Quilting Digest is one of my favorite web pages for ideas and inspiration.  This little cutie is really fun to make.  Easy for a beginner but a good learning experience.  This pattern would be great to use as a teaching tool for a young sewer as there are many different techniques used in making one small item.  Click here for the pattern.  Here’s the supply list:

For the Trees:  4 – 6 1/2″ squares of green tree fabric, 2 – 3 1/2″ X WOF cream background, 8 – 2 1/2″ squares cream background and 4 – 2 1/2″ brown trunk fabric

For the Pinwheels: 3 – 6 1/2″ squares pinwheel red fabric, 3 – 6 1/2″ squares white background and 3 star single paper by Spinning Star Designs to make 2″ finished half square triangle blocks.  (you can use any method to make the half square triangles just cut your fabric to make 20 total 1/2 square triangles.)

4 – 2 1/2″ X 6 1/2″ rectangles of the red sashing fabric

Borders:  2 – 2 1/2″ X WOF strips of the red strips/check cut in half (yields 4 pieces) and 2 – 2 1/2″ strips X WOF of the green cut in half (yields 4 pieces)  Cut your borders to exact length after the center is assembled for proper fit.

3 cuts for binding, 28″ square of batting and 28″ square of backing.

All of the measurements are included in the pattern.  This is just a quick look at what you need.

 

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The first thing I did was draw off the pattern.  This isn’t necessary but I wanted to make the pattern in two different sizes.  I have this great mechanical drawing book called the accu-line drawing grid that uses onion skin and a gridded under paper .  No rulers required.  I am very spoiled with this tool so any chance I get to use it – I jump at it!  I love math and I love to draw.  Perfect traits for any quilter!  The sample I did is the original pattern size.  24″ square.

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The fun part of any project is picking out the fabric.  In an effort to use some of the fabric from my stash, I challenged myself to use only what I have in the drawers.  I didn’t have the great stripe that is shown in the Quilting Digest web photo but I did find the small red/white check. I added the reds next – then the greens.  The background fabric (cream and the white) were easy.  I must have 4 drawers of backgrounds.  Next, the brown for the tree trunk.  All fabrics checked off and now on to the sewing!

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I found doing the trees were tricky.  I do not own the tri-recs ruler suggested so I chose to paper piece the trees.  The above tree is a 6″ square tree top with the trunk added.  I drew off a 6″ X 6″ square on a piece of tracing paper – drew in the lines of the tree which was nothing more than an equilateral triangle.  Don’t forget to add the seam allowance to the paper.  Then, I sewed the tree top.  If you have never paper pieced before here’s a good video by The Crafty Gemini. Her instructions are very clear.

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After finishing the trees, I cut the sashing strips and made the 1/2 square triangles with Star Single  paper.  Click here for a demo of how to use the star paper to make perfect triangles every time.

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After finishing the 1/2 square triangles, I assembled the pinwheel blocks with the sashing. Next I joined the center blocks together. I gave the top a quick press.  I like it!  It’s going to be a “keeper”!

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Here is the center unit after I added the top and bottom borders.  I am sure I like the small red/white check.  I worried that I would be disappointed in the top without the stripe for the border.  Nah!  I like it!

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I measured off the side borders and was more than excited that the math all worked!  Yippee!  I pieced together the side borders with the corner pinwheels and added them to the top to finish off the entire piece.  I know the next three words are like “dirty words” to any quilter but I am going to use them.  Quilt as Desired.  I just did a meandering quilt design but this would also look great stitched in the ditch.  This does not need any fancy quilting designs.  IMG_0419

Quilted – Binding added – and Finished!  I put it on my coffee table for a quick photo but it will live on my kitchen table for the holidays.  It really turned out nice.

The pattern on Quilting Digest gives alternate borders.  I may try another border.  There is a really cute candy cane looking border that may be fun to do with my spinning stars.  Take a look at all the options on the web page.  You may find something that appeals to you.  I am so glad I got this pattern in my in-box last week.  I used some of my “stash” and made an adorable holiday table topper.  Even hubby liked it!

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