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# Thread: help needed with half square triangles SNAILS TRAIL

1. http://www.5min.com/Video/How-to-Sew...Block-41451991

Check this out! It is done almost as a nine patch and has a video showing how to put it together. it begins with some kind of advertisement, but after thirteen seconds ... it starts. Hope this helps.

Just checked the video again ... it is a sixteen patch.

2. OK, I tried the math approach, but it gave me wonky numbers, so I went upstairs to check out the pattern. (It's one that's on my to-do list, so I was self-motivated :mrgreen: )

I found that the fourth square was off by 1/16" It calls for a 4 1/16" but the 4 1/8" seemed to work better. I also made the last square bigger so I could square it off.

Using a 1/4" seam allowance, my final square was 9 1/2"

Are you using a 1/4" foot?

3. try looking at compu-quilt.

they have a template for a pp'd snail's trail 6". if you pp, all you have to do is enlarge the template to 140% +/-. that will give you something in the neighborhood of 10-1/2" finished.

i found it by browsing 'snails trail quilt pattern'. i checked what was on the list and this was the easiest to use.

4. also, how many colors are you using? 2 or 4? either way, you can use the method of cutting squares diagonally in half after sewing. in each case, the extra triangles will be used in the same place in the next block. you'll actually be cutting and putting together 2 blocks at once.

5. Now, I have a question.

If I were making a snail's trail/monkey wrench/virginia reel block ...
first we make the four patch ... then, we start the swirl, eh?

Would it work to measure one side of my four patch, add 7/8 ths inch, cut a square that measured the side of the square + 7/8" and cut that in half ...

would that work?

6. I too am working on Snail Tail Blocks right now. I've been taking a class that they are a part of. Here is what we are doing.

1) make your 4 patch for the center.
2) Now with the block laid down facing you, take the same color triangle as the square that is in your upper left hand corner of the 4 patch. fold the triangle in half so you can find the center, line the center up with the center of the 4 patch and sew.
3) Turn the block 180* so that you are opposite of the triangle you just put on, now again looking at the upper left corner repeat the steps In #2
4) Turn block 1/4 turn and again repeat step 2 until the round is complete.

hope this helps. I'm enjoying making these blocks.

7. would it be easier to draw it out exactly the size you want, then cut it apart and add seam allowances for each piece? cut your strips to the necessary width and cut your pieces.

8. Your unfinished block sizes will be:

2.75 inches with just 4 patch,
3.682 inches after first triangles added,
5 inches after second triangles,
6.864 inches after third triangles, and
9.5 inches after fourth triangles.

I know this because the one and only time I made snail's trail blocks, I made a spreadsheet to compute all the required triangle and square sizes, as well as the size of the unfinished (and finished) blocks along the way. (It's kind of hard to square up to 3.682 inches, isn't it?)

After doing the math, and struggling with bias edges, and trying to line up those triangles ever so carefully, I decided to paper piece the blocks instead. I found this was much easier and faster and I was very happy with the result.

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