Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tutorial Tuesday: Pinwheel Blocks

So I had this awesome surprise for you guys, as one of the changes to my blog I reaaallllyyy wanted to do video tutorials. Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to get the video on to my computer. I will work on this and hopefully figure it out, but I can't promise anything!

I needed to get this post in today because it's Tutorial Tuesday, so unfortunately we're just going to be missing the very end in photos, but I will explain it as thoroughly as I can. Please don't hesitate to comment/email with questions!

When we're through, you'll end up with a block looking somewhat like this (but pieced)!

To start, cut two 5 1/2 inch blocks. Preferably with one dark fabric and one light fabric with starkly contrasting patterns. Or one fabric with a pattern and one solid.

After you've cut the squares, line them up on your cutting board like a diamond. With the top and bottom point directly on a line. Cut from corner to corner on the diagonal.

Turn the block on it's side and cut from the diagonal again. You will wind up with four equal triangular pieces.

Follow these steps on the other 5 1/2 inch square.

Now you want to line up the triangles on their longest side. One dark and one light fabric together.

Place them together right sides facing and sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

Get ready to iron!            ... But first, let's just take a moment to pause, collect ourselves and admire my beautiful vintage 1913 treadle machine!

Okay... that's enough! I know, it is beautiful! Now that your iron is hot and ready press the seams of the triangles open.

Here is where the photos stop and the videos don't upload... boo!

From here you're going to clip the excess at the tip of the squares, this is so they lay flat when you sew the squares together.

Lay out the quarter squares so they form a pinwheel and sew the rows of two and two quarter squares. I know this is a little confusing to understand without photos, again please email/ comment with questions!

You'll wind up with two rectangles. Lay them out again to form the pinwheel and close the pieces together like a sandwich, right sides facing in. From here sew along the side, don't forget your 1/4 inch seam allowance!

Press the seam out again and voila! You just made a pinwheel block!

So this is the way in which I've been doing it since I began quilting way back in 2012. (hehe)  If you're interested in a different method, check out this tutorial from Missouri Star. If you're not subscribed to them on youtube, get on that.

Well, that looks easy, now doesn't it? I haven't tried this method yet, but it looks fool proof!

So there you have it, pinwheel blocks. They're fast and so fun and look beautiful on any quilt! And, hey, at least you got to watch some sort of video, right?

In the coming months I'm hoping to get going with this video tutorial thing, it's a bit more difficult than I originally thought!

Now I'm going to relax with a glass of red wine and watch Full Metal Alchemist until I fall asleep. ;)

If you make a pinwheel block from my tutorial please link up a photo in the comments section, I'd love to see them!

Until next time quilt on,


  1. Cool! In all honesty - I hate making pinwheel blocks. I have no idea why... something about them makes my head spin before I even start. The upside, whenever I see them, especially a whole quilt with them, I instantly have mad respect for the quilter. :)

    1. I don't think I would have the patience to piece 4,000 tiny pixels, but I think that IS awesome! Every quilter is different :) Pinwheel has been the only block I've enjoyed piecing so far, next I'm going to attempt a log cabin.


Comments are much appreciated, I love to hear from you!