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DIY Quilted Holiday Trees

While shopping in Kansas City's Historic West Bottoms this holiday season, I came across these adorable Christmas trees made with vintage quilts. While I don't have these glorious antiques to cut up, I did think this would make a quick and easy project considering I have plenty of fabric! tree turned into another because I continued to think of more ideas...and they're fun! Today I'm going to share with you my process and hopefully you'll be inspired to make some festive trees for your home as well!

Here's a few things you'll need to get started:

1/4" Dowel Rods (I used a 12" precut package of 6 from Michaels)
Wood Rounds for Crafts
Fat Quarter, fabric scraps, or lonely quilt blocks
Batting & Backing

Embellishments: Chenille-It®, buttons, pom poms, ric-rac etc.

Step1: Plan Your Tree

There are so many possibilities because you're literally making a little pillow and putting it on a stick. I grabbed some fat quarters in holiday colors and some quilt blocks that needed a project. To determine my size, I sketched a triangle out on paper and realized I could cut the front and back out in one fat quarter. I think it's interesting when the trees are different sizes but this give you a place to start. 

Step 2: Quilt Your Tree

When the front and back of your tree is designed and cut into matching triangles, make a quilt sandwich. Go find those scraps of batting you get back from the quilter!

I had some left over Chenille-It® from a pillow project so I arranged strips on my tree and sewed them down before I began quilting. If you haven't used Chenille-It® before, go check out the website and see all the beautiful colors and sizes there are to choose from.

After I quilted some simple lines, I put my Chenille pieces in a gentle wash with some sweaters to get that fringy texture. See how I made laundry fun?

You can also try the quilt as you go method! I marked 45 degree lines on batting pieces and sewed on various strips.


 Step 3: Cut, Embellish, and Sew Together

Once you're happy with your quilting, trim out your tree and decide if you would like to add any embellishments. I had fun sewing buttons on a few of mine. Whatever you choose, don't get your decorations too close to the edge because you still have to go around the perimeter with your sewing foot. Due to all the layers, I continued to use my walking foot for the final assembly.

For exposed edges, pin the wrong sides of the front and back of the together. Otherwise, put right sides together to hide the seam.

With a 3/8" seam allowance, stitch around the tree leaving 4 inches at the bottom open for stuffing. Backstitch at the beginning and end to lock your stitches in place. 


I liked the messy exposed edges and opted to trim my trees with with pinking shears before sewing the front and back pieces together. It was too difficult to go through all the layers at once so doing this step before sewing worked better.

Step 4: Time For Stuffing

It's time to give your tree some life and character with stuffing! If you need to, turn your tree right side out first.

Once you're finished filling the tree with Poly-fil, sew the opening at the bottom center so it's just big enough for the 1/4" dowel rod to slide through. Backstitch to secure the opening.

Step 5: Make The Tree Stands

The last step is to make a stand for your tree. My dowel rods were precut 12" long and I did make a few shorter for variety.

The dowel rods I used were 1/4" in diameter, therefore, I used that same drill bit size to make a hole in the center of my wood round. The dowel rod fits pretty snug, however, you can still add some wood glue to secure it. Something to consider is storage; it's probably easier I'll let you decide what works best for you.

Once your stand is ready, position your cute tree decoration on top! Have fun arranging them in different places around your home. I'm planning to leave mine out all winter!