Piecing a double pinwheel block pattern

Welcome to my tutorial on how to make a double pinwheel block that will look like this…

And a lot of them that will give you this overall pattern if set square…

This block would be extra fun set on point though… and a fun block it has been for me to learn precise piecing…

If you haven’t quilted before you CAN do this… but learn from an expert and watch qnntv.com Quilty with Mary Fons or beg your local quilt guild to help you… you will find your style as you create quilts for those you love!

Okay… now onto the fun 🙂

Gather your supplies….

Sewing machine & Scissors
Iron & Board
Rotary cutter & Mat
Rulers of all kinds 🙂
Fabric & Thread made for machine quilting
                (30 to 50 wt.. no lighter is recommended for a sturdy quilt)

And the supplies for this block….

fabric yardage is one main color for your background (mine is white)
fabric in 2 contrasting colors (mine is green and blue)
small ruler for rotary cutting
rotary cutter
snip scissors (mine are baby ginghers and they are super sharp!
watch this vid to see how these half square triangles (hst’s) come together 🙂  just 5 minutes!

Let’s put this block together!

Cut your fabric to the desired size of the finished block… for mine my finished size is 9 1/2″… so my fabric squares wound up being…
4 1/2″ square 1 background color and 1 small pinwheel color and 2 large pinwheel color = 4 squares
2 7/8″ squares in background color = 8 squares

I played with scraps until I found a size I liked… then measured the hst pairs and cut my 8 squares a little larger to give the block a little room for moving…. thus the magic 7/8″ measurement even though my square measured 3/4″.

With your pieces cut it is time to sew together your large squares as I have them paired above so you end up with a small pinwheel and a larger pinwheel… put right sides together and sew 1/4″ from the edge all the way around… then they will look like this…

 Now press those squares to relax the thread and slice them as in the video criss cross like this…

Ta dah!  You have your 8 hst’s in no time!
Now lets get those hst’s ready to work for us by prepping them 🙂

 First press them open and PRESS TO the dominant pinwheel color… so when I set them on my pressing board I just put them that dominant color up so blue is up 🙂  Run the iron over them and whalahhh!

 8 triangles and some good snips are next.  I use little ginghers I got with a coupon at Joann’s but just a sharp good cutting pair for fabric only works 🙂  Now snip off all the dogears to decrease the bulk… this is important …

 That bulk adds up over a quilt so remove it now…
Now set out your pinwheels and bring in your 8 background fabric squares to make this arrangement… or another if you choose… you have lots of options playing around with the hst’s you have made…

 Now it is time to start sewing them together…

Start by completing the center… the block goes together best if you watch this vid on putting together the middle pieces.

As per the vid start by laying sewing together these pieces….

Sew them together with a 1/4″ seam and butted close to each other chain piecing style…. so they look like this when you are done…

You can butt them right up next to each other too… I just like to have a little give in mine… lol
Press the freshly sewn edges and open up the squares to make rectangles and close them right sides together on each other as in the vid like this….

Pull them tight and go with which way the seam wants to naturally go so that your seam allowances are opposite… that part is critical to an unbulky block.

Sew with a 1/4″ seam and Press the freshly sewn seam…
Next trim all your strings from sewing and clip the joining thread where all the squares meet as outlined in the video… this is the BEST way I have found.

Now finally you can Press all your seams in the direction you sewed them.  So they lay down nice and flat like this.  Make sure you fluff out the center so it spreads out like a mini pinwheel or else the middle of your pinwheel will be standing up! lol

And the front side looks like this…

Next we will chain piece the outside blocks together in pairs first then to each other or this main block.  Specifically we will do it like this…

 So above we are joining by folding to the left from your board to the sewing machine with 1/4″ seams each pair above… then Press the freshly sewn seams on your ironing board…

 With those sewn together now it is time to chain piece the larger units so first sew the centerpiece and the left side unit together and continue with the 2 top pieces and 2 bottom pieces.  Finally come bring the centerpiece back to the sewing machine on the chain and add the right side unit.  Almost there… 

 Press the freshly sewn seams everywhere… and you will have a strip that looks like this with the long top unit and long bottom unit left to sew on… sew them on making sure your seams remain opposite each other.

 Finally you are ready for the final press… press all the seams the way they were sewn…

 Tadaah!  You have one double pinwheel block complete!

My Plan with this block is…

To make 42 like in the group shot above and add a border to finish my quilt top… the quilt will measure 63″ x 74 1/2″ when complete 🙂

So this is my first quilting tutorial and I would appreciate feedback on how helpful or if it is too intense or not intense enough.

Thanks for reading and have a blessed day!


1 thought on “Piecing a double pinwheel block pattern

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