Pinwheel Quilt Block Pattern

Posted by Elaine Huff on

The pattern for a basic little Pinwheel block is so easy and so versatile. It is used in making so many other blocks but is also great on its own. The Pinwheel block also makes a great cornerstone block in borders and sashings.

It seems that the Pinwheel block started to be used in quiltmaking in the late 1700's and was one of the first blocks used to make quilts that were decorative as well as functional. 

Let’s get started!

pinwheel quilt block

Fabric Requirements for a 4" Finished Pinwheel Quilt Block:

  • Light/White: 2 – 3″ squares
  • Dark/Blue: 2 – 3″ squares

Sewing Directions:

Half-Square Triangle Units:

Step 1:

First you will need to make 4 Half-Square Triangle (HST) blocks. You can see my tutorial on HSTs at Trim/square up each HST to 2.5".

Putting It All Together:

Step 2:

Lay the HSTs out as shown in the picture below.

pinwheel block 1

Step 3:

Sew the HSTs together in 2 rows (or columns) and press the seam allowances in opposite directions. (This is just like putting a Four-Patch block together - tutorial at

pinwheel block 2

Step 4:

And then sew the 2 rows (or columns) together. That’s it!

pinwheel block 4

Step 5:

I like to press the seam allowance using the tweak/twirl/furl method so the block lays flatter. You can see that there is a tiny little pinwheel in the center where the seams meet.

pinwheel 5

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Here's an example of just Pinwheel next to Pinwheel. This would be really pretty as a scrappy quilt!

pinwheel quilt 1

In this example every other block is plain - a great place for fancy quilting or an applique/embroidery block.

pinwheel quilt 2

In the example below, I've added sashing with little Pinwheel cornerstones to the first layout.

pinwheel quilt 3

This is a bit different - a Pinwheel Nine Patch alternating with a plain block. I think this is my favorite!

pinwheel quilt 4

And this one adds sashing and plain cornerstones in between Pinwheel Nine Patch blocks.

pinwheel quilt 5


There are a lot of variations of this simple block. Here are some tutorials I've done:

Pinwheel Variation:

pinwheel variation

Pinwheel Star:

pinwheel star block


seesaw tutorial

Ranger's Pride:

rangers pride tutorial

I hope you liked this quick little Pinwheel Block pattern! If 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!


P.S. To print a PDF of this tutorial, check out the free app at A reader and I tried it out and it worked great.

P.P.S. To figure out yardage for a quilt, check out this post:

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