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Thread: Beginner! Snowball quilt's corners problem. HELP!

  1. #26
    Senior Member Bren's Avatar
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    You could "rescue" your quilt by cutting four 2 1/2 " squares for each of your blocks using a complimentary neutral color. Mark a diagonal line on the wrong side of each each of these squares. Place your small squares right sides together with your larger square just as though you had not cut the corner off. Stitch, fold over and press. I would not remove or trim the bottom little triangle, but would leave both layers for stability. You might have to still trim a bit to get all blocks a uniform size, but not much. Hope this makes sense. Don't feel bad, we were all new quilters at one time. Personally speaking, I have "salvaged" more than one project. It may not be what you had originally planned, but will be lovely all the same. I like your fabric. Good luck!

  2. #27
    Senior Member Bren's Avatar
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    Correction to my previous post as I just read that you cut 3 " corners. Adjust the size of you small blocks to 3 or 3 !/4 to make it work.

  3. #28
    Super Member duckydo's Avatar
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    One thing I find is when you are sewing if you will sew just a little to the side of the line towards the corner ( just one stitch length), when I press it it just seems to be the right size, not too short. I learned this is a quilting class and it has always worked for me.

  4. #29
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duckydo View Post
    One thing I find is when you are sewing if you will sew just a little to the side of the line towards the corner ( just one stitch length), when I press it it just seems to be the right size, not too short. I learned this is a quilting class and it has always worked for me.
    ......... and what is known as the scant 1/4"
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    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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  5. #30
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    In the old days, snowballs were made by cutting the corners off first, then sewing on the triangle

    My 80 yr old aunt had a fit when she saw how I was making a set once, "you're wasting so much fabric! Your grandmother would be rolling in her grave if she saw this." She didn't like any of the "new fangled" way of cutting out quilts. Cardboard templates or templates made from milk jugs with sandpaper glued to the back, a pencil and a good sharp pair of scissors was all you needed. I wonder what she'd think of these new die cutters.

    In this case I would:
    1) cut down the main square to fit the triangles I have and then add borders to make the project big enough or

    2) cut new small squares big enough then sew the too small triangles together to make some sort of border for this project or some other project or throw them out or

    3) bag up the whole project and start over, congratulations you have your first UFO.

  6. #31
    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    Things to remember for your next snowball quilt.

    From experience I have learned to starch very heavily BEFORE cutting out anything (this helps prevent stretching on the bias sides)...when sewing on the square instead of following the line I have drawn down the middle, I sew just the the outside of that line. That way when you flip the triangle out and press it will go all the way to the edge...and, don't trim anything until after it is trimmed to the correct size

  7. #32
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    In order to save the blocks, cut the squares that are to be attached at each corner bigger, lay them on the corners
    making the block square (covering the cut off end), then draw your line to sew on from corner to corner, sew and cut off. This will give you a larger end to each block, but will create your snowball and save the project.

  8. #33
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    Tara, see: http://quiltingtutorials.com/all/qui...nowball-block/

    Jenny Doan at Missouri Star Quilting always has neat video tutorials.

  9. #34
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    I can sympathize with you (how do I know this?!) You will have to cut more 21/2" squares and try again. Good luck.

  10. #35
    Super Member MrsM's Avatar
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    It is so nice to see so many quilters offering great tips. Do not feel bad, we all have misread instructions. I laugh at my mistakes all the time. My forehead is so flat form me slapping it. LOl

  11. #36
    Super Member Wonnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaraW View Post
    Krista,

    How do I make sure I'm super careful to center the blocks when I trim if I continue to do this the (incorrect) way that I started? Is there a tool I can buy to help me with this?
    Couldn't you just fold the large piece in half, press, open out, fold it in half the opposite direction, press, open out ....that should give you the center no matter what the size of the large square is, whether cut down or left the same.

  12. #37
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaraW View Post
    Hi Ladies!

    I am trying my first "snowball" pattern quilt. I'm using the first photo/website link below for my design/inspiration. The problem is--when I cut all the corners off the squares, then re-sew mis-matched corners back on to the octagon to re-make the "square"...the corners are too small creating a mess of a square that's all not fit to quilt with.

    Am I supposed to now TRIM the "square" down, making it square again? What am I doing wrong? I'm thinking there's no real way to make this work without trimming it waaaaaaay down after re-sewing on the corners. Hummm.....

    Snowball quilt image
    Snowball Quilt instructions i'm TRYING to follow

    Image of my messed up attempt at this (feel free to laugh hysterically...)

    thanks for the help!!
    My background: This is only the 2nd quilt I've ever made. The first was just a very simple square pattern/BASIC quilt I made for my baby nephew. This snowball one is meant for my mom! I've never sewed before in my whole life before this so take it easy on me! My only experience is going to the local Beverly's on craft nights to learn how to thread my machine and learn very basic quilting skills.

    Here is a photo of the 1st quilt I completed for my nephew!
    Julian's Quilt Image
    the ladies here are right on. Go back to the very beginning and do as they suggest. The snowball ends up being quite easy------------when you get off on the right foot.
    Bad Spellers of the World
    U N T I E

  13. #38
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    ohhhhhhhhhhhh,and if you have already trimmed the corners off your big blocks, all is not lost. You can either trim them down, or cut bigger squares and carefully add the little squares back and then trim. Clear as mud???????
    Bad Spellers of the World
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  14. #39
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grama Betty View Post
    In order to save the blocks, cut the squares that are to be attached at each corner bigger, lay them on the corners
    making the block square (covering the cut off end), then draw your line to sew on from corner to corner, sew and cut off. This will give you a larger end to each block, but will create your snowball and save the project.
    Good job describing a "save". Mine was too rambling.
    Bad Spellers of the World
    U N T I E

  15. #40
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    I just watched Jenny and her granddaughter make the snowball block. You can tell she always presses the small squares into triangles with the iron. She did a poor job of drawing the line with a pencil. I would have her practice that again. LOL She needs to draw the line from the centers into the corners; then the fabric wouldn't bunch up like that.

  16. #41
    Super Member margecam52's Avatar
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    You don't cut the corners off and reuse them, you take one of the 4-1/2" squares, draw a diagonal line (for instance: from upper left corner to lower right corner) from one corner to the oposite diagonal corner. Repeat for ALL 4-1/2" squares...I use a regular, cheapo mechanical pencil for this. Mark lightly. If it's too dark of a fabric, get a white colored pencil, or fabric marker.

    Next, lay one of the 4-1/2" squares onto the corner of the 8-1/2" square, matching the edges exactly.

    Sew exactly on the drawn line. You can then cut off the extra on the corner, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance. Repeat for the other corners.

    HINT: Instead of just tossing the cut off parts of the corners, I first do a 2nd line of stitching 1/2" from the first (toward the corner edge)...then cut the edge piece off, leaving 1/4" seam allowance...you get an automatic half square triangle you can use elsewhere.



    Quote Originally Posted by TaraW View Post
    Hi Ladies!

    I am trying my first "snowball" pattern quilt. I'm using the first photo/website link below for my design/inspiration. The problem is--when I cut all the corners off the squares, then re-sew mis-matched corners back on to the octagon to re-make the "square"...the corners are too small creating a mess of a square that's all not fit to quilt with.

    Am I supposed to now TRIM the "square" down, making it square again? What am I doing wrong? I'm thinking there's no real way to make this work without trimming it waaaaaaay down after re-sewing on the corners. Hummm.....

    Snowball quilt image
    Snowball Quilt instructions i'm TRYING to follow

    Image of my messed up attempt at this (feel free to laugh hysterically...)

    thanks for the help!!
    My background: This is only the 2nd quilt I've ever made. The first was just a very simple square pattern/BASIC quilt I made for my baby nephew. This snowball one is meant for my mom! I've never sewed before in my whole life before this so take it easy on me! My only experience is going to the local Beverly's on craft nights to learn how to thread my machine and learn very basic quilting skills.

    Here is a photo of the 1st quilt I completed for my nephew!
    Julian's Quilt Image
    Marge Campbell
    TL18LS/Qbot automated quilter
    http://www.Lmcampbel.com

  17. #42
    Senior Member maxnme01's Avatar
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    You now have a design opportunity depending upon how my squares you pre-cut the corners off of. You could:
    1. square up the incorrectly sewn snowball squares and use them in another project;
    2. square up the larger squares that you have already cut the corners off of and (squares will now be smaller) and start over makeing smaller snowball blocks. This will result in a smaller quilt or if you have enough fabrick to coordinate just add more blocks to make the size you intended.

    Make it a learning experience and move on!
    Keep smiling, it makes others wonder what you're up to!

  18. #43
    Super Member chuckbere15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE View Post
    A simple fix here ... DO NOT cut any corners til you sew!

    Take the 2-1/2" square and draw a diagonal line across the square.
    Set the square on top of the corner of your larger square that will become the snowball.
    Stitch on the line.
    Then after you cut the excess off, leaving 1/4" for the seam.

    If the small square has set squarely on the large square as you sewed, once you flip the piece over and press it, you should have a square corner.

    Continue on for all four corners!

    Good Luck!! ...
    My first quilt was with snow balls. I would highly recommend starching your fabric. You are working with bias and when you press you could contort your square. There is a difference between pressing and ironing, and starch helps prevent mis-shaped blocks.
    The Quilting Bear

  19. #44
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    Now that you have lots of suggestions - let me first say - been there, done that!! Welcome to the club!!! And I learned to make a sample block before cutting all my fabric ~ as you just did!......

    I'd make the quilt center smaller by trimming off 1/4" on all sides of the snowball block. That'll make everything work again. That is what you did by cutting the triangles in half to begin w/. Do this w/ only one block to make sure you have the right stuff. While time consuming - I'd do one piece at a time to maintain my accuracy.

    Definitely starch when pressing to prevent stretching of the biases....I also throw a pin in there to prevent me from stretching even further.

    If you need to make the quilt bigger, add an additional border in there.....

    I cut as I go now because of getting burned a couple times....You'll be fine - breathe!!
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  20. #45
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    And then after you sew and cut the corners off,you can not use the cut off corners on another large square of the same size.You can use them on another project with smaller[large] squares.Think about it.After you cut the corners off,you have a smaller triangle then will fit on the origional size large square because you have used part of the origional size[of the triangle] for seam allowance.Clear as mud??????????

  21. #46
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    I don't know if you are still having trouble with snowballing a block but I sure did until I stopped using little squares and used strips of fabric. What a difference that made! Just put a rectangle of fabric diagonally across the corner then sew & trim away the excess. Worked like a charm! Good luck!

  22. #47
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    you can add larger triangles to those cut corners. press and then trim square again. don't fret, it will work out. you learn as you go!!

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