Snail's Trail Quilt Pattern

  • 01 of 04

    Introduction to the Snail's Trail Quilt Pattern

    Snail's Trail Quilt Pattern
    Make a Snail's Tail Quilt. Janet Wickell

    This version of the Snail's Trail quilt pattern is sewn in a neutral theme, but the quilt can be constructed with any fabrics you choose. Don't hesitate to add extra colors or to make a scrap quilt with the pattern.

    One of the Snail's Trail quilt's components is measured in sixteenths of an inch -- not a size that can be rotary cut with absolute accuracy. Patches are not difficult to estimate, and the estimates will work just fine, but you can download an optional cutting guide to tape to a rotary ruler.

    Snail's Trail quilt blocks can also be foundation pieced. That can be a good option for miniature quilt blocks, but I don't think it's worth the trouble for the 9-inch version in this quilt pattern.

    Snail's Trail Quilt: 70" x 77"

    Materials You'll Need for the Snail's Trail

    Light Neutral & Darker Neutral for Quilt Blocks

    • 2 yards of each fabric

    Straight-Set Borders

    • Dark Inner Border: 5/8 yard
    • Outer Border: 1-1/4 yard
    • Outer border illustrated is the same fabric used in quilt blocks. Change it if you wish.

    Other Materials

    Make a sample block before you cut all patches for the quilt

    Cut from each of your two contrasting fabrics:

    • Three 1-5/8" wide strips cut from selvage to selvage
    • One 1-5/8" x 16" strip
    • Three 2-1/2" wide strips cut from selvage to selvage; cut forty-two 2-1/2" squares from strips
    • Three 3-1/8" wide strips cut from selvage to selvage; cut forty-two 3-1/8" squares from strips
    • Four 4-1/16" wide strips cut from selvage to selvage cut forty-two 4-1/16" squares from strips (estimate size or use optional cutting guide)
    • Six 5-3/8" wide strips cut from selvage to selvage; cut forty-two 5-3/8" squares from strips (you might need an additional cut if fabric is narrower than normal)

    You may need to cut a few squares from remaining fabric to reach a total of 42 for each size and color.

    Cut each square in half once diagonally.

    Continue to 2 of 4 below.
  • 02 of 04

    Make the Snail's Trail Quilt Blocks

    Make Snail's Trail Patchwork
    Make Snail's Trail Patchwork. Janet Wickell

    Make Four-Patch Block Centers

    Refer to the diagram as you assemble the Snail's Trail quilt block.

    1. Sew a 1-5/8" x 42" light strip lengthwise to a dark strip of the same size. Press seam allowance towards the dark strip.
    2. Square up one end of the strip set and cut (25) 1-5/8" segments.
    3. Combine remaining like-sized 1-5/8" wide strips to make a total of 84 segments.
    4. Make a four-patch unit by sewing two segments together, placing like colors diagonally from each other. Press. Make 42 four-patch units. If four patches are bulky, try fanning out the seam allowances when you press.

    Finish Assembling the Snail's Trail Quilt Block

    Triangles increase in size around the center. Speed up assembly by chain piecing one triangle position at a time when you're accustomed to the sewing order.

    Fold triangles in half to find the midpoint along their longest edge. Match the midpoint to the midpoint of the patchwork it is matched to.

    1. Sew a light triangle cut from 2-1/2" squares to opposite sides of the four patch center, orienting it as shown. Press seam allowances towards triangles.
    2. Add dark triangles of the same size to remaining four-patch edges. Press.
    3. Continue adding triangles in pairs around the block, working from smaller to larger triangles and referring to the diagram for placement.
    4. Your block should measure 9-1/2" x 9-1/2". If it doesn't press and remeasure. If it still isn't quite right, inspect the block, looking for inconsistencies in sewing. Adjust for the next block.
    5. Make a total of 42 Snail's Trail quilt blocks.
    Continue to 3 of 4 below.
  • 03 of 04

    Assemble the Snail's Trail Quilt

    Snail's Trail Layout
    Snail's Trail Layout. Janet Wickell

    Assemble the Snail's Trail quilt by placing the blocks in seven horizontal rows. Each row contains six quilt blocks as shown. Use the diagram to help you align the blocks.

    Sew blocks in each row together. Press seams between blocks in opposite directions from row to row and join the rows, matching all seams carefully. Press the quilt.

    Add straight borders to the quilt. Make the inner border from 3-1/2" wide strips cut from dark border fabric. Make the outer border from 5-1/2" wide strips. Use my straight border instructions to construct the borders and sew them to the quilt.

    Don't be tempted to make borders that match the measurements along the sides of your quilt -- the edges are likely skewed a bit.

    Press the quilt and mark for quilting if necessary. Sandwich the quilt with batting and backing. Quilt by hand or machine. Trim excess batting and backing and square edges slightly if necessary. Sew binding strips around the quilt edges.

    Continue to 4 of 4 below.
  • 04 of 04

    Close up of Snail's Trail Quilt Block

    Snail's Trail Quilt Block
    Snail's Trail Quilt Block. Janet Wickell

    Here's a close up of the Snail's Trail quilt block.