Snowball quilt blocks are an excellent choice for quilting beginners because of their easy construction and simple piecing. They look great by themselves in a quilt but also work well in combination with others, in particular the 9-patch block.
The traditional way to make a snowball block was to sew it as a 9-patch, with half square triangles (HSTs) units in the four corners. But now, most quilters use a much easier technique called the ‘Quick Corner Method’. That’s what I’m going to share with you today.
In this tutorial, I have focused on putting four blocks together to create a little flower design. Perfect for a funky cushion cover or tote bag panel.
At the end of the tutorial, I talk about how you can combine it with other blocks for use in a larger quilt.
- All seam allowances are ¼”
- RST = Right Sides Together
- Each finished block is 6” x 6″
- Finished panel is 14″ x 14″
The fabrics used in this tutorial are from our Floral Passion Fat Quarters Bundle.
- Colour A (light beige vine) cut (4) 6½” squares
- Colour B (pink linen) cut (4) 2½” squares
- Colour C (lilac vine) cut (8) 2½” squares
- Colour D (dark purple leaf) cut (4) 2½” squares
- Colour D (dark purple leaf) cut (2) 12½” x 1½” strips
- Colour D (dark purple leaf) cut (2) 14½” x 1½” strips
Take all of your small squares and draw a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner on the wrong side of the fabric. I draw my lines with a water soluble pen, but if you haven’t got one don’t worry as you will not see the line in your finished block.
Take 1 large square and four small squares. Place your large square right side up and position your small squares so the you have RST. Place the colour A in the top left corner, colour B in the top right and bottom left corners and finally colour C in the bottom right corner. Pin in place and then sew on the diagonal lines that you have just drawn (as shown in the photo above).
Repeat for the other 3 blocks.
Trim off the corners ¼” above the sewn line
Open out the piece and press flat with an iron.
Place the two top pieces with right-sides together and sew on the vertical seam. Repeat for the bottom 2 pieces. Open out and press flat as shown in the photo above.
Take your top row and bottom row and place RST and sew on the horizonal seam. Open out and press flat.
Add the two smaller border strips to either side of your block. Trim off any excess.
Finally add the two longer border strips to the top and bottom of your block. Trim off any excess. Press seams flat.
Your piece is now ready to make into a cushion panel or tote bag panel.
With Remembrance Day approaching, I was inspired to make a poppy version of this design.
Colours for the poppy block:
Colour A (red) cut (4) 6½” squares
Colour B (green) cut (12) 2½” squares
Colour C (black) cut (4) 2½” squares
Colour B (green) cut (2) 12½” x 1½” strips
Colour B (green) cut (2) 14½” x 1½” strips
Following the instructions above, layout your corner pieces as shown above.
Repeat for the other 3 pieces.
Sew your rows together as shown above
Finally add the border pieces.
Quilts that Combine the Snowball Quilt Block and 9-Patch Block
You can combine the snowball quilt block with complementary blocks to make beautiful full quilt designs. In the 2 examples above, I’ve combined it with the simple 9-patch square block. If you’re new to quilting, you can learn how to make the 9-patch block in our squares quilt block tutorial.