Monte Vista Tatted Tree 2017

It’s time for the Monte Vista Hotel’s annual Deck the Trees event to benefit the Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministries’ winter supplement programs.  Thanks to all the contributions from Thread Bears Sherry, Anne, Shonn,  Jill, Jo, Tammy, Leigh and Fran, this years tree is 6 feet tall.  This year, our tree is in the Dining Room – a more prominent place that usual.  At first there was general disappointment that the tree chosen didn’t have lights on it.  When we considered that this year’s theme was “80 years of Christmas” in honor of the Monte Vista’s 80th anniversary, we realized that in 1937, much of Black Mountain was without electricity anyway.   So an old fashioned tree with traditional ornaments and garlands would be consistent with the lack of lights.  We decided to accept the idea.

Back in 2014, we were honored to be able to use Sherry’s mother’s tree-top angel. It was such a lovely addition to the tree, that  a replacement was in order.  The process was begun in January of this year as was finished over the Thanksgiving holiday.  While the all white example seen here is lovely, I thought adding a bit more color would be a welcome addition to the tree. 

 

 

 

 

 

I had found the pattern written by Tatsy in about 1983 or 1984, so that made the project a bit easier.  It had taken from January to October to complete the 4 tatted pieces that make up the angel itself, the largest of which is the skirt and is about 9 inches or so in diameter.  One additional touch was to add small gold beads to each of the joins between the rounds on the skirt.  Hopefully this would make it stand out a bit.  It also slowed the process down somewhat, so the skirt is the only piece that received this treatment. 

 

Once all the tatted pieces were finished and stiffened, I needed to select the color of felt for the under skirt and yoke.  In the end, red was the only real choice partly because felt comes in such a narrow range of colors and primary colors rule the day.  First the skirt was cut out and centered over the cardstock cone that would support the entire structure.  Then the tatted was placed on top of that.  Then the yoke was cut according to the pattern and the tatted yoke overlay was placed over it. 

 Next came the head and arms.  They could be made from unbleached muslin rather than the pink felt that was suggested by the pattern.  The muslin would be a bit easier to shape and reverse for stuffing once the 2 pieces had been  stitched together.   Then there was adding the hair and bows before bringing all the “angel features together .  This particular pattern is easy to follow and does have all the pattern pieces in the proper scale included.  Taking the time to copy the templates for the face, arms and outfit components does preserve the pattern for future use as well. 

 

So this year’s Decked Tree isn’t quite as bright, but it is sill covered with the things that made Christmas so special 80 years ago: tinsel, white cotton ornaments, candy canes and love. 


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