This month I used my GO! Qube Mix & Match 6” Block Set, and the GO! Big Snail's Trail 12” finish die to create a Table Topper for the 4th of July. I kept the project small so even the busiest of sewers can whip this up in time for the holiday!
Designed by Heidi Pridemore
Growing up in Rochester, NY, the 4th of July was the start of picnic season especially since sometimes it does not warm up until the end of June! We would be outside for the whole day and at the end of the day we would watch fireworks from our front yard. But since I moved to Phoenix 20 years ago, now the 4th of July means something entirely different. It means triple digit heat and the start of our cabin fever. It is way too hot to have a picnic outside so we tend to stay in the air-conditioned house for our party. I designed “Fantastic Fireworks” so I can remember my childhood 4th of July celebrations while enjoying my indoor picnic in Arizona.
The pattern for this month’s project “Fantastic Fireworks” is free from The Whimsical Workshop, and you can download it here. We have also included traditional cutting instructions for this project in the pattern, too. Also I was able to make up a few fabric kits for this project using the same fabrics as shown here. These are available on our website at www.TheWhimsicalWorkshop.com. Make sure to get one before they are all gone.
This month I am sharing some photos of how crazy easy it is to make Snail's Trail blocks with the AccuQuilt GO! Big Electric Fabric Cutter and GO! Big Snails Trail die, and also how to work with the directional prints in the border. As always, make sure to refer to the pattern for the complete instructions since this is just an overview of the project.
Snail's Trail has been one of my favorite blocks forever. So when I had the opportunity to use the Snail's Trail die along with my GO! Qube 6” finished set, I jumped at the chance. I thought this block was a perfect representation of fireworks, so I designed the topper with this in mind. The way the die is designed is that you only need two rectangles of fabric to get all the pieces for one block. For my project, I decided to use four fabrics in each block, which means I am cutting enough pieces to make two blocks from four rectangles. In the past when I have cut the pieces for a Snail's Trail, it took about 30 minutes for something this small. Using the GO! Big Electric Fabric Cutter and the GO! Big Snail's Trail Die, it took under 2 minutes to cut all the pieces you see above. Amazing!! I am in love!!!!
Once all the pieces are cut, time to move on to the piecing. It is important to note that anytime you are working with triangles, you have bias edges that like to stretch. So you need to be gentle with them and not overwork them. Another great part of die cutting the shapes for this block is each piece is cut exactly to size and the corners are angled. This means you do not need to trim the excess fabric at each corner (dog ears) and you can use this angled edge as a guide to line up the pieces as you go. When using four fabrics you will end up with two different block layouts and that works perfect for this project.
Now on to the pieced border! In this border I used one fabric that happened to be directional. I did not worry about the direction of this print in the Snail's Trail blocks, since I love the movement the pattern was creating. But for the borders, I did want to control the placement of this fabric. I used the die #4 from the GO! Qube 6” set to cut the triangles from the directional fabric. This makes one triangle in each direction from each square as shown above.
Now for the tricky part, making sure to create the correct number of each unit needed for the pieced border. To do this, first I lay out the pieces into piles for each unit. Then I sew each unit in the pile together before moving to the next pile. This hopefully will keep me from making a mistake in regard to the fabric direction.
Once I have all the piles sewn together, I sew the units together to create the borders. Now my borders are ready to sew the quilt top. Make sure to pay attention to the fabric direction when sewing the borders to the quilt top.
Finished size 30” x 30”
Now I am ready for the 4th of July as well as Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day, and Veteran’s Day. You can also make more blocks to create a throw or bed sized quilt for your favorite soldier. I hope you enjoyed this project. These little toppers are like potato chips, and you can’t just make one. This pattern will work with any style of fabric. As always, I would love to see what you come up with. We would love to add you to our Bragging Rights Page on our website!
Make sure to visit my blog each month where I will share with you some tips and tricks on cutting and assembling of the project of the month along with posting the free pattern on our website.
Until next time…..