Quilting Blog

Can You Quilt a Christmas Tree Skirt on a Longarm?

Yes — it’s actually quite easy! When preparing irregular shaped quilts for the longarm, the same rules apply as when one prepares a square or rectangle shaped quilt. Our post on how to prepare a quilt for longarm quilting covers the basics. Here, we’ll take a look at how to load irregular shapes onto a midarm or longarm quilting machine.

How to load a Christmas tree skirt onto a longarm

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How to prepare and quilt irregular shaped quilts on a longarm

Step 1:

In the case of this octagonal Christmas tree skirt, the first order is to run a horizontal basting stitch to define a straight edge. Most longarms have vertical and horizontal channel locking features.

how to prepare a christmas tree skirt for longarm quilting Step 2:

Align a straight edge of the tree skirt to the horizontal basting stitch. Secure with pins and baste the tree skirt into place. I tend to set my basting stitch four to an inch.

how to prepare a christmas tree skirt for longarm quilting how to prepare a christmas tree skirt for longarm quilting

Step 3:

Advance the quilt, keeping the back firm and void of tucks. Smooth out the tree skirt so it lays flat and maintains it’s particular shape. Take rows of basting stitches through the skirt approximately  7″ apart. 

When dealing with opened centers, keep the centers aligned or “squared up.”  This will keep the rest of the tree skirt in proper form.  

how to prepare a christmas tree skirt for longarm quilting

Add two lines of basting on the open edges. It’s easier to initially baste a half inch or more away from the edge and then add a second line of basting close to the edge.  

how to prepare a christmas tree skirt for longarm quilting

Step 4:

Baste around the open center. The basting stitches do not have to be pretty! They are there to keep the soon-to-be-quilted piece securely in place.

how to prepare a christmas tree skirt for longarm quilting

Step 5:

Once the rows of basting stitches are complete, return to the top of the tree skirt. If you find there is some fullness in the skirt, do not proceed. Irregular shapes can have bias edges which tend to stretch in the process of loading onto a longarm. It is better to correct this now by adjusting the basting.  But wait! Before you do that….  

how to prepare a christmas tree skirt for longarm quilting

…I find over manipulating the piece by removing basting can extenuate stretching. Sometimes removing basting is the best option, however i add a bit of steam, pressing very gently to absorb fullness.  Many times this works like a charm!  

how to prepare a christmas tree skirt for longarm quilting

Step 6:

Proceed basting the tree skirt edges down. I like to baste less than a 1/4″ in from the edges. When sewing on the binding, the basting stitches are then covered up.

how to prepare a christmas tree skirt for longarm quilting

Step 7:

Once the tree skirt is quilted, remove the basting stitches. Sleigh Bells or Jingle Bells add the right touch to this lovely Holly Jolly Tree skirt!

how to prepare a christmas tree skirt for longarm quilting

how to prepare a christmas tree skirt for longarm quilting How do you load a round tree skirt? The same methods apply with just a couple differences…

Lay the tree skirt onto the loaded backing/batting and run a horizontal basting stitch through the center of the skirt.   Continue basting down the skirt, smoothing the fabric and maintaining the shape.  Once the bottom half of the skirt is basted into place, begin basting 5″-6″ inches above the center and continue upward until complete. Lastly, baste the edges.  

Find your next holiday tree skirt pattern on Craftsy!  

holly jolly tree skirtHolly Jolly Tree Skirt pattern via Craftsy member A Bright Corner

Free Online Longarm Class

free longarm quilting class

Enhance your longarm skills & finish fabulous quilts yourself!Enroll FREE Now »

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