MAY INSTRUCTIONS 2020 Seattle MQG Block of the Month project: Cascadia Cabin in the Woods

July 20, 2023 5:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


This is the fourth installment in the 2020 Seattle Modern Quilt Guild BOM project! Your guides on this journey are Susan Pray (IG: @sushi.farmer) and Kathy McGinnis (IG: @a_swede_life). 

What, you haven’t started yet? It’s not too late to join in and create your own version of this wonderful quilt. All the instructions posted so far are available on our website here.

Your fabric choice will make this project sing!

How will you put your own design spin on this pattern? The fabrics you choose from your stash will make it your own. Here’s the original design:

Here’s a monochromatic color scheme, with all shades of blue:

How about a fall color theme, with a purple sky?

Or, why not go black, white and grey?

The design possibilities are limitless as are the options to make some blocks improv style. Here’s the coloring sheet again, which is also included in the February blog post, if you’d like to print out a copy and play with color combinations:

Let’s make some trees!!!  

This month’s blocks are improv but for those of you who have some concerns, be not afraid, my friends.  We will walk you through it start to finish and you’ll have an entire forest of twenty-five trees very soon.

You may have lots of experience making improv triangle trees already.  If that’s the case skip the end for the total number and sizes of trees needed.  Boom!  Wasn’t that easy?  If you want to see some different methods of tree construction please peruse the two links given below.  The first link is the method used in the how-to photos below.

Amy Smart from Diary of a Quilter has an easy to follow improv tutorial on trees for a Christmas quilt which you can see here. Unfortunately the finished trees are not the right size for our use but you can get the general idea of construction which was used in the photos below.

Leanne from She Can Quilt has an improv tree tutorial with a different type of construction which can be found here. Leanne’s trees do not have trunks as Amy’s do but those could be added.

Fabric Requirements:

Forest background: 1.5 yards or equivalent scraps. Reserve large scraps and additional yardage for sewing the forest blocks together next month.  See February post for complete listing of yardage requirements. In this tutorial the forest background fabric is all the same, in the original quilt the forest background was all scraps.

Trees: 25 large scraps of various sizes or about a yard.

Trunk fabric: small scraps.

Cutting Directions:

Please note these are the minimum dimensions of fabric needed to make each size of block, you may use larger pieces.  You may wish to cut larger background pieces when you’re first doing trees until you get the hang of how the shape works with improv piecing.

Background pieces quantity and minimum size:

  • (12) – 6” x 8”
  • (4) – 7” x 8”
  • (3) – 8” x 10”
  • (5) – 10” x 10”
  • (1) – 10” x 12”

Tree fabric pieces quantity and minimum size:

  • (12) – 4.5” x 6”
  • (4) – 5.5” x 6”
  • (3) – 6.5” x 8”
  • (5) – 8.5” x 8”
  • (1) – 8.5” x 10”


  • Cut small scraps as needed.

For a 4.5” x 6.5” tree you’ll need one tree piece at least 4.5” x 6” (on the left) and one background piece (on the right) at least 6” x 8” as shown below.  Also cut a small piece of trunk fabric, about 1.25” x 2”. 

Lay the tree fabric over the background fabric and make a cut across the bottom of the background fabric for your trunk space. Then cut that bottom background strip in approximately the center to yield two pieces that will go on either side of the trunk.  

For the tree itself, make two cuts through the tree and background fabric to define your triangular tree shape.  A ruler was used to make straight cuts but these cuts could be freehand. 

Place a small scrap of trunk fabric (about 1.25” x 2”) in the center of the bottom background piece.

Discard the extra tree fabric and extra background fabric.

Sew the triangle of tree fabric into the background fabric, pressing as you go.  Sew the trunk scrap into the center of the background and trim.  Then sew the bottom piece onto the top and trim to 4.5” x 6.5” for the final unfinished size.  

Here is another more wonky and playful 4.5” x 6.5” tree.

Then there were three.

You may wish to cut multiple trees at one time by layering your tree and background fabrics before making the cuts.

Finalize Your Tree Blocks

Total number of tree blocks needed by size (includes seam allowance):

  • (12) – 4.5” x 6.5”
  • (4) – 5.5” x 6.5”
  • (3) – 6.5” x 8.5”
  • (5) – 8.5” x 8.5”
  • (1) – 8.5” x 10.5”

You will have a total of 25 trees in your forest. 

We will assemble 1 – 4 of the 8 forest blocks in the June 1st SMQG 2020 BOM post next month.

Pinterest Board:

Basic Seminole Patchwork by Cheryl Greider Bradkin, 1990

Liberated Quiltmaking II by Gwen Marston, 2010

Modern Blocks: 99 Quilt Blocks from Your Favorite Designers, complied by Suzanne Woods, 2011

Modern Plus Sign Quilts by Cheryl Brickey and Paige Alexander, 2018

Simply Seminole by Dorothy Hanisko, 1997

There will be a prize for progress!

Don’t forget to tag your progress pictures on Instagram! Seattle MQG members who post their BOM progress on Instagram using the hashtags #cascadiacabinquilt or #smqgbom2020 by midnight, May 12th will be entered into a drawing for a nice prize, which David will mail to the winner. Not on Instagram? No problem. Simply email us at by the same deadline with a photo of your BOM progress. The drawing will be held live during our May 13th Zoom membership meeting. Need not be present to win, but you do have to submit your progress to be included.

Also continue to use the hashtags #seamqg  #seattlemqg  #showusyourmqg and #seattlemqgsewathome to share the wonderful quilts you’re creating.

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