Tag Archives: patchwork tree quilt

A Home in the Forest Quilt

Close up of finished quilt

After a holiday break,  I got back to work on my tree quilt blocks and finished the mini quilt.  As you can see, the house stayed.

First I squared up the blocks and cut them to an equal size.  They were 3 3/4 by 4 and 3/4 high.  I arranged my layout and sewed them into rows.

When I started sewing my rows together, I had a little trouble getting my corners perfectly matched, so at that point I switched to a walking foot.

Perfect corner join on blocks

I had to get this part right and I did!

finished quilt top ready for quilting

The Finished Quilt Top

I hand basted the quilt sandwich, and admired my work for a few days while I pondered.  How should I quilt it?  I was a little afraid to start. I decided to organically wavy quilt it with the walking foot and rolled it up, grasping it and moving it.  At 22 1/2 by 32 inches, it was the biggest thing I’ve machine quilted and I found it awkward and strenuous.  My shoulders hurt!  In some spots the stitches were very small due to the way I was moving it. I’m not sure if I was pulling it too much or if I wasn’t helping it to move fast enough.

quilt folded for machine quilting with walking foot

wavy line quilting on backing

wavy line quilting on cute backing fabric

It was fun to experiment with this method, and try out this look. The dense, allover quilting style I chose is more noticeable than a simple outlining of the squares and trees would have been. It’s interesting to see the way the quilting changes the appearance of the pieced top.

As I sewed, I turned the quilt around so I was alternating sewing the wavy lines from the top down and from the bottom up.  I didn’t notice my mishap until I trimmed down the batting.

quilting mishap

Not straight!  I didn’t unpick the whole thing, but did have to pull out several lines and yank the corner back into place.

Binding Clips for hand sewing binding

I went with the traditional method for the binding – a crosswise grain, double folded strip that I hand stitched to the back.

Close up of wavy quilted blocks

A Home in the Forest Quilt

First project of the year done.  I really enjoyed making this mini quilt and I love its quirky uniqueness!

I have unused tree blocks and I have ideas for a pillow, but I will leave it for another time.  I feel ready to leave the forest and pursue a new path.

Resources I used and recommend:

Patchwork Tree Quilt Block Tutorial from Diary of a Quilter

Top 10 Tips for New Quilters from Sew Fresh Quilts

Quilting with your Walking Foot from the same series – fantastic photos (and quilts)

Craftsy’s free 2016 Block of the Month Class

 

 

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Tree Quilt Blocks

I have enjoyed making ornaments for Christmas for the last several years, but this year the tree was up and I hadn’t even started any Christmas related crafts.

I reviewed my Christmas Pinterest page, and was suddenly inspired to start making tree blocks from this Patchwork Tree Quilt Block Tutorial by blogger Amy Smart of “Diary of a Quilter” that I had loved and pinned last year.  The blocks only have six pieces, and start with a 4 and 1/2 inch square.  (Amy also wrote another tutorial this year for bigger versions of the tree blocks which start with a 8 and 1/2 inch square, the Modern Christmas Tree Quilt Block tutorial).

Selecting fabric for tree blocks

I gathered my fabrics : the pattern uses green fabrics for trees and background, and white and red fabric for alternating trees and backgrounds.  I experimented with the fabric I have in my little stash to find combinations that looked good and had enough contrast.

I like that the trees aren’t cut by measuring inches or angles but by taking two squares and cutting them freehand so the blocks will have some variation.  I cut most of the squares at the beginning, but I didn’t cut the trees from my squares all at once. I cut them in pairs of two, and then sewed the two blocks, so I could see how they looked before cutting the next pair of trees. I kept in mind that I needed some space on the sides and top so that when they’re sewn together I won’t lose my tree tops.

Cutting tree blocks

The bottom part of the block is the background with the tree trunk in the middle.  I cut 4 inch long by 1 and 1/2 inch rectangles for this part, and cut them in half later.

I decided to omit some blocks that didn’t have enough contrast or weren’t pleasing to me.

Patchwork Forest Quilt Blocks

These are fun and fast blocks to make! And it’s nice to have the iron set up this time of year for all the pressing the blocks need as you sew.

I had the idea to make a house in the forest. I’m not sure if I will include it.

House in the Forest Blocks

What do you think?  Do you think it takes away from the pleasing uniformity of the repeated design or adds some interest?  Part of me likes it, and part of me thinks it might look like an outhouse in the middle of the forest. Ha – not the image I’m aiming for in a Christmas wall hanging!