Are you ready for some more traditional block fun? I am finding that so many of the traditional blocks have half square triangles in them somewhere – really such a versatile block. Our block this week is the pinwheel block. I opted to make 4 pinwheel blocks to put together, but you could definitely just make one – just make the half square triangles 6″ finished, put four together and you’ll have your 12″ block.
Also, because we have had so many lessons on making half square triangles one at a time (actually two at a time), I decided to show you a different method for making half square triangles. I don’t know that I prefer it for this particular block, but it is a good method if you are making LOTS of half square triangles that are all the same. So, we will use it again in the future as well. It is always good to learn different methods so you can decide which you prefer to use.
For this block, you will need five fabrics: One for the background and four for the pinwheels. I chose fabrics from the Penny Rose Classics collection. Rough cut a 5″ x 9″ piece of each of the four pinwheel fabrics and rough cut four 5″ x 9″ pieces from the background fabric. *Rough cuts do not need to be exact – you’ll see why in a minute.
Follow the diagram to draw lines on THE WRONG SIDE of the four background pieces. I always use a mechanical pencil to get a nice, sharp line.
Place background piece right sides together with one of the pinwheel fabrics, and stitch 1/4″ from both sides of the diagonal lines. You can stitch past the drawn lines, pivot, and stitch the other direction.
Repeat for all four background and pinwheel fabrics. The stitching should look like this.
Now you are going to cut on ALL marked lines.
Here’s the last cut.
Press the half square triangles toward the pinwheel fabric.
I still always trim these babies to make sure the are exactly 3 1/2″. Place the diagonal of the ruler on the seam and trim two sides.
Turn the half square triangle 180 degrees and trim the other side to make it exactly 3 1/2″. Repeat for all 16 half square triangles.
Now all of your pieces are ready to be stitched together.
Stitch the half square triangles in pairs like this. You should have eight pairs – two of each of the four pinwheel fabrics.
Remember that you can chain stitch the units. Also, you can ‘butt-up’ these seams to make sure that your points will match.
Press the half square triangle pairs. Press all eight of the pairs the same direction.
Put the pairs together to make a pinwheel.
Stitch the pairs together. Repeat for all four pinwheels.
Press the pinwheels. Press all four pinwheels in the same direction.
Now your pinwheels are done. Let’s put them together! Turn the pinwheels so that the seams that will be stitched together are opposite of the one next to them.
Stitch the top two pinwheels together. Repeat for the bottom two pinwheels.
Notice here that you can ‘butt-up’ three different seams as you stitch these pinwheels together so that your points will match perfectly.
Press the seams in opposite directions.
Stitch the rows together. Remember to ‘butt-up’ all of the seams (straight and diagonal) as you stitch down the side.
Press that last seam.
You are done!
Here is an idea of what this block would look like as an entire quilt. *Note: I would probably just make the individual pinwheels and stitch together in rows if I were to make this block into a quilt.
How about an entire scrappy quilt?
What about a two color quilt?
Have fun stitching!