Earlier this week I shared some little patchwork tree blocks I’d been making. I loved sewing them together into this little patchwork forest mini-quilt. The method for making this blocks is quick and fun and I’m going to show you how right now! (How exciting can life get?)
For my palette I chose a variety of greens in different shades and scales, to create interest and depth. I paired the greens with white-background prints and pulled in just a little bit of red. I like that it gives a hint of Christmas, while still letting the green and white be the dominant colors. You’ll also need a few scraps of brown for the trunks.
Using this method you’ll be making two tree blocks at the same time. First pick two contrasting fabrics. From each fabric cut a 4 1/2” x 4 1/2” square and two 2” x 1 1/2” rectangles. From the brown scraps cut two 1” x 1 1/2” rectangles.
Stack the two 4 1/2” x 4 1/2” squares on top of each other, with both right sides facing up. Using a ruler and a rotary cutter, cut one side of your ‘tree shape. Pull the right side away and make a second diagonal cut to create a triangle ‘tree’ shape. Keep these pairs together, if you are mass-cutting your blocks at once.
You can cut all of your pairs the same way (such as 60 degree triangles) or you can cut each pair slightly different by cutting the triangles at different heights, angles, etc. I really loved giving the trees a little bit of personality and making them all different. This project is very ‘improv’ inspired, so have fun experimenting!
Using the original pair of squares, mix the white sides with the green ‘tree’ and the green side triangles with the white ‘tree’. Lay the contrasting ‘tree’ triangle, right sides together and sew it to the left-side triangle. (Your first seam will always be the line of your second cut.)
Make sure that the top tip of the ‘tree’ triangle extends 1/4” beyond the top edge of the side triangle and sew a 1/4” seam. Open up ‘tree’ piece and press seam allowance to one side.
Sew the second side-triangle to the other side of the ‘tree’ triangle.
Again, make sure the top triangle extends a 1/4” beyond the top edge of the pieced block. Press seam to one side. Square-off the top edge of the block and the bottom edges of the background triangles so that they are even with the ‘tree’ bottom.
To add the trunk, sew the brown ‘trunk’ piece in between the two coordinating background prints. Press seams toward the brown.
Sew the trunk unit to the bottom of the tree unit. The trunk unit might be wider than the tree unit. That’s okay- just center the trunk under your tree and sew it in place. Then square off sides of the finished block to make them straight edges. My blocks were squared to 3 3/4” wide by 5” long. Yours might be different. All that matters is that all of you blocks are the same size.
You could change the scale on these blocks as much as you want by starting with bigger or smaller pieces of fabric. The versatility is endless and it’s such an easy one to personalize.
I sewed 25 blocks into a mini quilt. My borders are 2 1/2″ wide finished, but you can certainly make yours however you so desire. Remember, this doesn’t need to be perfect. A little bit wonky and a little bit improv-y makes a statement too. Feel free to make it your own.
I quilted very simply just using straight lines to give the quilt texture, but not distract from the trees. (And because straight lines is all I really feel confident doing.)
I used a red micro-dot as the binding for this quilt to give a tiny bit more red to the design. I purposely made the binding small though, to keep it minimal.
These blocks could be used in all kinds of ways. They’re SO quick to assemble that you could make a whole forest really quickly. I plan to make a couple more pillows or a table runner. I also made a block into a little mini patchwork tag/ornament.
I have a tutorial for the ornament assembly, as well as another little tree block over at the U-Create blog this week. Patchwork Tree Ornament tutorial here.
Since making mine, I’m noticing other little triangle trees pop up on Instagram and blogs. (Great minds!) Like this beautiful Fall Forest pattern and quilt-along at Little Blue Bell.
Have fun making them! And if you make some of your own share them on my Facebook page or tag them with the hashtag #holidaypatchworkforest. I’d love to see all the variations!
I also have a tutorial for a larger-scale version of this wonky-tree block here.