Monday, March 21, 2011

Pinwheel Stitch Along: Week 2 - Stitch Your Blocks

Happy Monday!  Here we are at Week 2 of the Pinwheel Stitch Along.  This week, we'll work on stitching our pinwheel blocks together.  Ready?  In this tutorial, you'll see pictures from all the different sizes I am working on ... charms (Countdown to Christmas), fat quarters (Bliss) and layer cake squares (Fandango).  I don't plan to mix them all in one quilt! :-)

*Please note ... I updated the materials yesterday.  You need a total of 24 squares in whatever size you are using.

Last week, I asked you to cut some fabric and separate them into light and dark. Here's the charm pack prints I pulled from Countdown to Christmas.  (Note ... I know y'all asked for Flurry ... but when I went to use it, I realized that we actually had been shipped "Ready, Set, Snow" and NOT Flurry!  So, I will save that fabric line for another project.) Here's the charm pack prints ...  I have 3 sets of 4 light and 4 dark.

Ok ... next, let's pull two squares (one "light" and one "dark") and pin them right sides together (RST).

Now, stitch around all four sides using a 1/4" inseam. Press and lay it on your cutting mat.

Slice along both diagonals to create four triangles. 

Press all half-square triangles (HST) toward one fabric (the darker one).

Now, lay them out to create your pinwheel.

Note ... Make sure all your pinwheels are spinning the same way (dominant print in same position in all blocks).  Here's a photo where ONE of them (black print) is going the wrong way ...

And here's the same picture with the "wrong way" pinwheel fixed.  Better right?  So spin them whichever way you want, but make sure they are all spinning the same way. :-)

Ok ... so now let's start sewing the pinwheel blocks together.  Pin and press in the same direction.  Here I've pressed all sets of 2 blocks to the left (keeping the "V" seam down/pointing toward me when pressing). This will help your seams nest nicely together.

Now that you have two pairs together, pin and stitch the pairs to create a 2x2 block. Careful to line up the seams on the corners. :-)
You may want to press the seam joining the two pairs open as shown below ... it will help the center of the block lay a little flatter.

Finished layer cake block ...

Once you have your 2x2 block, repeat the process to finish the other 11 blocks. :) Finished blocks should be approx 6" for charms, 10" for FQ, and 13" for layer cakes.

This is a fast and easy way to create those versatile half square triangles.  There are many other ways, but this seems to require less math (which we learned I'm apparently not that great at! haha! :-)  If you'd like to watch a video tutorial, there is a great one here.

Once you have all 12 blocks, lay them out and arrange them as you'd like them in your quilt.

Then start sewing all your blocks together. I work in rows and then attach the rows together. Pins are your friend in this process ... so take a few extra seconds to match the seams, pin them and pin in between.

You'll end up with a pretty quilt top. :-)

I hope all this makes sense!  If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I will do my best to help you out. :)  Can't wait to see your progress!  Feel free to share a link in the comments or in our Flickr group.

Later this week, I will share my Fandango layer cake top and the Bliss fat quarter top.

Happy Sewing! :-)

1 comment:

  1. Oh my! That looks so do-able! I have always been afraid of those mysterious pinwheels but love them so! Okay... totally getting on board with this! Thank you for such a clear explanation!


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