It's a sewing day! Let's make a pinwheel quilt block - a classic traditional quilt block that never goes out of style. Pinwheels are really easy to sew to use your scraps - or favorite pre-cuts - to produce a happy quilt. Win-win-win!
For our sample today, I started with two 5" square packs. Each pre-cut pack includes 42 squares and I chose two different but complimentary collections: 1930's style Honey Bunch and vibrant solids, Wavelength. I like using a combination of solids and prints for pinwheel blocks because the contrast allows the pieced design to stand out. You can also accomplish good contrast by using fabrics that have strong light/dark, warm/cool, or complementary color palettes.
Starting with 5" squares will give you a finished pinwheel block that is 8". You can use pre-cut packs like I did, or cut your own 5" squares. You'll need four squares for each block or a total of 80 squares to make a quilt like the one with the pre-cut squares.
First, cut all the 5" squares in half by positioning your ruler so the cutting edge is at a 45 degree angle and passes through two opposite corners. When you cut, this makes two half-square triangles per square. For each pinwheel block, you need four half-square triangles (HST) of two fabrics (or a total of 8 HST).
As you are pairing the fabrics that will make up each block, consider contrast - high contrast between fabrics will give you the best pinwheel effect - and whether you have a grand plan for the final layout of your quilt. That is, if you want to be strategic about which fabrics make up each block or just go random and scrappy.
For each set of 8 HST, pair them off, right sides facing. Each pair consists of one triangle from each of the contrasting fabrics. Sew the long, angled side of the triangle with 1/4" seam. Press to one side or open as you prefer.
Use the 45 degree line on your ruler to trim or use your Triangle Square Up ruler.
Trim each HST square to 4 1/2".
Once you've sewn and trimmed a set of four matching HST squares, arrange them on your sewing surface four-patch style so that all four seams meet in the center of the block. Rotate every other block so that the fabrics alternate around the center.
Sew the top two HST squares together and press seam open. Repeat with bottom two HST squares. Sew the two pairs together to finish one pinwheel block.
Easy, right? now repeat these steps to make pinwheel blocks with all of your 5" squares - two packs will give you 21 pinwheel blocks - then set them together in rows of four. You'll have one block left over if you make a quilt that is 4 blocks x 5 blocks, or 32" x 40".
You can follow the same steps starting with 10" squares, too. These will give you pinwheel blocks that finish 18", so a 4 x 5 block quilt would be 72" x 90"....a really easy way to make a big quilt fast!
We have a fabulous selection of 5" square packs. You can see them, Here.
Hope you have fun with these cute blocks!