Instructions for Snowball Quilt Squares

Written by katie cole
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Instructions for Snowball Quilt Squares
You can use contrasting fabrics with a holiday theme for your snowball blocks. (store display of fabric image by Joyce Wilkes from

Some quilt block designs work very well either alone or combined with one other block design. By planning ahead and working with different colour values and hues, spectacular effects can be achieved. The same block with different colour variations can produce wildly different designs. The snowball block is a good foundation block that can be used with various other blocks to do this. The snowball block is a square with right triangles sewn into each of the corners. The result is an octagon inside of a square. You can create snowball block squares using your basic cutting and quilt piecing skills.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 2 contrasting fabrics
  • Scissors, or rotary cutter and cutting board
  • Measuring tape or quilting ruler
  • Grey thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Fabric marking pen

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    Determine the Size of the Squares

  1. 1

    Pick a square size that is easily divisible by three: 6-, 9- or 12-inches.

  2. 2

    Add half an inch for the large square, which will end up being the hexagon in the middle of the finished square. This will make your large square pieces either 6.5 inches, 9.5 inches or 12.5 inches.

  3. 3

    Divide the finished square size by three, and then add half an inch for the smaller squares. For a 6-inch finished square, the small square pieces will be 2.5 inches. For the 9-inch finished square, the small square pieces will be 3.5 inches. For the 12-inch finished square, the small square pieces will be 4.5 inches.

    Cutting and Marking Pieces

  1. 1

    Cut one large square piece for each block needed.

  2. 2

    Cut four small square pieces out of contrasting fabric for each block needed.

  3. 3

    Draw a line diagonally from one of the corners to the opposite corner on the wrong side of each small piece. You can use a fabric marking pen or pencil to do this.

    Completing the Blocks

  1. 1

    Place one of the small square pieces on top of the corner of one of the large square pieces, lining up the two outer edges of the small square with two edges of the large square. Right sides of the fabric should be facing each other, and the line on the back of the small square should be extending from one edge of the large block to the other edge.

  2. 2

    Stitch along the line. Trim the square 1/4-inch from the stitching line on the outside of the block. Press the seam open.

  3. 3

    Repeat Step 2 for every corner on the large square. This completes one block.

Tips and warnings

  • To determine the amount of fabric needed, decide on the block size and number of blocks needed. For example, if you are making a quilt with 24, 6-inch finished blocks, you'll need to cut 24 6.5-inch pieces and 96 2.5-inch pieces. Estimate that the fabric will be 40-inches wide. You can get six 6.5-inch blocks from a strip of fabric, so you'll need four 6.5-inch strips. That equals 26 inches of fabric or approximately 3/4 of a yard. You can get 16 2.5-inch blocks from a strip of fabric, so you'll need six 2.5-inch strips for the small squares. That equals 15 inches of fabric, or almost 1/2 a yard, for the small squares.

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