Winter Trees: Mini Quilt #10

March 7, 2015

Last Fall I purchased a small amount of a Cotton and Steel Print by Sarah Watts (from the August collection), and when I cut some of it into strips for another project I made the pleasant discovery that this fabric really looks like Birch bark.  Naturally, I went and bought more immediately!  I am really excited to make use of this fabric in an improvisationally pieced tree quilt.Winter Trees Front View

I found a stash Kona cotton in a color that was very close to the color of the teal green splotches in the tree print which worked perfectly as the background fabric.  I started by cutting a rectangle of the general size I was thinking about and then used a straight edge and rotary cutter to slash the fabric where the trees and branches would go.  No measuring involved! (at least at this point-)

Winter Trees Process

I went with a fabric from Carolyn Friedlander’s Botanics line for the backing because I liked incorporating the leaf imagery.

Winter Trees Back View

For the quilting design, I wanted to evoke a feeling of winter.  While I’m not generally a big fan of snow, especially this time of year, I do like watching great big fluffy snowflakes fall into drifts.  I decided to use a quilting design of various size bubbles in light blue to give that winter snow storm feeling.Winter Trees Front Detail

The binding is a slate colored piece from Jan Patek’s Front Porch line.  I knew this little quilt wanted a striped binding, and it was fun to find a fabric from such a different line than Cotton and Steel, and make them play together so nicely.  I’m considering doing one of these little tree quilts for every season . . .

Quilt Stats

Title:  Winter Trees

Size:  15.5″ x 19″

Techniques:  Improvisational Piecing

Quilting:  Stitch in the ditch along the edges of the tree shapes, free motion quilting in a bubble motif

Fabrics:  Sarah Watts (Cotton and Steel- August Collection), Carolyn Friedlander (Botanics), Kona Cotton, Jan Patek (Front Porch)

Batting:  Warm and White Cotton Batting

Thread:  Connecting Threads Essential Thread in Persian Blue,  light blue cotton machine quilting thread

Binding:  2″ wide strips, cut on grain, machine stitched to the quilt front, hand stitched to the back.

What was new:

“Tree” Improv!  I have never done improv piecing with the intention of making it look like a particular object.

Quilt 10 / 50

Quilt 10 / 50

Goal #9 is Finished!

Goal #9 is Finished!

I’m linking this post up with Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.  Please stop by to check out everyone’s awesome work!

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  • Reply
    Mini Quilt Mania 2015 | The (not so) Dramatic Life
    March 7, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    […] Winter Trees: Mini Quilt #10 […]

  • Reply
    Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
    March 8, 2015 at 11:42 am

    This turned out so beautifully! Using a coordinating solid to match the colors in the tree bark really helps the quilt have a lot of cohesiveness and the trees just pop out and shine.

  • Reply
    March 9, 2015 at 9:02 am

    I love it when one small observation leads to a cool quilt! The bright colors in the print keep it looking arty as they suggest the birch. I appreciate the clue to process. I’ve never laid out all the pieces and slices before starting to sew. Looks like a good approach.

  • Reply
    March 9, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Awesome! The fabric does look like bark, and your quilting gives a great winter feeling.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2015 at 6:55 am

    This is fantastic!

  • Reply
    March 10, 2015 at 9:37 am

    This is stunningly beautiful!! I love the colors , and how it all makes me feel when I look at it!! Your quilting is gorgeous too!

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 12:10 am

    This is a great art quilt. I love birch trees and these look just perfect. Well done!

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Loving these trees!!!!
    Hooray for Improv!!

  • Reply
    March 11, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    That’s beautiful!

  • Reply
    April 1, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    I love your quilt! It is so stunning!

  • Reply
    ana Mo Shoshin
    April 1, 2015 at 6:45 pm


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    April 3, 2015 at 10:11 am

    This catches my eye EVERY TIME I look at the projects on the FAL linky. Really stunning.

  • Reply
    GeminiJen NZ
    April 7, 2015 at 3:10 pm

    I am totally pinning this to my wishlist! What a cool creation!

  • Reply
    April 8, 2015 at 4:03 am

    I LOVE this one. It totally looks like trees in winter.

  • Reply
    Terry Aske
    April 13, 2015 at 10:47 pm


  • Reply
    May 7, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Cassandra, I really love this mini quilt and am sharing it on my blog post that will be live tomorrow morning on (If that’s ok with you) If not, let me know and I will remove it. I just think it is gorgeous!

  • Reply
    Fabulous Finds Friday |
    May 8, 2015 at 10:31 am

    […] The (not so) Dramatic Life on the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway and fell in love with Cassandra’s mini quilt below. Isn’t it […]

  • Reply
    September 8, 2015 at 7:12 am

    This is just perfection!

  • Reply
    Le Challenge - Wilderness
    September 14, 2015 at 7:00 am

    […] for the fabric on the tree trunks came from here, a lovely mini quilt called Winter Trees by Cassandra at The Not So Dramatic Life.  If you like […]

  • Reply
    Liz Bryenton
    January 4, 2017 at 4:47 am

    Just seen this on Pinterest. Believe me, after the 2016 Christmas we have had, this is a thing of beauty to me and makes me feel better. Thank you LIZ

  • Reply
    Liz Bryenton
    January 10, 2017 at 4:33 am

    Have just come across this on Pinterest. I am not good at quilting and like your approach. However, I have no clue how you did the trees. Did you just surface applique them or is it more complicated than that, ie.,the tree shapes are pieced!!! Would you be prepared to give me some idea please. Thank you. Regards LIZ

  • Reply
    Shawne Muller
    July 7, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    Very beautiful. Thanks for sharing, it has inspired me to think outside the box.

  • Reply
    Betty Duzan
    July 7, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    I too love this wall hanging. How to you do the tree and branches??? I don’t have a clue unless they were appliquéd. I’m dying to know.


    • Reply
      December 5, 2017 at 12:36 pm

      The background for this quilt is sliced anyplace you want a tree branch and then strips of fabric are stitched into each slash until the quilt top is assembled.

  • Reply
    October 15, 2017 at 12:47 am

    I loved hearing your thought process for such a creative quilt. Thanks for sharing. It’s perfect.

  • Reply
    Improv Trees | The (not so) Dramatic Life
    December 4, 2017 at 12:03 am

    […] you would like to see another example and read more about the process, please check out another improv trees mini quilt I did awhile […]

  • Reply
    October 16, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    Just discovered this on your website. I adore it! Really nice job in fabric selection, piecing, and quilting – the full package!

  • Reply
    Karen Anderson
    October 21, 2018 at 12:17 am


  • Reply
    April 13, 2019 at 2:23 pm

    Going to attempt this but on a larger scale for a wall hanging over a queen size bed. Any suggestions/tips.

  • Reply
    September 9, 2019 at 12:07 pm

    Love this wall hanging. Have some birch print fabric I am going to try this with. Going to try and make it big enough to hang over a queen size bed. Wish me luck.

  • Reply
    September 22, 2019 at 4:57 pm

    Really creative and done so well!

  • Reply
    Becky DuBose
    February 15, 2020 at 9:41 am

    Could this be made into a king size bed quilt? No small blocks but the entire quilt with several trees?

    • Reply
      December 6, 2021 at 6:18 pm

      It would probably be possibly, but more challenging than a small version. If I were to attempt it, I would invest in some very long rulers from the hardware store.

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