Happy Trails Quilt Tutorial

Jenny Doan

Happy Trails Quilt Tutorial

Quilt Size: 53" x 63"
Time: 13 Minutes
Jenny Doan demonstrates how to make a super easy Happy Trails quilt out of 5 inch squares of precut fabric (charm packs). For this quilt pattern, Jenny used Mrs. Miller's Apprentice Charm Packs by Pam Buda for Marcus Fabrics. This simple project is based of the old classic known as the snail trail block, monkey wrench, Indiana puzzle, Journey to California, and Whirligig, but this version is "sew" much easier!
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video transcript

Hi everybody, it’s Jenny from the MSQC. And I’ve got a great project for you today. I can hardly wait to tell you about it. Take a look at this quilt behind me. Isn’t this fun? Now if this looks familiar to you at all it’s because a while back I did a Snail Trail quilt and that’s what this block is called. And then a gal came to see me and she said, I have this great new way to make a snail trail. And so this is like the even easy, easy, easier Snail Trail. And every once in a while we come across something like this and it’s like, I”ve got to show you. I’ve just got to show you. So thank you to Kathy for bringing this to our attention because this is a really cool method. So to make this quilt what we used was two packs of five inch squares. And we used Mrs. Miller’s Apprentice by Pam Buda for Marcus Fabrics. This background fabric right here, so the sashing and this whole first inner border is just one yard. Then for your outer border you’re going to need a yard and a quarter because we put a nice big six inch border on here. The backing, let’s see, we need 3 ½ yards for the backing and it’s just a really cute little back. So let me show you how to make this because this is super easy and super fun. And I love the idea that you can use any size square you want to make this block. So we’re using fives but literally you can use any size. So keep that in mind while we’re doing it.

So what we’re going to do is we’re going to lay out four squares and we’re going to lay out four of our blue squares first. So one, two. And they don’t have to be matching. They can be scrappy. And I’m going to get four different ones. So one, two, three, four, right here. No let’s do something else right there. Sometimes you’ve just got to go with something else. Alright then what we’re going to do is we’re going to lay four background squares on top of them. Now we have used, in this packet of Mrs. Miller’s fabric, we have used the lights and the darks in the pack. So if you want a solid background you can do that. Ours looks real scrappy because we used the lights and the darks in the pack. Alright so, oop I like them all different. Let me change this one out. One more here. Oh here’s a good one. Alright so now we have four blue squares and four background squares. And then what we’re going to do is we are going to set one aside and not cut that one. Then what we’re going to do with these other ones is we’re going to take our little 2 ½ ruler and we’re going to put them corner to corner. And on two sets of them, make sure they’re lined up really well. On two sets we’re going to just cut them corner to corner. So this one. And I”m just going to turn it like here so that you can see that I’ve cut it. And this one. And just one cut. Oops, that guy wants to get away from me. There we go. And then here’s this one like that. Now this third one right here we’re going to cut twice. So we’re going to, we’re going to cut it from this corner and this corner. And when you get done with these, these eight squares you’re going to have two blocks. So this is really cool. So I’m just going to leave this here so you can see this that I’ve cut these two this way and these two this way.

Now this one that we left whole, what we’re going to do is we’re going to put this right sides together like this. And we’re going to sew a quarter of an inch down the side because we’re making a four patch for the center of our block. So we’re going to sew just on the sides right here. You know what I’m going to press this so this lays a little bit flatter. It’s got a little bit of a, little bit of craziness going on there. Alright. So now what I’m going to do is I’m just going to sew down both sides. Alright so I’m going to sew down both sides. So I’m just going to cut it and flip the squares around and sew down here. Alright. Now what we’re going to do with this one is we’re just going to take our ruler and lay it along the edge because we’re going to cut it right in half. And this is 2 ½ . And we’re going to press these open like this. One and two just like that. And then we’re going to lay these right on top of each other. So I’m going to put this one here and this one here. And I’m putting them opposite colors. So the light to the dark and the dark to the light just like this. Match up that center seam and we’re going to sew the sides again. Alright so make sure this is lined up, nested right there in the middle. And then the same over here. And make sure that snugs right up next to there. Alright now what we’re going to do is we’re going to cut this again. So again we lay our ruler right on the edge of our fabric and we’re going to cut it open. And that’s going to give us two four patches just like that. So let me press these. I didn’t do a very good job of pressing that. It’s kind of wonky. Let me see. Give it a steam.

So now that we’ve got these nice and pressed, we’re going to come over here and I like to orient them with the light square up in the top right. And then we’re going to our little cut pile right here and we’re going to put on two sides like this. So just one square. Let me move this one over here. And we’re going to put on these two sides. Now I like to just, I generally just eyeball this. It’s about, you know, I don’t know, a quarter of an inch sticking off each side. But if you want to make sure it’s perfect you just fold it in half and make a little crease right here. We’re going to do that on both of these. And then this is going to go on the side. And you want to make sure that your, your background color is matching up with your background color. It’s in the top left. So we’re going to line this up on here and we’re going to sew one to both sides. And I”m going to do this to both of our, both of our squares. Alright now we’re going to flip it around and add that same square to the other side right here. And I’m going to notch my middle again. There we go. And one more. Alright. Alright now we’re going to press these open. This comes together so easy you guys. And I love that you can use any size square. That’s such a fun thought to me.

Alright so now what we’re going to do is we’re going to take these and we’re going to put our blue ones on either side like this. And you see what’s happening here? So I’m going to just work on one square from here on out but know that for every one that, for every time that you cut these squares you’re going to get two blocks. So I’m putting this on this side. Alright now I’m going to flip this around and add one to the other side. We’re going to press this open. Let me grab this long thread there. There we go. Alright, and now we’re going to go to our bigger squares. And again we’re going to add our light. We keep our light to the top right corner, put our light squares on first like this. And I’m just going to go ahead and press this little center place in here and a little center place here. We’re going to add this to either side. And one more on the other side. We’re going to iron it. And this is actually one of those blocks where I have a little ironing board that sits right along the side of my sewing machine and I make a little nest for myself because you’re ironing, sewing, ironing, sewing and you just want that to happen all together. Alright so this one is going to go on this side. And then this dark one will also go on the other side. Alright I’m going to go ahead and make a little crease on this to make sure that I line it up in the middle. There we go. Alright now we’re going to press this. And just like that your little block is done. And just like that you get this cute little block. Look at that. Isn’t that cute?

So just a recap on that second block, you’re starting with your lights, you know your light corner up in the corner and you put those sides on. We’re going to turn it. We’re going to add these lights or these darks to the side. Once those get on, again always keep, I always like to keep my light in the top right corner and then your lights go on there like this. And then your darks go here like this. And so out of the two blocks, out of the squares that we cut you get two blocks. And I love that idea. I just love how that goes together. It’s so quick and easy. And let me show you how this fits into the quilt. Because we set them a little differently, we set them so that all the light squares come into the center. So here’s how that works. This is going to go in here like this. And then we sashed them. So the key on the sashing is what size is your block. What size square did you begin with. So ours is, let’s see. So we’re going to cut our little sashing strip at 8 ½. And, and then we’re going to put a sashing strip in between each block. So let me cut one at 8 ½. Just let me count this now. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and a half. And again I use the sashing, I use some strips from yardage for my sashing, your background yardage. So that’s going to go here in between. And it’s going to go in between every block. So I have some more blocks over here like this. Oop, there you go. Color down. And then, then when we’re ready to add our second row, again your, your sashing strip is going to be the same size, 8 ½ and then your little square which we also cut these out of leftover charms, is going to go in the middle there. And then you just keep sashing along.

So let’s look at the quilt. So we’ve got our row here. Our four blocks with a sashing in between each one. Then we took the same size sashing, it’s the same size as your block, and put a cornerstone. Sashing, cornerstone, sashing, cornerstone. The reason I like the cornerstones is because it’s way easier to line up when you have a seam to measure to. And so it just makes a darling little quilt. It makes it really fast. This quilt measures 53 by 63 so it’s a great little size. But can you imagine how easy it is to just make this so much bigger. You just, you know, add more quilts. We only used two packs of charms. So that’s really fun to me.

So I didn’t want to call this Snail Trail because we already have one called Snail Trail so guess what, I’m calling it Happy Trails because it’s so much easier to do. And we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the Happy Trails, Snail Trail block from the MSQC.

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