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Pine Hollow Patchwork Forest Quilt Along Week 4

Welcome back to Week 4 of the Improv Patchwork Forest Quilt Along! I have loved seeing all of the Patchwork Forest tree quilt blocks popping up on Instagram and Facebook. There are so many cute variations of this pattern happening!

Red and White Improve Tree Quilt blocks | Pine Hollow Patchwork Forest Quilt Along Week 4 by popular Utah quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter: image of red and white improve tree quilt blocks.

If you missed the previous weeks you can find them here:

Week 1 – Introduction and tips for choosing fabric

Week 2 – Video demonstration of how to make the Improv Patchwork Tree Quilt Block + make 28 small trees

Week 3 – Make 23 Medium size Trees 

So far we have pieced a lot of little and medium sized tree blocks. Congratulations! You are over half way done with this quilt! (And if you haven’t started, but still want to play along, it is definitely no too late! It’s only been two weeks of sewing and you could catch up with a good binge of tree block sewing. They are super fast blocks.)

Pine Hollow Patchwork Forest Quilt Along Week 4 by popular Utah quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter: image of a red, white, and green patchwork forest quilt.

All of the remaining blocks are larger scale blocks – the improv stars and the remaining three large tree blocks.

Pine Hollow Patchwork Forest Quilt Along Week 4

This week your assignment is to make 4 Medium-size and 1 Large-size wonky star blocks.

Remember, you don’t have to make star blocks, if you’d prefer your quilt to be all trees. Check out the note in the middle of page 3 of the Pine Hollow Pattern.

If you’re not following the Pine Hollow pattern, and just doing the Improv Patchwork Forest, then make 12 more trees. 🙂

Pine Hollow Patchwork Forest Quilt Along Week 4 by popular Utah quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter: image of a patchwork forest quilt.

I’ve got some tips below to help you!

But first, this is a great time to layout all of the tree blocks you’ve already made, step back and get a look at the big picture, and make strategic fabric choices to really make your quilt sing.

I’m a sucker for scrappy quilts – and this pattern is so perfect for a scrappy look. Here is one of my favorite useful tips for successful scrappy quilts – making them “controlled scrappy”. One of my favorite scrap-quilt-makers is Jen Kingwell. Her quilts are magical. I’ve always wondered what her secret is and I loved this tip I captured a few years ago on choosing fabric:

Basically, the gist is to lay out all of your blocks completed thus far and really step back and look at what you’ve got and make some strategic decisions.

  • Is there a color that is underrepresented or that would add more balance to your overall design?
  • What about the scale of your fabrics? Are they large-scale divas that are competing for all of the attention and would a few “quieter” or smaller scale prints or solids give your eye a place to rest and help show-off those large scale prints? 
  • Do your colors of scale or prints need more contrast? Step back and look at the big picture. Check out this post if you need more tips on understanding fabric scale or choosing fabric.
  • I also recommend squinting your eyes or taking a picture of your blocks to give you a different perspective. You’ll be surprised at what you see through a different lens.

Use this information as you go to pull fabric for your Wonky Stars blocks!

Improv Tree Quilt Blocks | Pine Hollow Patchwork Forest Quilt Along Week 4 by popular Utah quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter: image of red and white improve tree quilt blocks.

Here are my tree blocks thus far. I’ve decided I want a few more low volume/white blocks, so I’m going to make most of my star blocks with a light background.

At the same time, I’ve already chosen and set aside the three fat quarters for my tree blocks. I’ve got two small-scale prints that almost read solid and one large scale print.

Red and White Wonky Star Quilt block | Pine Hollow Patchwork Forest Quilt Along Week 4 by popular Utah quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter: image of a wonky star quilt block.

Making the Star block – Improv Star tutorial

Sometimes these blocks are also called “Wonky Stars”. I certainly did not invent the design of this star block (nor any other traditional star block in the Quilting Universe). Some sources I found credit Gwen Marston (who I adore) for first teaching this block method.  I love how they work with the improv-imperfect-wonkiness of the improv trees.

How to make a Wonky Star Quilt Block | Pine Hollow Patchwork Forest Quilt Along Week 4 by popular Utah quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter: image of a wonky star quilt block, cutting board and rotary cutter.

All of the measurements for the wonky Improv Star blocks are in the Pine Hollow Patchwork Forest pattern. Here are a few tips for making these start blocks and for resizing them to any size block where you might want to add them.

Start with 8 ‘background’ squares measuring the same size. Cut 4 squares (can be the same size as the background squares or slightly smaller) for star points and cut them in half to get 8 triangles for 8 star points. Cut a center square for the star also measuring the same size as the background blocks. This fabric can match or contrast with the background or points.

 Adding point to a wonky star quilt block | Pine Hollow Patchwork Forest Quilt Along Week 4 by popular Utah quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter: image of of fabric for wonky star quilt square.

Lay one triangle right-side down over the bottom left corner of a background square. Sew in place using a 1/4″ seam allowance along the long side of the triangle. Make sure the star-point-triangle will entirely cover the bottom corner of the background square when folded down.

Trim away excess background fabric and fold star point down.

Adding points to Wonky Star Quilt Block | Pine Hollow Patchwork Forest Quilt Along Week 4 by popular Utah quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter: image of fabric for wonky star quilt block.

Repeat the same process on the lower right-hand corner. Changing the angle of the triangle will change the angle of the star points and give your stars more variety and a ‘wonkier’ feel.

Squaring up points on Wonky Star Quilt Blocks | Pine Hollow Patchwork Forest Quilt Along Week 4 by popular Utah quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter: image of fabric for wonky star quilt block.

Square up the star point block to the same size as the original background square. Note that the center valley where the star points meet needs to be at least 1/4″ away from the bottom edge of the block, but it can also be farther away.

Repeat this process to make 3 more star point blocks.

 Pine Hollow Patchwork Forest Quilt Along Week 4 by popular Utah quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter: image of wonky star quilt block.

Lay out the Improv Star blocks in three rows of three squares. Sew rows together, pressing seams away from the star-point blocks. Sew three rows together pressing toward the center row.

Don’t forget to assemble your squares using a scant 1/4″ seam allowance to help the block stay the correct finished size.  

If you prefer a video visual for the steps for making a Wonky Star, MSQC has one here.

If you are using the Pine Hollow Patchwork Forest pattern follow the measurements and instructions to make your blocks.

Now, let’s talk about prizes!!

WINNERS FROM WEEK 3 challenge!:

@thatcraftycara – you are the winner of the Fat Quarter bundle and t-shirt from Maker Valley!

@jennifer.quilts – you are the winner of the Sugarhouse Park Fat Quarter Bundle from Fort Worth Fabric Studio!

I will be contacting both of you to get you your prizes. Thanks so much for sewing along!

Now! Here are the generous prizes for completing your assignment for Week 3!

 Pine Hollow Patchwork Forest Quilt Along Week 4 by popular Utah quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter: image of Kate Spain Merry and Bright Aurora Fat Eighth bundle.

The first prize this week (again, they’re so good!) is from online fabric shop, Stitches and Giggles. Stitches and Giggles carries a huge selection of the latest cheerful fabrics from Riley Blake, Moda, Rifle Paper Co., etc. Stitches and Giggles is giving a way a Merry and Bright quilt pattern by Kate Spain and a Aurora Fat Eighth bundle.

 Pine Hollow Patchwork Forest Quilt Along Week 4 by popular Utah quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter: image of $75 gift certificate.

The second prize this week is a $75 Gift Certificate toward machine quilting your quilt from Sew Shabby Quilting. Melissa at Sew Shabby is my go-to quilter. She has a wide variety of computerized designs as well as the capability to do amazing custom work (like this quilt!)

To enter to win, share a photo of your completed blocks for this week’s assignment. You can do this by posting on Instagram using the #PatchworkForestQAL hashtag (just type #PatchworkforestQAL in your post), or you can share a picture to the weekly post on my Diary of a Quilter Facebook page (I will put that post up later today – Wednesday.)

For those of you not on these social media platforms, email me a picture to amy@diaryofaquilter.com, I’ll enter you in for that week’s prizes as well!

Winners will be randomly selected by next Wednesday in time for Part 5!

 

 Pine Hollow Patchwork Forest Quilt Along Week 4 by popular Utah quilting blog, Diary of a Quilter: image of various sewing logos.

A huge shout out again to the generous sponsors of this Quilt Along for making it so fun! There will be more exciting prizes to come over the next 3 weeks so keep going!

How are things going with your patchwork forest quilt? Share in a comment below!

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Mary McNeill
    October 16, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Your site is the best quilting site on the web in my opinion.

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