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Thread: Snowball Blocks

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Snowball Blocks

    I am making a Garden Twist quilt and am not happy with the way my snowball blocks are turning out. I tried drawing a diagonal line on the small square and also just ironing on that guild line. I really tried to be exact in stitching, but the blocks look so wonky and are hard to square. Has anyone found another method that gets better results? I do have an Angler and have tried it in the past, but wasn't crazy about it. I did triple check my squares and they are the correct size per the In the Beginning pattern I used. Any ideas? Thanks Donna

  2. #2
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Start with squares, not triangles or octagons. What I did was mark the diagonal on the small square and place it in the corner of the larger square. DON'T sew on the line, sew parallel to the line, just a bit to the corner side. Do not trim, but finger press the triangle back. This will tell you immediately if it's in the right place. If it is, then you can trim the seam. If not, you can either take it out & try again or if you think you can live with it, cut the excess of the small square, but leave the large square in place and trim the small triangle to match.
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  3. #3
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I also just sew a square on the corner of the square block. However. I don't care for the snowball blocks that have really thin tops and sides so I make my corner squares a little smaller. (so I have a fatter snowball) I think the thinner ones tend to look wonky. The first picture is of the thinner snowball and the 2nd picture is of a fat one on a baby quilt that I made.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails snowball.png   102_2958.jpg  
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  4. #4
    Senior Member cmw0829's Avatar
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    I recently took a class where we had to make snowball blocks. Some ladies had really wonky blocks even though they said they were very careful with the construction. We think it might have been the pressing as one lady confessed to ironing rather than pressing.

    The other thing I found is that I'm not really good at sewing a straight line without a guide. I used a tool called The Angler II but you could achieve the same think with a strip of take. It has a line leading to the needed. You put the starting and ending corners on the line and as you sew, keep the ending corner moving up the line. By doing this the sewing line is straight which reduces the wonkiness.

  5. #5
    Super Member Crqltr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess View Post
    Start with squares, not triangles or octagons. What I did was mark the diagonal on the small square and place it in the corner of the larger square. DON'T sew on the line, sew parallel to the line, just a bit to the corner side. Do not trim, but finger press the triangle back. This will tell you immediately if it's in the right place. If it is, then you can trim the seam. If not, you can either take it out & try again or if you think you can live with it, cut the excess of the small square, but leave the large square in place and trim the small triangle to match.
    This is the way I was taught also, never cut the corner off your large square only middle layer from the small corner block. It gives you the tru block to square it up.

  6. #6
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Cut out only the middle fabric of the snowball, as Paper Princess mentioned. This allows the 'base' square to retain its correct shape for sewing against the next segment/block, and that keeps things squared up.

    Jan in VA
    Jan in VA
    Living in the foothills
    peacefully colors my world.

  7. #7
    Senior Member GemState's Avatar
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    Stitch just to the side of your marked line. I try to begin on the line, then I arc up a thread or two until I get to the end. When you press, make sure your sewn-on square corner matches exactly with your base square.........When it does, then trim out the center fabric, leaving two layers of fabric that line up perfectly!

  8. #8
    Senior Member hoppyfrog's Avatar
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    If all else fails try paper piecing them. Every block will turn out perfect.

  9. #9
    Super Member willferg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by auntpiggylpn View Post
    I also just sew a square on the corner of the square block. However. I don't care for the snowball blocks that have really thin tops and sides so I make my corner squares a little smaller. (so I have a fatter snowball) I think the thinner ones tend to look wonky. The first picture is of the thinner snowball and the 2nd picture is of a fat one on a baby quilt that I made.
    I like the fatter snowballs, too!

  10. #10
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    Great tips. Thanks to all.
    Linda

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