It's finally week 1 of the Snowalong! I am so excited to start sewing along with all of you and make some Snowflake and Asterisks quilts for the upcoming winter season.
This week we will be making our first blocks - and cutting fabrics and making half square triangles if you are starting fresh without any prep. If you missed last weeks post about getting ready for the Snowalong you can find that HERE. It has some great tips for cutting your fabrics out and making your HST (half square triangles).
I'm also a big fan of washi tape on my acrylic rulers. This helps "create a new size" without having to purchase a ruler in every size. I just tape up the area needed for my trimmed block making sure to have the diagonal line in the correct spot.
Line up the diagonal line on your ruler with your block and trim, flip around and trim the other side. Trimming is one of those chores that isn't fun, but so necessary. This will create clean and accurate blocks as we start sewing.
If you just purchased your pattern and need a little help deciding on what fabrics you might like to use, you can check out some amazing Snowflake and Asterisks kits that were curated by some amazing shops.
Week 1: Snowflake Quilt / Blocks 1 - 5
This week is about getting our HST sewn together and trimmed and making the first of many blocks for our Snowflake quilts.
Blocks 1 - 5 are pretty straight forward as far as piecing goes. In the pattern I say to press seams open - this is just my preference. I feel like it makes the blocks less bulky and is what I tend to do with all of my quilt tops. Please feel free to press in the manner that feels best to you!
Working with the Buffalo Check layout was new for me and so much fun! If you are interested in more info on this layout I have a blog posts HERE with more information as far as fabric requirements and a supplement to go with your cutting instructions in the pattern.
Another tip that really helps me keep my blocks in order is using your coloring sheet while piecing your blocks. I grabbed some scissors and cut my coloring sheet up into the blocks outlined in the pattern, numbered them to keep them in order and use those as my guide. A trickier layout like this buffalo plaid can get a little mixed up if I am not careful. Next week when we start working on blocks containing the actual snowflake you will want to make sure your blocks are perfectly in place - I have seen a few quilts where the person didn't realize that a small section of the snowflake was out of place until they completed their quilt tops.
Week 1: Asterisks Quilt / Blocks A B C (top)
If you are making the large throw you will be sewing blocks A B C (top). Top is in reference to the area the A B C are located since there is another set at the bottom of the quilt (flipped another direction).
If you are doing a scrappy background, I mentioned in the Snowalong prep last week on ways to make an even overall scrappiness for your blocks. Before I start sewing my blocks I like to go ahead and pull pieces for each block. Set your stacks of squares and HST and pull from each one in different combinations following the pieces required listed on the Block Assembly page of the Asterisks pattern (pg 6 on the PDF and pg 8 on the printed pattern).
I personally use sticky notes with the block number to keep my piles organized, but you can use zip lock bags or a tray to stay organized. This ensures that you have an even overall scrappiness for the scrappy version of each quilt and you will not end up with 10 of the same fabrics on that last block.
When you are working with your quilt blocks, you might be a fan of chain piecing. or even webbing a quilt top. This is essentially chain piecing x10.
I like to lay out my quilt block in order next to my sewing machine - keeping my coloring sheet nearby for reference.
I sew the first two blocks on the left hand side together, chain piecing the next two blocks and so on until I have the first two columns of the quilt block pieced. Instead of trimming these threads I go back up to the original two blocks and add the third block to each row. As you keep doing this it creates a "web" of blocks.
Now you have all of your rows completed and in order!
Some people like to take this and press the seams to the side so that they can nest the rows together and quickly sew the rows together. I actually like to snip my threads and press my seams open, then sew together. Kind of defeats the purpose of webbing this block, but some habits are hard to break. Do what feels best to you!
What to expect in Week 2
In week 2 we will finally get into some fun blocks on the Snowflake quilt and have some completed Asterisks on the Asterisks quilt. This part is fun because you really start to get an idea on how all of your fabrics are going to look together!
We will be working on blocks 6 - 7 - 8 on the Snowflake quilt and Blocks D E (top) on the Asterisks quilt, so it will be a nice break from all of the cutting, half square triangle making that we had this week.
If you missed the printable checklist on prep week you can find and print those here - there is one for the Snowflake and the Asterisks quilt.
Be sure to tag your projects using @snowalong on social media or add your progress photos to the Modern Handcraft Pattern Group on Facebook so we can all see your amazing work!
Happy sewing friends!