Wonky Christmas Trees! Free Quilt Pattern by Leah Day
Kick back and relax as you piece wonky, improvisational Christmas tree quilt blocks! This pattern requires very little math, so it's the perfect quilt to make if you just want to get lost in your stitching and make lots of beautiful quilts.
Let's first learn how to create the funky quilt blocks in this new quilting tutorial:
Wonky Christmas Blocks - range of sizes from 4 - 20 - inches.
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Extra Quilting Tips and Tricks
Making these blocks is very improvisational which means you have lots of room to make the blocks uniquely your own. Slicing the tree trunks at funky angles will make your trees slant at different angles.
Slicing your strips straight will result in one effect while slicing them at funky angles will give a very different look. The best way to know what you'll get is to play around with the shapes and experiment mixing the fabrics together.
Warning - Making Christmas Tree Blocks can be very addictive!
Only after slicing up all 10 fat quarters did I realize just how many blocks I was going to make! Every time you make one Christmas tree quilt block, the leftover sliced off bits can make another tree.
Just seam the triangles up the center, then sew them to another tree trunk and add background triangles to the sides. With each block giving birth to another block...we might be piecing Christmas tree blocks all year!
Coloring Book Quilt?
My inspiration for making the Wonky Christmas Tree blocks came from the black and white prints included in this month's Quilty Box. I prewashed my fabrics, but obviously didn't check the pink print closely enough and it bled a bit of dye onto the black and white prints.
When I saw this, I really liked the effect and realized we could cut up the black and white fabrics and create Christmas trees you can color like a coloring book!
To make this Christmas quilt even more special, I gave the blocks to my son and let him pick the colors and color them in. For coloring like this, I prefer Fabrico Markers because they create bold colors and don't bleed. To set the color, you just need to press the blocks with a hot iron.
But...I want my blocks to look like yours!
Whenever I create an improvisational pattern like this, I'm often asked to turn it into a paper piecing pattern so you can make EXACTLY that Christmas tree block and make it look EXACTLY that way.
That would defeat the purpose of teaching you how to improvise, my dear. When you create blocks like this, there are no rules. No way to make this right or wrong. Your blocks can finish anywhere from 4 inches square up to 20 inches long. How big will they be? No idea!
Sometimes in quilting, you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone and learn something new and also push yourself to let go of the need for perfection.
So if you catch yourself wanting to turn this into a paper piecing pattern, or feel your skin break out in hives when I say the word "improvise!" take it as a sign that you need to be stretched a bit in that area.
What's the worst that will happen? You'll make a lot of cheerful, funky blocks that break all the rules? That doesn't sound so bad!
How do we turn so many different blocks into a quilt?
Great question! There are hundreds of ways to turn these wonky Christmas tree blocks into a quilt top. I decided to join them together with more background fabric and add a curvy strip of "snow" at the bottom. Here's an extra video to guide you through the process:
As you can see, this is again a situation of stitching fabrics together randomly to achieve the look you're going for. I added background fabric to the tops of the blocks and then trimmed them up so the edges were straight and square.
I then pieced the trees together to form a long row. You'll want to piece all your trees into rows first, then add extra strips to the sides so they're all the exact same width, then add the snow.
I used a Wave Edge Ruler to create that curvy effect, but any curvy edge ruler or even a curvy line you draw yourself will be just fine. Only after turning all those edges using my favorite freezer paper applique technique did I realize it would have been far faster and easier just to fuse the fabrics together with fusible web. Oh well!
After piecing the rows together, I added 3 1/2 inch strips of white fabric to both sides and this quilt top was complete. I may add additional red and green borders as well to match the markers we will use to color in the blocks:
So now that we have a Christmas tree quilt top created, how do we quilt it?
For this quilt, I think the easiest way to get started is to stitch the trees and snow in the ditch. Once the quilt is secure, then you can select flowing designs like Swirling Water and Blowing Wind to add texture to the gray background.
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!
I hope you'll enjoy making many Wonky Christmas Tree quilts this year! Be sure to share this pattern with you quilting friends so they can make it too!
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