Embroider easy little trees -- using raffia makes the stitches big and bold.
For an enlarged image of the Folkloric Tree Skirt, click here.
1 m medium-weight natural canvas, 115 cm wide
Approx 4 m contrasting velvet or grosgrain ribbon, 14 to 16 mm wide
Strip of 2.5 cm (1-in) wide Velcro hook-and-loop tape (both sides), 42.5 cm (16 3/4 in) long
Raffia: natural, green, terra-cotta and dark brown, for embroidery
Yardstick, 2 pencils and approx 1 m
(39 3/8 in) string
Dressmaker's carbon paper
Note: Following instructions (below), enlarge tree motif.
1. Fold canvas into quarters and mark centre; unfold and lay flat. Tie 50 cm (19 3/4-in) length of string between 2 pencils just above lead. Holding point of 1 pencil at centre of canvas, draw 1 m (39 3/8-in) diameter circle with other pencil. In same manner, tie 7.5 cm (3-in) length of string between pencils and draw 15 cm (6-in) diameter circle to accommodate tree trunk. Using yardstick, draw 1 line, straight out from centre, between circles. Cut along pencil lines. With matching thread, machine-zigzag raw edges to bind.
2. From remaining canvas, cut 42.5 x 10 cm (16 3/4 x 4 in) strip. Fold in half so long edges are even; bind raw edges together. Overlap long stitched edge 6 mm (1/4 in) along 1 straight edge of skirt; topstitch. Edgestitch 1 side of Velcro along right side of strip. Edgestitch remaining Velcro to wrong side of skirt along other straight edge.
3. Cut length of ribbon, [circumference of each circle + 2 cm (3/4 in)]; press under 1 cm (3/8 in) along each end. With matching thread, topstitch ribbon to right side around edge of each circle.
4. With carbon paper, transfer motif onto right side at desired intervals around outside (hem) edge. With darning needle and raffia in colours as shown in photo (page 84), make long straight stitches for base, trunk and boughs of each tree, and short crisscrossing straight stitches for each star. French-knot (see stitch diagrams here) centre of each star and, where desired, randomly stitch snowflakes around trees.
Enlarging patterns and motifs
On brown paper, draw grid of horizontal and vertical lines 2.5 cm (1 in) apart. Each square on pattern grid equals a 2.5 cm square on paper. Draw each pattern line onto corresponding square on paper. Transfer any markings. (Seam allowance is included, if necessary.)