Sew a New Christmas Tree Skirt

DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 1 1

Sew a New Christmas Tree Skirt

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With a small investment of time, you can create a Christmas Tree Skirt that will showcase the center of your holiday decorations. Choose fat quarter cuts or use fabric from your stash to create the wedge shapes. The sewing is streamlined; the end result a boutique-style decoration.  Enjoy!

DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 1 1

Note From Team Nancy3One super-sized Dresden appliqué is the basis for this tree skirt. It takes about as much time to create this large Dresden shape (40) as a traditional quilt block (12). Soon you’ll realize that there is still time to create this tree skirt before the holidays.



  • Six coordinating fat quarter cuts of fabrics (18″ x 22″)
  • 2-1/2 yd. of 42″ wide cotton fabric for the tree-skirt background fabric
DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 2
  • 1-1/4 yd. of batting or Pellon Fleece
  • 1/3 yd. of fabric for piping
  • 1 pkg. 3/8″ Wrap ‘n Fuse Piping (6 yd. pkg.)
  • Madeira’s Monofilament Thread
  • One-inch 3/4″ wide Velcro
  • Trace ‘n Create Quilt Template—Dresden Collection

Cut 19 Dresden Wedges

Note From Team Nancy4Detailed instructions are found in the Trace ‘n Create Quilt Templates—Dresden Collection package. These instructions are modified to create this tree skirt. Consider reading the instructions found in the packaging prior to creating your tree skirt.

  • Press each fat quarter section.
  • Use theTrace ‘n Create Quilt Templates—Wedge Shape (Template A).
  • Align the 6-1/2″ edge of the wedge template along the long edge of the fabric. Trace along the sides of the entire length of the template.
  • Rotate, align the template along the first marking, and trace the opposite side of the template. Rotate and trace again.
  • Trace three wedge shapes.

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  • Stack and align three fat quarter layers. Place a rotary ruler along the markings, cut.
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  • Repeat, tracing and cutting three wedges from the remaining three fat quarter fabrics.
  • Cut one additional wedge shape from the left over fabric, cutting a total of 19 wedges.

Stitch the Wedges to Form a Dresden Shape 

Note: All seam allowances are 1/4”.

  • Lay out the wedges in a pleasing arrangement. Make note of the arrangement.

DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 6DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 5

  • Fold each wedge in half, right sides together, aligning the top edge.
  • Stitch with a 1/4″ seam along the top edge of each wedge. Chain stitch the wedges together.
  • Clip the threads between the wedges.

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  • Finger press the seam open.

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  • Turn the wedges right sides out.
  • Mark a 45-degree line at the corner of an index card. Insert the card in the wedge shape and align the seam with the marking on the card. Or use Clover’s Hot Hemmer. Press.

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  • Referencing the color sequence determined earlier, align and pin two wedges right sides together. Stitch with a 1/4″ seam.

DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 10DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 11

  • Sew the wedges, following the color sequence until all 19 wedges have been sewn together. Press the seams open.

DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 12

Note From Team Nancy7


Twenty wedges create a full Dresden Plate. The tree skirt is made with 19 wedges, which allows for an opening, making it easy to wrap the skirt around the base of the tree.

Create a 41″ Circle

  • Trace a 41″ circle on paper.

Note From Team Nancy8


We used a Yardstick Compass tool to create the 41″ circle. The photo depicts a much smaller circle, but you get the idea!


  • Fold the background fabric in half, meeting cut edges. The folded fabric will be square-shaped.
  • Place the fabric on top of a single layer of the batting.
  • Pin the circle pattern to the fabric/batting; cut out the pattern, yielding two fabric circles and one batting circle.

DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 13 DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 14

  •  Stack one fabric circle and the batting circle, wrong side of fabric to batting.
  • Center and pin the Dresden shape to the circles. There will be a space where typically the 20th wedge would have been.

DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 19

  • Position and pin the ends of the wedges approximately 1″ from the cut edge of the fabric.

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  • Securely pin the Dresden shape to the circle.

Sewing Machine Set-Up

  • Thread the needle with Madeira’s Monofilament Thread.
  • Use all-purpose thread that matches the background fabric in the bobbin.
  • Set the machine for a medium-width zigzag stitch or a blanket stitch.

Stitch the Dresden Shape to the Background Fabric

  • Stitch with the zigzag or blanket stitch along the outer edges of the Dresden shape.

DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 16

  • Quilt the layers by using a straight stitch, stitching in the ditch, along the wedge seamlines.

Note From Team Nancy5


 If you have a clear foot, use it at this time, since it’s easier to see the “ditch” of the seam.

DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 18

  • Cut out the extra background/batting fabric at the center of the tree skirt and along the edges of the wedges.

DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 20DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 21 Create and Add the Piping

  • Cut 1-1/4″ bias strips of fabric. Piece strips together until strips measure 160″.
  • Insert Wrap ‘n Fuse between the wrong sides of the fabric; press.

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  • Align the edges of the piping to the tree skirt, applying the piping to the long edges and around the outer perimeter.
  • Attach a Zipper Foot or the Pearls ‘n Piping. Stitch the piping to the right side of the tree skirt.

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  • At each lower corner, slightly round the piping around the corner. 

Create the Velcro Tab

  • Cut a 2-1/4″ x 4″ rectangle of fabric.

DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 22
DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 23

  • Fold the fabric in half, meeting short ends. Stitch along the sides.

DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 24

  • Turn right side out; stitch one side of the Velcro to the tab.

DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 25Finish the Tree Shirt

  • Pin and stitch the Velcro tab along the top edge of one side of the tree skirt as pictured.

DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 28

  • Pin the remaining fabric circle to the tree shirt unit, right sides together.
  • Pin along the straight edges, outer perimeter, and along the top edges.

DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 29

  • Using the Zipper Foot or Pearls ‘n Piping Foot,  stitch the backing fabric to the tree skirt.

DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 30

  • Leave a 4–5″ opening along one straight edge, which will be used to turn the tree skirt right side out.

DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 33

  • Along the upper edges and lower edges, wrap and fold the seam allowances toward the tree skirt. The stitching line should be along the fold.
  • Restitch the corners, sewing the wrapped seam allowances to the tree skirt.

Note From Team Nancy6


 This wrapping technique will make it easier to achieve sharp corners when the tree skirt is turned right side out.

DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 31
DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 32

  • Turn the tree skirt right side out.

DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 34

  • Press the tree skirt.
  • Hand stitch the opening closed.
  • Stitch the remaining section of Velcro to the opposite side of the tree skirt, making certain that the Velcro pieces will align.

DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 36 DresdenTreeSkirt NancyZieman 37Enjoy!

Watch Sew Grand Dresden Quilts on Sewing With Nancy online.

Screen Shot 2018 12 03 at 7.25.30 PM2


Happy Sewing,

Team Nancy Zieman

Nancy Zieman Productions. LLC.

Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC

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  • Connie
    November 14, 2015

    I have already bought fabric for a Dresden table cloth. I just wasn’t sure how to make the long blades. Now I know! Thanks Nancy!

  • Jennifer Reinke
    November 14, 2015

    What great directions! Already have my material, and can’t wait to get started. Thank you so much for the inspiration!

  • Thunder
    November 14, 2015

    If I win, I would make tree skirts for my granddaughters.
    I actually started making a small Dresden tree skirt last year, and did not finish it because I didn’t know what to do for backing. Now I do!! Thanks for the great instructions.

  • Helen Grantham
    November 14, 2015

    I would make Dresden pillows. I just love the Dresden Plate block. And how nice it would look in a tablecloth and placemats. Thanks Nancy for the easy directions.

  • Renea
    November 14, 2015

    Thank you sew much for sharing this tutorial. I love it and the hint of using an index card to get the point pressed on the Dresden is awesome. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  • Bonnye
    November 14, 2015

    i would make the tree skirt. I have some lovely velvet and satin. Plus I just bought a Christmas tree. Thanks for the instructions.

  • Karen B.
    November 14, 2015

    I have been wanting to make the quilt you have with the wedges. Also would like to make a tree skirt for my children and grandchildren. This looks adorable, easy to do, and would make a great memory for Christmas.

  • Helen
    November 14, 2015

    Oh boy this would let me make that Dresden Plate table cloth I’ve been too afraid to try! This template takes all the guess work out of the process. Thanks once again Nancy for showing all the tips and hints that take the mystery out of sewing and quilting.

  • CJ Hines
    November 14, 2015

    I love the Christmas tree skirt! I would definitely make that.

  • Berenice
    November 14, 2015

    I usually just bundle fabric under the tree for my “skirt”. This is definitely a project to work on while we are on break at Thanksgiving. Lots like a perfect stash reducer too!

  • Berenice
    November 14, 2015

    OOPS! Silly fingers, I meant looks like a great stash buster!

  • Patricia
    November 14, 2015

    I have been colllecting white on black prints to make a Dresden skirt for my daughter-in-law. The Trace ‘Create template would make this project so much easier. Plus, your tutorial here gives me the know-how. Thanks for sharing .

  • Starla
    November 14, 2015

    i love the Dresden quilt templet!

  • Nancy N.
    November 14, 2015

    What a great pattern. Looking forward (at last!) to a well-dressed tree.

  • Pat
    November 14, 2015

    This tree skirt is great. I would definitely make it if I win the template set.

  • Brenda Ackerman
    November 14, 2015

    If I were to win this spectacular give away, I would create a couple of tree skirts for Christmas gifts and also create several pillows and pillowcases along with many quilts. The Dresden is my absolute favorite quilting pattern. There are so many ways to create beautiful projects with it. Thank you for sharing everything you do and for this great opportunity to win. Have a wonderful creative day!

  • Suzanne
    November 14, 2015

    I think I would try the awesome tree skirt with the Dresden quilt template. I love it!
    Thanks, Nancy, for the giveaway.

  • Jodi Bowlden
    November 14, 2015

    I would try my talents on making a big puffy ottoman with the dresden templates.

  • Karole Walla
    November 14, 2015

    I love this tree skirt. I ‘mean still basically a beginner, but your instructions are so straightforward that I am certain that I can finish one in time for tree decorating day. Thanks for sharing your expertise online as well as on PBS. Our local station (El Paso, Tx) doesn’t carry your show, so when we go south for the winter I would miss you if not for this format. <3

  • Tina
    November 14, 2015

    I would make a tree skirt, that I have been planning to do, but didn’t quite know how. Thanks for the great instructions.

  • Gloia
    November 14, 2015

    I have many years of collecting Christmas fabric. I think this would make a beautiful 4 patch holiday quilt to put on a guest bed.

  • Candice
    November 14, 2015

    I’ve always loved the Dresden Plate, so have a ton of projects in that mental waiting list! I did a very simplified version for a tree skirt, but love this plan better, so will be redoing the skirt, as well as creating some as gifts. I think some accent pillows are in order too, as we’re finally redoing a bedroom (after 34 years!!).

  • Pat O.
    November 14, 2015

    Last year I made a mini tree skirt like this for my Mom’s mini tree.

  • Bertha Goggin
    November 14, 2015

    I have make a Dresden plate door wreath before, and this template would help making a new one. Love this pattern

  • Mary Wippold
    November 14, 2015

    I would make a dresden plate tree skirt for my daughter and one for me. I would also use the template to make a pillow top with a dresden plate on it. And then I start making a dresden plate quilt with the leftover pieces of fabric in my stash.

  • Judi
    November 14, 2015

    I have made a small dresden plate but would love a tree skirt made like this…Awesome template////

  • Elaine
    November 14, 2015

    Nice tree skirt! I would like to make a wall quilt!

  • Edna Marks
    November 14, 2015

    would love to make this tree skirt, my old one was ruined in basement flooding.

  • Bonnie
    November 14, 2015

    What a fantastic tree skirt! Your step-by-step tutorial really simplifies the construction. I would like to make the Dresden tree skirt and a matching table topper. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  • Marjory W
    November 14, 2015

    My daughter-in-law would like a tree skirt, and this looks like the perfect one to make for her.

  • Christina Gonzalez
    November 14, 2015

    I would make throw pillows.

  • Marcia
    November 14, 2015

    I would love to make a Thanksgiving turkey tablecloth from the Dresden Plate template. I can apply the tutorial to help make the blades. I am going to also purchase the hot hemmer which would help making the points a breeze. Thanks for your wonderful tutorials.

  • Peggy K
    November 14, 2015

    I love the detailed instructions, they’re great. I have the small template and have made center pieces for my table. I would love the Grand Dresden to try my hand at a quilt. Thanks for the great instructions.

  • Peggy K
    November 14, 2015

    I love the great instructions. I have the small Dresden and have made table center pieces. If I had the Grand Dresden, I’d try my hand at a quilt. Thanks for the great instructions.

  • Shirley Clark
    November 14, 2015

    This is beautiful! Thanks for the tutorial. I think I’d start out with a pillow.

  • Wilmuth Loyall
    November 14, 2015

    If I had Clover’s Trace ‘n Create Dresden Quilt Template, I would make that beautiful tree skirt with Nancy’s fantastic directions and pictures! Pretty please, pick me….I’m holding my breath! Willie

  • Michelle Hall
    November 14, 2015

    I think I would use this template to make a tree skirt for myself and then maybe some pillows

  • Leanda Mayer
    November 14, 2015

    I have never seen a tree skirt before, but it’s a brilliant idea – really dresses up the tree (which needs dressing, believe me). I would love to be able to make this with the template. Thanks for the tutorial!

  • Donna Driver
    November 15, 2015

    Looks like it’s time to get rid of the white sheet, and make a proper tree skirt. I am eager to try the wrap and fuse.

  • Nancy E Johnson
    November 15, 2015

    I’d like to make both the Christmas Tree Skirt, as well as a large cushion for my granddaughter.

  • Joette Warburton
    November 15, 2015

    WOW! The Dresden template looks like it will make sewing many different projects much easier. I LOVE that tools from Nancy are so innovative. What else that’s terrific is the multi-size adaptability. You do not need to buy 3 or 4 templates for different sized projects. The BIG problem is which project will I jump into first! Nancy, I really like your tutorials and how you show ‘I Can Do That!’ Thank you.

  • Janice King
    November 15, 2015

    Love this idea for a Dresden tree skirt! If I won the Dresden templates, the first thing I would make is tree skirt, using your instructions. They are so clear, I believe it would go together beautifully. Next, I want to make a baby quilt that’s been on my “to do” list for some time, using the Dresden Plates as flowers. Couldn’t figure it out, but with this template, it would be a snap. Thanks, Nancy. And hope you have a wonderful Holiday Season.

  • Carolyn
    November 16, 2015

    Have the Dresden plate on my list of to-do’s. Your template makes it so much easier and logical. Am teaching myself applique’. Has not been my favorite technique because I over think everything. Hope “Santa” pulls my name.

  • Enid
    November 16, 2015

    I would love to win the Dresden template. I would start with the Dresden table topper.

  • Cheryl
    November 17, 2015

    Omg!!! Been wanting to make dresdens for a long time!! I would make a pillow, the tree skirt and work my way up to a queen size quilt. Thanks so much for doing all you do for quilters and crafters.

  • Dawn
    November 18, 2015

    love the tree skirt. I have a large stash of holiday fabric, I’m sure I could find enough to make a tree skirt. May give it a try thanks for the great instructions. Love your shows on OPB. Hope you are doing well.

  • Connie B
    November 19, 2015

    What a wonderful pattern! I’d love to make the Dresden tree skirt. I always make 4 of everything so I can give them as gifts to daughter and Daughter-in-law’s families. The template would be such a great help. Thank you for the generous offer. Connie Baker

  • Sharon
    November 20, 2015

    I’d love to make a tabletopper. It could be Christmas, but doesn’t have to be. I really need the template and book.

  • Joanne
    November 9, 2016

    Thank you for this fabulous tree skirt. I have been looking for a pattern that I like and this is it – and it’s so easy to do. Your instructions have always been so easy to follow.

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