Free Pattern – Rolling Pinwheel Quilt Block

Posted by Elaine Huff on

Today we’re looking at the Rolling Pinwheel quilt block. A couple of other blocks go by this name too – just to keep it interesting! We’re going to be using partial seam construction to make this block so let’s get started!

Fabric Requirements for a 12" Finished Rolling Pinwheel Quilt Block:

  • Light/White: 12 – 2.5″ squares, 6 – 3″ squares, and 4 – 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles
  • Medium/Blue: 6 – 3″ squares
  • Medium/Green: 4 – 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles
  • Dark/Black: 1 – 4.5″ square

rolling pinwheel quilt block

Sewing Directions:

Step 1:

Half-Square Triangle Units:

Using the 6 Light/White 3″ squares and the 6 Medium/Blue 3″ squares make a total of 12 Half-Square Triangle (HST) units. You can find my tutorial on HSTs at: Press the seam allowance toward the Light/White triangle.

rolling pinwheel 1

Step 2:


Flying Geese Units:

Now you need to make four Flying Geese units using 8 Light/White 2.5″ squares and the 4 Medium/Green 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangles. You will find my tutorial on Flying Geese units here:

rolling pinwheel 2

Step 3:

Inner Border Units:

Sew together one of Flying Geese units you just made along with an HST unit as shown in the picture below. Press the seam allowance toward the HST unit. Repeat to make a total of 4 units.

rolling pinwheel 3

Step 4:

Partial Seam Construction:

Now comes the fun part – partial seam construction! Lay out the Dark/Black 4.5″ square and the four inner border units you just made as shown in the picture below.

rolling pinwheel 4

Step 5:

Starting at the top right corner, sew a partial seam (I’ve used a marker to show where I stitched). I like to sew at least an inch and a half of the seam. Press the seam allowance away from the Dark/Black 4.5″ center square. I pressed mine the wrong way which worked okay but I think pressing away the center will work better.

rolling pinwheel 5

Step 6:

Now lay out the right unit as shown below and …

rolling pinwheel 6

Step 7:

Sew the two units together. Press seam allowance away from the center square.

rolling pinwheel 7

Step 8:

Continue on around the center square in a clockwise direction.

rolling pinwheel 8

rolling pinwheel 85

Step 9:

Finish up by sewing the rest of the partial seam that you started with. That’s not so hard! Hmmm, I really like the look of this center unit all by itself.

rolling pinwheel 10

Step 10:

Outer Border Units:

Sew together a Light/White 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangle and two HST units as shown in the picture below. Press the seam allowance toward the Light/White 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangle. Repeat to make four units.

rolling pinwheel 9

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Step 11:

Lay out the remaining 4 Light/White 2.5″ squares, the outer border units, and the center unit as shown in the picture below.

rolling pinwheel 11

Step 12:

Sew the units together in three rows. Your seam allowances should nest nicely so that you get nice points.

rolling pinwheel 12

Step 13:

Press the seam allowances toward the outer border units as shown below.

rolling pinwheel 13

Step 14:

Sew the rows together…

rolling pinwheel 14

Step 15:

Press the seam allowances away from the center. You’re done!

rolling pinwheel 15

In Conclusion:

Partial seam construction sounds difficult but it really isn’t. I always feel like I’ve accomplished something when I do one though! I enjoyed making this block but I really think the center unit is a nicer stand-alone block. Just my opinion! I hope you enjoy making this Rolling Pinwheel quilt block!

If you like this tutorial and want to see more, simply click HERE to sign up for my newsletter and receive a free PDF quilt pattern called Chained Weathervane!

Happy Quilting!


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