Saturday, February 2, 2013

Snowball quilt block

Snowball quilt block
February 2, 1933-Nancy Cabot published the Snowball quilt pattern.  She said there are many names for the pattern when "it is pieced of brighter, gayer fabrics" such as Mill Stream, Mill Wheel and Water Wheel but when it is called "the "Snowball" pattern, the pieces are cut from delicate prints or pastel tints."

I used a feed sack fabric and muslin to make my block.

I can think of several ways to make this block.  In 1933, I'm sure the pieces were drawn onto the fabric, cut out with scissors and hand sewn together.  I think that would be a very good way to make this block today.

For a 6" finished block, the curves are very small and would be hard to do on the sewing machine for most.

I appliqued the curved pieces to a background square to make it fast and easy.  I think needle turn applique would probably be the fastest method though if you are good at it.  You need 2-3 1/2" squares of 2 fabrics for the background and scraps of the same fabrics for the curved piece-Template A in the pattern.

I trimmed the seam allowance off the curve of template A, pinned the template to my fabric and cut 1/4" away from the curve.  I then folded the fabric over along the curve and hand basted it right through the paper.  I then pressed it really well, took out the stitching and paper and piece A was ready to go.
Tip-When working with small pieces of fabric, use spray starch.  It makes them much easier to handle.

After I prepared 8 of these little pieces from each fabric, I pinned
1 to each corner of each block and then stitched along the curve
with a small zigzag stitch.  I felt I needed to trim out the fabric underneath my curves because the purple fabric was showing through too much.  I don't think it is necessary unless the under fabric really shows through.

I hope you can see the difference in my pictures below.

untrimmed on back
trimmed on back
You make 4 units, reversing colors, and sew them together as shown in the picture at the top. 

You can get the pattern here.  

Tomorrow- Odd Fellows Cross


  1. What a awesome tutorial! Can't wait to start on this one! I look forward to my email from you daily. Thanks again. Sandy

  2. That would be a fun block to play around with! I've got an AccuQuilt die that would make a seven inch finished block. It'd be slightly larger than yours and with seams going through the middle, but I think I'm willing to make that compromise for the ability to machine piece it.