Monday, December 23, 2013

Free Pieced Tree Tutorial

I thought I would show you how I made my free pieced trees. This is a super heavy picture post, but if you want to make one it will show you how.

Pick a background you like, any size you like. This is about 12 x 18.

Using a ruler {you don't have to} cut a line down the center. Mine is a bit on an angle. You could make it straight down the center or even a little more off to the side.

I started to my right  but do what works for you. Start cutting some angles for your branches. After each cut, pull each section away so you can see what your tree will look like....

keep cutting....

and cutting....

just don't get too carried away with difficult angles because you have to sew them together. I think this is enough for one side. I did not use a ruler for any of these cuts, you can it you want but it is not necessary for them to be perfectly straight. They might even look good a little curved, I might just have to try that one!

Keep all the right hand pieces in place you do not want to move them, trust me they will get mixed up! Start on the left hand side.

Continue to cut your angles and pull them out until you get something that is pleasing to your eye.

You now can get an idea of what it will look like.

I am happy with this and will now start to add the branches.

Cut out some branches on the straight of grain (unless you have curves) that are about 1 1/4" wide. Depending on the size of your block you may want these bigger or smaller.

Take a piece of branch fabric and place it next to the 2 pieces that it will be attached to, trim it to be as long as your longest piece of background fabric.

Sew it to your first piece and trim the ends even with the angles. I did not use a ruler but just eye balled it with scissors.

Attach the next piece of background.....

It is important to lay out each branch next to both pieces so you make sure it is cut long enough. Ask me how I know this ( :

It helps a lots to trim off the tails when you are matching up the next piece.

Continue on in the same manner and it should look like.....

this.......your outside edges will not be even. Mine look like they are but they are not. We will square it up at the end.

Now start on the other side and continue as you did with the first side.

When both sides are finished use your ruler and cut a fresh straight cut on the inside edges. This is not totally necessary but it does help to sew the center trunk rather straight. The most I took off was about a 1/4".

Cut out a strip of tree trunk a little bit longer than the block. Mine was cut with the bottom bigger than the top, the way a real tree looks.

Sew one side .....

then the other. With the extra length of the trunk you could move your branch sections up or down as needed. Press well, maybe use a little starch to keep it nice and crisp.

All of the seams were pressed towards the branch fabric, to make them stand out.

To square it up I laid it on the cutting mat and looked for the smallest measurement. It was at the section on top with all the branches. I trimmed the sides first and then the top and bottom.

This was a lot of fun to make and I loved not using a pattern. I am quilting the 4 blue tree blocks I made last week and hope to get it done before the end of the year to show you. It is going to be a Christmas gift for friends we will see after Christmas.

I am still on a red and white kick and need to get some projects ready for our getaway in February. I am not sure I will be able to wait that long!
Merry Christmas to everyone!



  1. Thanks for the tutorial. I love the trees.

  2. Great tutorial! Thanks. Have a wonderful holiday.

  3. I love this tree block! Thanks for the great tutorial!

  4. Great tutorial and pictures! Neat process! Thanks!
    Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas!

  5. Thanks so much for laying this out so clearly! I will definitely try this when I get some free time! Happy holidays!

  6. Great tutorial! Perfect block for the winter.

  7. You make it look easy, but I'm bad at angles - I'll have to try this. I love the look.
    Merry Christmas!

  8. These tree blocks are really fabulous, thanks for putting together such a great tutorial!! With such a great collection of red and whites I can see why you are having a hard time resisting sewing with them.

  9. Lovely! Thanks for the great tutorial, Kelly.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  10. Great tute Kelly - I actually used your recent mug rug post /tute yesterday. I made 7 in one day for all the Xmas stockings! Thanks for all the tips!

  11. What an effective way to sew a tree! Thanks for sharing! I hope you've had a lovely Christmas, spent making memories with family. Blessings.

  12. Kelly, you are so clever. It would have been much more complicated if I tried to do it! You made it so simple! Love it! Hope your Christmas was peaceful! ;)

  13. I love trees, thanks for sharing this.

  14. that was terrific! Thanks Kelly

  15. This is so cute. I really like it and will make it after Christmas. Thank you and Merry Christmas.


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