Welcome to my Modern Trees Quilt Along, the 7th in a series of quilt alongs right here on my blog. I will walk you through the entire process of making a quilt from start to finish, including quilting and binding. So please, work at your own pace, take pride in your work and unleash your creativity during this quilt along to truly make it your own.
I’m really pleased with how my trees are turning out. (Kona cotton solids are my favorite if you haven’t figure that out already, LOL!)
Here are a couple of “housekeeping” items before we begin:
- There’s no sign up necessary to follow my quilt alongs. Simply click the project you want to make and follow the tutorials at your own pace.
- You are welcome to share any of the pictures of my quilt alongs on your own blogs or flickr groups. However, please be sure to link back here. If you want to make a quilt and sell it, or enter it into a quilt show, etc. that’s fine. Just be sure to credit me as the design source.
- This quilt is not large and is the perfect size to machine quilt on a home machine so I encourage you to give it a try. I will be demonstrating how to make the quilt layout above, but you are welcome to add more trees or borders to make it bigger. See my previous post for more layout options.
It took me a total of 2 hours to complete today’s lesson.
Step 1 – Cutting the Trees (30 Minutes)
If using strips, first cut a 6.5″ strip from your tree fabric. (Note that a 6.5″ square will not be wide enough. If you are using scrappy squares, they must be at least 6.5″ x 7″ each).
From the tri recs ruler set, use the “tri” tool as a template cut out a total of 15 (or more) tree shapes. Notice that the top of the triangle has a blunt end. Line this up with the top of your strip.
Turn the tri tool upside down to cut the next tree. Alternate directions with the tri shape until you have cut enough trees. If you are using directional fabrics, you may want to position them so that the design is facing “up” each time.
For cutting efficiency, you can stack up to 4 layers at a time. Continue cutting until you have cut all of the trees and step back to admire your pretty colors!
Step 2 – Cutting the Tree Backgrounds (15 minutes)
Cut 2 (6.5″) strips of cream background fabric. Leave them folded in half so you will get left and right facing half-rectangles. You need one pair per tree.
Using the recs tool, line up the top and bottom with the edges of your strip and trim on all sides. Notice that there is an extra blunted part on the top of the recs. Be sure to trim that off, too. It will ensure accuracy when sewing the pieces together.
Continue cutting until you have one pair of half rectangles for every tree. In my case, I need 15 pairs, or a total of 30 half rectangles. Half will face left, and half will face right.
Step 3 – Sewing the Tree Tops (30 Minutes)
Lay out your tree tops with their matching background pieces. Be very careful to position them so that when sewn, they form a square. It may take a minute, but refer back to this picture so your orientation is correct.
Match up the ends so they look like the pictures below. The pictures show the left rectangle placed on top of the tree, flipped around so it is ready to sew. Click the images to get a larger view.
Sew all of the left triangles so that they look like this when finished:
Trim off the little dog-eared triangle tips as you go. Sew all of the right hand triangles in the same way. This is how the ends should match up:
Press the left seams one way and the right seams the other way, forming an “x” with your seam allowances at the apex (top) of the triangle.
Step 4 – Sewing and Cutting the Trunks (15 Minutes)
WOF = Width of Fabric
The trunks can easily be strip pieced. Cut out 1 (1.5″ x WOF) strip of brown and 2 (3″ x WOF) strips of background. Sew these together to create a strip band that looks like this:
Cut them into 2 1/2″ rectangles for a total of 15 pieces, or one for every tree. Make more bands if you are making more blocks.
Step 5 – Join The Trees and Press (30 Minutes)
Now join your tree tops and your tree trunks together to make a modern tree block. Stack them so you can assembly line (chain sew) as you go. Press the seams away from the tree fabric so that you have x’s on the back where the seams intersect. This will help align your seam allowances when the blocks are sewn together next time.
The blocks will finish 6″ x 8″ (6.5″ x 8.5″ unfinished).
Improv Trees – Try a Few!
I sewed together a few improv tree tops and they were actually quite fun. I took the leftover scraps from my trees and sewed them together randomly into larger and larger chunks of fabric.
Then I treated them like regular fabric yardage. I cut the sewn chunks into 6.5″ wide strips and cut triangle shapes from them.
Now I have a bunch of improv tree tops! I have to admit, they are kind of growing on me. I’m already coming up with ideas on how to use them….
- Modern Trees Intro and Supply List
- Step 1 – Cutting and Sewing the Tree Blocks
- Step 2 – Assembling the Quilt Top
- Step 3 – Backing and Basting
- Step 4 – Machine Quilting Part 1
- Step 5 – Machine Quilting Part 2
- Step 6 – Binding to Finish
If you are quilting along with me, please be sure to share pictures of your progress on my Christa’s Quilt Along flickr group.
Grab my Quilt Along button and share the love!
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