Snail’s Trail Take Two

Just wanted to show a couple more layouts for the Snail’s Trail block. I am sure there are many more, so as not to let a single image limit our possibilities. I can remember when I first taught my children to sew. When they looked at a pattern in the pattern book, the only thing they saw was the actual picture. It took a lot of discussion for me to convince them that they would be using fabric that they chose and making the garment in their own style.

The first image shows the block as an “economy” or “Square in a Square” block layout. The blocks are done in a positive/negative alternating arrangement. This doesn’t look like a Snail’s Trail at all, but the cut pieces are the same.

Snail's Trail

And this is a fun layout and requires two different blocks that are mirror images of each other as well as particular attention to color layout. Snail's Trail2

Do you have a favorite layout for the Snail’s Trail block? 
 

Snail’s Trail Quilt

The Snail’s Trail is one of my favorite quilt blocks. Here are some layout options as well as the dies needed to cut it with the new BOB die or with the alternate individual dies.  Yesterday’s blog on AccuQuilt features the Snail’s Trail block. While they use a new BOB die and the new GO! Big die cutter, some of us already have dies for the AccuQuilt GO! that will make this quilt with just a little more effort until we save our pennies for the newest tool. If you love the pattern as much as I do, you may want to go ahead and make a block or two. There are cutting instructions using alternate dies shown below. The AccuQuilt GO! quilt pattern is a free download.

Here are a couple of additional layouts besides the one that is shown on the AccuQuilt blog. These layouts turn the blocks so that the monkey wrenches interlock. The large triangle on the outside would be a great place to use an allover novelty print.

Snail's Trail Layout 1Snail's Trail Layout 2

 

I drew the block in EQ7 and printed the rotary cutting instructions and added the die cutters needed in red to the instructions. Click on either page below to download the pdf version.

Snail's Trail Rotary 1Snail's Trail Rotary_Page_2 
 

AccuQuilt BOB Blog Hop: Rob Peter to Pay Paul

B-200x200-BlogHop-1408

This blog hop has been so much fun. I love seeing what everyone has done with these quilt blocks–And today is my day. Curved blocks are always a challenge, and also one of my favorites. With curves it seems there are fewer seams, simpler blocks, and endless design opportunities. The block I chose is Rob Peter to Pay Paul. It is sometimes called Orange Peel. This turned out to be the perfect opportunity to make gifts for upcoming events and holidays. RPPP packaging

This is the AccuQuilt BOB Die set for this block. It consists of two shapes, a center and a half melon. One of the nicest things about this block is that while there are curves on the inside, it is stitched into a square block and can be set on point or horizontally. The challenging part of this block was not piecing it, but finding the perfect combination of connecting the two shapes to get a perfect 7 inch finished block. While the points at the apex of the curve are always matched, I tried easing the concave and convex curves into each other a couple of different ways. The final and best solution was a partial seam approach.

And to be fair, my way is not the ONLY way. There are other ways to stitch this block together–I used fabric basting glue, but some actually stitch it without pins or glue–give it a try and see what works best for you.

This video demonstrates how I pieced this block.

AccuQuilt is offering this free pattern for a pillow topper during the blog hop. Click on the picture below and it will take you to their website where you can download the pattern. free pattern

 

I took inspiration from Ebony Love’s Studio Quilt Along to make this beautiful combination using the Rob Peter to Pay Paul quilt blocks. It was fun to mix up the colors.RPPP-flower

 

This is a Christmas quilt that I started. This is so pretty in the classic red and white. RPPP-red and white

 

And here are a couple of fun virtual quilts that I created with Electric Quilt software. As I said, the possibilities are endless. The first is another red and white with a negative block in the center. The second has a border around each individual block. Virtual quilt 01 virtual quilt 02 Now I really must get back to stitching–this is to much fun. Do you like curved piecing? Have you made a Rob Peter to Pay Paul / Orange Peel quilt?

And just in case you’ve forgotten – here are the participants:

August 18th – Samplings from a Blue Ribbon Girl – GO! Flowering Snowball

August 19th – Strip Quilter – GO! Ohio Star
August 20th – Freemotion by the River – GO! Log Cabin
August 21st – A Quilting Life – GO! Dresden Plates
August 22nd – Pleasant Home – GO! Blazing Star
August 23rd – Living Water Quilter – GO! Hunter Star
August 24th – Ray’s Sew Crafty – GO! Double Wedding Ring
August 25th – Blue Feather Quilt Studio – GO! Rob Peter to Pay Paul
August 26th – One Stitch at a Time – GO! Double Wedding Ring
August 27th – Beaquilter – GO! Log Cabin
August 28th – Sew Incredibly Crazy – GO! Rob Peter to Pay Paul
August 29th – Sew Fresh Quilts – GO! Ohio Star 
 

Log cabin quilts

Recently on the AccuQuilt Facebook group there has been a discussion about log cabin quilts. And particularly about curved log cabins. It’s one of my favorite quilt blocks. I thought I would revisit the curved log cabin with cutting diagrams for 8 inch and 10 inch finished blocks that can be cut with the 1-1/2″ and the 2″ strip cutter dies.

This is a curved log cabin that I made 15 or more years ago–I still love it.

Curved Log Cabin Quilt
Curved Log Cabin Quilt

To create these cutting charts I used EQ software and printed out the rotary cutting instructions. Then I used the text tool to write the cutting instructions on the quilt block set into a one block quilt layout. Click on the image to download the pdf file for the 8″ and the 10″ blocks.

LC-curved-8in finished
8 inch finished curved log cabin block
LC-curved-10in finished
10 inch finished curved log cabin block

A curved log cabin can’t be cut with the log cabin die, so you would need to follow the method shown in this Youtube video.
 
 

Strip Twist on Point

I received a comment from MaryAnn yesterday asking for the pattern for the Strip Twist on Point. My friend Sherry found a picture of this and wanted to make it as a wedding gift for her son. When we googled it, the only pattern that could be found has been out of print for many years. It’s a design I had played with in EQ7 (who says great minds don’t think alike), so we gave it a try and found that it is Bonnie Hunter’s exact Strip Twist pattern but is set on point. Setting it on point is the only change. To get the beautiful color layout, the strips have to be placed exactly with one strip set going from dark to light and the second strip set going from light to dark. When the strip sets are joined into blocks, the layout becomes apparent.

Follow Bonnie’s instructions to the point that the blocks are made. Then create your layout on-point and you will have the beautiful gradations in color.

Here is a diagram of the block layout to help you see how this works.

Strip Twist Block Layout
Strip Twist Block Layout

And this is Sherry’s finished quilt (from her Facebook post) so you can see how she used different widths of strips to get the effect she wanted.

Sherry's Strip Twist
Sherry’s Strip Twist on Point

This photo is from the experiments Sherry and I did in January. You can see that it would have been better to have blocks all the way to the corner (half blocks) rather than plain setting triangles. But it was just an experiment. . .

IMG_5141

I hope this inspires you to go out and make a gorgeous quilt. If you do, please send a picture. 
 

Red and White EQ Blog Hop

The Red and White EQ Blog Hop is only on it’s second day. Already there are the most wonderful tutorials and inspiring tips. Here are the links for the whole week.

Monday, January 27th –SewCalGal

Tuesday, January 28th -Marlene at Kissed Quilts

Wednesday, January 29th -Connie at Freemotion Quilting By The River

Thursday, January 30th -Bea at Beaquilter

Friday, January 31st -Raewyn at Love to Stitch

 

And if this inspires you, then please check out the Year of Red and White Challenges at SewCalGal’s Blog.

artwork year of red and white quilt challenges_edited-1

  
 

Experimenting with Strip Twist

Last weekend at Quilt Retreat Sherry and I were experimenting with Bonnie Hunter’s Strip Twist to see if we could make a quilt that she envisioned making for her son. Somehow we couldn’t get the pieces for the blocks we wanted without making a second block (and in the end a second quilt). But Monday morning, I decided to take the holiday to give it another spin. Using strips from the 2-1/2″ strip bin, this is the result. It is the Strip Twist pattern from Bonnie with the colors going from dark to light in the strip sets. When the strip sets are joined, it creates a block that goes from dark to light on one side and light to dark on the other side. When set into an on point layout, it creates this great design.

IMG_5141

 

strip twist1

 

At quilt retreat, I almost finished this one (which is the double rail fence with 3-1/2 x 6-1/2 inch rectangles) and continued to work on it at home. It went onto the longarm on Sunday and was quilted. The binding was stitched on with the quilting machine, so I am going to finish the binding–maybe by hand while watching movies in the evening. IMG_5143

 

Here are some pics from quilt retreat. We had a great time.

IMG_5139 IMG_5137 IMG_5136 IMG_5135

 

 

 

 

  
 

Shadowed Rail Fence Variation

Sherry has taken some scraps and made a wonderful variation on the Rail Fence. It is a beautiful design, so I am going to show you pictures and do a brief tutorial on putting the block together. The instructions are linked under Free Quilt Patterns on the right.

Here’s the finished quilt:

Shadow Rail Fence quiltShadowed Modified Rail Fence

And this is the block with cutting instructions. You can cut with a rotary cutter or use your AccuQuilt strip dies. If you use the AccuQuilt strip dies, use the 3-1/2″, 2-1/2″, and 1-1/2″. You would cut 6-1/2″ across the width of fabric and then fanfold the fabric across the die:

SRF Block Cut Instr.

Arrange your blocks as shown here or in the instructions–or play around with it and come up with your own design. These would look great set on point or in a pinwheel or converging to a center. In EQ, I played with the colors and switched the light and medium. That’s really pretty too.

Shadow Rail Fence EQ

 
 

Grandmother’s Flower Garden Options

Grandmother’s Flower Garden is a very fun machine embroidery project because it goes so fast. Because of the size of the hexagons, I was able to use jelly roll strips for cutting the hexagons. I just fanfolded the strip across the hexagon die and cut six hexies at a time. (However, the new multi-hexie die came yesterday, so now I can cut more at a time. I hope it works as well with the jelly roll.

I’ll do a full tutorial as soon as I take some pics of the process, but will just explain it here. These are the steps.

1. Hoop fabric and stabilizer. (I used the Sulky Soft n Sheer cut away stabilizer – it is wonderful for light weight stitches for soft quilts). The fabric was hooped on point.

2. Stitch the placement line for the hexies onto the background fabric.

3. Use a glue stick or pen just inside the placement line of each hexie.

4. Place the center hexie first, then add the flower petal hexies. They fit together like a puzzle and go right up to the stitches and each other. You can use a cuticle stick or Purple Thang if needed to manipulate them. The glue softens the fabric and makes it easy to manipulate.

5. Put it back onto your machine and stitch away. The design will stop to use a different color for the center, but I decided I liked having a lighter/contrast center fabric and having the design stitch in the same color as the petals.

As for the design, I tried multiple layouts. My goal was to make the flowers sit together in the same layout as a traditional GFG. The only way I knew to do that was to set the blocks fairly close together on a solid background. After stitching nine flowers, I stopped. I had drawn a grid on the fabric and was aligning each grid on the hoop for each flower. The weight of the fabric was too much. I realized I could get the same effect with blocks set on point, so that’s when I changed to the current layout. Here’s what I have so far.

These blocks will finish at 7″ x 7″. They will be closer together by 1/2″ when the seams are finished. I think I like this. If they’re still too far apart, I may cut them down to finish at 6-1/2 x 6-1/2″. This is one time I don’t mind having an odd sized block if it makes the project work.

IMG_4536

I tried multiple layouts in EQ7 to see what would work. You can see the options below. It was very difficult to get an alternate block with squares an even size when the finished block would be 7″.

gfg 9 patch gfg alt block gfg on point gfg sashed 
 

EQ Stitch

Just a quick note here about EQ Stitch, as the special price on it goes through the end of March. It is a great program and I highly recommend it for those who want to incorporate machine embroidery in their quilts and designing. While I plan to write a full review and a tutorial on digitizing for die cut applique shapes in EQStitch, there just isn’t time this week. But it is a great tool for quilters.

EQStitch is not a full featured digitizing program, but what it will do is allow those who do not want to learn or pay for a full featured digitizing program to create simple machine embroidery including great applique designs for your quilt blocks. The reason I started digitizing in the first place was that I couldn’t find the applique designs for the quilt blocks I wanted to make. With EQStitch, you will be able to do that. And if you are a digitizer, it is a great “linking” software between EQ quilt design and machine embroidery.

More later–after Easter!

Here’s one I quilted last week. Thought you’d like to see how nice it looks finished.

IMG_3492