Embroidery Library

Pinwheel Tree Skirt

A pinwheel-style tree skirt is large, and roomy enough to hold gifts for the largest of families! Embroidered blocks are appliqued with a blanket stitch onto each point, making the skirt colorful and cozy.

The finished skirt has a 56-inch diameter. The center circle (around the tree) measures 5-1/2 inches.

Read below for project instructions!

Supplies needed:

** 2 yards top fabric (if using 2 different colors, 1 yard for each color)
** 2 yards bottom/back fabric

** Eight  12 x 12 inch fabric squares (contrasting colors)

** Eight 9 x 12 inch sheets of double-stick fusible web
** Cut-away stabilizer
** Spray adhesive
** Air-erase pen
** Four buttons
** Needle and thread for some hand-sewing

** Paper or tag board

Designs Used:
Animals in Christmas Pajamas


First, cut out a 7-1/2 x 7-1/2 inch square from paper or tag board. This is the pattern for the applique squares. Draw a line from corner to opposite corner, then again to form an X. The center of the X is the center point.


Spray a piece of cut-away stabilizer with adhesive and smooth a piece of 12 x
12 inch fabric on top.

Lay the square pattern on top as shown. Trace the shape. Also, poke a hole in the pattern at the center, and mark the center point onto the fabric.

Remove the pattern and draw lines from corner to corner with an air erase pen. These lines will be used for design placement and hooping the fabric.

Use embroidery software to print out templates of the designs.

Poke a hole in the center of the template and align it with the center point marked on the fabric. Make sure the design fits well within the 7-1/2 x
7-1/2 -inch square. There should be at least 1/2 inch of space from the edges of the design to the edges of the square.

Hoop the square by aligning the lines on the fabric with the marks on the hoop.

Attach the hoop to the machine, and load the design. Move the hoop so the needle is right over the center point, and embroider the design.

Repeat this process for the seven other squares.

After all of the squares have been embroidered, turn them over and carefully cut away the excess stabilizer.

Cut out the shape of each square.

Next, print the pattern for the main sections of the skirt. The tree skirt pattern is split into seven sections, which will print on seven pieces of paper. Click here for the pattern piece -- (You will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to open the pattern piece).

Cut out all of the patterns; sections 1-7.

Align the pieces of the pattern according to the instructions printed on each piece. Tape the pieces together.

Next, pin the pattern to the top fabric and trace the shape. Trace and cut out eight sections for the top of the skirt.

We chose to alternate two different colors (red and green)around the skirt.

Add the eight embroidered squares to the eight sections of the skirt with double stick fusible web. Remove one side of paper from the web and smooth the square on top. 

Trim the excess web, and set the squares aside. Do not remove the back paper on the web yet.

For perfect placement, place the pattern back on top of the skirt section. Mark the center of the widest part of the skirt section by poking a hole in the pattern where Sections 4, 5, 6, and 7 meet.

Remove the pattern, and draw a line between the notches on each side of the skirt section and the center point.

Place the square pattern onto the skirt section. Poke a hole in the center of the pattern and align it with the center point marked on the fabric. Align the side corners with the line on the fabric and mark the corners onto the fabric.

Remove the paper from the back of the square, exposing the sticky side, and align the side corners of square with the marks on the fabric of the skirt section.

Press the square onto the skirt with a pressing cloth and an iron. Follow the instructions for pressing on the fusible web packaging.

After pressing, sew around the square with a decorative stitch We chose a "blanket" stitch or "E" stitch for the skirt. We used cotton thread for a hand-stitched look.

Press and stitch all of the squares to the sections of the skirt.

Next, assemble the skirt.

Lay two sections of the skirt right sides together and pin along one edge.

Sew a straight stitch along the pinned edge with a 3/8 inch seam.

With the skirt sections wrong side up, press the seam to one side. This helps the fabric lay flat.

Add a third section by laying it right sides together with the second section. Pin along the outer edge and sew a 3/8 inch seam.

Add each section as you did the previous, pressing as you go. Do not sew the side edges of the last sections.

Prepare the bottom fabric by tracing and cutting out 8 skirt sections with the pattern.

Lay two sections right sides together and pin along one edge.

Sew along the pinned edge with a 3/8 inch seam.

We chose a sturdy craft felt for our bottom fabric. This fabric is so thick that the seam must be pressed open instead of pressing it to one side.

Add each section as you did the previous sections. Do not sew the side edges of the last sections.

Align one end of the fabric for the top of the skirt, right sides together, with one end of the bottom fabric. Pin in place.

Sew a 3/8 inch seam along the inside edge, the entire outer edge, and one side end of the skirt. Do not sew the second side end -- this is where the skirt will be turned.

Turn the skirt right-side out.

Press the seams with a pressing cloth. This will help the fabric lay flat for top stitching.

Sew a 3/8 inch top stitch seam all around the inside edge, the outer edge, and the side end of the skirt already sewn. Once again, do not sew along the open side end.

Fold in, and press the edges of the open side end 1/4 inch.

Now add loops and buttons to the open end for closing the skirt around the tree.

Cut four 3-inch strips of 1/4 inch elastic. Make a loop and stick in between the top and bottom layers of the open end. Pin the loop in place.

Add one loop at the inside edge and one at the outer edge, and two in between.

Sew a 1/4 inch seam along the open end. Sew back and forth over the loops to strengthen the hold.

To add the buttons, align the ends of the skirt and overlap about 1/4 inch. Mark each loop onto the opposite side.

Sew a button on each mark.

To close the skirt around the tree, loop the elastic around the buttons.

And there you have it!  A beautiful and festive addition to holiday home decor.

Click here for a printable version of these project instructions.

You'll need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. If you don't have it, you can download a free copy by clicking on the icon below.

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Products used in this Project:

A Animals in Christmas Pajamas Design Pack $43.34 - $53.34

Available in 2 Sizes:

4.89" x 6.86" | 3.87" x 3.88"