by Emma Thomas-McGinnis, artist & quilter
Header

Tree of Life Block

February 2nd, 2012 | Posted by Emma in All | Quilting - (3 Comments)
treeblock16

It’s my turn for the block of the Tree and House Quilt-along at Kim’s Crafty Apple. Here it is!

It’s a little bit of a pieced block to fit in with the others and a little bit Quilties, but I hope you have fun with it too!

 Download the TreeofLifeBlock PDF pattern.

If you’d rather see the instructions online, keep reading.

Materials Needed:
• Lightweight fusible interfacing
• 12 – 2 ½” squares
• Flower and leave fabric scraps
• Light background fabric 8 ½” x 10 ½”
• Ground strip 8 ½” x 2 ½”
• Water soluble glue stick
• Optional fusible web

Step One: Patchwork Squares Side
Cut a strip of lightweight fusible interfacing 5″ x 15″ and arrange your 2 ½” squares along this strip in two columns.

Line up edge to edge as perfectly as you can, then fuse the squares to the interfacing.


First you will sew the short seams across these squares by folding over the first two right sides together and sewing a ¼” seam from the edge of the interfacing.

Fold the next two and sew the seam and so on, for five short seams.


Trim the seam allowances just a tiny sliver (just enough to cut off the fold) allowing you to press the seams open.

Press open, then fold in half the long way and sew the ¼” long seam. Trim and press open as before.


Step Two: Assemble the Background
Press an 8 ½” x 10 ½” piece of interfacing to the reverse side of your background fabric. Sew the ground strip to the bottom of the interfaced background. Then stitch the side panel to the background/ground unit.


Step Three: Appliqué the Tree of Life
If you prefer to appliqué with fusible web, fuse the web onto several green and floral scraps. Free cut various flowers from floral motif fabrics. Also free cut some simple leaf shapes and 5-6 small strips of brown tree trunk fabric.

Note: I do not use fusible web, it gives it a little fluffier look, the edges will fray more, but I like that. You can decide what will suit your quilt better!

Arrange your tree free-hand, starting with a good tree trunk and branches, adding flowers and leaves until you like the look of your tree. Don’t worry if the flowers are not all from the same fabric, it looks a little more whimsical that way! Use a glue (or the fusible web) to adhere them to the background just enough for quilting.

Step Four: “Quilting” the Tree
At this point, you are not exactly quilting because you have not assembled your sandwich, but you can sew a single line of stitching around the edges of all the appliqué pieces. This will hold the pieces on and can be decorative as well. I added a little texture to the tree trunk and veins in the leaves. Use thread that is either matching all the parts or neutral enough to not stick out. (click the photo to see it bigger and see the stitching.)


That’s it, your “Tree of Life” block is done and I’m sure it’s as unique as you are!
Enjoy the rest of the Quilt-a-Long!
– Emma Thomas-McGinnis

p.s. If you’re a new guest here, please stay a little while and look around my blog. I hope you’ll join me as a friend of Quilties too!

projectquiltingrecap

Wow! There’s a lot of action this month in the quilting world. Everywhere I look there’s a new project or quilt-along to join! I’m still deciding what to focus my energies on…how about you?!

Project Quilting!

Near and dear to my heart, as I’ve participated in two seaons and TWELVE challenges…this is the top of my list. I’m definitely joining Project Quilting Season 3 and counting down until this Sunday at noon when the first challenge is issued.

Here’s an inspiring collage of all those challenges I did…it’s getting me so excited for the next challenge!

Project Quilting

 The challenges are a week long, wide open for creative interpretation and there are prizes that that everyone has an equal chance at this season (no judging or voting). Go to Kim’sCraftyApple.blogspot.com to find out more or to join in the next challenge!

Free Motion Quilting Project Quilt Along Wednesdays

Free Motion Quilting Project

Now that she’s finished 365 designs, Leah Day is going with a more interactive approach to teaching free motion quilting. She’ll be hosting “Quilt-along on Wednesdays” and answering questions on Thursdays. She’s starting out pretty basic, with loops that eventually turn into stippling. She is working bigger and quilting larger areas to help us fill full quilts…a practical approach that I’m really excited about. I’m sure practicing free motion quilting would be good for me, so I’ll probably participate when I can. The first video is pretty basic, about stippling and I’m sort of set in my ways with stippling! I could practice making it different sizes, though. I notice that I can do different sizes of stipple based on the space I have to fill, but I have to work to keep it consistent in scale.

For even more free motion, Leah also mentioned another challenge project focused on free motion quilting. She will even teach one of the months.

2012 Free Motion Quilting Challenge

I’m not familiar with the blog of SewCalGal (although I will be now, it looks great!) but she is hosting another challenge that will go on all year. Each month another free motion quilting expert will post a video or instructions on a technique, with a challenge. To participate, you simply practice the technique they teach and post pics of your work on your blog or flickr gallery. Then you can win prizes too. I’m still considering whether I will join in this one. It looks like good practice as well. The first tutorial was about quilting leaves, another technique I’m familiar with, but could always practice!

The prizes include thread packs, books, EQuilter software and gift certificates. That would be fun!

I just participated in a contest from a webinar and won myself a free coaching session with Darla LeDoux of Profit SOS, so maybe luck is with me on this whole prize-winning thing!

Quilt Along: Farmer’s Wife

One thing I’m really committed to is a project I’m doing with my small group, a “Farmer’s Wife” quilt-along. But you can also do that online. There’s a yahoo group for it and flickr group and lots of bloggers out there when you start looking. We’re working from the book “The Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt” by Laurie Aaron Hird. There’s lots of info on a website here, as well as links to the groups online. Basically it’s a sampler quilt of 111 different blocks, all with stories based on the answer to the question “If you had a daughter of marriageable age, would you, in light of your own experience, have her marry a farmer?” from the 1922 Farmer’s Wife Magazine.

I’ll be doing a few blocks each month to bring to my small group meeting and I’ll probably post them here too. Right now I’m still choosing my fabrics and colors.

Quilt-Along: Craftsy Block of the Month

When I’m not busy piecing for my Farmer’s Wife swap, there is another block project that looked like so much fun I signed up. I don’t know yet if I’ll join in, but Craftsy has a very cool platform for taking classes online and the first few videos were really amazing for their FREE Block of the Month! You can enroll for free any time of the year at http://www.craftsy.com/class/The-Craftsy-Block-of-the-Month  It looks like it will be a fun modern project, to contrast with the Farmer’s Wife style!

Quilt-Along: House and Trees

This is another project of Kim’s at the Crafty Apple is this quilt-along, which I promised to design a block for! It will be a quilt made up of sixteen 12.5″ blocks all from different designers but all to include a tree or house or combination of such. So, I’ll at least have one block to make, but participating in the whole project might be fun too. Here’s her write up about it, and here’s her inspiration quilt photo! Silly Kim, she thought we weren’t going to have anything to do in the weeks where there wasn’t a Project Quilting Challenge issued! Ah, this post will prove her wrong!

Stitch-Along at Feeling Stitchy

If you’re not in the mood for quilting OR piecing, how about some stitching?! There have been monthly stitch-alongs at Feeling Stitchy for a while and it seems they are still going, as January’s design has been posted. They’re using hand-written letters, something I do on a lot of quilties, but on cute little buntings! Oh and it’s with couching, that’s a fun technique for someone who has a small stash of yarn from the time she tried knitting but didn’t stick with it! Worth a try, I think!

2012 Sew Scraps Along 150

 

“Sew Scraps Along” at Pleasant Home

 

Ok, funny name and from the sound of it, it will be way more than just a simple project to follow along with…it will be more like lots of projects, tutorials, stories, blogs to follow and giveaways to enter, so I think I’ll just try to keep checking in with Pleasant Home this year…you know, because I’ll have so many scraps created from all those other projects I plan on working on in 2012!

Ok, phew, that’s all I have time to write about tonight…I hope there’s nothing really good I missed. If there is, be sure to let me know!