Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Lessons from the Pinwheel

I've so enjoyed playing with pinwheels this week! The slow, precise cutting and sewing and ironing and sewing, without a time limit, feels so good. As a pinwheel newbie, I thought I'd share with you some of the things I picked up along the way.

1. Chain piecing is super fast and fun. I picked this method up from my lovely sewing buddy Helen from Corduroy Corner. Simply sew down both sides on the squares, making a chain like this one, then snip, and go down the last 2 sides.

2. Two 4.5" squares, turned into pinwheels (or any pattern made from the resulting 4 little squares) makes a 5" square finished. What!!? Tim has explained the maths to me (something about surface area and square inches) but it still blows my mind. I was expecting 6 or 7 inch pinwheels.

3. Always check bobbin thread before chain piecing your entire lot of pinwheels. Especially when it's the last seam! Oh the frustration of realising you haven't just finished 20 quilt blocks!

4. A new roller cutter blade is just the 'spoonful of sugar' needed for trimming all those pinwheels. Bliss!

5. And after all that cutting and pressing and piecing, you will still only have the smallest quilt top. Repeat above steps. And even then, consider throwing in a good dose of 5" squares.

6. I like my pinwheels turned to make diamonds. I like the smaller, more saturated prints the most. I like using prints from all the same line (This one is from the fat quarter pack of Seaside by Riley Blake that I won from Maureen's blog. Thank you Maureen!). I think it's my first time I've stuck to the one line! And it's meant I've enjoyed the time thinking about line (the other kind!) and white space and design. Though thinking about colour definitely is fun too!


  1. Pretty pinwheels. I like all the prints, too, and wish I had won the bundle;)

  2. Your pinwheels are very nicely done. Worth the effort!

  3. A very fun design, pinwheels are always great to make =D


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