Sunday, January 1, 2017

Hive 6 January Tutorial--A Magical Forest

Happy New Year Everyone!!!!!  And a special hello to hive 6!  I'm Emily and I blog at   I am so excited to be back in the Stash Bee this year.  Last year was my first year and I had a blast.  I was thrilled when Diana asked me to consider being a Hive Mama.

Since this is our first post of the year, I'm going to ask a getting-to-know-you question. Please answer when you post your finished block.
If I were to visit your town, where is the one place you would take me to visit?I live in Charlotte, North Carolina, and I would take you to Reedy Creek Park.  It's about 10-15 minutes from where I live and it has walking trails, a nature center, a lake, a fenced in dog area, playgrounds, and multiple picnic areas.  It's where my husband proposed and now we take our 3-year-old son there to play.

And because I like parks and trees, we're going to make a forest!  I've seen a few quilts of lots of trees and that's exactly what I want to make with you. And while some of my pictures are of traditional green trees, I have changed my color scheme a little to add some bright pinks and purples against blue skies so we are going to make a magical forest!

Some inspiration photos:  (starlit forest)

Block: you can make whatever tree block you want.  I'm linking to lots of free tutorials and will show you the ones I tried, but you are not limited to these choices. 

Size: Your final block will be between 6" & 11" wide and 12" tall.  (These are all unfinished measurements; in other words, the measurement of what you will send to me before it gets sewn into a finished quilt.)   I want trees of different sizes! Yes, this means that some may seem like oddly proportioned blocks.  Don't worry; I have a vision and a plan!  We'll talk about how this will look in a minute.

Please note that I changed my color scheme after making some of my test blocks.  Some of the pictures will not match the requested colors.  I apologize if there is confusion.  Please email me if you have questions.

Fabric:  Please, no fabric with text.  Solids, prints, and batiks all welcome. 
  • background: pale to medium blues or light grays.  Think sky during the day time. Please no scrappy backgrounds; use the same background for your entire block.
  • tree: Bright is good! Magenta, purples, plums, bright pinks, with pops of green.  Really any shade of purple, plus magenta and vibrant purpley-pinks. I think green will be nice, too: think mint green, bright green, or dark evergreen. My fabric pull photo came out a little dull. 
  • trunk: brown or tan.  
fabric pull for trees

fabric pull for background
There are options here for everyone!  Traditional piecers, paper piecers, improv, wonky, all are welcome in this magical forest!  Each of the trees that I made took less than 45 min per tree.
This quilt from Amy @ Diary of a Quilter was one of my inspiration quilts.  She has 2 tutorials for the same block; this is for the slightly bigger one.  These will finish about 7 x 9 before you add extra background to get it to size.  Here are the ones I did from this tutorial:
This is a fairly traditional tree.  You can do the whole tree in one fabric, like the one in the tutorial, or use 4 different tree fabrics, as in mine.  I found the tutorial to be very straightforward.
This is another one of the inspiration quilts.  Leah Day does a video on how to make wonky trees.  (The block construction starts at about the 5 min mark.)  I found the video easier to follow, but there are printed directions as well.
Her method actually yields 2 trees, though of course you are only required to send one.

Tree 2 is made from the off-cuts of Tree 1
Another of the inspiration quilts!  Cath @ Wombat Quilts did an improv tree quilt with a modern guild as a charity project.  She does a tutorial for crating great improv trees.
Paper piecing more your style?  This tree will be a good size. Please note I did not make this one so I do not have a time measurement.  I suggest leaving off the tree skirt; it will be quicker for you and easier for me to match up with the other trees.
Looking for step-by-step instructions?  Each quarter of this scrappy trees block by Melissa @ SewBitterSweet Designs is 6 1/2" square and will work great.  Yes, the quadrants with 2 trees are welcome!
This is another traditionally pieced tree.  Her tutorial makes a fairly short tree, which is fine.  I made mine bigger; you could use any size HST for this.  (I cut my squares to 4", made HST, then trimmed units to 3 1/2")

Once you make your tree, you will want to add background fabric so that it is 12" tall.  Here are my trees once they were done but before I did anything to them:

And here they are once I got everything to the same height:
So you can see that these will be much easier to put together.  I want that difference in height, so don't worry if you feel like your tree is small when you add extra background fabric to it.  You will notice that for all the blocks, I added background fabric above.  I think it helps to have the trunks all on the same plane, so please add your fabric above your tree.

Thanks, and I am so excited to put together a magical forest!


Tammy Hutchinson said...

This will be fun-I love the idea of magical!

Lots of Stitches said...

Emily you need to update you instructions to read 12inch tall under the headings Trees
Looking forward to seeing the end result love the idea of magical forest

Lots of Stitches said...

Emily you need to update you instructions to read 12inch tall under the headings Trees
Looking forward to seeing the end result love the idea of magical forest

Emily said...

You are absolutely right! When I decided to change it I thought I got them all, but I obviously missed one. Thanks for catching that! It's updated now.