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Wonky Christmas Tree Quilt Pattern and Quilting Tutorial

Written by: Leah Day

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Time to read 12 min

This Wonky Christmas Tree quilt pattern can be pieced in a day! Learn how to make this funky quilt step-by-step with several quilting videos to guide you. This Christmas quilt pattern is improv quilting at its best! This is a no math Christmas tree quilt pattern, so it's the perfect relaxing stitching project for your holiday season.

Free Christmas Tree Quilt Pattern

Christmas Tree Quilt Pattern Materials List

The Wonky Christmas Tree Quilt Pattern is a no math quilt, or improv quilting pattern, so we don't have an exact fabric or cutting list. This is a list of the fabrics I used to make many Christmas tree wall hanging quilts:

  • 10 Fat Quarters (18 x 21 inch rectangles) in various colors and prints. Directional prints make these tree quilt blocks extra pretty!
  • ½-yard of brown fabric for tree trunks
  • 3-5 yards of gray fabric for the background
  • 1-2 yards of white fabric for the border and binding
  • Backing fabric
  • Batting
  • Piecing Thread and Machine Quilting Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Rotary cutter, Long Cutting Ruler, Cutting mat

There is a big range in the fabric amounts listed here. If you wish to make several wonky Christmas tree quilts for gifts, purchase more yardage of your background and border fabrics.

If you only wish to make one small Christmas tree quilt, you'll only need ½-1 yard of each.

Video 1 - Improv Piece Your Christmas Tree Quilt Blocks

This is a very untraditional Christmas tree quilt pattern. Do you need to see improv quilting to understand how it works? Watch this video to see how to cut and piece these improv tree quilt blocks:

This is a no math quilt pattern! The size and shape of your  blocks will be random. It all depends on the size and shape of fabric strips you cut. Just in case you prefer reading instead of watching, here's the free Christmas tree quilt pattern written with all the steps to making these improv quilt blocks:

1. How to Piece the Tree Trunk Strip Sets

Wonky Christmas tree quilt blocks are pieced from the bottom up. The first step is to sew a strip set with tree trunk fabric and background fabric. This technique is called strip piecing and quilters use it to simplify and speed up the piecing process.

I cut and pieced the following strips together with a 1/4-inch seam allowance:

  • 4 x 40-inch strip of background fabric
  • 2 x 40-inch strip of tree trunk fabric
  • 4 x 40-inch strip of background fabric

These are the widths of strips that worked for me, but please feel free to mix up these measurements if you wish. Do you like the look of skinny tree trunks for your tree block? Cut a 1-inch wide strip of brown fabric instead.

Now let's try some improv quilting! Cut across the tree trunk strip set to create 1-3 inch wide pieced strips. Angle your ruler to create wonky angles for one cut. Straighten your ruler for the next cut and you will have a wide variety of tree trunks prepared for your quilt blocks.

We're really making up this Wonky Christmas tree quilt pattern as we go! There are so many ways to make these Christmas tree blocks uniquely your own. Slicing the tree trunks at funky angles will make your trees slant at different angles. Cutting wider strips will result in tree blocks with very long trunks.

The only way to know what you'll get is to play around with the shapes and experiment mixing the fabrics together.

Patchwork Quilt Piecing Tools

2. Wonky Christmas Tree Quilt Pattern Blocks

Warning - these Christmas quilt blocks are very addictive! Only after slicing up all 10 fat quarters did I realize just how many quilt blocks I could make. For every Christmas tree you piece, you'll be able to make 2 quilt blocks. Make sure to prepare your fabric before cutting so this quilt goes together easily!

Here are the basic steps to improv tree quilt blocks:

  1. Cut wonky strips - I cut my fat quarters into strips ranging from 1.5 - 3 inches wide.
  2. Arrange and piece the strips to the tree trunk.
  3. Cut the tree triangle - Using a long ruler, cut across the strips you've pieced to create a triangular tree shape.
  4. Piece a second tree triangle - Don't throw away your scraps! Piece the two scraps together to make another tree shape. Sew this triangle to a tree trunk unit and you'll have a second tree quilt block.
  5. Finish with Background Fabric - Cut 6-8 inch strips of background fabric. Place a strip right side up with the tree block right side up on top. Make sure plenty of background fabric extends around the tree so you can square up your quilt block later. Line up your ruler with the edge of the tree and cut a background triangle.
  6. Piece background fabric to the right of the tree. Press the fabric flat, trim off any excess, then repeat this process to piece another triangle to the left side of the tree.

My wonky Christmas quilt blocks ranged in size from 4 - 20 - inches.

Christmas Tree Quilt Block Pattern

Bonus! Make a Christmas Tree Coloring Book Quilt

You don't have to use Christmas colors to piece your tree blocks. If you use black and white fabrics to piece this Christmas tree quilt pattern, you can make beautiful quilt blocks and a fun holiday tradition too!

Black and white fabrics can make a coloring book quilt. Each year you can color a tree block with your family using fabric markers.

I gave my Christmas tree blocks to my son and let him color them in. For coloring like this, I prefer (affiliate) Fabrico Markers because they create bold colors and don't bleed. To set the color, press the blocks with a hot iron.

Coloring Book Quilt Pattern

New! Christmas Tree CAKE Quilt Blocks

I pieced this Christmas Tree Quilt Pattern again in 2023, but with goal to make an iconic Christmas treat: Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes!

In this video, we tackle the Christmas Tree quilt pattern again, but with three additional quilting techniques:

  1. Improv curve seam piecing
  2. Bias tape applique
  3. Bring on the bling with crystals and glitter fabric!

Improv quilting is a fun way to make your wonky Christmas tree quilt blocks even more interesting! Layer the fabrics right side up, overlapping along the edge you're wanting to sew. 

Cut a gentle curve into both fabrics at the same time using your rotary cutter. Layer the fabrics right sides together and piece, understanding that the edges and curves will not align perfectly.

When you've improv pieced several curves together, follow the steps in the quilting video trim your block into a tree shape.

Bias tape applique is another creative quilting technique allows you to create deep, curving lines on your quilt blocks. You'll need packaged 1/4-inch bias tape for this applique technique, which is very popular and easy to find at most sewing / quilt shops

Place the bias tape on your fabric, and using a hot, dry iron, force the thin fabric into a deep curve. Use Elmer's Glue in a microtip bottle to glue the bias tape in place.

Repeat this process to cover a rectangle of white fabric with red bias tape applique. Then follow the steps in the quilting video to sew a Christmas Tree cake quilt block.

Now that we have multiple versions of this awesome Wonky Christmas Tree quilt pattern to play with, let's learn how to piece these quilt blocks into a quilt top:

Video 2 - Piece the Wonky Christmas Tree Quilt Top

With dozens of improv quilt blocks pieced, it's time to put them together to make a quilt.  In this part of our Christmas tree quilt pattern, we even out all the different sizes and shapes of our quilt blocks.

In this video, you'll see how to sew your quilt blocks together into rows. I also share my method to join the rows with a curvy strip of "snow" to make a beautiful Christmas tree wall hanging quilt:

I turned the edges of my blocks under to create a soft curve. This made the tree blocks look like they were sprouting from snow banks. You can use the Mini Slide or Super Slide quilting rulers to create your turning template, or to cut fusible appliques.

3. How to Different Sizes of Quilt Blocks Together

If you cut up 10 fat quarters for this wonky Christmas tree quilt pattern, you're going to make dozens of quilt blocks! 

Because each quilt block made two Christmas trees, I  easily pieced twenty quilt blocks in all shapes and sizes in less than an hour. Most were around 8 inches wide because that's how wide my tree trunk strip set was from the beginning. The length of my quilt blocks varied from 4 inches to 20 inches.

So how do we sew quilt blocks together that are all different lengths?

Simple - piece additional background fabric to the blocks until they are all the same height. Follow the next steps in this Christmas tree quilt pattern to sew your quilt blocks together into a row:

  1. Select the tree blocks you wish to piece together.
  2. Sew a 1-2 inch strip of fabric to the longest quilt block, then measure the length of this block. This is the length all of the quilt blocks must be pieced to match.
  3. Take a look at your other tree blocks. Measure the difference between the tallest tree and the shortest. Cut a strip of background fabric a little wider than this difference.
  4. Piece more background fabric to the top of each quilt block to make them all the same height.
  5. Trimmed the edges of each quilt block straight and square.
  6. Sew the tree blocks together in a row, starting from the base of the tree.

When you've completed piecing one row of your tree quilt, piece a 1-2 inch wide background strip to both sides. This will add a little more "sky" around your Christmas trees and help to even out the widths of the rows.

Piece more quilt rows, then trim the edges so they are all the same width.

4. Sew the Rows of Quilt Blocks Together with Curvy "Snow"

If you've followed this wonky Christmas tree quilt pattern up to this point, you should have a few rows of pieced quilt blocks that are cut to the same width.

To sew the rows of quilt blocks together, you can simply piece them to a 2-3 inch straight strip of white fabric.

But a far more interesting way to connect the rows is to add a bit of applique to this quilt! I used a curvy ruler to create the gentle curving effect. Any curvy edge ruler or even a curvy line you draw yourself will work just fine.

You can turn the edges of your rows as I shared in the video using a turning template. Or you can save time and just to fuse the fabrics together with fusible web. I thought of this after making my quilt and realized it would be a faster and easier method.

I pieced 3 1/2 inch strips of white fabric to both sides to complete my quilt. Feel free to expand on this wonky Christmas tree quilt pattern with additional borders or quilt blocks. You can always increase the size of your quilt by adding additional border strips in festive Christmas colors!

Video 3 - Simplest Christmas Quilting - Stitching in the Ditch

We've completed the patchwork piecing portion of this Christmas tree quilt pattern, which is where most quilt patterns stop. I'm sure you've seen “quilt as desired” before.

Machine quilting is my passion so I have three more Youtube quilting videos to teach you how do we quilt your Christmas quilt. If you'd like to get your Christmas tree quilt finished in time for this holiday season, the simplest method is stitching in the ditch. 

See how stitching in the ditch works in this quilting video:

Christmas Tree Quilt Pattern Machine Quilting Tools

Here's a few machine quilting tools from our quilt shop to help you with stitching in the ditch and free motion quilting. These tools are specifically helpful for doing sit down quilting where your sewing machine is set in a table.

Video 4 - Quilting with Metallic Thread from the Back of Your Quilt

The main reason I stitched my Christmas tree quilt in the ditch was so I could see where the trees were located from the back of the quilt. Quilting from the back is a fun way to play with decorative bobbin threads like Razzle Dazzle:

When quilting with thick bobbin thread like this, make sure to increase your machine's tension on the top. This will help the top thread pull the bobbin thread tight against the quilt. Also you may need to loosen your bobbin tension so the thicker thread can feed smoothly. This is a great reason to have an extra bobbin for decorative quilting.

Video 5 - Border Quilting Design for this Christmas Tree Quilt Pattern

Crazy Curves is a very simple, free form quilting design and it's the perfect choice for a simple finish to this Christmas tree quilt pattern. See how I quilted in the narrow border and between the tree blocks in this video:

Would you rather quilt Crazy Curves with ruler quilting? The Super Slide and Mini Slide rulers can both be used to make our curvy snow applique and for ruler quilting this quilt!

I would keep the snow areas very simple with curvy lines of quilting that echo the curves we've appliqued in the quilt. With busy fabrics and funky colors, sometimes simple quilting is the best!

5. Wonky Christmas Tree Quilt Pattern Finished

You only have four more steps to this Wonky Christmas tree quilt pattern:

  1. Create a quilt sandwich with batting and backing fabric.

  2. Quilt your project with any of the quilting ideas shared above or with your favorite machine quilting designs.

  3. Trim the edges of your quilt straight and square.

  4. Finish the edges with quilt binding. Click Here to find a tutorial on binding by machine.

I hope you have enjoyed this fun wonky Christmas tree quilt pattern. Stitch out of your comfort zone with improv quilting and let this project help you go with the flow this holiday season.

I hope you'll enjoy using this quilting tutorial to make many beautiful quilts quilts. Please share this free wonky Christmas tree quilt pattern with you quilting friends so they can make it too!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Leah Day Quilt Designer

The Author: Leah Day

Leah Day is a sewing and longarm machine dealer and online quilting teacher. She has been designing quilts since her first nine patch quilt in 2005. Leah loves making all styles of quilts and teaching machine quilting on every type of machine she can get her hands on - from longarms to treadles!

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Frequently Asked Questions about this Christmas Tree Quilt Pattern

How do I piece this Christmas Tree quilt pattern so all the blocks look alike?

If you're wanting to make identical tree quilt blocks that all measure the same size and shape, this is not the right quilt pattern for you. This is an improv quilt pattern, so every quilt block you make will be different from the last. The idea here is to embrace the unexpected and let go of control.

What size seam allowance should I use for these quilt blocks?

I typically stitch with a 1/4-inch seam allowance. For this wonky Christmas tree quilt pattern, because the piecing is so freeform, you can piece with any seam allowance you wish.

Is there an easier way to add the curvy snow between the quilt blocks?

Yes! Press 1-inch strips of fusible web to the bottom and top edges of your blocks, then cut the edge into a curve using a curved ruler. Layer the row over a strip of white fabric and press to fuse it in place.

What is a good size for a wall hanging quilt?

I like to piece wall hanging quilts 18 to 30 inches wide. Measure your wall where you want the quilt to hang, then subtract a few inches so the quilt fits nicely.