How to sew a snowflake quilt block

Millie snowflake quilt block

Welcome to the second part of our 12 days of Christmas blog series! We’re in the mood for some seasonal sewing, so we’re bringing you this daily dose of festive fun to your quilting table. For day 2, we’re bringing you this free tutorial for how to piece a snowflake quilt block. This beautiful block is the perfect frosty project if you’re looking for Christmas quilt patterns for those chilly December days. It was designed by Lynne Goldsworthy for Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine, and is founded on an in-the-round arrows design. We can’t think of a better excuse to have fun with foundation paper piecing, and you’re sure to get eye-catching effects from the smallest of fabric scraps in your stash. Read on to find out how to make a snowflake quilt block, and download our free snowflake quilt block template.

How to sew a snowflake quilt block

You will need:

  • Print fabric one (1) fat quarter
  • White fabric ½yd
  • Download our free FPP snowflake quilt block template (PDF)
  • Print out four (4) copies of Template A
  • Print out four (4) copies of Template B
  • If you’re new to Foundation Paper Piecing, read our FPP tutorial here before you begin

Finished size:

12 ½in square (12in once pieced into project)

Notes:

  • Seam allowances are 1/4in throughout, unless otherwise noted.
  • Press seams open, unless otherwise instructed.
  • Templates include seam allowances, where necessary.
  • RST = right sides together.
  • Wash and press all of your fabrics well before cutting.
  • Shorten your stitch length to 1.5 for foundation paper piecing.
  • HST = half square triangle.

Fabrics used

We’ve used Wyndham Fabrics’ Mimosa fabric (Leaves and Berries in Charcoal)

Step by step: snowflake quilt block

Cutting out

Step one: Cut the print fabric as follows:

  • Eight (8) 3in squares (for section 2 on the templates).
  • Sixteen (16) 3 ½in squares. Subcut in half on the diagonal to yield two HSTs per square (for sections 5, 8, 11 and 14 on the templates).

Step two: Cut the white fabric as follows:

  • Eight (8) 2in squares (for section 1 on the templates).
  • Sixteen (16) 1 ¼in x 2in strips (for sections 3 and 4 on the templates).
  • Sixteen (16) 1 ¼in x 2 ½in strips (for sections 6 and 7 on the templates).
  • Sixteen (16) 1 ¼in x 3in strips (for sections 9 and 10 on the templates).
  • Sixteen (16) 1 ¼in x 3 ½in strips (for sections 12 and 13 on the templates).
  • Eight (8) 2 ½in x 5in strips (for section 15 on the templates).
  • Eight (8) 4in x 5in rectangles (for section 16 on the templates).

Piecing the units

Step three: The snowflake block is made up of four pairs of units. Each is foundation paper pieced, trimmed to size, the papers removed and the block is then assembled as shown in the layout diagram below.

snowflake-quilt-block-layout-diagram

Step four: Foundation paper piece the eight templates using the fabric strips, rectangles and HSTs for the various sections on the templates as indicated in the cutting list. For the purposes of the main block, ignore the red line and the red numbering of 2a on the templates. These are only used for the piecing of Lynne’s remix block (not featured in this tutorial).

Step five: First pin one white 2in square to the back of one of the templates making sure it covers the whole of section 1 plus at least ¼in on each side (Fig 1). The wrong side of the fabric should be facing the back of the template.

snowflake-quilt-block-fig-1

Step six: Pin a print fabric 3in square RST with the white square pinning along the seam line between sections 1 and 2 so that, once the seam is sewn and the print fabric is folded over, it will cover section 2 by at least ¼in on each side (Fig 2).

snowflake-quilt-block-fig-2

Step 7: Flip the paper template over so the printed side is up and sew along the line between sections 1 and 2 extending the seam approximately ¼in beyond each (Fig 3).

snowflake-quilt-block-fig-3

Step 8: Press the print fabric over so it covers section 2 and extends at least ¼in beyond each side (Fig 4).

snowflake-quilt-block-fig-4

Step 9: Trim section 2 to ¼in beyond each seam line between section 2 and sections 3 and 4 (Fig 5).

snowflake-quilt-block-fig-5

Step 10: Sew 1 ¼in x 2in strips to cover sections 3 and 4 in the same way. Once sewn and pressed, trim to ¼in beyond the seam line between sections 3 and 4 and section 5 (Fig 6).

snowflake-quilt-block-fig-6

Step 11: Continue piecing the templates in the same way until all sections on all eight templates are pieced.

Step 12: Trim the pieced units to size along the dashed lines and remove papers.

Assembling the block

Step 13: Sew the units together in pairs along the diagonals (Fig 7).

Step 14: Sew the pairs of units together to make half of the block (Fig 8).

snowflake-quilt-block-figs-7-8

Step 15: Sew the two halves of the block together (Fig 9). Press the block and check that it is 12 ½in square.

snowflake-quilt-block-fig-9

This snowflake block was first known as the Millie block, and was part of Lynne’s Vintage Sweethearts Block of the Month series for Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine. You can find  Lynne’s ‘Remix’ twist on this design (pictured below), plus the rest of the quilt blocks in the series in Lynne’s The Ultimate Quilt Block Collection, or find out what Lynne’s up to over on her blog lilysquilts.blogspot.co.uk

millie-snowflake-quilt-block-red

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