In mindfulness of the environment and as another option in the real versus artificial debate for holiday trees, we chose a living, potted tree this Christmas! Living trees are brought into the home, then replanted after Christmas. If you don't have the land for replanting, your local parks department will likely accept your tree for planting after the holidays.
If you choose a cut tree, recycle!
Approximately 33 million real Christmas trees are sold in North America each year, according to the U.S. EPA. Luckily, about 93 percent of those trees are recycled through more than 4,000 available recycling programs. Known as "treecycling," recycling your holiday tree is a leading reason experts agree they are more environmentally friendly than artificial trees.
[partially excerpted from earth 911]
Left: Our live tree "Groot" | Right: Furoshiki wrap!
Furoshiki ("foo-roe-sh-kee") a traditional wrapping cloth used to carry gifts or shopping.
In Japan, the art of wrapping gifts with furoshiki is common. This beautiful practice keeps one mindful of the environment by reducing waste and helps build a legacy to pass on to family of cherished moments preserved in fabric! furoshiki.com/techniques/
Furoshiki is an elegant, versatile and earth-friendly way to wrap or transport a gift. It can up-cycled; re-used as a scarf, a kerchief, a headband, or impromptu rain cape!
During the winter holidays, 4 million tons of wrapping paper and shopping bags are thrown away, and throughout the year millions more tonnage of disposable wrapping and bags are sent to landfills or end up in the oceans and seas of our planet.
1. Cut all pieces as indicated below noting width
and height notations
• Lining Upper: 2- 21" wide by 10" high
• Lining Base: 2- 15¼" wide by 6" high
• Main Upper Sides: 4- 8" wide by 10"high
• Main Base: 2- 15¼" wide by 6" high
• Pleat Contrast: 2- 6½"w x 10" high +
medium weight interfacing
• Straps: 2- 22" wide by 5" high
3. Cut a 2" square from each bottom
corner of outer base and lining base pieces.
• RST = Right Sides Together
• WST = Wrong Sides Together
• Seam allowance: 3/8" for all seams, ¼" for
all basted seams, 1/8" for all top-stitching
• Finish all raw edges with a zig-zag stitch
A S S E M B L Y D I R E C T I O N S
1. STRAPS: Fold Straps in half lengthwise &
press. Unfold. Press each long raw edge in to
the center crease. Fold Strap in half again along
previous fold. Topstitch each edge and once in
center. Set aside.
2. UPPER MAIN and LINING: Stitch an Upper
Main Side to each side of a Pleat Contrast piece
matching 10" edges. Press each seam allowance
towards the Upper Main Side. Repeat with
second pleat contrast. This creates two Upper
3. Place Upper Main panels RST. Stitch both
sides to create a tube of fabric. Press seam to
one side. Repeat with Upper Lining pieces.
4. Pin Straps RST along top edge of each Upper
Main panel, matching ends of straps with top
raw edge of Tote. Strap edge is 3½" away from
side seam. Baste ends of straps.
5. Place Upper Lining and Upper Main RST,
matching top edge. Stitch top edge. Turn along
seam-line so Upper Lining and Upper Main are
WST. Top-stitch. Match and baste bottom raw
edges of Upper Lining and Main together to
create the Upper Tote.
6. PLEAT: Measure and mark the center line on
each Pleat Contrast with a water soluble marker.
7. Match each Contrast/Upper Main seam-line
to the centre marked line. Press to finish the
pleat. Baste bottom edge of pleat.
8. Top-stitch the bottom of each pleat edge with
a 1" long seam.
9. BASE: Match Main Base pieces RST. Stitch
sides and bottom. Press seam allowance to one
side. Repeat with Lining Base. (Note: Leave cut
square edges unsewn until next step.)
10. Match raw edges of each cut out square on
Main Base and Lining Base RST, matching side
11. ATTACH BASE TO UPPER: Turn Upper
Main Tote lining side out. Place Main Base
inside Upper Main Tote RST, matching bottom
edges and side seams. Baste.
12. Turn Lining Base wrong side out. Fold/Roll
Upper Main Tote and place it inside Lining Base
RST, matching raw edges and side seams.
13. Stitch Lining Base to Upper Main Tote and
base, leaving a 4" opening on one side.
14. Press Lining Base seam allowance under
3/8" along the 4" opening. Stitch main and
base along opening area only – be careful not
to sew the Lining Base in this seam.
15. Turn the Tote through the opening. Press
opening edge inside along opening. Press
Lining with seam allowance towards base.
16. Turn Tote right side out. Press seam again.
Top-stitch top edge of Tote Base from the outside.
This will also stitch the Lining and close the Lining
17. FINISH PLEATS: Press Pleats well with steam.
Tack Pleats so they remain tidy by top-stitching a
½" long seam along the top edge of each pleat fold.