Block Building Basics – How to Snowball Corners

Today’s post is part of a series called Quilt Block Building Basics.  There are no measurements included in these posts, but those should be found in the pattern you are following.

Consider this a helpful visual and companion for any of my quilt patterns.  Sometimes you just need to see it to understand it.  

To view all previous posts in this series, click here.




I’ll start this out by saying that very rarely does a pattern use the words “snowball the right corner”.  A pattern will never say that, instead it will say something like, “place B square on top corner of A square as shown in diagram, stitch on drawn line, cut 1/4″ from drawn line and press towards corner”.  But that is exactly what snowballing a corner is.

We snowball lots of things, flying geese (the one unit at a time method) is snowballing corners, square in a square, economy blocks, etc.  It’s one of the most common sewing techniques in quilting and you will use it a gazillion times.  My own patterns are plumb full of this technique.

This post and video is meant to show it to you, but keep in mind that you need to place that square and stitch in the direction your pattern tells you to do so.  Be mindful that you aren’t stitching in the wrong direction or placing your square in the wrong corner.


  • I shared the diagonal tape method in my last post, I think.  If you are sewing a lot of snowball corners and do not want to draw lines, this tape will make things move along more speedier for you.  If you are not using the tape, DRAW A LINE ON THE SQUARE corner to corner, do not eyeball it, you will not get it exact and to save yourself frustrations later, you need it to be exact.
  • Starch your fabrics first.  This really works and makes things more sturdy and crisp making it less likely that you will be off a smidgen (smidgens add up).  Here’s my starch recipe.
  • You want your smaller square flush with the edges of the fabric that you are sewing it onto.
  • You can do it!!



Tools Used in Video


Product Spotlight

Diagonal Seam Tape

Diagonal Seam Tape is a perfect solution for sewing straight diagonal seams without having to mark any lines!

Get yours here.



Similar Posts


Leave a Reply