Just Red Tree Tutorial

By December 5, 2019 December 6th, 2019 blog, Charm Collective

This is the last pattern in the Charm Collective series all about using your 5″ charm squares. I hope you have enjoyed the monthly release of our charm patterns? It has been lots of fun creating them and releasing them for you!

This pattern is called Just Red Tree (and if you scroll to the bottom you can get a download of this tutorial if you would prefer)

I have fallen in love with the Just Red fabric line by Zen Chic, so I wanted to do something fun with the charm pack I had. And, well, it is getting close to Christmas! This will be the best ‘tree’ you can have without having pine needles dropping on the floor! Just hang it up on the wall and pop your presents underneath : )

This tutorial is inspired by the original @diaryofaquilter tutorial for her holidaypatchworktree blocks. Please head on over to her blog to read up on her tutorial and then come back here for the specifics for making them with charm squares AND for putting the blocks into the fun tree shape.

Requirements:

1 charm pack – 42 5″ squares

66 – 4″ x 4.25″ low volume mixed background rectangles

10 – 2.25″ x 4.25″ low volume mixed background rectangles

3 – 2.5″ x 8″ rectangles in a co-ordinating fabric for the wall hanging loops

13″ x WOF for the binding to make 170″ binding

1.5 yards backing fabric

42″ x 50″ batting

Making the Tree Blocks

Open your charm pack, drool over the beautiful fabric and pat yourself on the back for having purchased such delicious fabric…. then pull out 2 charms (preferably the same print but not mandatory) in a darker colour that will be your ‘trunks’ for all your trees.

Cut these two 5″ squares into 25 – 1″ squares each (so you will have 50 – 1″ squares in total) that will be your trunk fabric. You will only be using 40 – 1″ squares in this project.

Then pair up the remaining charm squares from your pack (there will be 40 left, so 20 pairs) making sure that the two prints you have selected to go together have good contrast between the two of them.

Put them on top of each other, both face up. If there is a direction to your prints, also make sure that they are around the correct way and both the same way.

Then cut off a 1″ x 5″ strip from the bottom (if directional) of the two charms.

Subcut this in half to get 4 – 1″ x 2.5″ pieces

Then take a ruler and make a diagonal cut from about an inch in from the bottom left hand corner to about the middle of the top.

Move those pieces away a little and then make another diagonal cut, again about an inch or so in from the bottom RIGHT hand corner to that same middle spot of the top.

Note: this is a little different than @diaryofaquilter tutorial as we will be trimming our blocks a little and we don’t need to worry about things quite as much.

And as you cut into each charm square pairing, you can change where your tree cuts are to make different shaped trees!

Then swap the tree fabric from one charm square to be with the other charm square so that you have two blocks with the contrasting tree in the middle.

Take your 1″ square from the trunk fabric and place in between the two 1″ x 2.5″ rectangles.

Sew the 1″ trunk piece between the two 1″ x 2.5″ pieces to form the trunk section. Press towards the trunk.

Take your tree and line it up with the left hand tree background piece and sew 1/4″ seam. Press towards the tree.

Place the right hand tree background onto the tree and line up then sew 1/4″ seam. Press.

These seams will not be perfect and will not result in a perfectly flat bottom (or possibly top either!) of the tree… but we will be trimming, so don’t worry! Just enjoy the sewing.

You will see that our tree trunk section is wider than the tree section… this gives us some flexibility as to where we place our trunk… perhaps our tree is very wonky and leaning over so our trunk will be to one side…. or maybe it is right in the middle.

YOU get to decide!

So place your trunk where you want it to be and sew with 1/4″ seam along the bottom of the tree.

I didn’t trim the bottom of my tree at this point, I did it after I had sewn the seam, but you can trim beforehand if you want a nice clean edge to sew along : )

Press your block. Then trim your tree block to be 4″ wide and 4.25″ high.

NOTE: It is best to trim any extra height off the TOP of the tree, rather than the trunk…. as we will be lining up that trunk seam when we sew our trees together and we don’t want them to be too different!

Do this for the 20 pairs of charm squares and you will have 40 tree blocks 4″ x 4.25″.

Quilt Layout

Take them to a design wall / bed / floor and lay them out like the picture below…. 1 tree on the first row, 2 trees on the second row centred below the first row, centre 3 on the third row etc all the way down to 8 on the 8th row.

The 9th row is the tree trunk, so place your last three tree blocks centred here.

Note: In my final layout I chose to have some darker tree blocks there to make a more definable ‘trunk’.

Sewing it all Together

Take 10 low volume background rectangles and sew them together in a long horizontal row.

Make 2 rows. These two strips will become row 0 (the very top) and row 10.

Row 1 : sew together

  • 1 – 2.25″ x 4.25″ rectangle,
  • 4 – 4″ x 4.25″ rectangles,
  • 1 tree block,
  • 4 – 4″ x 4.25″ rectangles and
  • 1 – 2.25″ x 4.25″ rectangle

Row 2 : sew together

  • 4 – 4″ x 4.25″ rectangles,
  • 2 tree blocks,
  • 4 – 4″ x 4.25″ rectangles

Row 3 : sew together

  • 1 – 2.25″ x 4.25″ rectangle,
  • 3 – 4″ x 4.25″ rectangles,
  • 3 tree block,
  • 3 – 4″ x 4.25″ rectangles and
  • 1 – 2.25″ x 4.25″ rectangle

Row 4 : sew together

  • 3 – 4″ x 4.25″ rectangles,
  • 4 tree blocks,
  • 3 – 4″ x 4.25″ rectangles

Row 5 : sew together

  • 1 – 2.25″ x 4.25″ rectangle,
  • 2 – 4″ x 4.25″ rectangles,
  • 5 tree block,
  • 2 – 4″ x 4.25″ rectangles and
  • 1 – 2.25″ x 4.25″ rectangle

Row 6 : sew together

  • 2 – 4″ x 4.25″ rectangles,
  • 6 tree blocks,
  • 2 – 4″ x 4.25″ rectangles

Row 7 : sew together

  • 1 – 2.25″ x 4.25″ rectangle,
  • 1 – 4″ x 4.25″ rectangles,
  • 7 tree block,
  • 1 – 4″ x 4.25″ rectangles and
  • 1 – 2.25″ x 4.25″ rectangle

Row 8 : sew together

  • 1 – 4″ x 4.25″ rectangles,
  • 8 tree blocks,
  • 1 – 4″ x 4.25″ rectangles

Row 9 (trunk) : sew together

  • 1 – 2.25″ x 4.25″ rectangle,
  • 3 – 4″ x 4.25″ rectangles,
  • 3 tree block,
  • 3 – 4″ x 4.25″ rectangles and
  • 1 – 2.25″ x 4.25″ rectangle

The rows will be 36″ long.

Then sew rows 0 – 10 all together, pinning the rows to ensure that they are evenly spaced and that the trees are centred as you go down through the rows. As our trees will not be perfectly in the middle of each tree block don’t stress about trying to make all the blocks perfectly centred, as visually it will all be a bit imperfect : )

The wallhanging flimsy (ie unfinished quilt top) will be 36″ wide and 41.75″ high.

Press.

Make the Hangers

Take one of the 2.5″ x 8″ pieces of fabric and fold and press both the 8″ sides in about 1/4″. You will have something that is about 2″ x 8″.

Fold it in half so that it is about 2″ x 4″ and then sew around all sides with a 1/8″ top stitch.

Fold it in half once more time so it is about 2″ x 2″ and just sew across the bottom like this [pic].

Repeat for all three of the hangers.

These hangers will be placed on the back of your wallhanging after it has been quilted and before you put the binding on.

Quilting

I used a 60/40 wool / poly batting with a second layer of 100% cotton on the bottom to give it some thickness so that it will help it hang on the wall without sagging.

As this is a reasonably small piece you should be able to quilt this on your domestic sewing machine. Straight line stitching with your walking foot would be good, or if you want to get a little more fancy, how about some free motion quilting? Stars, snowflakes or swirls would all look good.

I did a very free from swirly ‘xmas tree’ design…. it was fun to do!

Once your wall hanging is quilted you can trim it up and place the three hangers equidistant along the top and then sew the binding on. Then you can flip your binding over and sew it down by hand or on the machine.

This will securely fasten the hangers and you can place a dowel or rod through the hangers and hang on your wall.

What a fun project and a great decoration for your house any time of the year…. I would love to make one of these in Harvest Road by Lella Boutique in her blues and greens….. very foresty!

If you would like to get a PDF version of this tutorial just click on the button below. It is a free PDF that you can download to your computer.

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