Nero's Post II (2013-2015)

by Teje Karjalainen

‘OCTAGON-BALL’ block Tutorial


Hello! I found if finally! How to make a mini quilt, I mean. I want to make a small wall hanging which could be also table runner. I just couldn’t find good idea till I thought Christmas and snow balls. I’m having fun making these octagon-ball blocks! If you haven’t made these, I’ll show you how easy they are!

Octagon block tutorial

For the bigger octagon I have cut 4″ x 4″ square and for the corners 2 x [2″ x 2″] squares cut in half.

Octagon Ball Block Tutorial

For the smaller octagon I have cut 3″ x 3″ square and for the corners 2 x [1.5″ x 1.5″] cut in half.

Octagon Ball Block

Sew the triangles on the corners and cut away the spare corner.

Octagon Ball Block Tutorial

Press the triangles open and trim you block.

Octagon Ball block

When I add sashing I don’t measure and cut stripes. I cut long strip and sew it on the first edge, cut it, sew it on the second edge, cut it and so on.


Continue your project as you like – with or without sashing.

Octagon Ball block Tutorial

You can also mix fabrics as you see above. I sew 4 [2.5″ x 2.5″] squares together and got 4 1/4″ x 4 1/4″ square. For the corner triangles I cut 2 x [2″ x 2″] squares cut in half.

Scrappy Octagon Ball

My plan is to arrange the blocks randomly and to use different size of sashings. I shall add also white space here and there.

Traditional red and green are not really my colours and because any way it’s difficult to find Christmas mood without snow and cold winter, I think this year I shall try something different. We’ll see how it works …  or perhaps in December I’m again hanging my Christmas decorations … with green and red.

At the moment my plan is to make something with purple-pink-spring green- white (of course white!).

happy cat

I think our Nelli is a happy cat! You haven’t seen this quilt, because I haven’t made it. It’s really old and bought, but I like it  very much. It has great and simple, traditional pattern and the colours are nice. Next project with men’s shirts could bea  quilt like this.

Cat's Life

Have you planned how to decorate for the festive season this year? Or perhaps you have already done some decorating?

I’m happy that I have now some ideas in my mind and I can catch my materials! There will be wool, felt, fleece and of course fabric!

Octagon Balls

You may think that my octagons are wonky – they are because I don’t measure exactly where to sew the white corners. I try to get a little bit wonky and improvised random look. I think I use my blocks diagonal (can’t remember now the right word fro that). Is it ‘in points’?

Thank you dear friends again for stopping by! I enjoy seeing your holiday projects – so much fantastic ideas, great tutorials and lots of inspiration! This is busy but fun season! Remember that 22nd of November my tutorial is at Quilt Story’s   ‘HOLIDAY Tutorial SERIES’! There are already many fantastic and beautiful tutorials!

Happy sewings!



Author: Teje

I am a Finnish woman living in Crete in Greece. Quilting, sewing, knitting, crochet and if there is still time, reading and painting, with happy company of our two sweet dogs and one cat!

37 thoughts on “‘OCTAGON-BALL’ block Tutorial

  1. Teje, your snowball blocks are pretty. I like how some of them have 4 fabrics instead of one, it looks wonderful mixed up like that. I love plaid quilts! Have only made one, a long time ago but they are so snuggly, earthy and cozy feeling.

  2. p.s. Nelli is beautiful perched up on her tree. 🙂

  3. Well, here is another quilt you’ve thought up that is lovely. I love white ,but I don’t use it much and I should because you demonstrate how effective it can be. You get so much done–I always seem to be running behind. You are such an inspiration, and your blog such a happy place to visit.

    • Thank you so much! Don’t worry, same here, I’m also always behind. Every one has been making autumn leaves and I just made my first and only block. Not mentioning the granny quilts. I love white with bright colours. Because we don’t have snow I had to make snowy background for my Christmas balls. I like also how the seam allowances show through the fabric and add more lines to the pattern. x Teje

  4. Another ‘winning’ quilt in the making!!! I have always loved snowball blocks and those are so bright and cheerful!! Your tutorial/photos are very clear and helpful. Thank you! Still in a bit of a tizzy about November being so far gone!!!! I guess that’s what happens when I/we take a trip late in the Fall!!!!! Hugs………

    • Thank you Doreen! I haven’t done this block before except the hand pieced ‘Summer Wine’ quilt. After so many squares and triangles, I enjoy making these. It is grazy how quickly time goes! I used to mix days but now I start to mix months. Weather doesn’t help to believe that it’s almost December as we have +15C and it’s getting warmer again. Nice! x Teje

  5. MAGNIFIQUE felicitation Marie-Claire

  6. Such cute snowballs! We might be getting snow for real this week! My socks came at just the right time! Jxo

  7. Those octagons are lovely! And I’m looking forward to seeing your holiday decorating 🙂

  8. Teje, Your snowball blocks are beautiful! You have such a good eye for colour and thank you for showing how easy they are to make. Your cat does look very happy perched up in the tree, our cat is always happiest when she can be outside enjoying the world. I do hope you have a lovely week. Take care, Louise

    • Thank you so much Louise! I think Nelli is very happy. She can be out or in, just as she likes and outside there are lots of trees and lots of things to investigate and hunt. Happy week to you, too! x Teje

  9. Love the snowball blocks Teje. I really like how you mix up the colours. Gorgeous!

  10. Lovely, specially the randomness! im making a Christmas quilt for this year, with the softest red blanket for backing. I think the phrase in “on point” xxx

  11. Great tutorial, thanks for sharing!

  12. Lovely block and citrus colors Teje. I’m looking forward to seeing what your husband’s wardrobe produces this time 😆 Avis x

    • Thank you Avis! I have some great shirts there waiting – perhaps later in winter I start new men’s shirt quilt. They are so cozy! x Teje

  13. Great tutorial, Teje! I love the colours of your blocks. Nice to see your cat in the tree too!

  14. I love your quilt top and how come this shape always feels like Christmas? 😀

  15. I love those blocks, thanks for the tutorial. I also love the plaid quilt, I am making one at the moment using thrift store shirts, mine is based on Bonnie Hunter’s Shirttails pattern. I love plaids all of a sudden because they are so busy you don’t see my sewing mistakes LOL

  16. Love your fabric and color choice, it still looks festive and is something different from the same old red and green!

    • Thank you Kerstin! It’s funny that they do look festive even not green and red. Perhaps it’s the little bit shiny yellow fabric with purple. x Teje

  17. Thanks so much for a great tutorial. I’m a great fan of improvised sewing myself and these are just the sort of thing I love to sew. I think I might make a few of these blocks, add some ribbon or embroidery so that they look like hanging baubles and make them into Christmas cards. I want to try my hand at fabric cards this year for family and friends I know will cherish them for years to come.

  18. Great blocks Teje and wonky is fun! Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

  19. I’ve never made snowballs, but your square and triangle method makes it look easy!

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