Free Motion Quilting: Tree Wall Hanging

I finally forced myself to get a good start on a wedding gift for a young lady at our church. Her wedding shower was Disney's classic Robin Hood and the invitations had a tree with their initials on it. So I ran with that idea and am quilting a tree wall hanging with, of course their initials on it. It all starts with a drawing on paper. The hardest part was figuring out how to do the leaves.

tree sketch
Then it's time to draw some guidelines on the fabric. I rarely follow lines exactly, so I just need some general outlines and shapes to follow. I use air-soluble or disappearing marker. One those purple lines disappear, no one knows if I'm a little off.
sketch of tree on fabric
 This gives me a chance to adjust the drawing to scale on the fabric and makes it pretty fast. Below is some of the stitching in the root area of the tree. You can see how I did not follow those drawn lines. I love the "free" in free motion quilting!
Free motion quilting tree detail 1
I want the tree to have some dimensionality from the background, so I'm using a trapunto technique here. Stitching the top on one layer of batting, with no backing. Then I'll trim the batting before layering it onto the regular batting and the backing.

free motion quilting adventures, free motion quilted tree
In the above picture, you can see I've trimmed much of the batting away. I still need to add more leaves to the top, so that horizontal wrinkle is where there's still batting for the top.

free motion quilting adventures, free motion quilted tree detail

So far, so good. I think maybe I should have used a darker thread for this, and I may switch to a darker thread for the background. But overall, I'm pleased. I've only worked about 2 hours so far on this including a lot of blank staring design work.

Stay tuned and I'll show you the rest of it when I get it done. I even shot some video of it today, though with the gray thread on gray fabric, I'm not sure if you can really see much in the video. I'll have to see what Youtube magic I can find.

I'm sharing this on Leah Day's Free Motion Friday blog linky. See the Free Motion Quilting Project blog for more inspiration.

I'm also posting this over at Nina Marie's. If you haven't seen her blog, you should check it out! A very creative gal is she and she's also got a piece in the upcoming Sacred Threads exhibit.

Have you been having any free motion quilting adventures of your own this week? Please share in the comments. I love to hear from you!


  1. wow. beautiful and so sweet. I know exactly the scene (I've watched that movie at least a million times) and you've done it justice! They are lucky to receive such a thoughtful lovely gift!

    1. Oh good!! I'm glad you've said so. I had already tossed the invitation and was going from memory.

  2. Oh it is beautiful!! What a thoughtful gift, it will be cherished by the couple.

  3. Thank you all for your kind comments! I've stitched on it a bunch this weekend and am getting started on the background. Can't wait to finish it, take a few pictures to post here and then give it to one of the cutest couples I've seen in quite a while.

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  11. Each branch and leaf tells a story, inviting you to pause, breathe, and find solace in the gentle sway of nature's embrace. With a tree wall hanging adorning your walls, every day becomes a journey through the forest of your imagination.

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