Snowball Corners

Tags: fabric scraps, half square triangle, how-to, patchwork, snowball corner

A snowball corner is when you sew through the diagonal of a square and flip one half of it over to form a triangle in the corner of a block or square. Below you can see a square ready to sew through the diagonal. Usually you draw a line to follow.

ready to sew a snowball corner
Use painter's tape (blue) as a guide to sew the diagonal line                                 

You don't need to draw a line first, instead I stick a strip of painter's tape (or masking tape) to my sewing machine so the edge is right inline with my sewing line. By making sure the point/corner of the square stays inline with the tape I make a perfect seam. It saves drawing all those diagonal lines that most patterns call for.

Once the seam is sewn I press the inner point of the square over so all corners meet. It makes the perfect triangle. You can choose to trim the under triangles away leaving a quarter inch seam or leave them in tact.  

two snowball corners on a square of fabric
Square with two snowball corners

If you trim them away you will end up with a pile of triangles like this...

triangles trimmed from snowball corners

Check out this blog post to discover an idea of what you can do with these: What to do with all those scraps!

Or if you sew a second line of stitching (before you trim) about 3/4" from the seam line within the corner section, then you can cut up the middle between the two stitched lines. This will create a half square triangle unit that you can use in another project.

How to make a spare half square triangle unit

Many blocks use half square triangle units. You can create a wonderful scrappy quilt if you collect these from many different projects. To find out more about half square triangles including how to trim them, check out this free lesson >>

Back to Free Lessons

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