Monday, July 12, 2010

Snowball Night...Squaring Them Up

Hope everyone who joined the Snowball Night is still sewing away each week. Your pile of snowballs is growing, waiting to be sewn together in the future. Before you sew them together, you might need to square them up. I've had a few emails about this, so thought I would do a post with a few pictures to help.
This is how I square up snowballs...if anyone else would like to share a post on how you might do it...let me know and I can share your link with everyone.
All of these tips are based on the fact that your original square is "square"...what I mean is, that it is cut to a true 5 inch square (or whatever size you are doing)
Here is one of the snowballs from my future I Spy quilt. The original background square is 5 inches. I sewed the four corners on and now I need to square them up.
There is another tip below for sewing the squares on so there is a little more fabric to trim rather than having too short a block. Better to trim than to throw a block away because it's way too small.

I place my 6 inch wide ruler on the block.

I make sure that all the lines of the original block are within the 5 inch size.

I do this check on all 4 sides.

The right side of the ruler is where I will be doing the trimming. Make sure the ruler is even with the original square.

See the excess of the black corner square.

That's what you need to trim. Do that on all sides, but always keep the original size of the background block.

I do the same for blocks that are larger than my 6 inch ruler. This block is 8 1/2"

Just square up the block on the top, bottom and the right side.

here's the bottom of the 8 1/2" block...

and here's the top all lined up.

Now just trim up the corners.

Here is the other tip for sewing on the corners so you won't have a block that is too small or shorter corner squares.
If you are using the diagonal line to sew on...

sew just a hair over the line (towards the corner). See where I'm pointing.

This is a close up of the red thread that I sewed with.

That little extra bit helps with the folding over of the triangle. It takes into account for the thickness of your thread.

Hope this helps.
Happy Sewing,


  1. Good tip for sewing on the corners! Thanks Karen! :0)

  2. Great instructions, Karen - love your "corner" tip - I'll give it a try :o) Thanks for sharing -

  3. I didn't join in this one, Karen, but appreciate your hints as always! This trick works great for "bonus" triangles squares too.

  4. Your tip for a bit extra in the corners is well-timed :) I'm going to use that one this afternoon.

  5. The bat fabric would be perfect for Halloween!

  6. Great info Karen! I just started sewing my I Spy blocks into a quilt too. Actually several quilts. I picked out all the 'boy' blocks, all the 'girl' blocks, and 3 other stacks of mixed blocks, so I'll do 5 different quilts with the 120 blocks from the swap. What fun!


  7. Great tips Karen, thank you for sharing them. I just might try my snowball blocks again.

  8. I had so many that did not square up on my I Spy that I did go ahead with the sashing. I'll post a picture of it later. I think I preferred the look before sashing, but this took care of the problems I was having.

  9. I l♥ve that dark, swirly fabric in your last snowball. That is pure awesomeness!

    Thanks for all the great tips!

    I've got one snowball quilt top finished and am just gathering up the courage to get it quilted. You can see my updates here: Tuesday is my update day. Thanks for a fun challenge!

  10. Thanks so much. Great tips for new sewers.

  11. Thanks for the tips Karen!

    The snow balls look like a lot of fun and I have all of those I spy fabrics to play with. I am just a little busy right now, but soon!

    P.S. the orange fabric with bats you used is the one I sent for the I spy swap, so excited you are using it!

  12. Hi, just wanted to say how much i enjoy your blog. I discovered it when i was organizing my sewing and crafting space and it sure helped me to look at all those links you compiled of people's sewing spaces. THank you so very much!


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