I did a bargello trip around the world pattern, then cut off the corners at a 45 degree angle to create an octogon. I cut out a row of squares to the middle, laid it out with backing, batting, and top. Then I quilted it, cut off the excess backing and batting, and bound it.
I love the way it turned out!
The one down side that I discovered as I was quilting was that the fabrics that we picked out for the top were all very bright and cheerful, but they might not match every holiday decor. The solution: back the skirt in a more neutral but still festive fabric. I chose a rose pink and forrest green floral/stripe that is classy, but still in the holiday spirit. I think that the skirt will match any holiday tree now, and I hope that they use the skirt for years to come!