How to Sew a Basic Snowball Block

Posted by Elaine Huff on

The Snowball Block is another simple block that can be used in making other blocks and it also makes a good alternating block in a quilt.

snowball quilt block

Fabric Requirements:

You will need a center square and four smaller squares. In my sample, I used a 5″ square and four 2″ squares – which will make a finished block of 4.5″ square that is a really hard size to use in a quilt (I didn’t think this through before cutting!).

snowball quilt block

Sewing Directions:

Step 1:

Mark a diagonal line on the back of the four small squares. I’m using a chalk pencil to mark on the dark fabric. I like General’s Pastel Chalk pencil and it’s made in the U.S. – even better!

snowball 1

Step 2:

Place one of the small squares in the corner of the large square, right sides together, with the diagonal line positioned as shown. Stitch close to the diagonal line in what will be the seam allowance just like we did for the Flying Geese block. Repeat with the remaining corners.

snowball 2

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Step 3:

Match up the corners of the small square and press. Trim off the extra seam allowance fabric. When doing the pressing first and then cutting the excess fabric off, you shouldn’t have to square up your block.

snowball 3

Here you can see what it looks like on the back. The upper right corner has been unfolded and the seam allowance trimmed. The lower right corner has been folded back in place.

snowball 3

This is the same step as above, just a front view.

snowball 5

Here is what the block looks like after it is all trimmed up.

snowball 6

Although a Snowball quilt block may not be used a whole lot (a cute piece of embroidery in the center would be cool though), the technique is used in lots of blocks that have irregular shapes. 

Happy Quilting!


P.S. To print a PDF of this tutorial, check out the free app at A reader and I tried it out and it worked great.

P.P.S. To figure out yardage for a quilt, check out this post:

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