Monday, October 20, 2014

Snowalong Week 4!

Snowflake 4 cropped squareWe’re already halfway through the Snowalong Sew-along!  Be sure to go have a peek at the snowflake blocks other quilters have shared.  So far we’ve seen a few flurries over on the Facebook group. Tracy, Sisi, Linda, Tanya, Deanna and Deb have all shared at least one snowflake.  Here on the blog, Deb (who also posted on FB!), Judy and Sandra have shared as well. Thank you all for participating! I’m hopeful that a few more of the 850+ folks who have downloaded a pattern will be inspired to share their efforts as well!  (Pretty please?  I’d really love to see them!)

Before I share the link to the week 4 pattern, I have just a few things to share about paper piecing.  I know some of you have had your blocks finish smaller than intended, and I have been racking my brain looking for clues about what might cause this and how to avoid it.  Here are a few ideas.  I don’t guarantee they’ll solve the problem, but if you’re tearing your hair out because of shrinking blocks, these might be worth a try.

1. Press at each step, but hold the steam.  Steam can make your paper shrink, and that will alter the size of the printed template.  Even a small loss can add up to measurable loss over several patches.

2.  Choose your paper carefully.  Thick paper results in a thick fold at the seam allowance where pieced sections are joined.  That thickness eats up a little bit of size. Again, a little bit of loss adds up over several sections.

3.  Alternatively, if you don’t have thinner paper, consider removing the paper from the seam allowance before you sew pieced sections together, to remove the thickness that way.  Just remember to sew with a 1/4” seam allowance, and to handle the sections carefully to avoid stretching anything out of shape.

4. I am sure you all do this anyway, but I’ll repeat it just in case. Check that the templates printed out at the correct size.  To test the size, measure the test block that prints out on each template page.  It should measure 1 “ square.  If it doesn’t, you’ll need to adjust the scaling, either by setting scaling on your printer, or by enlarging or shrinking the page on a photocopier.  I’ve been told that printing from an iPad results in losing 1/8.  To correct that you would need to print at 114%. (I think that’s right.  Be sure to check your results before heading off to the sewing machine!)

If anyone else has any tips to add, please share in the comments below!

Now, on to Snowflake 4. The block at the top of this post is this week’s snowflake. It's available here
 Update June 23, 2019:  The Snowflake 4 pattern is now available as part of the Snowflakes Sampler Set 2 or as part of the Snowflake Blocks Complete Set in my Etsy Shop.


I suggest 4 different versions of this one.

Snowflake 4 v1Snowflake 4 v2Snowflake 4 v3Snowflake 4 v4

Finally, here’s my snowflake sewing for the week.

snowflake runner top

I had a request earlier in the Facebook group for fabric requirements and directions for this runner.  Leave me a comment and share a snowflake (in the linky below if you have a blog or in the FB group)  if you would like me to share this.  If there is enough interest and participation, I’ll take the time to write up the pattern.

Link up!


  1. My four snowflakes have all turned out at what you specify: 9.5". I did check the 1" box you give on the pattern and it measured 1". I'm using Reynold's white freezer paper, which I cut to 8.5X11". These are great patterns, Joanne, and your runner is adorable. You're putting a TON of work into this, and I thank you!! :-)

  2. Another pretty flake design! Thank you!

  3. Ditto what Sandra said!! (except I'm not using freezer paper, using newspaper print paper) Double thank you, Joanne, I am amazed at these patterns! :)

    I have fabric for two of the week three snowflakes cut, going to sew them now... hopefully I will have three new ones to link tomorrow ;) I've been busy quilting. . . but dreaming of snow the entire time!

  4. Wow -- these are just gorgeous!! I'm really impressed -- I love snowflakes! :)

  5. I've never paper pieced (but then I'm probably too slapdash!) but these are so pretty it's inspiring.

  6. I'm saving these for sure and hope I can get some made in the near future.

  7. You just keep tempting me, don't you? I think maybe I like this last one best, but I can't be sure! I love them all. ---"Love"

  8. I'm saving them off and have my next snowflake printed off.... but I have to get a few things done first before I can play with snowflakes! Hopefully next Monday I can play again.


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