How many tree types can you name?
- Needle turn appliqué on the maple trees featured in the Little Forest block
- Half Rectangle Triangles (or HRT) in the pine tree featured in the Twin Peaks block
- Curves and Foundation Paper Piecing in the cherry blossom tree featured in the Cherry Tree block
And this month it’s all about the bonsai tree quilt block!
Bet you didn’t expect a study in dendrology while participating in a modern quilting skill-building challenge! What can I say, I’m sharing two of my loves with you at once: trees and quilting.
*This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission.
INSPIRATION BEHIND THE BONSAI TREE QUILT BLOCK
Did you ever watch the original Karate Kid movie?
The one where Mr. Miyagi helps Daniel learn precision and patience by learning how to prune Bonsai trees?
Being the tree lover that I am, I was fascinated by the miniature trees with such clean sculptural designs.
Even as a kid I had a keen eye for these kinds of details – ha!
One of the things I vividly remember from my time living in Japan was how beautifully shaped the trees were on people’s properties. That clean geometrical aesthetic was prominently featured there. So, I guess it’s not surprising that a quilted Bonsai would make its way into the Little Forest Block of the Month Quilt 😉
QUILT TECHNIQUE FEATURED IN THE BONSAI TREE QUILT BLOCK
Last month, the Cherry Tree quilt block packed a 1-2 quilty punch on the technique front. Since that was a compound quilty challenge, I wanted this one to be singular in focus and centered on a key piecing skill to have in your quilting repertoire: small precision piecing.
I know this quilting technique tends to elicit strong feelings: you either seem to love it or hate it. I get it, it’s not for everyone.
But here’s the thing. Whether you love stitching itty-bitty pieces together or not, knowing how to instantly levels up your quilt piecing game. And that’s always a good thing 😊
This is why I love to encourage you to give it a try, then try it a little more (practice really does help here) and see how much it improves your control and precision.
TIPS FOR QUILTY SUCCESS
As with anything that might be new and entering uncharted territory, I always encourage you to take things slow and one step at a time.
Make sure you’re working with a consistent seam allowance. If you need help achieving a scant quarter-inch seam allowance, you can see how to do that here.
Also, pay attention to your pressing and cutting habits. How you prepare your materials directly impacts the results of your quilt block piecing.
The more accurate your cutting is, the greater chance your piecing will be too 😉
MATERIALS AND FABRICS YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE THE BONSAI QUILT BLOCK
Here’s an overview of everything I’m using to make my Bonsai block:
- Bonsai Pattern – Available exclusively in Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine Issue 114*
- Ruby and Bee Solids in the colours:
- Linen White for the background, although this* Ruby and Bee solid would work perfectly too!
- Sewing machine*
- Sewing machine needles*
- 50wt thread for piecing*
- Square ruler*
- Rotary cutter*
- Cutting mat*
- Pressing table or wool pressing mat*
- Small snips*
- Design wall – tutorial to make your own here
Remember when I said precision cutting comes into play with this month’s technique? It’s no mistake that this month’s sponsor is LDH Scissors as sharp efficient tools are a key element in achieving clean cuts!
I’m thrilled to share LDH Scissors is generously offering (1) Midnight Rotary Cutter and (1) Pack of Midnight Edition 45mm Rotary Cutter Blades
Participating in the monthly Little Forest BOM giveaway is super easy!
All you need to do is:
- Follow @shannonfraserdesigns @lovequiltingmag
- Follow this month’s sponsor @ldh_scissors
- Post your finished block on Instagram by August 31, 2022, at 11:59 pm EST tagging @shannonfraserdesigns @lovequiltingmag and @ldh_scissors
- Include the hashtag #LittleForestBOM
- Instagram account must be public
The giveaway is open internationally. The winner will be selected at random on September 1, 2022.
The Bonsai quilt block pattern is exclusively available in Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine Issue 114* available on newsstands in the UK and heading internationally in the coming weeks. If you’re like me and based outside of Europe, the quickest way to get your hands on the monthly quilt blocks is to get a digital subscription here*.
Can’t wait to see your blocks pop up on Instagram under the #LittleForestBOM hashtag!
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