Little Trees Quilt – free holiday quilt pattern
Sew up a darling holiday quilt to keep you and your loved ones cozy all season long!
The Little Trees Quilt isn’t just for Christmas, though. Pine trees are evergreen – so this sweet quilt can be enjoyed during any season, don’t you think?
In addition to the blog post, this quilt pattern has been converted to an optional PDF that’s optimized for printing. Find it here.
This free Little Trees Quilt Pattern makes a throw quilt that is approximately 53’’ x 51’’.
However, you could easily make this quilt larger by adding more blocks.
Keep in mind that the 68’’ x 66’’ quilt in the image above has nearly twice as many blocks so you would need twice as much fabric and batting.
The Little Tree quilt block is actually a variation on the classic half square triangle, can you believe it?
Plus – all of the print fabrics in this quilt start with 10’’ squares – so it’s perfect for layer cake squares (or fat quarters, or pieces you have leftover from layer cake bundles). My green fabrics came from a Cotton & Steel basics layer cake bundle, and I also threw in one more red 10’’ square.
I’m going to show you how to slash and sew white some squares back together with the brown ‘trunk’ fabric in between, and then combine them with green (and red) print blocks to make these adorable trees. There is very little wasted fabric.
Let’s get sewing!
To make the 53’’ x 51’’ throw sized Little Trees Quilt, you will need:
2 1/2 yards of cream or white fabric for the background
6 squares 10’’x10’’ of different green print fabrics for the green trees
1 red print square 10’’ x 10’’ for the red trees
1/8 yard brown fabric for the trunks
1/2 yard of fabric for the binding
3-4 yards of fabric for the quilt back
To make the blocks, you will need:
7 white or cream squares 9 1/2’’ x 9 1/2’’
13 white squares 4’’ x 4’’
7 brown strips 2 1/2’’ x 14’’
This is in addition to the 7 print squares listed above.
For the sashing and borders, cut the following from white/cream fabric:
32 strips 2 1/2’’ x 9 1/2’’
24 squares 2 1/2’’ x 2 1/2’’
2 squares 13 7/8’’ x 13 7/8’’
2 squares 7 1/4’’ x 7 1/4’’
2 strips 2 1/2’’ x 47’’ (side borders)*
1 strip 2 1/2’’ x 51’’ (bottom border)*
1 strip 4 1/2’’ x 51’’ (top border)*
*For a smoother quilt top, be a quilt pirate and use these measurements as guidelines. See How to Add Quilt Borders the Correct Way.
On this quilt I made the top border wider to make the design more visually balanced.
Make 7 Trunk Pieces
All seam allowances on this quilt are 1/4’’.
1. ‘Slash’ each 9 1/2’’ white or cream square in half diagonally.
2. Fold each of the triangle pieces in half and mark the center of the long edge (I do this by pressing lightly with my iron. You could also use a marking pen.)
Fold the 2 1/2’’ x 14’’ trunk strips in half also and mark the center on both edges (or lightly press the fold).
3. Lay a brown strip along the long edge of a triangle, matching the center marks. Stitch. Press the seam toward the darker fabric.
4. Lay the second triangle along the other edge of the brown strip, matching the center marks. Stitch. Press the seam toward the darker fabric.
Repeat to make 7 trunk pieces.
Use the Half Square Triangle Method to make Tree Blocks
1. Use a fabric marking pen and a ruler to draw a diagonal line down the center of each 10’’ print square (on the wrong side of the fabric).
Then draw a line on either side of the center line, 1/4’’ away from the center line.
2. Center a print square on top of a trunk piece and pin them right sides together.
Important: the diagonal lines that you drew must run in the opposite direction as the brown trunk strip (so that your sewing lines will intersect the trunk strip).
3. Stitch along both of the outer marked lines.
4. Cut the block in half along the center marked line.
5. Trim each block to 9 1/2’’ square, making sure to keep the diagonal seam that separates the tree and the cream and brown fabric in the diagonal center – you will trim the tree and white fabric more than the green (or red) fabric.
If the brown fabric isn’t long enough to make a point (see photo above right), that’s no big deal since it will be cut off anyway.
Repeat 6 more times to make 14 blocks – you will only need 13 for this quilt.
6. Use the fabric marking pen to draw a diagonal line down the center of each 4’’ square piece.
Pin a 4’’ square to the trunk corner of each tree block as seen above. The diagonal line should intersect the trunk.
7. Stitch along the diagonal line.
Trim away the corner 1/4’’ past the stitching.
Repeat to make 11 green tree blocks and 2 red tree blocks. You will have 1 green tree block leftover.
Add the Quilt Sashing
1. Arrange the 13 tree blocks in the pattern above.
2. Sew a 2 1/2’’ x 9 1/2’’ sashing strip to the right side of each block.
Then sew the blocks into diagonal rows, following the layout in the diagram above.
Sew one more sashing strip to the end of each diagonal row so that each row starts and ends with a sashing strip.
2 rows that have 1 block and 2 sashing strips
2 rows that have 3 blocks and 4 sashing strips
1 row that has 5 blocks and 6 sashing strips.
3. Cut the two 13 7/8’’ squares in quarters diagonally to get 8 triangles total (4 from each square).
Sew these quarter square triangle pieces to the ends of the 4 shorter rows as seen above. Pay attention to the position of each triangle.
4. Cut the two 7 1/4’’ squares in half diagonally to get 4 triangles total (2 from each square).
Sew two half square triangle pieces to the ends of the longest row as seen above.
Set aside the 2 remaining pieces for later.
5. Make sashing strips to sew in between the diagonal rows. Using 2 1/2’’ squares in between 9 1/2’’ strips will help you line up each row perfectly.
2 rows with 1 sashing strip and 2 squares
2 rows with 3 sashing strips and 4 squares
2 rows with 5 sashing strips and 6 squares
6. Sew the sashing strips in between the diagonal rows.
Note that the squares at each end of the sashing strips will stick out and will be trimmed later.
7. Sew the last two half square triangles to the remaining corners.
8. Trim away the corners of the sashing squares that stick out to make the sides of the quilt top straight in preparation for the borders.
Add Quilt Borders
You may use the cutting dimensions stated above or measure the quilt top now (recommended) to determine the correct length of your border strips.
1. Sew 2 1/2’’ wide border strips to the sides of the quilt top.
2. Sew a 2 1/2’’ wide border strip to the bottom of the quilt.
3. Sew a 4 1/2’’ wide border strip to the top of the quilt – this wider strip creates an illusion to make the trees seem centered.
Sandwich, quilt and bind your Little Trees Quilt. I used my favorite technique of wavy line quilting.
Don’t miss any of my other quilty ideas… Click here to see all of my free quilt patterns.
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Thank you Caroline for this wonderful pattern. I made your original Christmas tree quilt and loved it. I can’t wait to try this one. Kellie
This is so attractive, Caroline, and your detailed description & diagrams make it the next best thing to having your live personal instruction! Thank you very much for yet another beautiful tutorial. 🙂
Blessings, Michele C
Is there any reason why you couldn’t do the long sashing in 1 strip rather than short strips and squares sewing together to make long strips??
You could do it that way. The cornerstone blocks are very helpful for keeping the rows straight. Once you sew a quilt without them, you’ll see. 🙂