A few years ago, our friend Amy Smart (Diary of a Quilter) came out with a free Patchwork Forest Wall Hanging Tutorial that people are still talking about and making in every which way they can imagine! We love it, especially the free improv method she uses for creating the tree shapes! Every tree is slightly different and that’s what makes it so fun to make and such a cute finished project! So, we’ve collaborated with Amy and are excited to be able to share these new cutting instructions so that you can make the same great Patchwork Forest blocks using precuts! We’re focusing specifically on 10″ squares and fat quarters and hope this makes you even more excited to try out this fun, improv pattern!
First, let’s start with the 10″ squares.
- 1 Pack Holiday Themed 10″ squares (42 squares)
- 1/4 yard Brown/Gray fabric for tree stumps
- Backing Fabric
- Binding Fabric
If you think about the ultimate shape of your blocks, they are not square, but are taller than they are wide. so, if you start with 10″ squares, you will cut off a 2.5″ strip to save for border, binding, or another project. Once you’ve done that, you will cut another 2.5″ off the bottom and then divide those into 2 parts, which makes your fabric look like this.
These cutting instructions feature The Cat in the Hat Christmas Ten Squares by Dr. Seuss for Robert Kaufman. Isn’t it adorable?
At this point you will want to divide your fabrics into complementary pairs.
When you start to cut your trees, you will stack your 2 fabrics together first, then cut out your tree shape.
When you create your tree shapes, make sure to leave enough room for seams on the sides and at the top. Once you’ve cut your desired tree shape, swap the center fabrics so it looks something like this (Each pair should be cut slightly differently to achieve the improv effect).
To make the tree stump (1.25″ x 2.5″), you will want to sew it to the (2) 2.5″ x 3.75″ rectangles as shown. Here are some great fabric options for your tree stumps:
- Merrily – Weave Chocolate Yardage
- Merrily – Just A Dash Chocolate Yardage
- Grunge Basics – Bison Yardage
- Colors of Fall – Wood Brown Yardage
- Vincent Van Gogh 3 – Brushstrokes Wheat Yardage
- Burly Beavers – Moire Woodgrain Ash Yardage
- Brown & Tan Solid Fabrics
In Amy’s original tutorial, she shows that you should sew your tree to the short side of the background fabric first, then to the long side. Make sure to place your point past the edge to allow for the 1/4″ seam allowance. There will be some trimming required, but I like to wait until I’ve sewn all the blocks to make sure I’m trimming them all to the same size!
Finished Block Size: Approximately 6.75″ x 9″
If you use your entire pack of 10″ squares, you can make a wall hanging or small quilt that is 7 blocks across and 6 blocks down (42 total). That will make your finished project approximately 43″ X 60.5″ (or bigger if you want to use your leftover 2.5″ strips to make a piano key border! The result is so fun!
You can see that this project makes a really adorable, whimsical project, but I want to assure you that it can also be very elegant and beautiful with different fabrics!
Now, let’s talk about the cutting instructions when you’re making this project out of Fat Quarters!
I whipped up a table runner using a few fat quarters that has a completely different feel to it! I used this Holiday Flourish 10 Holiday Metallic Fat Quarter Bundle for Robert Kaufman.
- 3-6 Fat Quarters (depending on the variety you would like in your design)
- Brown Scrap Fabric measuring 2.25″ x7.5″ (divide into 6 strips that are 1.25″ x 2.25″)
- Backing Fabric
- Binding Fabric (1 Fat Quarter cut into 2.5″ strips is plenty)
Cut each fat quarter into (4) 8″ x 10.25″ rectangles (If you’re only going to make one table runner, then you can just use half of each fat quarter and cut TWO of the 8″ x 10.25″ rectangles. If you cut it in half lengthwise to get the two, then you could use the remaining fabric for binding or even a pieced backing)
Finished Block Size: Approximately 7.25″ x 9.25″
The table runner is made up of 12 blocks. The Finished Table Runner size is approximately 17″ by 39.5″
Using 6 fat quarters, I was able to make 24 blocks (I wanted the variety of 6 different fabrics), so in addition to the finished table runner shown, I have 12 more blocks ready to make a second table runner for a gift! Or, of course, you could certainly make a larger wall hanging with your 24 blocks. With some of the remaining fat quarters, I cut them into long strips to make a scrappy backing. This is a fun, carefree, improve project, so have fun with it and make it your own! #holidaypatchworkforest