BB 7-23-07:  Here’s the tree skirt as it appears in EQ. These are not the exact fabrics, but similar ones. My scans of the fabrics were dark and very much out of scale. I’ll need to refine that process. I am going to try to add prairie points next.

 BB Tree skirt

RM:  Beth, this looks great!  I can see what you mean about the scale of the fabric, and I think that prairie points will look great too!

Also, I saw your note to Joan thanking her for sending the bag pattern.  It will be fun to see what you do with it!

BB 8-28-07:  Hi RaNae,  Yes, the new Lazy Girl bag pattern would lend itself to a double spiral very well. I am seeing the Lazy Girl patterns in several stores now that I am aware of them. Joan has a nice variety of designs. Thanks for introducing them to me.

The tree skirt top is finished. I had a few hiccups along the way because I flipped a template or so, in spite of labeling the right side. Fortunately, I had enough fabric to correct the mistakes. It is, according to my daughter, stunning. I will send a picture later today, providing I can get the photo uploaded and sent. I think the prairie points will not be the best choice for the edge. They distract from the spiral and make the design confusing with too much going on. I think a dark green batik binding or cording may look best. Please let me know when I send the picture.

I have selected fabrics for the bag and plan to start on it today. That should go fairly fast and I have some time to devote to it now. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.


RM:  Beth, thank you for the update — I can’t wait to see what you’ve done!

BB 8-28-07:  [My apologies to Beth for not getting this up before — I’m not sure how it slipped through the cracks…..]  Here are the pictures of the tree skirt top and 4 possible edge treatments. I tried the prairie points with and without a narrow border and then just a dark green binding and a light binding. provided the pictures came through, what do you think?

Beth B Tree Skirt

Beth spiral edge 1

Beth spiral edge 2

Beth spiral edge 3

Beth spiral edge 4

RM: Beth, but now I’m sure you’ve finished off the edge — what did you end up doing?

RM 9-2?-07:  Beth’s finished with Christmas tree skirt and bag!

It’s My Bag!

Beth Spiral

Tannenbaum Twist

Beth Tree Skirt

RM 10-3-07:  Beth, I’m looking at the Christmas tree skirt and wondering two things:




I don’t see a split in the design anywhere to be able to wrap it around the base of the tree, so do you plan on putting the tree through the center before you put it in the stand? And is the hole even big enough to do that?

Am I just being nitpicky here or are there some engineering problems? 🙂

BB 10-03-07:  No RaNae, you are not nitpicking. We use a permanent tree (Some would say artificial, but permanent sounds better to me.) and the trunk is a skinny little thing that will go through the opening. That eliminates the need for a larger hole or split. Since there is no split, it can also be used for a table topper with a candle or something as a centerpiece over the hole. Someone who uses a live or cut real tree would most likely need a larger opening and probably a split. They could start the skirt a ring or two farther out from the center and add the split. If you use this in your book, I suppose a note to that effect would be in order. I should have explained this to you previously, but we have used a permanent tree for more than thirty years and I have another tree skirt made similarly and didn’t give it a thought. I guess it would also make a nifty holiday poncho for ferret, lizard, flamingo or some other small headed skinny neck creature.

RM:  OH, BETH!!! The image of a flamingo wearing a Christmas poncho — LOLROF!!!!!


11 Responses to “Beth Bigler”

  1. RaNae Says:

    BB: Hi RaNae,

    I have been checking the blog and spiraling in my head. I see spirals in sticky buns (cinnamon rolls outside of PA Dutch Country), fiddle head ferns, hay bales (Amish style) railings, even the drain in the sink. I need to get some of this into a design and to you. I am tending toward a nature inspired theme and have some preliminary ideas. I have some health issues that have diverted my time in the past few weeks, but should be able to get back on task. I’m hoping the next few days will be “spirally” productive.


  2. sewbig Says:

    Hi RaNae,

    Well, I think I may have an idea or two for a project. Would a tree skirt made as a point to point octagon be a possibility? I think that would provide a way to incorporate larger prints or designs and larger pieces. What I have in mind is one large point to point spiral for the main portion of the skirt with a border on the outer edge. This could show what could be done with just one (yes, one large spiral) for someone who wants to try spiraling without committing to a project with multiple spirals. It may be interesting to see a spiral on a larger scale.

    The other project I have been considering is to incorporate spirals into a tote bag or a bag with a flap. This would work with any of the types of spirals, I think. Here, again, this may be a way to try spiraling without the project requiring many spirals on a first attempt.

    I realize these both sound like simple projects, but it is the way someone (like me) who has not tried the technique previously may get her feet wet and then move on to some of the other wonderful designs.


  3. RaNae Says:

    Beth, I think they are both terrific projects. I have been thinking about the bag idea for some time, and the tree skirt had crossed my mind too. A number of the quilts on the Inspiral Quilts page are large single spirals — Exploding Baby Quilts and Holiday Whirl are 8-sided point-to-points as you are describing. The large scale would permit the use of large-scale fabrics, which is a good demo for the book.

    A friend of mine designs patterns for bags, and there are several that would look lovely with a spiral on them. Look at and see if there’s one you like (my favorite is Veronica, what’s yours?), then I’ll ask her about getting a pattern for you. She likes to show off people’s bags in her blog feeds (she posts them on her blog, then sends a copy of the page to everyone on her mailing list), so who knows — maybe your spiral bag would become famous! 🙂

  4. sewbig Says:

    Oh, RaNae! You shouldn’t have! You really shouldn’t have. Referring me to Lazy Girl Designs. She has so many great designs for bags and other projects. And I really didn’t need anymore temptation. I am so easily distracted and I had to poke around her site. I can see Sassy, City, Newport, Towne, Veronica and others would be a likely project for a spiral or two to pop up on. Perhaps Joan could suggest one that she thinks would work the best since she is most familiar with them. I am certainly interested in a bag project.

    I am also interested in the tree skirt. I’ve been meaning to make a nicer one than we have now for years. I can probably pull from my stash for this one. I am making a Christmas stocking as part of a baby quilt for a baby gift today (just finished the quilt), so I was just in the red, greens ,creams and a touch of gold drawers. I think I’ll make this skirt even if you don’t need it for your book.

    Please let me know what your preference is as to project, colors, type of spiral or how to proceed. I think I could complete both since neither should be too time consuming. I am looking forward to taking needle to fabric.


  5. RaNae Says:

    Beth, personally, I like Veronica and Chloe for this project, because they are simple and let the spiral show, without being too small, but I don’t know if they fit your personal style, since in the long run YOU are the one who will be living with this bag. The Runaround bag is nice also, tho small. Several of the bags have pockets on the outside that would be appropriate for showing off a spiral, as long as they are not too small. I notice that some of the pockets have a flap over the top — it might be best if the flap were left off, so it doesn’t obscure the spiral design.

    When placing a spiral on the bag, I think that you’ll have to make the spiral and incorporate it into the piece of fabric that makes up the front of the bag. Do I assume correctly (since, if I remember right, you have made clothing) that you are comfortable doing this?

    Having said all that — pick the bag YOU like best that YOU feel would be most appropriate for showing off YOUR spiromania and I’ll talk to Joan. As far as colors go, start pulling from that stash and think about what will go with your best showing-off wardrobe, and we’ll put together something gorgeous!

  6. sewbig Says:

    Hi RaNae,

    I have purchased fabric for the tree skirt and am drafting the pattern. I am planning on a point to point spiral with two fabrics. I think the edge may look good as prarie points. The fabrics I choose are Hoffman Holiday Enchament D980 and Merry, Merry D946. Here are links to the fabrics This is a similar fabric.

    What do you think?

    Now on to the bag …. I think the Towne purse may work because of its size and it has no flap. Veronica would work , probably less the flap. I think Chloe may be too small. The Runaround would also work, but will look more casual with the zipper. The Sassy would also work with the spiral on the flap.


  7. sewbig Says:

    I see I forgot to respond to your question about clothing construction. Yes, I have experience in that area and am comfortable sewing a bag.

  8. sewbig Says:

    It was great to see Linda and Barb and her husband at the Hershey show. Their projects look great. Linda’s is wonderful and very far along in the process. Barb’s is so interesting and invloved. I am anxious to see hers as it progresses. We ate lunch together and Bille Lauder joined us at our table. The show was very good and the quilts were great. My daughter and I spent quite a bit of time speaking with the lady who won the top prize in Houston last November. Her quilt was outstanding and it was only the third quilt she had made. We managed to find a few goodies to buy, too. Now back to my spiraling projects.

  9. bettydonahue Says:

    Hi Beth–Thank you for the offer but I do have that magazine. Ami sent me a copy when it was published. When I saw the original quilt that Pat Morris made it knocked me for a loop. It was the night before we were to clean out my mother’s apartment because she had just been admitted to a nursing home. I immediately got in touch with her and said “Do you mind if I copy”.

    I left you a message on Spiro Central on July 27 in response to your message about the Alzheimer’s quilts. At the time I didn’t know who “SewBig” was.

  10. sewbig Says:

    Hi RaNae,

    I used the green batik on the edge of the tree skirt. I will send a picture as soon as I reslove a camera problem. I’m hoping my son will work some magic on it when he comes home over the weekend. The bag is coming along also. I will send a picture when I can.

  11. quiltfee Says:

    A treeskirt! What a great idea!


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