The Gift Tree


Gift Tree, Free Motion QuiltingGood Morning, Quilters!


On Tuesday, we stitched The Pretty Packages tutorial–a modern way to wrap a package.  This tutorial was a variation of The Perfect Present free motion quilt tutorial we stitched last year.

Today, I would like to re-visit a quilt I stitched using The Perfect Present motif.


Earlier this year, we all agreed that my Floral Applique was in need of bit more quilting.

When I pulled this quilt out this year, I thought it might benefit from a few background Snowflakes (tutorial HERE)

Gift Tree, Free Motion Quilting

I decided to use Sulky’s Silver Metallic thread to create a bit of “dazzle”…

This flat, polyester thread has a beautiful, reflective shine.  It looks just like snow!

Gift Tree, Free Motion Quilting

To use specialty metallic threads:

  • Size 90 Topstitch needle
  • Lower the top tension significantly
  • Cotton in the bobbin

Gift Tree, Free Motion QuiltingIn addition, I added straight line stitching in green Aurifil cotton 50 wt thread.  This adds texture without adding more color.

Gift Tree, Free Motion Quilting


Now that I look at this on the computer screen, I wonder if I should add horizontal lines to the entire background, not just the lower area?   It would look like plaid….

What do YOU think?


PS…All tutorials, information and images are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to share, pin or tweet with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thanks!


51 thoughts on “The Gift Tree

  1. Usually I’m in favor of more quilting, but I like this just the way it is. Maybe horizontal lines will take away from the snowflake design?? Your additional quilting really makes the piece pop. Good job!

  2. Everyone is flying around trying to get ready for Christmas and you are still thinking of us 24/7 with your oh-so-unique designs. How lucky are we! We all need a break and to receive your e-mail is an opportunity for us to just breathe in your creativity.

    The package tree is gorgeous, as usual, and the snowflakes add another dimension. Horizontal vs no horizontal lines – that is the question. The horizontal lines at the bottom make it look as if the tree is standing in the forest or on your living room floor. Adding horizontal lines all the way up, as you said, would make it look like a plaid. I think that would be a bit too much of a good thing so my vote (ha) is to let the tree stand in the forest as it does now with the sparkly snowflakes coming down all around it. It’s a thing of beauty.

    Tavette – S. Fla.

  3. Lovely tree!! and yes i am sitting down for five minutes with a coffee for a bit of calm…..
    I am with the others ,the vertical lines of the snowflakes add a nice contrast to the tree and the parcels. I would say less is more here.
    So thank you for a year of inspiration, Lori, you are a great teacher and your designs are creeping into my work.I also love the chat!
    Seasons Greetings to you All from Scotland

  4. I like the quilting the way it is. The grid suggests a table or floor which would naturally be under the tree. The flakes suggest snow is falling in a window behind the tree. Perfect!

  5. I really like your tree and the fresh, modern look. I think there is just the right amount of quilting. I like the very linear appearance given by the tree and vertical snowflakes. Adding horizontal line would diminish that look and create a grid that would take away from that special tall tree and complementary snowflakes. I really enjoy your quilting tutorials-I have learned so much from them-a whole new perspective on the focal appeal of the quilting motif. I like to practice these things.

  6. I think it looks beautiful the way it is. I agree with the masses that quilting horizontal lines would take away from the snowflakes – but it’s your quilt….
    I wish you a very Merry Christmas and peaceful New Year. Thank you for your inspiration and creativity, but most of all, thank you for sharing it with us!

  7. I understand your thoughts on the horizontal lines but, as I look at the bottom portion WITH those lines, I sense that the tree would somewhat “disappear” with those additions (the “wrapping ribbon” is too similar an effect?). I love Sulky Sliver and so agree that the top tension needs a HUGE reduction with the slower speed. That ‘thread’ seems a tad “sticky” and really doesn’t slide through the tension disks very readily. I have this ‘thread’ in just about all the available colors!!!
    Love that gift tree!!!!!

  8. I agree, as well. I think more horizontal lines would drown out the present tree. A question: when you stitch a double line, do you use a twin needle or are you free motioning tight lines?

  9. I agree pretty much with all of the previous commenters.
    . Don’t add horizontal lines across the snowflake lines. That said, it does seem like it would benefit from some additional quilting, but it would have to complement the vertical snowflakes. If you hadn’t already stitched the green verticals, I would have suggested spacing them a bit closer. But to add more between the verticals now, would be too close. I keep thinking of some kind of vertical with a swirl, just a touch of wind tossing some snowflakes off of their strict vertical path. But I sure don’t know how you would do that — I can’t see a way. Basically, I’m thinking of something that kind of accents the snowfall, like the ribbon accents the packages, but “lightly” if that makes sense.

  10. stunning! I still have trouble with using metallic thread breaking. I use a wide eyed needle (100) or a metalic needle. I’ve set my thread in a cup off of my machine and still it breaks. Any help out there ladies?

  11. Good morning all. My two cents ~ less is more, leave the horizontal lines at the bottom. It will be difficult to “read” is horizontal lines are added throughout the piece. There should be no competitional lines to the tree, it’s wonderful the way it is!

  12. I have a feeling that horizontal lines might “confuse” the eye, getting mixed up with the lines from the package tree.

  13. It is absolutely beautiful!
    I love the snowflakes. I think maybe if you had horizontal lines all the way up the snowflakes will be lost. Maybe if at first you had done boxes then filled with snowflakes it would have worked, but because the snowflakes are already there its best to leave it. Now to add boxes it would be an uneven pattern.

  14. Lori, like the artist who doesn’t know when the painting is finished, your quilt is complete as is, in my opinion. I think it’s beautiful just the way it is now and, no, I don’t think horizontal lines would make it better. I just found your blog and am loving every entry you post. Thank you so much for sharing.

  15. I like the idea of the snowflakes around the tree but i think with the connecting threads between them, you lose all the beauty of the tree and your work. My opinion. I agree with you that the space around the tree could use something, but i think just the snowflakes, not the lines. Your work is gorgeous no matter what and it is your quilt, so do what you like. Sincerely, Paula K.

  16. Simple is ‘good’. Adding more would make something beautiful too busy. LOVE it just as is. It took my breath away upon seeing your design!

  17. Hi Lori! WHAT A BEAUTIFUL quilt! I’m new to your blog and I’m am constantly amazed what you come up with! Just gives me goose bumps with each of your new ideas! I think I would leave this little tree alone. I love what you’ve done this year as compared to last year. To me your little Package Tree is complete. Looking forward to more of your beauties. MERRY CHRISTMAS and I hope you have a great NEW YEAR! Kisses, jules

  18. I think quilting horizontal lines would be too much. It would look square and compete with the packages. The verticle lines are great.

  19. I think the present tree looks good now, so no more horizontal lines are needed.

    Thank-you for another amazing quilting idea. Have a Merry Christmas!

  20. I think that the plaid would fight with the packages since both are square and they will be about the same size. I vote to leave it as is. It’s perfect.

  21. I agree the additional “plaid” is not necessary. As to the question about the metallic thread breaking, I learned the spool needs to be upright, since the thread is flat, not round like cotton thread. So, if you have a vertical spool holder, use that. That solved my breakage issues.

    Good luck and Merry Christmas to everyone!!

  22. I adore this tree! I really wouldn’t add horizontal quilting at the top. I think the vertical lines give the feeling of falling snow. If I were to make any changes, I might add some snowflakes at the bottom, as though they had fallen on the plaid cloth under the tree and begun to “stick”. I just love your ideas. This little quilt is really enchanting just the way it is.

  23. Good morning and thank you for all the tutorials this year! I love that you are so willing to share these with me! I would say not to add the horizontal lines … it might be confusing to have the presents and the trees meet. If you wanted to add, what about closer vertical lines? I love this and so appreciate you!

  24. Your horizontal lines on the bottom give your piece a setting and if you are like me, Christmas is all about settings. I would leave it. It suggests such a wonderful scene.

  25. The quilting feels balanced. This one is perfect as is. The existing horizontal lines give the base balance. The old adage, “less is more”, applies here.

  26. Its just right, more, in my opinion would maybe make the tree get lost in to much background quilting. It’s just perfect!

  27. I think that the snowflakes look like they are floating down. If there were horizontal lines I think it would take that effect away.

  28. Lori, this is lovely! I am a fan of snowflakes and love them falling on this tree. I agree additional horizontal lines would not be the best but I also think it needs a bit more quilting. How about some additional vertical lines with some smaller snowflakes, interspersed between the existing snowflake lines? I love the thread you used for the snow, it’s perfect! Merry Christmas!

  29. Taking a quick break from all the chaos! Agree with everyone else, nothing extra needed. Beautiful as is. Enjoy all your tutorials and everyone’s comments. Merry Christmas to all!!

  30. I think adding extra horizontal lines all the way up will just blend it all in and you won’t be able to see the specialness of each individual facet of it. It will be too busy. Depending on what you would do with it I think a few strategically placed crystals and or beads might make it look nicer. You have already made it so beautiful. Sometimes less is better. Thanks Lori. I hope you and your family have a wonderful and blessed Christmas!

  31. Great additions to the quilt. Thanks for the good info on using specialty metallic threads, too. I would leave it as it is. The horizontal lines at the bottom look similar to a floor, and adding them all the way up would change it too much in my opinion. It’s beautiful, and the sparkle is just right for the top.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  32. I agree with the ladies above. The stars shimmer down around the tree and more lines would detract. Perfect as is. Thank you for the tips on the metallic thread also, it has always intimidated me. Merry Christmas!

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