Make a Tree Hugger Quilt with Rob

You know I’m a real hippie at heart. And
today’s project is a pieced tree, right? This is Tree Hugger. Let’s get started. Alright team, let’s talk supplies before
I get too carried away, right? I am using the wonderful Stone Henge Gradient tiles and
the reason I chose this ten by ten pre cut pack, right? Is because there’s five different
colors of the greens in there. But there’s lots and lots of them so that I can makes
lots and lots of squares as I go through, right? I also chose their mottled brown fabric
that I absolutely love. This is for the trunk and the branches. And I have about 2 ½ yards
and I think I consumed every thread of it in the project behind me. So get 2 ½, three
yards, something like that, ok. Now I want to focus on building our background
of the greens. And before I cut into the fabrics please drop into that description below. There’s
a link down there and I’ve got a printout for you where you can go ahead and kind of
follow along in the tree that you see behind me. But my real goal in today’s video is
to teach you how to be creative and construct as you go. So your tree will be a little bit
different than mine. I am sure of that as well. Alright. Now let’s talk fabric again.
With those ten inch squares I pulled out each color at a time. I want to keep my colors
all together, right? So then I need to divide it down. I’m going to make myself a ten
by five inch rectangle to start with. I’m going to want one of those from every square.
And then I also am going to need two five inch squares. So I’m also going to cut real
quick the five inch squares. Then what I did is I went ahead and I came and I started stacking
up all of the different colors. And I’ve got some of this done for us, right? Because
I want to spend our time on our branches. So that was those colors. And then I stacked
up all of my colors as I went. It doesn’t even have to be in a gradient order because
now what we are going to do is we’re just going to pick three different colors for every
block we’re going to make until all the blocks are gone. And when you get to the end
you might find that some of your fabrics have duplicated. You can go back and just make
different choices. So here I am, I’m just grabbing three different fabrics. And we’re
going to construct our block. And like I said, do it for all of your pieces first so you
don’t end up with any odd ball colors left, right? And then we’re going to build squares
or blocks that look just like that. Now I constructed quick but there’s a couple of
little methods to my madness. First of all I’m going to piece this together
so that I have my straight seams here. And I have my straight seams here on the outside
edge. And we watch this as we go to the machine. So I’m just laying those down. And I’m
making sure that I have the straight edges. I’m using a quarter inch seam allowance.
We’re going to be trimming these blocks down so we don’t even need to backstitch
really. And because we’re going to be trimming them down we can be a little bit quicker in
our work. Watch this, ok. I finished that seam. I’m not even going to go to the iron.
I’m just going to take my straight edge over here. I’m going to lay my straight
edge and also start up here at this top corner. And I’m going to piece this down just like
this. Oh I should back up, at least to get to the beginning of the block. And then as
I head toward this seam where the two five inch squares come together, I just put my
finger on it. Just a little bit of encouragement to let it flop over like that. Come off to
the end of my block.. And now we’re going to go ahead and press this all out flat. Make
sure my iron is good and hot down there. And then once it’s pressed I come back and trim
out to square it all up. So we come down in here. We’re just going to catch both of
those seams at once. And you’ll do all 40 of the greens. And I did and I had a couple
that were more wonky than this. Like I said we’re trimming down to nine inch squares.
But I’m going to use my center seam to trim off 4 ½ inches off of either side. So I’ve
got my 4 ½ inch mark on the center seam. I’m just going to slice there. And then
the trick is I can use this center seam. It works so great like this. And now I’m also
lining up my bottom seam here to make sure my block stays nice and square. And I’m
going to trim. This would be a great time to mark your ruler so that you’re always
only doing 4 ½. You’ll notice it’s a good time not to look up and talk to the camera.
I don’t want to make any mistakes, right? Ok, and literally you go through and that
makes a nice crisp square looking block with a very fast construction, ok? Once that’s
done, reminder it is now nine inches square so when we get ready to work off of our yardage,
right? What I simply did is made nine inch strips and then I made nine inch squares so
that I could build the rest of the background of the quilt. Now the layout in this quilt back up here
I believe is like five squares by nine squares or something like that. Excuse me I’ve got
nine by six. I’ve got notes in front of me. I should pay attention to what I write
down, right? So it’s 54 total squares if you’re as good at math as my young daughter
is, right? So 54 squares I told you you only have 40 of these. So we’re going to have
to build together some of the browns to take up some of that extra space. Watch this. So now you see the design wall in place with
the quilt, right? And I just want to point out, what I did was I took nine of those brown
squares and I stitched them together. Those are always going to be an entire column of
brown. That’s the main truck of the tree. Then I also did three up the bottom. And on
my fourth piece is where I’m going to begin to break the trunk and narrow it into the
rest of the truck, right? But before we can do that let’s talk about the green pieces.
Now look at the green pieces, there are often dark and light portions of each block, right?
So I try to keep the dark squares up against the trunk as much as possible. And the lighter
squares to represent where the sun would be coming through the leaves better away from
the trunk. So I did actually pay a bit of attention when I was putting in all of my
green blocks first. Once they’re in place I did not stitch them together like I did
with the brown. I want each one free because we’re now going to handle each one individually
as we build our branches and our truck. So I’m going to walk you through the trunk. You’ve got those nine inch squares of brown,
right? And your scraps could also be important so please don’t throw anything away until
your project is bound. Now what I want to do, I want to start to bring this brown line
up to this green line here, right? So one of the things I need to do is I’m going
to start by dropping this square on top. And just visualizing how can I make this movement?
And so I actually do most of my work here by finger pressing to start . And I’m thinking,
boy I want this to come to about here I’m saying. And so I’m literally finger pressing
or finger creasing this. And then I’ve got a good pinch as I bring it back over to my
ironing surface. Once I’m at the ironing board I will often set it so I don’t miss
that line but then what I want to do is I want to fold it back. And I can show you right
here on the table with another one of those squares that I can’t find. Here’s one.
So this would then set right on here onto this block. And literally I just topstitched
it right down. So in the machine from this point on I’ve got a nice matching brown
thread. And you can see what I’ve done here is just what I said. I just topstitched that
block right into place there for us. And now I’m going to start building up this column.
I work in columns on purpose because I want the squares to be their nine inch raw squares
while I’m working to try to keep my seams coming together as accurately as possible.
So that’s how I handled the first one. If you look at the original quilt I’m now going
to take this to bring it up slightly. So I’ve already done one of those for you
too. So you can see the exchange of the trunk getting narrower as we come up here. Now on
my quilt, and again this is just topstitch but let’s point out a couple more things
before I get carried away. I handled these different ways. Depending on how much bulk
is in the block now that you added, that you can do one of two things. You can trim away
the excess. But please make sure you know which part you’re trimming away or you’ll
get to make another block. You may also do what I did here which was simply just leave
the extra underneath there that acts like a foundation. A lot of the blocks will be
pieced on both sides of the brown and that foundation is crucial as you go through. Now
let’s put this back in place so we can continue on our project. I’ve got that there. We’ve
got this here. And now what we want to do is we want to build a branch that comes out
of the trunk and starts heading out towards the sky. So let’s do this. I’m going to take another one of my brown
nine squares and I’m going to come over here. And first I’m just going to set it
right here on my green patch work. And then I want this line and I can go any different
direction there that I want with this. I’m taking this line this way. And what I don’t
normally try to do is figure it all out at once. I just take each actual seam as I go.
Now as I got more proficient with the process there were times where I wanted to do both
seams at once. But I found sometimes things would shift around a little bit in the topstitching
so I’m anchoring, double checking and then coming back again. So here’s our block.
There it goes. I’m going to remove this from the design wall. I’m going to come
over to the sewing machine. Ok now I can’t stitch it down like this. The raw edge will
be exposed. So I remember I have to flip it underneath. Ok just like that. I’m going
to set it on here. If you’ve moved your blocks around you want to make sure your orientation
was how you had it. Oh I don’t know if I had it with that dark green. I think I had
my light green down there. That would make the most sense. So you just double check.
You just work as you go. It’s really, really fun to do the way. Now I’m lining up all
of my outside edges, of the squares. That’s the reason they’re the same size because
it really helps me with my topstitching. Now I’m going to pull that seam guide out of
the way. I can just roll it out of the way here and tighten it down. And topstitching
is done with that needle just on the very edge of the foot. Sorry, the very edge of
the fabric. I was realizing my chair is now my easel for my design wall. That’s ok.
I’ve got a quick story then. For those of you who are true fans of the Man Sewing Facebook
page and Instagram pages you will know we were in a skateboard park yesterday afternoon
after filming and I’m moving a bit like this. So standing and sewing, this is not
the best day for that. But we’ve got to play. We can’t just always quilt, right?
Alright so check this out, now see how beautifully that matches in there. Now what I want to
do is I want a good thickness here but I want this to start coming skinny out here. So then
again I can just do whatever angle I like. I will encourage you to use different angles
so it doesn’t look like you’re just sticking rectangles down on the quilt. So as soon as
I show you how to do this we’ll get that design wall out of the way and talk about
our actual quilting. We’ll get to see this one more time. Now as I’m getting ready
to roll this in I’m going to have all of that bulk in there, ok? So this is another good tip to talk about
before I go blasting through this. I’ve got not only the green, the brown but I also
have the bulk and I’ll have the bulk. So yes, I as I became more proficient went through
and just lightly trimmed away the excess here. And I’ve already set that seam or that crease
so I can lightly cut away the excess there. But I did find, if I do a real small little
quarter of an inch a lot of times it’s harder to fold it back under as I’m pressing it.
So I’m giving myself about a ⅜ maybe even a ½ inch. Not all of the fabric is underneath
it but there coming back around this way. We’re going to go ahead and topstitch this
down. Again that needle is just right on the edge of the brown fabric as it meets the green.
Excellent. And then this block will drop right back in here like this. Now I would normally
be tempted to try to carry the branch over here. But I want to build out all of my columns
first so that I can secure the columns. Now once the column is secured I want to caution
you one last item ok? What can happen then is this seam allowance, like in here, this
block should be reading at 8 ½ and this should be nine because the seam allowance is in there.
And if something like that you’re working up the real intricate angle you want to get
well then just go ahead and center the nine block on the 8 ½ block so you’re accounting
for the seam allowance you’ll be making in your angles and it works out very nicely. Now let’s get this design wall out of the
way. I’m just going to move it here real quick. And talk about the rest of the quilt.
I won’t point out when my branches aren’t perfect I’m sure you can see that from home,
right? But what I do want to point out is the variety and thickness and the variety
in the angles in the branches I do believe that’s key to our design here, right? So
they’re all looking a little bit different like a tree would. As you go through, some
of these are real fun down here, these real easy easy angles there. I like those. Ok now
for the free motion machine quilting you’ve got it all put together. It’s all basted,
ready to go. I started in the brown. And then I did this easy kind of wood grain. It’s
kind of an open stippling design. Then I came back in here and I did a real tight leaf design
and opened it up into swirls in the bottom. With one last accent for my lovely wife, our
initials when we were children right in the middle of a good tree because like I said,
the name of the quilt is Tree Hugger, a Pieced tree for all of you. So I tell you what, I
want to know who your first crush was. You can sneak it in the comments below. And we’ll
catch you next time at Man Sewing.