Sunday, May 22, 2022

Flowering Snowball

A few months ago I saw a Flowering Snowball quilt on Instagram and liked it. 

The pattern has been around for some time. It is #3081 in Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. She found it published in Aunt Kate  7/1965. It was probably known well before that date.

Doing a bit more sleuthing, on Pinterest, I discovered this block had been a sew-along back in 2014--I usually am really late to these things. Here is the simple block--only two shapes and a small center square:

At my guild show in March, I saw one of these quilts finished and really liked it. Made by Lynda Kronenberger: 

A friend of mine saw Lynda's at the show too, and went right home and made one:

Ellen Anson's quilt

I decided if I was ever going to make this quilt, I'd better get started.

Working with EQ8 or BlockBase, you can easily find #3081 and print templates any size you like. I printed 6" and 10" templates but decided the smaller one was just too small. I created plastic templates from the printed patterns,  and added 1/8" holes for dots at the seam intersections. Later I created two additional placement holes on each side of both templates to give me more alignment marks. Here they are laid on light fabric so you can see both templates:

I used a Pigma Micron .05 pen to draw around each template and make the dots at the holes. It is permanent so be sure it doesn't bleed through to the front. It was easier to see than a pencil:

You can cut the shapes out with scissors or a rotary cutter--I used the rotary cutter most often, just being very careful to cut just INSIDE the drawn line. 

NOTE: If you have an ACCU CUT die cutter, they have a 12" die for this block. And there are plastic templates available for sale online--Google Flowering Snowball Templates to find them. 

Curved piecing is slower than straight seam piecing but I was up to the challenge. I tried sewing the curved seam both with and without pinning. I found I was more consistently accurate with pinning. Try both ways to see which works better for you.

Pinning could be done while "watching" TV at night or on a ZOOM call:

About the time I committed to making this quilt, I learned there was a Sew-Along getting ready to start, put on by Oh Kaye Quilting. I saw this on Instagram and signed up to receive the blog posts with information and joined the Facebook group where many people are sharing their progress.

This pattern lends itself to wonderful design possibilities, using color or fabrics to creating amazing patterns. If you are going to do that, it REALLY HELPS to have a plan. On the Sew Along page there is a link to a coloring sheet--that would help a lot: Oh Kaye Flowering Snowball Quilt Along 2022

I decided to just start making blocks--a variety of lights for the background shapes, and my favorite leftovers for the X shapes, two different color X's in each block. The center square was always lime green, a variety of those. 

As the blocks were made I threw them on the design wall. Once most were done I decided it was time to work on the design. An early photo of some blocks on the wall:

I just kept going and made more blocks. Once I decided it was going to be 25 blocks I made the design wall bigger. I also decided it would get a pieced diamond border, smaller than the one in Garden Party Down Under, but the same idea. 

As of today. all the blocks are pieced and positioned where they will stay (I think, probably, yes, not moving them anymore). And one diamond border is pieced:

Now to sew the 5 rows together, complete the remaining diamond borders and get the top assembled.

I think this will be fun to quilt--lots of ruler work and curves. Stay tuned.

Let's qult.



  1. That is a very cool pattern with oodles of possibilites!

  2. Love your quilt! I made freezer paper templates printed from EQ8 for my snowball quilt. Ironed to fabric and cut out with a rotary cutter. The templates can be used several times. I discovered a 3M lent remover (not the sticky kind) removes left over fibers and strings from the freezer paper making it last longer. I learned the freezer paper template technique making my Color My World quilt! Love it. Thanks Barbara