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The Pine Tree Block

the pine tree quilt block

The Pine Tree Block is going to be a challenge.  There is nothing new to learn.  However, the level of difficulty is raised by the large large  amount of Half Square Triangles.   

This is where you are really going to test your 1/4 inch seam.

If your seams are correct, then everything will fit, and you won't cut off the points of your triangles.

Review the Maple Leaf Challenge Block.  You will be using the same technique to make the trunk of the tree as you used for the Maple Leaf Stem.

Begin by cutting the squares for the 18 Half Square Triangles.   We are going to use the shortcut method because there are so many of them.

contruction of the pine tree quilt blockCut your squares 5-inches wide. You will need three green squares and three white squares.  Proceed as in the directions on the Half Square Triangle page.  Draw your line, sew, and cut.  You will end  up with 24 triangles.  Cut off the "tails".  They should measure 2 1/8 inches raw.

Begin by sewing eight of the units together.  Be careful, the top and side go together differently. Study the picture at the top of the page.  The 8-piece unit above goes on the top of the block. 

You can't make the block the same for the side. Notice how on the top of the block the dark sides of the triangles are on the left, and on the side piece, the dark triangles are on the right.

Next cut the large bottom square for your tree fabric.  Cut it at 7 3/8 inches.

You will now need two smaller squares to add to the corners of the large square. Cut them at four inches.  Pin them on opposite diagonal corners of the large square, and sew through the middle. Again, this is the same process you used for the stem in the Maple Leaf Challenge Block.  The only difference is that the tree trunk will be a lot wider than the stem of the Maple Leaf.

Next cut a matching 7 3/8 inch square of background fabric (the blue in the picture at the top of the page).

Put these two squares right side together, and make a Half Square Triangle (You will have two of them).  If you've learned your math, you know that it will finish at 7 inches raw.

Here is the math for matching the Quarter Square Triangles to the Large Square.  The 8-unit piece has four squares, which measure 2 1/8 inches.  Four x 2 1/8 inches is equal to 8 1/2 inches.  Subtract the 3 seams of 1/2 inches each, and that equals 7 inches.

Lay out your block, and make sure all the pieces are going in the right direction.  Lay out the remaining small squares and Half Square Triangles.  Make sure the tree is pointing in the right direction.

Decide which way to press the seams so that they go in opposite directions, and finish piecing your block.  (After you piece your remaining small units, you will add them to one of the 8-unit pieces).  You must first add one 8-piece unit to the large block.  Then you can add the last strip of triangles with the attached remaining pieces.

If you do this block right the first time, consider it a miracle!  Working with so many small pieces can be difficult.  Add to that the directional changes, and this is a challenging block. 

Learn how to make this block, and then scale it down and use it to accent a large quilt.  You can make a simple quilt, and then add one of these blocks in each corner (part of the border) of a larger quilt. Little touches like this can make a simple quilt look spectacular.

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