So, as a rule, I gather things rather than collecting them. I only have a couple of true collections; things I am really passionate about. The first is vintage and antique needlework patterns, tools, and yarn. The second is Christmas ornaments. I sometimes feel bad because I have a lot of beautiful handmade ornaments, and nostalgic ornaments from both my and my (just turned 18) child’s younger years, but while I love and treasure these, they don’t go on my Christmas tree. Everything except the lights on my tree is from the 60s or earlier. (I actually own three strands of beautiful 1950s pink lights, but don’t use them for safety reasons.) All the ornaments are glass. Some of them were from my Oma’s tree. Most I have simply gathered over the years. I even use vintage tinsel. (One box of shredded mylar tinsel that I gather and reuse every year.) I. L.O.V.E. M.Y. T.R.E.E.
But one thing I have always been missing is a proper tree skirt. I have used cotton batting, an old tablecloth, even a couple of very old packages of flame-retardant “snow” that I had down for a couple of days before realizing it was definitely offgassing some serious toxicity. I have held out hope of finding the perfect vintage tree skirt someday, but it has never happened. So this year I took it upon myself to just make one. It isn’t vintage, but it is almost 100% thrifted, and it is perfect.
I drew all the elements and will have a file of them available for whatever use, because the deer especially turned out very nice, I think. It is all fulled wool, hand-stitched in blanket stitch.
I did start cutting out “snow” felt pieces for the trees, but then opted to use sequins instead. The deer have some snow-sequins on their antlers too, and each deer has a little collar and jingle bell.
I did use a machine to bind the open edge and center, and to hem it toward the right side. I then hand-sewed the fringe so it covered the raw edge.
Also, I am especially pleased with the toppers on the ornaments, which I made using some actual-metallic cord from the 40s, and a knotwork technique.
It took me about 10 days from start to finish and was 100% NOT something I should be doing right before Christmas, in lieu of making gifts. But there it is. I’m sorta in love.