The Snowball Quilt Block is one of the most versatile blocks you can make. It works as a stand-alone block in quilts, but it’s real superpower is as a connector block.
At its core, the Snowball Quilt Block is a plain square with triangles in the corner. That’s it. Nothing fancy.
But the power of this block comes into play when it’s used as a connector block. This happens when the triangles in the corners meet a non-snowball quilt block and all of the sudden a new design emerges.
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Materials & Supplies
- (1) 9.5″ x 9.5″ Square of fabric
- (4) 3.5″ x 3.5″ Squares of fabric in contrasting color
- Sewing Machine
- Quarter-Inch Foot for your sewing machine
- Aurifil 50 wt. Cotton Thread
- Wonder Clips
- Rotary Cutter
- Acrylic Ruler (6.5″ x 24″ is best)
- Self-Healing Rotary Cutting Mat
- Walking Foot (optional, but highly recommended)
- Iron & Ironing Board
How to Make an Easy Snowball Quilt Block
Make any size Snowball Block
This Snowball Quilt Block tutorial shows you how to make a 9″ finished Snowball block. But what if you need a 6″ finished block? Or a larger 12″ finished block?
There is something called the Quick Corners Method which allows you to calculate the size of the squares used to make any sized Snowball Block.
Here’s how it works: Take the desired size of the finished block and divide it by 3. Then add 1/2″ to that number and you will have the size needed to make the small corner triangles. Example: For a 9″ finished block, you will cut the small squares to be 3.5″.
Step 1: Preparing the 3.5″ Squares
On the wrong side of the 3.5″ squares draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. This will be the stitching line.
Note: A pen or pencil works great for drawing this line.
Step 2: Pin squares in corners
- Pin small printed fabric squares on the as shown below.
- With right sides together, pin the 4 squares into the corners of the 9.5″ block.
- Be sure to pay attention to the placement of the diagonal line when pinning the squares in each corner.
Step 3: Stitch squares to block
- Use a 2mm stitch length and stitch along the pen or pencil line you drew in Step 1. Note: Dark thread is used for demonstration purposes. Use a matching thread for best results.
Step 4: Trim squares
- Use an acrylic ruler and trim each corner 1/4” from the stitching line. This will give you a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Step 5: Press the block
- Open up the corners and press the seams to the dark side.
The Leftover Triangles
Trimming the corners leaves these perfect little triangles that can be sewn together to create small half square triangles. They would be great added to the back of a quilt or used in a variety of different projects.
Ways to Use the Snowball Quilt Block
The versatile Snowball Quilt Block can be used to create a variety of projects and patterns that look complex but are actually very simple.
Quilt Sample 1
This sample quilt features a dramatic fabric for the block center and darker fabric for the corner triangles and border. This could be a simple formula for making holiday quilts which tend to feature fabric designs that are ideal for displaying.
Quilt Sample 2
This sample quilt turns the Snowball Quilt Block into a snowball flower. This design would be ideal as a table topper or with three blocks connected to make a table runner.
The real magic of a Snowball Quilt Block happens when it’s combined with another block.
It’s called the Scrappy Snowball 9-Patch Quilt. The pattern combines the Snowball block and a 9-patch strip pieced block to make a unique quilt design. Best of all, it’s fast and easy!
Click the pink button below the image to learn more about this easy pattern.
While this quilt is done in a scrappy style, the design also works in a single color way such as red and white. Or, it could work well with the right combination of low volume fabrics and bold, modern fabrics.
As you can see, there is almost no limit to how you can use the Snowball Quilt Block. As always, there are endless design possibilities.