Welcome to the Christmas in July blog hop that is hosted by Carol at Just Let Me Quilt! I was excited to sign up for this hop because I had the perfect project to share!
In January my friend Jamie sent me a vintage felt Christmas tree skirt that was 50+ years old and was in some desperate need of some love and attention.
It was stained and discolored, it had a few holes in it and it had some items hanging loose and nearly falling off.
She wanted it to be brought back to life somehow.
My first idea was to soak it in "Retro Clean", designed to bring age-stained fabric back to life.
It was not successful. 😕
My next step was to purchase some felt. I planned to move all of the appliques to the new felt.
I wasn't happy with the look after I sewed the beaded and sequined edging to the new felt. It made me even cringe a little!
I took the edging off and put all of it back in the closet until I figured out what to do next... When I asked Jamie if she wanted the skirt to be made of red felt her response was "Not necessarily, but it was my childhood Christmas tree skirt. So if you change it to a different material, make it grand. "
Um... no pressure!
I located a pre-quilted red fabric in my local wally world fabric department and knew this was it...
I carefully removed all of the bows and ornaments and then machine appliqued them on the new skirt. It was slow going because of all the bling. But the more I got done, the more I liked it.
Jamie had let me know that there was no need for a center hole or opening as she planned on placing a special ceramic tree atop the skirt.
Jamie shared this story...
We lived in San Antonio on Valleyfield Dr. So did Mrs. Dorothy Fishback. Mrs. Fishback lived several houses down the street. She and mom enjoyed visiting and would talk about their latest crafts. Mrs. Fishback had been an artist for Hallmark cards as a young lady. I remember she would painted lovely floral pictures on miniature canvases as bookmarks and as little mementos to send us in the mail after we moved away.
Mom and Mrs. Fishback stayed pen pals your decades. Dorothy was born Dec 12, 1901 and passed away June 26, 1997. That generation knew how to pen lovely letters.
Mrs. Fishback was always sending us little packages of goodies she had painted or sewn, especially at Christmas time. One year she made us all an ornament that was cut from Styrofoam and then covered in tiny sequins. They hang on my Christmas tree now and they are just as lovely as they ever were. Now we call them "vintage".
One year, my father commissioned Mrs. Fishback to make a tree skirt for my mother as a Christmas gift. Of course, it was to be a surprise. My dad enjoyed Christmas so much and put a lot of forethought into his gifts. Mom can't recall the year but she feels that Mrs. Fishback must have been in her 80's by then.
I recall the tree skirt fondly. Some years it was under our pine Christmas tree that we'd cut down from our wooded back yard. Some years it resided under the three tier ceramic Christmas tree that Brenda Collier made when "everyone" was doing ceramics.
As my parents minimized Christmas with age, the tree skirt would cover the marble top table we had inherited from my Grandma Becker. On top of the tree skirt would be a Norfolk Island Pine tree that they had grown from a sapling. The tree pot eventually leaked on the red felt which bled and stained the white ornaments.
I found the tree skirt folded neatly among the other ornaments made by Mrs. Fishback in the attic on my most recent visit home to see my mother. I absconded with all I could pack in my car, including the three tier ceramic tree and macramé wall hangers made by Mrs. Mattern.
This Christmas I was surrounded by my childhood memories and of our dear friends and family members, some still alive and others who have passed on.
I wanted the tree skirt to be vibrant and rejuvenated. I knew Melva would be the perfect person to fix the skirt.
Before sending the skirt back to Jamie I had a little photo shoot...(it was a quick one, so please just ignore the mess in the background.) Here is the completed, restored skirt with a fabric tree that was made by my Grandma...
Merry Christmas... in July! Be sure to visit all of the other blogger that are participating and see how they are celebrating Christmas in July - they are listed below.
And be sure to come back again later this week to see another Christmas project that was on my UFO list. Oh, can I mention with the completion of this particular project, there is only one project that remains! Woohoo!
Melva Loves Scraps - Home of the Quilters Through The Generations series
Wow you have done a fantastic job. I love how it finished up.ReplyDelete
Thank you Cynthia. I was well pleased, as was Jamie. Blessings!Delete
Your tree skirt re-do came out great!ReplyDelete
Great job on rescueing the tree skirt! It looks great.ReplyDelete
Hi Melva! What a wonderful job you did to restore this tree skirt. And how nice it was of your friend to share the background story!! I enjoyed reading this post so much, as it really contains the spirit of Christmas for me. It doesn't matter what time of year it is! That quilted red fabric was just the perfect choice for this project, and I am 100% sure your friend will really love the updated skirt. It will remain in use for another 50+ years, and isn't that a sweet, wonderful thought to carry on Mrs. Fisback's talents. Happy Monday! ~smile~ RoseanneReplyDelete
The quilted fabric made it look rich, good save!ReplyDelete
What a project and what an undertaking. The final picture is amazing; it looks totally new!ReplyDelete
HI Melva! What a great story. You really did bring that tree skirt back to life! It is just lovely and such a kind piece of work. I like the bit of stuffing you put under each item too. Thanks for a lovely post!ReplyDelete
Melva, that is the sweetest story and you were so brave to take this on. All that work paid off as this tree skirt turned out so beautiful. I love all the details in the ornaments...such a treasure! Thank you for sharing this and being a part of the hop. I loved your post!ReplyDelete
It looks fantastic Melva. You did an awesome job! Thank you for sharing today.ReplyDelete
Melva, thanks for sharing your story as well as the reenergized tree skirt, which is beautiful. Funny, I made a ceramic tree, and also a fabric tree much like the one you have in your picture. How time flies.ReplyDelete
What an amazing transformation!ReplyDelete
Thank you Suzy. And thanks too for helping to make this hop a fun and successful event. Blessings!Delete
It is so amazing that yu were able to breathe new life into that tree skirt! It's beautiful!ReplyDelete
Thank you Kristyn. It was a labor of love. :) Blessings!Delete
What a lot of thought work you put into this project. And what a great result!ReplyDelete
How sweet of you to do this for your friend! It looks amazing. Surely Mrs. Fishback would approve of what you have done to preserve her previous work. I use one of those ceramic Christmas trees myself as my mom made it for me, minus a few bulbs and a broken off star atop so appreciate her attachment to it like your fabric tree.ReplyDelete
wow this is such a wonderful story. i am so glad you were able to help her bring it back to life so her memories are still there and vibrant. thanks for sharing today.ReplyDelete
quilting dash lady at comcast dot net
This was a great story. Great idea to use a pre-quilted fabric for the skirt. I had to chuckle when you said you tried things out and then had to put it away to think about it some more. That's how I solve my quilting problems. Only my closet must be larger as I have a lot more UFOs than you now.ReplyDelete
You did such a beautiful job reviving the skirt. I'm sure your friend is thrilled. It will be much more functional as a tablecloth since tree skirts always get covered up with presents. Loved her story. Thanks for sharing.ReplyDelete
Great projects, sew sweet!ReplyDelete
Wow! This turned out wonderful. I have a similar tree skirt that my mother made years ago so I know how cherished this item is. Congratulations on a great finish.ReplyDelete
Wow...did you do that project justice. What a great end to a wonderful story. I can only imagine the work that went into this. A labor of love for sure!ReplyDelete
What an absolutely lovely thing for you to do, and you did it so well. That quilted fabric was the perfect choice, and it's more beautiful than ever!ReplyDelete
Your vintage quilt turned out great!ReplyDelete
What a great story. How wonderful you were able to "restore" her childhood treasure. You did a fabulous job.ReplyDelete
Hello Melva; I have enjoyed every word of this post and am so thrilled to have stopped! I agree with the choice of fabric you made and the final Tree Skirt is just Gorgeous! It is difficult to take on a challenge such as this, yet I believe having the memories and the main appliques is much more important than the felt and you really did do a magnificent job in recreating this. Thank you so much for sharing your project and story with us! Have a fantastic day!ReplyDelete
Merry Christmas in July,ReplyDelete
Thank you. And thanks for helping to make this blog hop a fun and successful event.Delete
Wow, you did an awesome job of restoring the tree skirt. Love the story. Thank you for such a great post. It is super inspiring and a beautiful thing you did for your friend.ReplyDelete
It is beautiful! Merry Christmas (in July)!ReplyDelete
You did beautiful work reviving the vintage tree skirt. I'm sure your friend will be thrilled. And I loved reading the story.ReplyDelete
Thank you Kay for helping to make the Christmas in July hop a fun and successful event. Blessings! MDelete
You go girl great job .... firstname.lastname@example.orgReplyDelete
Beautiful job! I love the story behind the tree skirt, too. Isn't it amazing where we find the perfect fabrics when we are patient. Sometimes we think the most expensive fabric is going to be the perfect fabric when indeed it may be the scrap or the gifted fabric or the wally world find. God is good in providing when we are patient. Thanks for participating in the hop and especially for bringing life back to happy memories.ReplyDelete
Such a wonderful background story. Your work on this quilt is wonderful. It turned out beautifully. Such a wonderful friend you are. Thanks for sharing this entire post.ReplyDelete
great tree skirt. I really need to make one this year.ReplyDelete
I loved reading this story for the tree skirt, so much so I read it again to make sure I didn't miss a thing. It turned out beautiful Melva, you couldn't have picked a better background to replace those parts with.ReplyDelete
What a lovely memory and so terrific you can carry on enjoying the skirt.ReplyDelete
Love your tree skirt, I've always wanted to make one but have yet to get around to it.ReplyDelete