Sunday, July 12, 2009

What’s on my design wall today I am getting this up early as I like to post on Sunday evening and Judy asks for it on Monday. Anyway, this is what my wall looks like right now.

I have gotten 18 blocks done on my batik snail’s trail quilt. I am really loving the look. Below is a picture of how the quilt looks in Fabric Trends: isn’t it amazing how different it is with a different fabric? After I finish all the blocks (20) I will be rearranging them for a few days. I am thinking that I will do two borders, one to stop the action and the outer to finish out the quilt.

One commenter said that she had found this block difficult. I realized that I had not read the directions but had just looked at the pictures and started in. I have also realized that after the little four patch, the rest of the block is working with bias which can be tricky. Anyway, I thought I would show the process I have been working with.

First: I set up a board and picked out all the color combinations for the snails using the 2“ squares. I am using 14 fabrics, all batiks, and tried for as much value differences as possible. <> Anyway, then I take the 2” squares and sew them together into a 4 patch.

I only work on one block at a time because it is too confusing to chain stitch this block, at least for me. One thing I have learned doing these blocks is that I can finally swirl my seams on the 4 patches and get that little 4 patch on the wrong side: look, I am so proud.

Anyway, after pressing these seams it is time to sew on the first set of triangles. The first set is pretty easy as I line up the point of the triangle with the seam of the 4 patch and sew away. After stitching the first triangle I finger press that seam and then go on to the next triangle and repeat the process until I have done this four times and the round is done. Then it is time to press. I press all four seams and then trim.

My way of trimming is to line my ruler up so that the crosspoint of the new edge falls right at the ¼” mark. Because of the bias the sides may not line up perfectly but if the tails at that point are cut on the ¼” mark, you can get a perfect seam for the next round.

Second: For the next four rounds I take the next triangle and pinch it in the middle.

I then line it up with the trimmed point and move it up to that edge. Even if the full edge doesn’t line up, that one will give you the perfect point you need and the block will continue to be square.

I pin on the left side of the edge and then I turn the block over and sew where I can see those two center seams cross. Perfect every time.

Then it is finger press, pinch, line up, pin, sew, finger press, pinch, sew, etc., until the round is done. After each round the block gets a full press and trim before starting the next round.

Wow, it almost took longer to write this than it does to sew a block. With that said, I think I will get back at it. We are in the planning stages of a trip to MD in August and I would like to get this sewn and quilted so I could take it with me to do the hand stitching on the binding while I am visiting. No pressure.


Exuberant Color said...

What a beautiful quilt. Batiks are SO pretty. That is a tricky block but it looks like you figured out how to keep it square.

True Blue Nana said...

I am fascinated by this block. I am so glad you included this tutorial. I am going to try it this afternoon if I have any energy left after taking two dogs to the vet!! Do you totally hand quilt your quilts or combine hand quilting and machine quilting?

Gretchen said...

I love the quilt! Your colors are spectacular! And I think give the quilt more life than the original.

Karen Gentsch said...

I love this quilt. The batiks are beautiful. Folding the center of the triangle to line it up is a great tip.

Julie in the Barn said...

Wow, I love your color choices. I have Snails Trail on my bucket list and with your handy hints I may even attempt it sometime soon.

Susan said...

Beautiful! I love your color choices!

Judy said...

Gorgeous snail's trails. That's one I have tried yet. Your fabrics are beautiful. I didn't make it to Taco Bell, maybe later in the week. ;)

Judy Laquidara said...

Hurry up and finish it! :) I can't wait to see it. Thanks also for the tutorial.

Kay said...

Nice tutorial. However, although this is the way I did it, including the little fold, I wasn't happy with it. You have a magic touch obviously.

Roslyn said...

Love the colors in your snails blocks, Gari-haven't made one yet but it's on my list!