Since I have condensed the Snowalong into 8 weeks, a bit of prep is great before we all start on Monday. Before I go much further please know that this is only for motivation, there is no deadline you have to stick to. I want you to have fun and be inspired by all of the other people sewing, that being said - go at your own pace and enjoy the process!
Since we start right into making blocks on week one there are a few steps we need to work on. Cutting our fabrics and sewing our HST (half square triangles) together. Can you do all of this one week one? For sure! You also can edit the schedule provided and make whatever number of blocks you like each week. It will get busy around Thanksgiving and other holidays so please do what you are able to when the time allows.
Choose A Pattern
First things first, you will need to choose which pattern you would like to sew along with. The two options for this sew along are the Snowflake Quilt and the Asterisks Quilt. Both are "snow" inspired - but let's say you live in Australia and you are coming up on your summer - you might like to make the Asterisks quilt as more of a mid century modern look instead of snowflakes. This is YOUR project, so do what you like!
Snowflake and Asterisks are currently on sale until October 25th when the Snowalong begins.
Choose Your Materials + Planning Your Quilt
We have a fantastic line up of kits available for both the Snowflake and Asterisks quilts. Click here to see what all is available and the links to each shop.
I also have a previous blog post where I announced the Snowalong and shared lots of great inspiration on each quilt. You can find that post here.
Also - I have a video from the very first Snowflake Sew Along that goes over how to plan out your design on the Snowflake quilt - you can use many of these same ideas on the Asterisks quilt, since it is also based on squares and HST for the layout and has divided sections for our blocks. Also in the video are some great tips on useful tools - how to mark off a larger ruler for trimming your HST, and how helpful a design wall is. Below are also some of my favorite tools that I use on both quilts and are great for other quilting projects - These are affiliate links to my Amazon shop.
Both quilts will follow along with an 8 week schedule for sewing, but which blocks you are making depends on the quilt. See below for both schedules, and find printable checklists below for each quilt.
Quilts I Will Be Making
I will be sewing along with you - in real time over the next couple of months. The first quilt I will be making is a fun Buffalo Check Version of the Snowflake quilt. I shared a blog post yesterday explaining the fabric requirements and cutting info since it is a layout that isn't included in the pattern. You will still need the Snowflake pattern to follow along with using that info. I made the mistake of leaving my computer before completing my fabric order last week, so my fingers are crossed that my fabric makes it in time for Monday. If not, no worries - I will start on my Asterisks quilt first if needed.
This fabrics I chose for this Buffalo Check pattern are Bella Solids by Moda Fabrics.
- Dark Color - Black
- Medium Color - Graphite
- Light Color - Zen Grey
- Snowflake - White
For my Asterisks quilt I will be making the 1 Color Background / 1 Color Asterisks Layout in the Large Throw. Like the Snowflake quilt there are a few different ways included in the pattern for the design. You also have the option for making the Small Throw or Bed Size in the Asterisks quilt if that fits your needs better.
The above mock up is essentially what my quilt will look like - all white snowflakes (asterisks) and the fun starry print from the Peppermint line by Dana Willard for FIGO for my background. For the back of my quilt I chose this adorable garland fabric, also from Peppermint that will compliment my Holiday decorations.
Cutting Your Fabrics
If you would like to get a head start before we work on our blocks you can begin by prepping your fabric for cutting. There is no need to pre-wash your fabrics, this may seem foreign to you if you are a garment sewer. I like to wait until I have everything quilted and the binding on before anything is washed so you achieve that yummy crinkle on your quilt. The only time I break the wash first rule is if I am using a flannel backing, or flannel for my blocks, since it tends to shrink up quite a bit more than regular quilting cotton, and if I use a red or really saturated color that I feel will bleed in the wash.
If you are using bright colors and are worried about bleeding into some lighter shades I recommend using Shout Color Catchers - throw a few in the washer with your quilt and they do a great job of trapping and locking in any loose dyes in the wash water. You can usually find these in the laundry detergent aisle at your local store.
I also like to give my fabrics a nice starch and press before cutting, especially if your yardage or fat quarters have some creases from being folded for a while. Creases in your fabrics can distort your material and cause you to have some wonky or uneven cuts.
Grab your favorite cutting mat, rotary cutter and acrylic ruler and let’s get to work!
If you have a hard time visualizing how to cut your fabric for your quilt there are a few visual guides in the pattern to help you out.
For this version there is a diagram on pg 3 of the PDF and pg 4 of the printed pattern. This shows how to best get accurate cuts from your Fat Quarters. Make sure that your Fat Quarters measure at least 18” x 21” to ensure that you have enough material for all of the squares you will need to cut.1 -Color Version + 4-Color Version:
These are pretty straight forward by following the directions in the pattern, but if you need an idea on how to get the cuts from your fabrics there are links in the PDF and printed pattern. (please note that all links are case sensitive)
- PDF - pg 3 in the top right box. You can click on this link - or copy and paste in a new screen.
- Print - pg 4 located on the top right of the page.
For this quilt there is a diagram on pg 4 of the PDF and pg 5 of the printed pattern. This shows how to best get accurate cuts from your Fat Quarters. Make sure that your Fat Quarters measure at least 18” x 21” to ensure that you have enough material for all of the squares that you will need to cut.
Notes for both quilts:
When working on a scrappy version of either quilt, be mindful when choosing which fabrics you choose for your HST (half square triangle). I like to make sure that there is a nice variety of colors wince some blocks have several HST in them. You don’t want to have too many of the same colors / prints on these so a variety is key. I would also recommend not using directional prints for the HST if you are worried about patterns being upside down. If you have directional fabrics and know that it will bother you to have the patterns upside down I would recommend buying a bit more of those and make a few additional HST so you have some facing right side up.
Once you have your fabrics cut out, and are working with a scrappy layout. I like to go ahead and pull pieces for each block. Set your stacks out and pull from each one in different combinations (including finished HST blocks). Then you can use a sticky note - folders - large ziplock bags for each block.
This ensures that you have an even overall scrappiness for the scrappy version of each quilt and you won’t end up with 10 of the same fabric in one block at the end….this has actually happened to me and was no fun.
This also makes sewing blocks up each week more enjoyable. You can pull your prepped blocks out and go to work!
What to Expect in Week 1
The first week we will be focusing on those first few blocks - for the Snowflake that will be Blocks 1-5 (If you are doing 1 or 4 color you have an easy week) and Asterisks you will have Blocks A B C (top of quilt). You will also catch up on making your HST and cutting fabrics out if you did not get a head start on that.
There will be weeks coming up that will be too hectic to sew, and that is why I want you to know that it is totally fine to stop and jump back in whenever you can. There are actually several people who are joining in the Snowalong to complete Snowflake quilts from previous Snowflake Sew Alongs - so go at your own pace.
I am so excited to be able to sew along with you all over the next 8 weeks!!