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Tree of Life
by Maria N. Filosa

In Colonial times, many evenings were passed creating decorative stitching samplers. Sewing in all forms was an important daily task from clothing to quilts. This project has a different twist on quilting by using a traditional pattern on a non-traditional surface, brown paper.

You will need:

  • Large brown paper bags or brown paper
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Small zig-zag scissors
  • 12" Ruler
  • Hole punch
  • Red and blue plastic canvas yarn
  • Construction paper:
    White,Blue, Red, Green, Brown
  • Tapestry needle
  • 13" x 13" Quilt batting
  • #2 Pencil
  • Spring type clothes pins
Tree of Life Quilt Image


  1. Cut two 13" x 13" pieces of brown paper. Draw placement lines lightly in pencil on one sheet.
  2. Cut an 8" x 8" piece of blue construction paper then glue to the center of brown paper. Cut a tree trunk out of brown construction paper using pattern. Glue the trunk to the blue paper. Cut out 20-25 green leaves with zig-zag scissors using the leaf pattern. Punch 12 circles out of red construction paper then glue the leaves and circles onto the blue paper for the top of the tree.
  3. Cut 4 strips of white construction paper 11/2" wide and 101/2" long. Glue to the brown paper to make the border. Cut the red construction paper into fourteen 11/2" squares. Cut each square diagonally into two triangles. Glue onto the white border.
  4. Place the batting on the square of plain brown paper, then place your quilt pattern on top. Hold together with a clothes pin at each corner. Pierce the paper with the needle to make stitching holes. Stitch layers together with blue yarn using a running stitch on the brown border between the edge of the blue and white. Stitch around the outside edge with red yarn and blanket stitch.


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