Last year I stumbled upon an idea about doing a Thankful Tree with your kiddos. How it works is that the first day of November you sit down with the Fam and each of you takes a turn saying what you are thankful for. You write it down on a leaf and put it up on the branch so you can see what you are thankful for everyday and remember what Thanksgiving is all about. Brilliant idea no? Well, this was my family's thankful tree last year:
This is my Thankful Tree this year!! Can you say Gorgeous? Fantastic? Ridiculously AMAZING! Those are all the things I made my husband say to me after I was done ;)
Now, this project takes quite a bit of time, but don't all quilting projects? It definitely is not hard but it requires patience! It's so worth it though because just think--every year you will get to pull it out and your family will get to enjoy it! Plus it's so cute--and already in my family considered an heirloom;) Ok not really--but I'm choosing to assume that my kids will remember this tradition forever and will want to continue it on in their own family--because they thought they had such a rad Mom! :) Right? Right! Holla!
So, Here's whatcha need in order to make this FABULOUS QUILTY THANKFUL TREE:
2 Strips Brown Fabric for tree trunk--front and back (I used muslin because it's what I had on hand)
1 piece fusible batting for tree trunk
1 piece of wonder under same size as tree trunk
2 fabric rectangles for the tree top (I used Muslin and a piece of red because red matched my tree)
1 piece fusible batting for tree top--same size as tree top
1 piece wonder under for tree top
1 piece of red fabric to cut out a heart
1 piece of wonder under same size as heart fabric
Embroidery hoop and thread and needle
However many strips of brown fabric you want to make for your tree trunk(I used between 30 and 40)
However many leaves you want to cut out, just remember to incorporate how many members of your family and how many you'll use each night:) (I did over 100)
Strips of sew on velcro
Pieces of velcro for however many leaves you have
3 short pieces of ribbon
Lots of coordinating thread
NoTe: Don't make your tree trunk too tall because you want little kiddos to be able to reach.
NoTe 2: Make your tree top big enough to fit all your leaves on there!
1. Cut out your leaves--make sure you cut out a front and back side. Take one side of your leaf and sew on a piece of sew-on velcro to the right side of the fabric.
Take the other side of your leaf and iron on your fusible interfacing. Now sandwich your leaves with the velcro on the outside and the interfacing in the middle. Sew around the edges. Repeat for all your leaves! (I watched Gilmore Girl Episodes while I cut out and sewed all my leaves together:)) Set aside.
2. Take your Tree Top Rectangles and iron on your fusible interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric on one rectangle. Now lay your wonder under on top of the other side of the interfacing and then put wrong side of fabric of your other tree top rectangle on top of that. Iron it until it fuses together. Now cut out a tree top shape to your liking:) Scalloped edges are cute.
3. Repeat process with Tree Trunk Rectangle pieces. Your trunk should now look like this:
Cut a around it to make it look more like a trunk:
4. Cut wavy strips out of your brown fabric scraps. I used all different lengths and widths! Pin a few on at a time. Sew in place using free motion quilting. If you have a walking foot on your sewing machine this is very helpful! If it bunches up that's great--it just adds more character to your tree trunk!
Just add a few at a time and keep going! Work your way all the way up the tree trunk!
5. Now Sew your Tree trunk to your Tree top. I just went around the edges of my little branches.
6. Next, sew on your velcro. I did mine in strips so I could fit on as many leaves as possible. Your tree is almost finished!
7. Take your ribbon and create a loop like this:
Zig Zag stitch across the back of your tree top to hold it in place. The back of your tree top should now look like this:
These ribbons are put on the back so you can hang your tree up on the wall. I put command strips onto my wall and hung the ribbon onto those!
Here's a close up of the back of my tree--see all that free motion quilting!
8. Trace your heart. I searched on google images until I found one in the size I liked. Then I traced around the edges onto my fabric. Then I printed out what I wanted to say on my heart in Word and fooled around with the sizing until I felt like it filled up my heart.
I taped my paper with my saying on it to the window, and covered it with my fabric. Then I traced the lettering onto my fabric like so: (Note: I used a fabric marker)
If you click on the image you'll be able to see my tracing. Next, I took my embroidery hoop and put it around my heart. Then I took my embroidery floss/thread and using my needle, I embroidered my saying. :)
Take a piece of wonder under and iron your cut out( I used pinking shears here to give it more of a ragged look) and embroidered heart to your tree trunk. Now stitch around the edges. And Alleluia! You are DONE!
Well, I think it is! And I'm so excited it's something I get to pull out and use every year. AND--I will never again have to cut out another maple leaf! ;)
Told ya my girls LOVE it! I know your kiddos will too! Happy Thanksgiving and remember what you are thankful for!