The great thing about these blocks is you probably have all the supplies you need right in your scrap bin. Of course you can go big and make a whole quilt of 'em if you're feeling ambitious. But these simple trees are a cool foundation for a pillow or modern table runner, too.
Scrappy Christmas Tree Block
1. Cut the tree fabric
To make the scrappy strips, cut your assorted fabric sraps into pieces so each between 2 and 3 inches tall and 4 to 6½ inches long. Don't worry about making them all the same size — the variation just makes the block look even more interesting!
2. Arrange, sew and press
Once you have the strips cut, arrange the fabrics so the widest strip is at the bottom and the thinnest strip is at the top. Sew the strips together using a ¼-inch seam allowance. Keep most of the strips relatively straight, but sew one or two at a slight angle. For these crooked ones, trim your seams to ¼ inches.
When your strips are all sewn together, press them. Altogether, your piece should measure about 9 inches by 6 inches.
3. Make the big cut
Fold the strip set in half widthwise and line up the folded edge with the zero-inch mark on your cutting mat. Align your ruler on the 8½-inch tall and 3-inch wide marks on the mat, and cut along the line with a rotary cutter. When you unfold the fabric, you'll see your tree!
4. Stitch the trunk
Cut a black rectangle that is 1½ inches wide and 2½ inches tall. Then, cut two white rectangles that are each 4½ inches wide by 2½ inches tall. Sew the white strips to both sides of the black, using a ¼-inch seam allowance. Press the seams toward the black fabric.
5. Start piecing it together
Choose a piece of fabric to use as your background, making sure it's about 16 inches long and 9½ inches tall. Arrange the tree trunk strip below the background fabric, so the left edges align.
Center the tree piece on top of the trunk, laying it on top of the white background fabric. Use a rotary cutter to cut the white background fabric along the left side of the tree, cutting from top to bottom.
6. Attach the tree to the background
Lay the tree face-down over the line you just cut. Arrange it so the bottom point overlaps the white fabric by ¼ of an inch. Sew the tree to the left background piece using ¼-inch seam allowance. Press away from the pieced strips, toward the white.
7. Finish the background
Pick up the straight edge of your remaining white background fabric. Place it above your tree stump, so the left edge extends 1 inch to the left of the stump.
Place the tree piece on top and use it as a guide to trim the white background along the right side of the tree, cutting from the top to the bottom of the white fabric. (Don't panic if you cut off the tip of the white background fabric in the upper left corner. You're supposed to!)
Repeat the steps you used on the left to sew the right side of the tree to the background fabric.
8. Final touches
Center the tree stump under the tree. Place the fabrics right sides together and stitch using a ¼-inch seam allowance. Press the seam away from the tree.
Trim the block to 8 inches wide by 10½ inches tall and give it a final press. You can use this finished block as a template to make others, or use this as a centerpiece of a larger project!