I saw that Accuquilt had a pattern for the snail’s trail block and theirs happened to use red, white and black fabric. Their pattern calls for equal amounts of black and white and double the red but I have double the white with equal amounts of red and black but that just means that white – instead of red – will be the primary color of the quilt if I end up doing this one.
I thought I’d better practice my paper piecing skills some more as well as make a practice block. This is actually where I went wrong with making my block and I didn’t catch it until the block was finished. No worries as this is a throw away block.
They did number the blocks but I’m more of a visual learner so I drew lines to indicate yellow vs. green (the finished block is turned sideways). As usual, I kept forgetting to sew before the line began, so most of my lines were stitched twice since I turned around at the end of each one.
I didn’t mark the green vs. yellow correctly, which is why it didn’t come out like the pattern. That being said, I did at least follow the pattern that I drew. Most tutorials that I’ve seen for paper piecing suggest starting out with large scraps of fabric to make sure you cover the shape. Personally I found it was easier to make a second copy of the pattern, cut out the pieces, and then as I was cutting the fabric, trim it to 1/4″ larger around each side and use that – in other words, what the fabric would be cut to if I weren’t paper piecing. This ended up being a 7″ finished block so I might feel differently on a smaller block, but too much fabric that isn’t cut in the general expected finished shape confuses me.
I think I’ll keep this block in the list of possibilities for my future quilt. One of the best tutorials I’ve seen on paper piecing is by Stuart Hillard . I found his easier to read because it’s more then 3 pieces and his pieces, although larger than each finished cut, are relatively close in size and shape to the finished piece which helps me visualize where each piece of fabric goes.