• Quilted & Woven

How to Make the Pinwheel Block

I'm going to give you a few tips on the versatile pinwheel block. I absolutely adore traditional blocks because you can do so much with them. Just by changing them around you can make secondary patterns and change the focus of the quilt.

Fabric selection is the key. Choose your design and fabric values with the thought of modern, bold, traditional, or whatever suits your fancy. You will need to keep in mind the value of the color: choose light, medium or dark, depending on the look you want to achieve.

Let’s get started. I really enjoy soft and romantic so I decided to make a vintage floral pinwheel quilt. website. I used predominantly lights and mediums, with some dark colors thrown in for contrast.

First we need four half square triangles. For those of you who need a quick reminder, here we go. As a rule of thumb add 7/8” to the size of the square you want to cut. If you need a 5” square cut a 5 7/8” one. You’ll get two half squares out of two 5 7/8” squares. Lay a medium and a light on top of each other, face to face. Draw a line corner to corner diagonally.

Sew 1/4” seam on each side of the line.

Cut on the drawn line and press open, you now have two squares. Great. Now do it again and you have enough for a pinwheel. That wasn’t so hard. Now for a few tips to get the block together. Press the seams to the same side, like to all the mediums or to the darks. Be consistent so they all flow in the same direction for sewing. Now lay your half squares out with the same value going in a clockwise direction so it looks like a pinwheel.

Place the top two squares together right sides together and make sure the seams nestle and are snug, and sew. Do the same thing to the bottom two checking that seams match.

Alright here comes the biggest hurdle to clear: The Points. When joining the top two and the bottom two, the middle seam needs to be exact or the points won’t be perfect. HELP! Alright deep breath and dive right in. If you need to pin the center then go for it. There will be a V where the previous seam was sewn, just intersect the sewing seam at the V of the intersection.

Yes! Now you’ve done it. Your last step is to press it into submission then square it off.

Congratulations on your pinwheel block! Now on to the rest of the quilt. Get quilting!

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