Today’s Free Pattern Friday is actually one of my own inventions. It started innocently enough – I thought I’d be able to whip it up in no time and have something to blog about and show off in a day or two. As always, reality is more complex but I had fun and learned a few things along the way.
I started out with a general plan for making paper snowflakes out of fabric. I was worried about fraying and how to appliqué them onto the background but thought that I could solve that problem by using Steam A Seam 2 Lite. Solving the issues that came up with this step was the largest contributor to the complexity of this quilt!
It turns out that I had only ever folded my paper snowflakes in quarters. This worked when I was a child, but did not quite achieve the intricate snowflakes that I was trying to achieve in this project. As a result, I had to find the best instructions for creating a 6 point paper snowflake. My favorite was at Instructables. The most complicated part of the process is the final folding of the triangle into thirds, but there are photos that should get you through this step without too much drama.
After my first attempt, it was clear that the Steam A Seam 2 Lite wasn’t going to work at all. The paper backing was just one too many layers when all of the folds were taken into account. I ended up choosing Shape Flex 101 because I did need some fray protection and an additional layer to keep the background of the quilt from showing through the snowflake. It was also clear that I needed to add basting stitches to the snowflake as I was folding it in order to keep the layers from shifting as I was cutting out the design. I added the basting stitches at the second triangle and tri-fold stages.
There are so many different patterns for snowflakes on Pinterest to choose from that I won’t provide you with any links. You can also create your own design. I found that it was very difficult to cut too many curves and impossible to make cuts that didn’t originate at one of the edges. Sharp scissors of several different sizes are an absolute must!!
The background for your masterpiece can be as difficult or simple as you wish to make it. I was shooting for 40″x60″, but due to what my husband says is a love affair with the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (which I think means that I jump into cutting fabric without much planning), I ended up with a somewhat smaller quilt.
I knew that I wanted to use Bonnie & Camille’s red stripe fabric from the Good Life. Isn’t it beautiful?
Unfortunately it’s not on the bias, which is what I really wanted. I thought it would be easy to create a bias stripe background but after some thinking and lots of ripping, I ended up with two different shaped backgrounds that were essentially the same size! So, I laughed and continued onward.
After I had created my background and perfected my snowflake technique, everything went together quite quickly, Since I had used SF 101 instead of a double sided fusible material, I did need to use fabric glue to baste the snowflakes to the background and then used a VERY tight meander to quilt the whole quilt. The backing is a comfy red dot flannel and the binding matches the snowflakes.
In summary, the quilt instructions are:
Create a background of approximately 40″x60″
– if you like the red stripe but not creating your own bias, you can try this fabric to achieve the same look without the drama
Create three white snowflakes
– my starting squares were 20″, 15″, and 13″
– back your white fabric with Shape Flex 101 or similar fusible material
– make sure you baste your folded triangle before cutting out the snowflake pattern
Glue baste snowflakes onto background
– this is the only thing that will keep your snowflake attached after it goes through the wash, so do a good job
I hope you have a wonderful weekend!