Welcome to Week 1 of the Crooked Christmas Tree Mini Quilt Sew Along! The image above is what we will be making together. It is an expanded version of the basic Crooked Christmas Tree pattern, as it adds a scrappy inner border and a smaller outer border.
I am delighted you are here and excited for us to get ready for Christmas! But, you are here to sew, not read…so lets get stared!
Step 1: Materials
Crooked Christmas Tree Pattern: The Crooked Christmas Tree pattern is required for this mini quilt. It may purchased here. Print the instructions, which include the paper piecing pages for the tree in the center of this mini. This sew along is for an “expanded” version of the pattern. Please disregard the materials list in the pattern, as it does not include materials needed for this expanded version.
Fabric & Batting:
- Fabric for a Scrappy border: 10+ fat eighths (I used 17 total)
- Consider using some of the tree fabric to make a strip or two to help pull the colors together.
- Fabric for the tree (choose one):
- A scrappy tree: 4+ large scraps
- A one color tree: 1/2 yard to ensure you have enough in case of a mistake. It requires just a bit more than a fat quarter.
- Fabric for the background area around the tree: 1/2 yard total (I used 2 fat quarters)
- Fabric for the star: just a scrap
- Fabric for the trunk of the three: just a scrap
- Fabric for the outer border: 1/2 yard
- Fabric for four corners of small outer border: 6” square of scrap fabric
- Fabric for binding: 1/3 yard
- Fabric for backing: 1 and 1/4 yard
- Batting: 42” square
Notions & Other Needs:
- Add a 1/4” Ruler is a great tool for paper piecing
- Scotch tape for taping paper pattern together
- Glue stick (optional)
- Basting supplies for preferred method
- An old greeting card or post card
- Regular notions for sewing like thread, rulers, etc.
Step 2: Cutting
- From four corner 6” scrap fabric, cut four 2.5” squares for the outer border. Label and set aside.
- From outer border fabric, cut four strips 2.5” x 32”. I cut mine 2.5” x WOF and then cut them down to 32”. Label and set aside.
- From tree background fabric, cut four strips 2” x 23”. Label and set aside.
- From fat quarters/scraps for patchwork border, cut 52 strips 2.5” x 8”. I layered my fat quarters four deep. Starting on the shorter end, I cut them 2.5” by width of “fat quarter.” Then I sub-cut each into two 2.5” x 8” strips. It went really quickly.
Step 3: Pile Like Fabrics
- Sort the 52 strips into piles of like fabrics. This will make the next step easier. You can see my piles in the image above, Step 3.
Step 4: Making Strip Sets
- Randomly select three different strips to make “strip sets” of 3 fabrics each. Each fabric in the set should be different. Try to make sets that are different from each other as well. I laid my strip sets on a board that I easily transferred to lay next to my sewing machine. I also laid every other strip set in opposite directions so I could pull the sets up easily for the next step, chain stitching.
Step 5: Chain Stitch
- Before you begin, set up a system to keep your strip sets in order. I begin with my strip sets on the board next to my machine on the left. I pick up the first TWO and line them up evenly right sides together to stitch them at a 1/4”. BEFORE I begin stitching, I lay the third strip in a neat pile right next to where I am sewing. You can see that in the image above; the stack with the purple triangle fabric on top is my set of third strips.
- THEN, once all my strips one and two are chain stitched, BEFORE I cut them apart, I start my system. I cut the thread between the last two sets I chain stitched. I lay the last one down right next to the pile of the third strips. I cut the second to last one free and place it on top the last one facing the same direction. I proceed, slowly and carefully to the end, keeping all chain pieced sets in order.
- THIS MEANS THAT THE SET OF THIRD STRIPS IS IN THE OPPOSITE ORDER OF THE SET OF FIRST AND SECOND STRIPS. SEE PHOTO BELOW FOR WHAT TO DO NEXT…
- Are you ready??? I just turn the stack of third (unsewn) strips over…so hard! But if you don’t do this, your may end up with strip sets that have the same fabrics in them. Rib-bit, Rib-bit.
Step 6: Chain Stitch the Third Strip
- Keeping both piles in order, chain stitch the third strip to the first two. (IF you want to press first, and have a different method for keeping your strips in order, more power to you. I am ADHD, so I don’t chance it. I press all my strips after sewing them.
Step 7: Press All Seams Open
- I am an open seam presser, but I don’t get hung up on the little things. I am suggesting pressing seams open on this pattern because we don’t know where each new patchwork strip will land in the quilt.
- In the image below you can see the steps for pressing seams.
- First, press them with the seams closed to set the stitches. (Row 1 in image)
- Next, lay flat, right side down, while the seams are still hot/warm and finger press open.
- Third, press seams open with iron.
- Finally, turn the pieced square over and press flat. (This will help with cutting.)
Step 7: Sub-cut the new Pieced Strip Sets
- Trim one edge of the pieced strip set along a side that trims all three fabrics. See first image below. This cleans up the edge.
- Turn the clean edge to the inside of the cutting ruler, and line up the clean edge with the 2.5” mark. See second/middle image below.
- Sub-cut a 2.5” x 6” strip that consists of all three fabric colors.
- Repeat to make two additional strips. The last strip will be a matter of cleaning up the outer edge. See last image below.
- NOTE: Keep all the new cut strips in order, piling each on top of the next. This will keep identical strips together for when we need them next. Set them aside.
DONE!!! Yay! Let me know what you think by clicking the pink “leave a comment” below! And again, thanks for playing along!
Remember you can always invite a friend…and if you are finding this post late in the game…so what…play anyway!
Sharing your pictures: I’d love to see your sew along project pictures on IG and Facebook. Remember to tag them with @Jitterywings and #crookedchristmastree
See you next week!