Monday, April 29, 2013

May Project - A Scrappy Tree Quilt!

I love trees. Trees represent life, breath, strength, family and comfort. Six years ago, I discovered my grandma's free motion foot and started to "draw" trees on fabric. Here are a few samples...


(THIS IS NOT what we are doing :) Just sharing :)

                              I have also experimented with adding fabric to my tree designs. 


(THIS IS NOT what we are doing either- unless you want to??? - I used a disappearing fabric pen and drew directly onto the fabric, then stitched over the lines using my free motion foot)

As a child I remember climbing trees and resting in their branches. My brothers and I would spend hours playing in our special apple tree, our airplane!  

I have stood at the base of the mighty Sequoia trees in California. I have roamed through redwood forests of Western Canada and delighted in the art work of Emily Carr and the Group of Seven. Our back yard is full of trees; ceder, hemlock, maple, apple, pear, cherry and willow (to name a few). I have planted a tree in memory of each of my grandparents. 

View of our yard from kitchen window.
The pond behind our house.

This winter, I entered a local quilt block challenge to celebrate the 160th Fall Fair in Wellesley. We were given the fabric to work with and could choose any pattern we wanted. I designed and created this...

... and it got me thinking...and searching online for other tree blocks. I want us to create a tree quilt like THIS (click on the word "this" to view the quilt!) for our May quilt project!!! WHAT I LIKE the MOST about this sample quilt is that each block is DIFFERENT and that  ONLY SOME of the trees are typical green :)

Be creative! Let loose! Explore! 


Choose ONE type of tree block to create. 
Choose PLAIN white OR off white for the background.
Make TRUNKS BROWN. "Leaves" your choice (LIMIT the pinks and purple though!)
Block Size - 15.5 inches


* Another quilting group has done a similar challenge and you can find GREAT LINKS to tree tutorials here

* Look closely at the sample I linked and notice how most of the blocks combine some type of traditional quilting patterns with a twist - a wonky log cabin tree (bottom 2nd from the left), a tree with squares (top 2nd from left), a triangle tree stripped pieced similar to the spider web blocks (top left), strip pieced together and cut into a circle (bottom 3rd from left), flying geese, raw edge hexagons. 

* I like the different sizes of trees in this block

* if you find that your finished block is too small...add a strip of your background fabric :)

* Here is a tutorial for making a tree using fusible webbing. 

* love

* love this too :)

* I do not use fusible webbing. Instead, I use a glue stick and an erasable fabric pen (or chalk). This is how I make my fabric trees. 

                                             Here is a photo of my "leaves" up close. 

I am really excited to see what you come up with. Please email me with any questions you might have. Keep looking at THIS sample quilt  for ideas and inspiration! Let your creativity run wild. I hope you enjoy this project. Thanks in advance! Shauna :)

A tree made of stones - Oregon Coast


  1. SO EXCITED, Shauna!! I love your idea and the freedom you have given us to explore and to be creative. Another great stretch for our amazing group, thank you so much! I also loved your photos. The area around your house is absolutely beautiful! I loved to climb trees as a little girl too. My favorite tree memory is when we moved into a new house and there was a perfect climbing tree in the back. My dad gave us an old mattress to put next to the trunk. My brothers and I could then climb up and jump out of the tree...and we DID...over and over again. In my current place there is a giant tree that I can see out of our bedroom window. It has many many long branches growing in every which way. I like to find shapes and characters in between the open "negative" spaces.

  2. This is going to so much fun!!!!

  3. Love it! I am doodling trees already :) Thanks for all your links - they really help to give a sense of where you want to go with this.

  4. LOVE this project!!! I already know exactly what I'm doing -- it was a dolly quilt design in a class I did years ago in Australia and I've been dying to revisit it ever since. Headed down into my sewing room this very minute to choose my fabrics! Oh, I can't wait to see the blocks as they're posted!!

  5. Shauna, what a talented lady you are! Trees are close to my heart too and I love how open-ended your block is. What fun! :)

  6. Wow Shauna, what a fun challenge. I am almost overwhelmed with the possibilities and excited about seeing what everyone else comes up with.

    And, your garden looks amazing. Such soothing greenness, I really would love to wander through it.