Disappearing Pinwheel Churndash Quilt Snips Tutorial

Jenny Doan

Disappearing Pinwheel Churndash Quilt Snips Tutorial

Time: 10 Minutes
Jenny Doan shows us how to make another stunning variation of the Disappearing Pinwheel using layer cakes.
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video transcript

Hi, I’m Jenny from the Missouri Star Quilt Company and I’m here to show you another variation on the Disappearing Pinwheel. This is such a fun block. You’ve heard about the Disappearing Nine Patch, you’ve heard about the Disappearing Four Patch, and now we have the Disappearing Pinwheel and this is such a versatile block, so many ways to set it. So, this little quilt behind me is 55” by 65” and I made it using one layer cake. This layer cake right here: Muslin Mates. Now, it looks like a white layer cake, but when you dig into it, it’s got all these blacks and tans and really interesting colors. So, I was really anxious to see how it would work up with this pattern.

So, what I did was I went ahead and separated out my layer cake because when you’re dealing with things that you know you want to have some contrast on, and there’s not going to be a ton of contrast, like on this one where it’s beige and white, you want to make sure that you have all your whites used up with your beiges and your blacks with your whiter, lighter colors so that they all stand out. So they all have some. So I went ahead and pulled mine out and matched them up from the layer cake. So then what you’re going to do is, you’re going to take two squares and you’re going to sew them together a quarter of an inch all the way around the outside. This is just how we’re doing the pinwheel. We’ve got to make our pinwheel before it disappears, we’ve got to actually make it. So we’ve sewn this one a quarter of an inch all the way around and now we’re going to cut it diagonally both directions so we can make a pinwheel. And we just line up our ruler from corner to corner on the, point to point on the corners. Give it a cut. Make sure it stays together. Then we’re going to come over here and line this one up corner to corner and give it a cut. This will give us four, half-square triangles. The half-square triangles, then we’re going to go ahead and press open. And I like to just lay them on my ironing board with the dark up because I want to press them to the dark side. We’re going to the dark side.

So here we go. We’re just going to press those and roll them back. Oh, and you can see that the fabric that I used is the same fabric that’s on my ironing mat. There is a cool tutorial on how to make this, this little ironing pad if you ever want to make that online too. So you can check that out as well. Then you could put any fabric on there that you’d like.

Alright, so now we need to put together our pinwheel and we’re going to put these together so that, so that every other square, every other half square has color and not, like this. So it makes the pinwheel. There, one more time, there we go. Then what we’re going to do is we’re going to sew this together, right here and right here. And when we get these two pieces sewn together then we’ll sew our two rows together like this. And then we’ll have our finished pinwheel. So right here is our finished pinwheel.

Now what we’re trying to do with this block, this disappearing pinwheel block, is we’re trying to divide this block into three equal segments. So you’re going to take the overall measurement of your block, and mine ends up being 12 ½, and I’m going to divide that into three so... because I want all my pieces to be identical. So then I’m going to come out from the middle and I’m going to make the same exact cuts on all four sides and mine works out to 2 ⅛. And I’m going to go ahead and cut it on all four sides, like this. You don’t want to move your pinwheel, so you can use a small, a smaller mat that you can turn, or you can use a rotating mat. I’m just using a small mat here that I can turn. And, again, I’m coming out, I’m coming out for my measurement. It’s 2 ⅛ from the middle. That will give me three pieces that are the same size. Actually, actually nine pieces. What we’re working on, we’re making nine squares so that we can sew them all back together -- nine squares that are the same size. We want, we want to be able to swap them around. Alright, so now we have this awesome pinwheel right here that’s cut on all four sides.

So now what we’re going to do is, we’re going to take these ones with the two stripes, and we’re going to put them so they face the pinwheel. Alright, so we’re going to turn all of these to the center and then all our little side pieces we’re also going to point to the center, just like this. And look what you get! You get a churn dash block or a monkey wrench block with a pinwheel in the center. You didn’t have to cut any of the pieces. Isn’t that awesome? I mean, it just looks so cool. Now the other thing you do is you can flip this completely around and you can make it where the white makes the pinwheel color. There are so many things you can do with this block. It’s really, really fun. So, here is the other way. Isn’t that amazing? So cool!

So then when we go to sew this together, we’re just going to sew rows of three and then sew our rows together. So, I want to make this a black pinwheel, so I’m going to go ahead and turn this right back around, put my darks toward the centers, just like this. Just like that, all from a pinwheel block. I just think this is so cool. And then we’re going to take these and I’m just going to take this row and go over to the sewing machine and sew them together. I’m going to make sure that my, my dark piece is pointing toward the bottom of my triangle so that it, it stays close to the center. And that row is ready to go. And then I’m just going to sew the rest of these together and I’ll meet you right back here.

So now we have all three of these rows sewn together and we need to press them. These outer ones, I’m going to press in and this inner one, this middle one right here, I’m going to press out and that will help the rows lay together really nicely when we put our block together. So, I’m just going to go ahead and roll these back and press these out, like this. Make sure that they’re out of both sides, flip them over, make sure your seams lay nice and flat, and then this will nest really nicely together. Alright, so now we just have to put our block together. We’re going to lay these right on top of each other. We’re going to make sure that these nest up here really nice here and they are feeling like they are going together just perfectly.

So, I’m going to sew this together, again, a quarter of an inch seam -- that’s what we use in quilting. I’m going to make sure that my seam is lined up. I can feel, I can feel it with my finger that it is nested in there really nice. And then I’m just going to add that bottom row on over here, so let me grab that, and I’m going to make sure these seams are going opposite directions, nested in, like that, and just start sewing. I kind of like to do a little anchoring stitch and then I just let it sew and make sure it’s all lined up.
Alright, so now let’s see what we got. Hey, we did good! Let’s iron it out. Nice and pressed, shot of steam, and we have our finished block. So, when you get your block finished, this is what you get. Isn’t that darling? And just from a pinwheel that you’ve cut on all four sides. So to lay out this quilt, I just lay mine and sewed them together light, dark, light, dark in rows, like this. You can see on the quilt behind me, I have four across and five down. I also added about a five inch border on here to go all the way around, and it ends up finishing about 55’ by 65” just from this one layer cake. So, we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the Churn Dash Pinwheel block, another variation of the Disappearing Pinwheel from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.

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