How to Create a Pinwheel Quilt Block

Posted by Elaine Huff on

The name of this block is Pinwheel Quilt but I'm not sure why - there's no pinwheel in it! Learn an easy way to get those on-point four square patches to fit. It appeared in the Kansas City Star and is a variation of the Cross and Chains quilt block that also appeared in the Kansas City Star. I've also done a few layouts which you'll find at the end of the tutorial. Let's get sewing!

pinwheel quilt

Fabric Requirements for a 12" Finished Pinwheel Quilt Block:

  • Light/White: 2 - 5" squares, and 16 - 2.5" squares
  • Medium: 2 - 5.5" squares
  • Dark: 2 - 5.5" squares, 2 - 5" squares, and 1 - 4.5" squares (forgot to put that one in the picture!)

pinwheel quilt fabric requirements

Sewing Directions:

Corner Units:

Step 1:

Using the Light/White 5" squares and Dark 5" squares, sew together four Half Square Triangle patches as shown in the picture below. Trim/square up the units to 4.5" square. You can find my tutorial for making Half Square Triangles at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-half-square-triangle-block

pinwheel quilt 1

On-Point Four Patch Units:

Step 2:

Using the two Medium 5.5" squares and the two Dark 5.5" squares, piece together four Hourglass units like the ones shown in the picture below. Trim/square up the units to 4.5" square. You can find the basic Hourglass tutorial at https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-to-sew-a-basic-hourglass-or-quarter-square-triangle-block

pinwheel quilt 2

Step 3:

Going from top to bottom, left to right, use the picture below for reference for these next steps:

  • Mark a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back of two Light/White 2.5" squares. Then place on a Step 2 Hourglass unit and stitch along the marked line.
  • Fold the Light/White 2.5" squares along the stitching, match the corners, and press
  • Unfold the Light/White 2.5" squares and trim away the seam allowance
  • Refold

pinwheel quilt 3

Step 4:

Repeat Step 3 for a total of four units.

pinwheel quilt 4

Step 5:

Repeat Step 3 with the other two corners of the Hourglass units as shown in the picture below.

  • Mark a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back of two Light/White 2.5" squares. Then place on a Step 2 Hourglass unit and stitch along the marked line.
  • Fold the Light/White 2.5" squares along the stitching, match the corners, and press
  • Unfold the Light/White 2.5" squares and trim away the seam allowance
  • Refold

pinwheel quilt 5

Step 6:

Repeat Step 5 for a total of four On-Point Four Patch units as shown below.

pinwheel quilt 6

Putting It All Together:

Step 7:

Lay out the Corner units, the On-Point Four Patch units, and the Dark 4.5" square as shown in the picture below. From here the Pinwheel Quilt block goes together like a basic Nine Patch block.

pinwheel quilt 7

Step 8:

Now you can sew the units into three rows as shown in the picture below.

pinwheel quilt 8

Step 9:

Next, press the seam allowances away from the On-Point Four Patch units as shown below.

pinwheel quilt 9

Step 10:

Sew those three rows together and...

pinwheel quilt 10

Step 11:

Press the seam allowances toward the center of the block. You're done!

pinwheel quilt 11

Layout Options:

Here's a basic simple 4 x 4 layout. It always amazes me how different a block looks when sewn into a quilt.

layout 1

In this example, I've simply added sashing and cornerstones so each individual block shines.

layout 2

Next I substituted the On-Point Four Patch unit for the cornerstones. Of course I had to make the sashing bigger to accommodate the larger cornerstone.

layout 3

Here's where I added a border using the On-Point Four Patch unit. It's a little busy for my taste but still looks nice.

layout 4

Of course, I had to see what it looked like on point. Another great look!

layout 5

Conclusion:

I really enjoyed sewing this block together. Once I figured out how to get those On-Point Four Patch units sewn without cutting odd-ball sized squares and triangles, it was fun! Doing these tutorials helps me up my game with sewing skills too! You do get a bit more fabric waste doing the unit the way I've shown in the tutorial, but I think it's worth it. Less stress about cutting and sewing small squares and getting them to fit into the 4.5" square parameter.

I hope you've enjoyed this Pinwheel Quilt block tutorialIf you liked this post and want to see more quilting tutorials like this, simply click here to sign up for my newsletter and also receive a free PDF quilt pattern called Chained Weathervane.

Happy Quilting!

Elaine

P.S. The fabrics I used in this tutorial are from the Carnaby Street collection which you can find here: https://fabric406.com/collections/all/collection_carnaby-street

P.P.S. To print a PDF of this tutorial, check out the free app at https://www.printfriendly.com/

P.P.P.S. To figure out yardage for a quilt, check out this post: https://fabric406.com/blogs/fabric406-blog/how-much-fabric-do-i-need

 

 


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