, thank you for the reminder & for making it so simple. Love the large instructions & the step by step–you are a genius!

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