Make your next family heirloom with this modern take on a classic Christmas quilt pattern – raid your fabric stash for reds, greens and low volume blenders to turn your offcuts into clever Christmas trees. This simple yet eye-catching design plays with triangles to create a row upon row of stripy trees. Each Christmas tree is actually pieced using Foundation Paper Piecing – if you haven’t come across this method before it’s a clever way of sewing shapes neatly together on to a paper template (then you remove the template at the end to reveal your finished patchwork. If you’re new to FPP, fear not, check out our Beginners guide to Foundation Paper Piecing to learn the ropes. Get ready to ho ho sew…
If you’re new to making quilts, you might also like our guide to quilting for beginners, or for more festive fun, head to our round up of our favourite Christmas quilt patterns. And for more festive quilt inspiration, how about this free snowflake quilt block pattern?
Free Christmas trees quilt pattern
- Print fabric scraps (ten to fifteen different prints), each 3½in wide and 4in–10in long – one hundred and twenty (120) pieces in total
- Background fabric for blocks 2¾yds
- Sashing fabric 1¼yds
- Backing fabric 3¼yds
- Batting 58in x 68in
- Binding fabric ½yd
- Thirty (30) sheets of A3 paper
Finished quilt size
- 54in x 64in approx
- Download our Free Christmas Quilt Pattern
- All seam allowances are ¼in unless otherwise stated.
- Press all fabrics before cutting.
- WOF = width of fabric.
- Shorten your stitch length for foundation paper piecing
- Fabric for this project was kindly supplied by The Village Haberdashery
How to make a Christmas tree quilt
You Will Need
- Fabric (For the quilt top, backing, sashing and binding – see fabric requirements)
- Sewing machine
- Basic quilting kit
Enlarge the Tree Block template (see page 100) by 200% – it should measure 9½in square at the correct size. From print fabric scraps cut the following:
- Thirty (30) 3in x 10in (to cover section 1).
- Thirty (30) 3in x 8in (to cover section 2).
- Thirty (30) 3in x 6in (to cover section 3).
- Thirty (30) 3½in x 4in (to cover section 4)
From background fabric for the tree blocks cut sixty (60) pieces 6in x 10¾in (to cover section 5 and section 6).
From sashing fabric cut the following:
- Twenty-five (25) 2in x 9½in strips, for horizontal sashing.
- Six (6) 2in x 62in strips for vertical sashing (joining strips as necessary).
- Two (2) 2in x 54½in strips for top and bottom borders (joining strips as necessary).
Cut the backing fabric into two equal pieces across the width and then remove selvedges.
From binding fabric cut seven (7) 2½in x WOF strips.
Foundation paper piecing the blocks
Place a strip for section 2 right side up on the work surface and cover it with a section 1 strip right side down. Ensure that the section 1 strip extends beyond the section 2 strip by about 1in on each side. Place the template with the printed side up over the two fabric pieces, with the fabric extending about a ¼in from the template at the sides and base (Fig a).
Pin the template and fabric together and transfer to your sewing machine. Sew along the printed line between sections 1 and 2 with a short stitch length of 1.5. Turn the work over, fold section 2 up and press into place (Fig b).
Now take a section 3 strip and repeat the process, this time stitching on the line between sections 2 and 3 (Fig c).
Press as before. Repeat the process once more for section 4, stitching on the line between sections 3 and 4 (Fig d).
To attach the background strips at the sides of the tree, place the background strip for section 5 with the right side up and place the template with the printed side facing up over it, so that the diagonal printed line between the tree itself and section 5 is parallel to the long side of the strip (Fig e). Ensure that the fabric extends at least a ¼in into the background section.
Sew along the printed line and before you press the piece, fold the paper over towards the tree (Fig f)
and cut the excess fabric off to a ¼in seam allowance using your quilt ruler and rotary cutter (Fig g).
Press the section 5 background piece into place (Fig h).
Repeat this process to sew section 6 into place.
Flip the template over and use your quilt ruler and rotary cutter to trim the excess fabric away from all four sides, cutting on the outer dashed line of the template (Fig i). The finished block will be 9½in square.
Repeat to make a total of thirty (30) blocks.
Adding the sashing
Remove the paper from all of the blocks and arrange them in a 5 x 6 grid. Work in vertical columns and start by sewing the shorter sashing strips between the blocks. When sewing these strips to the tops of the blocks take care to sew through the intersecting seams of the tree top to ensure the tree top remains pointy (marked with a pin in (Fig j). Press the seams towards the sashing strip.
Now sew the columns together, adding the longer sashing strips between each column, and keeping the sides of the trees pointy, as before. Finally, add sashing strips to the top and bottom of the quilt.
Quilting and finishing
Sew the backing fabric pieces together, press the seam open and then trim to make a piece about 58½in x 68in. Make a quilt sandwich of your backing fabric (right side down), batting and quilt top (right side up) and fix the layers together using your preferred method.
Quilt as desired. The quilt shown has inverted Vs, quilted 1in apart. Mark an inverted V from the top centre of the quilt to the bottom outer edges and work inwards and then outwards from these lines.
Sew the binding strips together into one long length, press the seams open and then press the strip in half along the length, wrong sides together. Attach the binding to the quilt and you’re done!