Shady Pine

Shady Pine

Shady Pine26th December 2014 – 30th November 2015

When I brought stuff home from my parents house three light shades were tossed into the car. I intended to put them in an op shop, but they went missing each time I bundled stuff up to be delivered.

One day I had to move them, and instead of stacking them upside down and inside each other as I had done up until them I stacked them right side up, sitting on top of each other. They formed a triangle a bit like a Christmas tree, and an idea was born.

( I really need to make more Christmas trees, as five-year Jake counted 13 two years ago, and decided there was still only 13 as a seven-year old a few days ago, but he was anxious to see if we had any electronic games he could play. I opened a tray of wooden blocks and tipped them out and told him to put them back in. Took him a while, but he told his Mum that it was a cool game!)

Two of the light shades had cream covering and I thought I could use them as they were, but on closer inspection the fabric was starting to rot, the glue holding the cover to the frame was starting to lose its grip, and they were rather dirty. New plan was to rip the covers off which took about 15 minutes.

(Thinking about it, Mum probably covered those frames when they moved off the farm … they lived in the town for quite a while … must find out when they moved!)

So, found some soft green furnishing fabric in the stash, and started a new project before the end of 2014 … hoping it will be finished in time to put away with the rest of the decorations … or next Christmas!

Now, I forgot to take photos before I started work, but maybe I could draw something in EQ to show what I hope it will look like! Another collection of Christmas tree appliques to be added to the collection! What do I do first, make the tree or do the drawings? I will try to concentrate on the real one … the virtual ones can wait until the real one is finished and in storage!

Update 31st December 2014

Copy of 2014 Light Shade Tree 1

Two light shades covered …

Copy of 2014 Light Shade Tree 2

… one more to go.

30th December 2014

All light shades covered, and the stick which will hold them up too.

2015 1 Shady Pine in Progress for web

Next step is to work out how to hold the stick/trunk upright!

Also the virtual designs are ready to be used in virtual quilts.

Shady Pines 1

The second in the top row is what I am planning for the real light Shady Pines.

Shady Pines 2


The rest are overkill!

All could use some decorations when they go into a quilt design.

Update November 30th 2015

Shady Pine

Click for a closer look!

The tree is holding up … by an out dated reference book … book hidden by matching fabric wrap … with glass bead drops tied on with ribbon. The finishing touches have only just been added and the tree put together, but after Christmas it will come apart again, so the light shades can be stored inside one another. Even the trunk will come out of the base to save room in the storage space.

One of few decorations which is allowed out of storage this year, as Butch will be on crutches from early December, and although he has been practicing, he is not too steady on crutches, and he hasn’t got a foot in plaster yet! Don’t want him to fall into a Christmas tree … he might get lost amongst the angels on there … or damage the tree!

Tree Hangup


A few years ago I acquired a piece of net. I thought it might make a hammock for a doll. It became just another bit of the clutter in the sewing room, but didn’t take up much space, so just got squeezed into a corner and stayed there well after I decided none of my dolls, or even the bears, needed a hammock.

Earlier this year we helped to cleaned out a friend’s house, and I claimed a rolling-pin. Mind you, I try to avoid cooking, and I already had a rolling-pin, so I claimed it purely because I was thinking I could use it without soiling it with food!

One day I took out the net, and hung one end on a hook, and pulled out the bottom, and it became a triangle … and pretty much any triangle looks like a Christmas tree to me … so … something to hold the bottom out a bit was required. The rolling-pin was waiting for me to work out how the attach some cookie cutters to it to hang in the kitchen … but then the two ideas meshed into one.

The border motifs from a panel (which had already become a swag) needed something to hold them up, and the net was available, along with that lovely old rolling-pin.


Now, I need another rolling-pin to hang the cookie cutters from though! Or inspiration for another way to use the cookie cutters … without soiling them with food!



Faux Feathers and the Family Jewels

2014 New Faux Feather Tree and the Family Jewels 05

The new tree was going to be the home for a wide variety of different decorations, but finally it wears the family jewels … broken and discarded jewelry from assorted family members, including my Mum, sisters and daughter, along with a few trophy medals won at golf by the Man of the House.

2014 New Faux Feather Tree and the Family Jewels 07

Looks impressive, but not a lot of diamonds and pearls!

Faux Feathers Christmas Tree

Jan – Feb 2014


Another addition to the forest completed!

Another combination of a broom handle, wire, beads and yarn held up by some old books covered with fabric.

Now testing decorations at it looks like it will be a home for handmade items which are predominantly red, tied on with red ribbon.


Or maybe I will use red yarn to tie decorations on.

5 foot 2 tall, 18 inches wide.

Loopy Crocheted Tree

Mid 2012 – November 2013


Did the wire cutting and crochet in mid 2012, then got side tracked by a wedding. The wedding date was end of November, and by the time we got back from Canberra no new decorations were made, and only part of the collection made it out of storage.

In October 2014 the tree in progress resurfaced and was put together.

The gold balls were removed from another tree and hung on the new addition to the Christmas forest.


I am happy with this one!

Loopy Table Top Tree

January 2014


When other people had their decorations back in storage I started putting together some new trees.

Some loopy crochet over wire branches, held upright by a dowel glued firmly into a pile of books.

I am thinking the books will get a coat of paint.

Decorations on this for now are heavy metal … copper, pewter and brass bits and pieces.

Update Jan 2014

The Book base has been painted dark green, and the current decorations will be replaced!

Packed it away before a photo session.

Tree Top with Strings of Beads

November 2013


In 2004 I was given a tree to use in a display and the owner didn’t want it back even after I had tidied it up somewhat.

It had foliage all the way to the bottom at that point, but as I put it away early this year the bottom branches just fell off!

I tried to work out a method of putting it all back together again, and I think I could have but with the help of all the King’s horses and all the King’s men. They were busy elsewhere, and as I also wanted a tree top to use as above I had the perfect excuse to make something I wanted anyway!


I wrapped the now naked tree trunk with fabric strips over the bare timber dowel.

The small beaded drops had been waiting for a tree to hang about on, so they came out of the cupboard, then I made the strings of beads to fall from the lowest branches all the way to the bottom of the trunk.


The star on the top was used on the tree before it lost its lower foliage.


I found the ribbon tied to the trunk at a car boot sale in Loxton when I went through there on my way to the Renmark Quilt Exhibition after I had the rest of the tree ready for Christmas.

Wonder how many more lives this tree will have?

Building Block Tree Decorations


I have used a lot of small toys as decorations on a Christmas tree, and had some small wooden blocks sitting around.

A bit of sorting, and a bit of stacking, some wood glue, a small screw in hook, and something to tie them onto the tree.

Some spell out words, some are just random letter or number blocks, and even when there is a word on one side, the opposite side is random!

I have single blocks, plus stacks of 2, 3 and 4 blocks scattered over the tree, mixed with other small toys and some snowball pompoms.


Simple but nice!

Oh, I used red yarn to tie them onto the tree.


Look at the second photo again … the tree has fabric foliage!

I make my own trees too.

The pompoms were made the same year the tree was made, but the original decorations were looking jaded, which gave me somewhere to put the toys.

The Christmas Tree who fell to pieces…..

Just like an old quilter!

I store Christmas trees in a cupboard with bags made from old curtains and sheets over them so they don’t get tangled together. (There are about a dozen in there.)

The biggest one is store bought, and comes apart for easy storage. However I store it in one of those bags standing straight and tall. Six feet tall. I removed a couple of smaller trees and started shuffling the big one out of the cupboard, and thought a little lift might be good weight training and assist getting it out of the cupboard into a small hall space already cluttered with previously removed trees.

I did say the tree would come apart for easy storage, didn’t I?

Well, it also comes apart when you lift by holding one of the upper sections. And come apart again when I tried to lift by gripping it a little lower, but still above the bottom section. I had managed to wedge myself in the cupboard to make more room for the tree in the limited space outside the cupboard.

The tree was still in the bag, but totally out of control, and sort of collapsed in a bent and twisted shape in what now looked like a body bag containing a very broken body, in this case held together by not one, but three, sets of lights.

At this point the five foot tall tree which had already made it’s escape from the cupboard, and the bag which it had worn over it’s head for ten and a half months, decided to join the party and fell over the big bagged tree and landed back in the cupboard to embrace me.

You are going to have to picture the scene all by yourself.

The camera was out of reach until I managed to get Humpty back together again. And thankfully there were no witnesses.

Bit tree with Handmade Tree Trims

This is what the tree looked likefor a previous Christmas, and all the decorations are still on there even after I untangled the lights and got it all back into one piece. Wonder if superglue will hold it all together. Or perhaps a few screws ……….

Christmas Tree with Tied Yarn

May 30 2008yarn-tied-on-2The idea for this tree has been

running around in the brain for a long time.

I didn’t have any idea how much yarn might be used,

so when I found green yarns in Spotlight I bought up big,

and started making the tree with about 48 balls of assorted yarns

in the stash.

The trunk is a broomstick, there is the usual wire and beads, held sort of upright with a pile of five books.

It took three very long days to tie on just 22 of the 48 balls of yarn.

This is about the most boring task I have ever set myself.

However, I knew after half a day the tree was going to look OK.

The only problem I have with the result is that I don’t want to add too many decorations because the tree itself looks so good.

5 ft 6 in (66 inches 0r 170 cm)


Here is a run down of how I filled in time in 2008.

All completed projects are listed, along with a start list!


Not one quilt completed!

The first year since I started quilting that no quilts have been completed. Some hand quilting, some designing, some new projects started, just none completed.


Broomstick Snowman



Timber T Tree

Cardboard Cookies

Iris Garden as BOM

Fairy Nice


Broomstick Buddies

Southern Stars

Faux Feather Christmas Trees

Mini Patterns

Calico Candles

Champagne Poppers

String Wreath

Bennie with a Beanie

Chunky Chicken reprise in Patches April/May

Christmas Trees

Balancing Balls plus Spray Paint

New Species Tree No 1 Lurex Yarn Faux Feather

Timber T Tree

New Species Tree No 2 Faux Feathers

New Species Tree No 3 Faux Fur Faux Feather

Tie it on, Fabric 6 ft

Tie it on, Yarn 5’6”

Loopy Crochet 3 ft

New Species Tree No 4, 2 tone Faux Feathers


Paper and Paste x 100

Card cut-Ups x 100

Pencil Topper Snowman x 6

Mini Wooden Doll Snowman x 6

Painted Snowman

Wadding Wrapped Snowman

Cardboard Cookies x 40

Plastic Cookies x 40

Beaded Dangles x 25

Bears and dolls torn out of magazines x 35

20 Snowballs (white pom-poms)

Tinsel alternative, 1 ball white Feathers yarn

Over 370 decorations so far!

Arty Farty Books

Popsicle People Patterns

Plastic Cookies Pattern Book

A Guide to Bear Making

Words of Wisdom Purple Edition

Words of Wisdom Plain Brown Edition

House of Toys

Also Rans

Also started the following projects.

Southern Stars quilt top started and finished in June, 2008

5 x Balancing Ball Snowmen

Christmas Trees

5 x Balancing Balls

Hand quilting Bush Garlands 2

Strawberry Patch quilt started

Balancing Balls Christmas Tree

Would I try this again? Maybe, but without the paint!

(I have since tested acrylic paint on styrofoam and it behaves much better!)

The idea of three graduated sized styrofoam balls stacked on top of each other seemed simple.

But how to get a hole drilled though styrofoam, and how do you keep the hole centred.

Eventually I settled for punching smaller holes in opposite sides of the balls and gluing in a short piece of dowel to construct the tree.

Then I was ready for the paint job.

Found a can of spray paint so this was going to be easy!

Sounded good until I started spraying, thankfully outside!

The surface of the balls started bubbling and became a gooey mess! Who knows what toxic fumes were released into the atmosphere, but I decided to finish the paint job anyway as the balls would have been a waste product as well if I stopped at this point.

An hour or so later I found that the surface of the balls hard to the touch and looked a little like the surface of a green moon

So I went ahead and decorated the tree by using straight pins to attach an assortment of charms, many of which were supposed to be used on stemmed glasses to identify them in a crowd. The gold number one on the right of the photo below is a pin created by Holden, the Australian car makers to celebrate being the top selling cars in the country and it was presented to all their workers ….. and one of their workers is our son. There are also a few earings and a packet of tiny stars produced for the scrap book market.

This tree also appears here.

New Species Christmas Tree – Faux Feather

new-species-4-aFaux Feather tree made with

Faux Feathers yarn in the continuing story of working out how much yarn is used and the best way to put them


I carefully planned this one to go in our bedroom decorated with the Family Jewels, decorations which are really just all the broken bits and pieces of jewellery donated by several family members.

Only one piece of jewellery was specially purchased as a decoration, and that is a rose wreath brooch..

Turned out well, but it is too tall to go on the chest of drawers, so back to the drawing board to work out where it will go.

Made in May 2008

55 inches tall (140 cms)

Used five balls of Patons Feathers yarn, two light, three dark.

New species Christmas Tree – Loopy Two

loopy-twoI bought the yarn for this tree in 2002 when I worked out how to do

loopy crochet and made the first loopy tree.

I intended making another in this yarn for the Christmas in July Exhibition, but ran out of time.

The beads were on a bracelet I found in Cheap as Chips that same year.

Was looking around trying to find something different to stand this tree up, and then found Plaster of Paris in Spotlight.

There are marbles in the Golden Syrup tin to add extra weight, and they were given to me at a Hi-fibre Retreat at least five years ago because there was some suggestion that I had lost mine!

(I’m not going to argue that point!)

All the pieces finally came together in May 2008.

43 inches (110 cm) tall

New Species Christmas Tree Fabric Foliage

fabric-foliage-no-1I tried to work out how much fabric was used for the tree made in 2002 and decorated with sewing collectables , decided it was all too hard, so made another tree with fabric foliage.

The trunk of this one is the curtain rod which was in the passage way at Kadina.

The beads came from an old car seat cover which I pulled to pieces many years ago because the beads might come in handy one day.

The books came with us from Kadina, but had to buy the wire from Bunnings.

The fabric includes three lengths of print from Bridge Agencies, two plains out of the stash, and part of a doona cover found at the Op Shop in Millicent.

I thought I may need about 15 metres for this tree, but used less than 7 metres.

fabric-foliage-closeupThe tree is 6 ft tall

But only 16 inches wide.

April 2008

Christmas Tree Makeover


Refurbished one of the original 2002 trees which had white fluffy foliage and a tendency to fall over. It is now more stable and has green fabric foliage.

New species Christmas Tree No 3

new-species-no-3Faux Fur Faux Feather tree

55 inches (1.37m) tall

The trees are getting bigger.

I had three balls of faux fur yarn to crochet over the wire branches.

I had to keep cutting more wire for branches, and by the time I had used up most of the yarn I was beginning to think the yarn was stretching.

There are 12 rows, with four branches in the first rows,

gradually increasing to seven in the last row.

The rows are a little further apart too, so that larger decorations can be used on the bottom of the tree.

Started in mid February, 2008, completed within two weeks.

Scrap Timber T Tree

timber-t-treeDuring a creative moment in January 2008 I went looking for a block of wood in the shed for another project.

Instead of the block I found a piece of a timber on the woodheap which had been used for transporting pipes.

Brian cut it in halves vertically for me, and I drilled holes, added oddments of dowel cut to length, and found just enough beads in the macramé jar to go on the ends.

Purchased 3 shelf brackets, and hey presto, a tree to go in a narrow space.

Plan to decorate the finished tree with trims which used to be on the Shed trees which were dumped when we left Kadina, but the branches are too close together, so will have to make another set of decorations.

New Species Christmas Tree No 1


In 2002 I made Christmas Trees for a Christmas in July exhibition, and sold quite a few, gave others away, and kept a few favourites. However, I didn’t take any notes about how much yarn I used, or wire, or anything else. I may be able to teach workshops, but first I need to be able to tell people what to bring, as well as modify the methods I used to make them back then!

The Family Jewels

The stack of books originally held up one of the original trees, but the trunk was too thin, broke and the tree now hangs on the wall.

This time the trunk is much thicker, the tree is taller, and the yarn is totally different!

There are 9 rows of 6 branches each, with double crochet worked over the wire branches before they were attached to the trunk.

The foliage used about 130 grams of yarn, there are 55 beads, and about 4 metres of wire, which should have been more to make it easier to put together.

Planned to decorate the finished tree with trims made with the family jewels or decorations made with beads, including snowmen, angels, tassels, stars and beaded ball. There are a few family jewels, but most of the decorations have been  collected or made using beads.

New Species Christmas Tree No 2


Feathers yarn Faux Feather tree

One ball of Patons Feathers yarn, a stick, some wire, beads, a piece of fabric, glue and an old book.

This was simply an experiment to find out how far a ball of yarn would go.

Started in January 2008 and finished a couple of weeks later.

20 inches, 55 cm tall