Saturday, June 11, 2011

Another pinwheels tutorial ......

I am making more pinwheels..... this time from these lovely Wiscasset layer cake blocks I received from Marina who had some extra pieces and sent them on when she say my Topsy Turvy quilt blocks...

I am matching it with a cream on cream floral backing fabric

to make a backing for this quilt seen previously HERE with my uncooperative model

I am doing some of the pinwheels as shown in the charm pack pinwheel table runner HERE

When I did that post Tonya from Hillbilly Handiworks suggested another method and that is what I have tried out this morning..... I thought I'd show you.....

of course you will need a snack before starting.... you might like some tea or coffee too.... there are lots of pictures.....

and of course 'we wash our hands' before stroking sewing fabric

Now before we start I do want to tell you about Tonya who is a favourite Hillbilly of mine - she is a natural born teacher and is busy getting together a whole series of quilting tips etc and there are already lots on her blog in easy to find tabs.... I do recommend going by and having a look over HERE ... even if I don't do all her projects I know I am going to learn lots...

Thanks for this idea Tonya......

are you ready to start?

Start with two squares the same size... I am using layer cake 10" squares so I have cut a bundle of my cream into 10" squares (equal numbers of colour to contrast)

now not all 10" squares are created equal so do check your layer cake squares (I have heard this from several sources)

you can see here I need to do a bit of trimming

lay them right sides together - no lines to draw this time..

I am going to sew ALL the way around the perimeter of the square.... like this:-

you can't see the stitching too clearly on the fabric..... but it is sewn all the way around with a 1/4" seam

say good morning to Mr Rotary - he's one of my favourite toy boys....

I am going to cut my 'sewn all around the edge right sides together squares' diagonally..... both ways.... 

like this......

open out the seams and you have 4 blocks of half square triangles....

how easy is that???

of course there are those little tags to trim ....

no waste and perfect squares - you have not had to sew on the bias....

you can see here my two 10" squares have yielded 4 squares 6 3/4" each.....

now to join them for pinwheels......

this time I am sewing on the bias... which can stretch so I prefer to put in a couple of pins to stabilise....

the rows are stitched .....

and now the other way..... seams pushed towards the darker fabric.....

and again pinning to stabilise... especially that middle which you want to meet EXACTLY right....


I wanted to just show you how I deal with the centre of the back of the pinwheel.....

at this stage it is thick with lots of layers of fabric..... that's 8 points meeting in one place

... I do a little twist so that one edge undoes a few stitches and you can move the fabric to either side.... in this case I am going so the sides face the darker fabric.... can you see how this happens?

I just find it leaves less of a 'bump' in the middle of the block

however if you have back sewn this doesn't happen (because your couple of stitches don't undo)

then I press the block.....

pretty good points???

the pinwheel block has come out about 12 3/4"......
I will trim to 12 1/2... measuring 6 1/4 from the centre out and not edge to edge......

I have mentioned for many points I don't press..... I find the fabric easier to manipulate and make nice points if I leave that to the end....

I do like this little presser thing..... to just ease the fabric....

these are some 4" blocks I am also half square triangling....

yields four 2 1/2" squares.....

will I do pinwheels?

or rows of half square triangles?

or stripes?

oh the possibilities

We are having very unusually cold cloudy miserable weather here in Sunny Queensland
suits me.... I'm going to sew

and read this lovely bunch of magazines I received from Bobby yesterday

and play with that fancy pinking rotary cutter she gave me
I didn't even know they existed!

Thanks Bobby... she is a new blogger so pop round HERE and say Hi..... she does lovely, lovely work and there are nice easy tabs on her blog to look at what she has made...   we did a block swap a little while ago and realised we live close by....

AND we have a long weekend - triple yay

Hope yours is good WONDERFUL


  1. Thank you for a great tutorial... love it and now those darn pinwheels don't look so ''painful'' to do xxx

  2. I have seen the pinwheels done that way before and keep saying I am going to try it.

    Boy....after I got done sewing with you, you would have to roll me out of your house....all the wonderful treats!!

  3. What a great tutorial. Hey I have some of those uncooperative models here at my house too!

  4. fantastic tutorial Fiona so easy to understand,well done and have a great weekend,and stay warm

  5. Hello Fiona,

    I think I put on weight each time I visit your blog!!! Stay warm.

  6. That is fantastic. I am going to try that definetly. I'm going to go visit Tonya as well.

  7. I wish I lived closer to you - you make this look so easy! PERFECT points, girl! Enjoy those magazines - oh yum - and stay warm!

  8. thanks for the great way to make those pinwheels!

  9. thanks for the tutorial. I have seen less detailed instructions on how to do it this way and was never game. Your instructions are super. I have some pinwheels in mind for a project I will definitely try it.
    I think that you showed cake at the start really got my attention! lol

  10. Great tutorial. I think I have tried that method. Sure saves time. Enjoy your magazines.

  11. Great tute, I have seen that method before, but never tried it... hmmm... I have a Christmas layer cake, should I? Hee heee :)

  12. Great tute Fiona, I'm all for doing some triangles pet hate before but now I'm inspired.

  13. That is a wonderful tutorial. Thank you so much for taking the time to create and share it. I've never seen one like that before and it is awesome!! I'm giving it a go tomorrow.....I can see a table runner on the way.

  14. I need to try some more pinwheels, just so I can give the backs a little twist and get them to lie flat like that!
    Glad that you tried this method. Thanks for the shout out!

  15. I've tried this method with less than success. I wound up with a lumpy middle. Now that I know your little twist secret, I may try it again.
    What's happening with the lovely red, white, and black fabrics sitting under your new rotary cutter?

  16. Great tutorial Fiona , I have not done the HST's that way but it sure looks like a plan .The cake or slice as you call it looks so yummy ,now I am hungry ;-)
    hugs Sheila

  17. Thanks Bubz, always good to see anther version...

  18. Perfect points Fiona!I hope mine turn out that good. Fun tutorial as always - thanks! Tracee xx

  19. Oh my God, more food on your blog!! Just leaving now Fi to go for a run around the block!! lol..Ps. love your new header..

  20. Thanks for the tutorial, a very clever way to make a pinwheel block.

  21. Isn't this just the best and easiest way to make pinwheels! I learnt it a few months ago and I love it!


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