Deconstructed Disappearing Pinwheel Quilt Tutorial

Jenny Doan

Deconstructed Disappearing Pinwheel Quilt Tutorial

Quilt Size: 82" x 94"
Time: 11 minutes
Jenny Doan demonstrates how to make a beautiful Deconstructed Disappearing Pinwheel using 10 inch squares of precut fabric (layer cake). For this project, Jenny chose a Shimo Layer Cake by Debbie Maddy for Moda Fabrics. We've done disappearing blocks before, but this is different! Our big pinwheels are chopped up into bar blocks, half square triangles, and one mini pinwheel. And instead of sewing them back up into a single block, we've spread them across the entire quilt!
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video transcript

Hi everybody, it’s Jenny from the MSQC. And I can’t wait to tell you about this project. Let’s look at this quilt. Now this quilt has some pinwheels and it has some bar blocks and it has some half square triangles in it. But this is a disappearing pinwheel. I’m not kidding. You know usually when I do the disappearing pinwheel we work with those different blocks within the same block. But this time we pulled all those out, separated them and we’re calling it the Deconstructed Disappearing Pinwheel. And so this one is super easy to make. And I can’t wait to show you. So to make this quilt you’re going to need one layer cake of ten inch squares. And we have used Sheemo by Debbie Maddey for Moda. And these indigo blues just speak to my heart. I love them. You’re also going to need one layer cake or 42 squares of background fabric and we’ve chosen a white. You’re going to need, for your inner border out here it’s a little 2 ½ inch border and that’s about ¾ of a yard. This outer border out here is a nice big six inch border and it’s a yard and ¾ on that outer border. Let’s look at the backing. Here’s our back and we used just this nice, pretty blue on the back. It’s a marble blue. It just made a really, really nice back. So all of you who have followed along with me and made some of these disappearing pinwheel blocks this is just another one and it’s just so fun to make.

Alright so here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to take our white square, our ten inch background square and we’re going to pair it with a ten inch print square. And we’re going to put those right sides together like this, match them up and we are going to sew all the way around the outside. So let’s go to the sewing machine and do that. Line it up a quarter of an inch and just sew down the sides. You can stop and pivot or sew right off the end, it doesn’t matter. And so we’re just going to come over here and make sure we stayed lined up. I like to sew off. Sometimes I’m going so fast I can’t actually stop so that’s why I had to sew off and one more side right here. Alright so once you get your block sewn all the way around on all four sides, what we’re going to do now is cut it diagonally both directions. So I lay my ruler corner to corner like this and I’m going to make this cut and then I’m going to lay my ruler corner to corner and then corner to corner this way as well. And make this cut. Now we’re going to take these over to the iron and press them open. We’re going to do the dark side on top. So now we’re just going to press these open and we’ll get all four of them done here. And one more. And we’re not going to square up at this point. At this point we’re going to just sew these back together in a pinwheel. And when I make a pinwheel I have a little mantra. I do light, dark, light, dark, light, dark, light, dark, all seams to the center. And that helps me keep everything lined up because I’m a little angley challenged.

Alright so there’s our pinwheel. And when you make your pinwheels, this is just a little tip from somebody who knows, make sure they’re all going the same direction. Make one and then make them all the same. And so that’s just a little tip because sometimes if you don’t watch that you end up with pinwheels going this way and pinwheels going this way. And we want ours to all go the same way. So I’ve just folded these over on top of here and I’m going to go ahead and sew down the side of this one at a quarter of an inch. And there we go. And I’m going to make sure these two seams down here nest. And then this one over here, the same. Now we’re starting, the seams are nesting at the top, making sure they’re lined up. You don’t want to feel any fabric in between there. And then we’re coming down this side. Alright now these should be laid out just perfectly so that we can open them and sew them together. And they are so we’ll lay these on top of here. We’re going to line up this edge and then I’m going to lift this up and I’m going to make sure that my two middles are nested perfectly. And this is a great place to, you want to make sure that your seams are lined up and you don’t sew over that line so you keep your point. So let’s see how we did with our point. That is a great looking point. So I’m going to come over here and press this now. And my, I want to press this a little bit so it lays down here. And I want this one to lay down this way. So we want them to go opposite directions and then this guy is going to lay here. And we’re just going to press him nice and flat. And that point did come out very nice.

So once you get this nice and flat like this you can choose to square it up now or you can square up the smaller pieces. If you square it up now, the size of this block that you want it to be is 12 ¾. And you’ll need a nice big ruler to do that. But I like to square mine up at the end. I like to square up each little block and so what we’re going to do now is we’re going to grab a rotating mat because this will work so easy if we use a rotating mat. We’re going to lay our block on the rotating mat. And we are going to cut 2 ⅛ inches from the center seam on all four sides. This is how we make the normal disappearing pinwheel and we’re just doing it all the same way. So when I do this, what I do is I lay my ruler, oops look at this right here. See this, how it’s folded over a little bit. That’s going to matter so make sure when you press those seams they are nice and flat because that will change the size of your block. And I’m glad I caught that. Alright now back to the mat. Again we’re at 2 ⅛ and I lay my two inch line on that center line and then I just scoot it over an ⅛ of an inch. So I’m right here and I’m going to scoot this over an ⅛ of an inch and I’m really looking at this bottom part right here. And I’m going to cut here. And then I’m going to look up here and make sure that my ruler is still in line. And I’m going to go ahead and cut the other way. Then I’m going to turn it and I’m going to cut it on all four sides. So again I’m looking here, kind of do this half and half, make sure. There’s that one. And again put my two inches on the line, scoot it over ⅛, 2 ⅛ right here. Because sometimes your seams get a little funky and you want to just make sure all of these are 2 ⅛. So you just want to cut, I mean, don’t, I mean if your seams are perfect, you can make that cut and go all the way across. Mine are rarely perfect so I do it this bit at a time right here. Alright. Ooh, this was a perfect seam, I could have gone right up that one.

Alright so now this is, this is where the disappearing pinwheel is so fun to me is because now you have four half square triangles. You have four bar blocks and you have this pinwheel block in the center. Now I have always played with these in the block. But once we pulled all of these out like this and all of these out and put them over here and put our pinwheels in one place we were able to create this quilt. So right here we have put all the pinwheels in the center right here. Then we surrounded it with bar blocks that are doing this fields and furrows, you know. They’re zig zagging down from it. Then up on the outer edges in the corners we put all of our half square triangles. And I just think it looks so cool. And the cool thing about this is that there are so many ways to do this and arrange this and change this.

So let’s take a look at some of these blocks here and see how we would line this out. I have some that are cut and honestly to make this you’re going to have to look at the diagram because it will show you exactly goes where. I start, I always start from the center. So I put all my pinwheels together and then I start lining up these things to see what’s going to fit and how it’s going to work. That’s how I design. And then when the pattern is all done they make a diagram for you so that you can put all the right things in all the right places. The pieces that you cut out of your big disappearing pinwheel, you’re going to want to square these to 4 ½. They all have to be 4 ½, I’m sorry 4 ¼. We all want them to be 4 ¼. Now this pinwheel will be perfect because it’s right from the center. Your outer ones, if you didn’t square up your blocks before they will be just a little off and so you just want to get a little block and you want to look and you want to square them up to 4 ¼. Just like this. And you’ll take, it will just be a tiny bit you take off. But they’re all squared to the same size they will just go together. You’ll just be able to sew them together perfectly. Now you can, actually you can make these work without squaring them. I have done that. It does make for a little bit more of a challenging quilt, you know, challenging to sew together. But see when you get this one at 4 ¼ right here you’re barely shaving off anything. But I mean you’ve got itsy bitsy little bits. And so, you know, for those of you who just want to start with a perfect block and work on it and work how it goes together, you’ll want to square them up to 4 ¼. And it just goes together so slick.

I hope you have fun with this. I hope you play with this. I would love to see some of the things that you do now that we pulled this whole block out. I feel like we’ve freed the bar blocks. We’ve freed the half square triangles. We’ve freed the pinwheels to do all kinds of other things with them. And we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the Deconstructed Disappearing Pinwheel from the MSQC.

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