Framed Pinwheels Quilt Tutorial

Jenny Doan

Framed Pinwheels Quilt Tutorial

Quilt Size: 67" x 80"
Jenny Doan demonstrates how to make a gorgeous Framed Pinwheel quilt using 10 inch squares of precut fabric (layer cakes) and 5 inch squares of precut fabric (charms). For this project, Jenny chose Dreaming of Tuscany 10" Squares by Michael Miller Fabrics for Michael Miller. Believe it or not, this block is a disappearing nine patch, and it comes together easy-as-pie with half square triangles! This particular layout was designed by V and Co, and it's an absolute dream!
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video transcript

Hi everybody, it’s Jenny from the MSQC. And I’ve got a really fun project for you today.Take a look at this quilt behind me. Isn’t this beautiful? The line of fabric is gorgeous. Look at this border print. It’s so pretty. So to make this quilt you’re going to need one packet of ten inch squares. And we have used Dreaming of Tuscany by Michael Miller Fabrics. You’re going to need some five inch squares. So you’re going to need two packs of five inch squares or 1 ½ yards of fabric. For this first border, it’s a half yard of fabric so if you want to tie all your background yardage in and get yardage, that’s two yards for that. Your outer border out here is a nice big six inch border. And you’re going to need 1 ¼ yards for that. Now let’s look at this backing. You’re going to need five yards of backing and we’ve used the cute little purple floral print. Just darling. Now I know this is going to surprise you when I tell you how to make this but this is a disappearing nine patch.

So one of the things I’ve been playing with and I often talk about when I do a trunk show or something, I show the disappearing nine patch and I talk about how the fabric in the corners never changes. So what happens if we put a block in there? And so we thought what would happen if we put a little pinwheel block in two of the corners of our disappearing nine patch. So recently V & Co. posted on her site three different ways to lay out a disappearing nine patch that had pinwheels in it. So I called her and talked to her about it and so we are using one of her layouts in this. And we will show you how to do that.

So the first thing we’re going to want to do is make some pinwheels. Now you’re going to take your large ten inch square like this. And we’re going to cut it twice so that we have four five inch squares. So realistically you could use charms for this. But it makes a much bigger quilt if we use our ten inch squares. So we’re going to cut this both directions like this. And I’m using my ruler that is five inches wide so I just can lay it right along the edge and then just cut. And you’ll have four five inch squares like that. So to make our pinwheels, we’re going to make two for each block. And there are 20 blocks on here. And so you’re going to need 40 pinwheels. And so what we’re going to do is we are going to take a white square, five inches, and put it on our colored square, five inches. And we are going to sew all the way around at a quarter of an inch. Now we’re just going to line this up here. And we are going to sew down and across. And you can sew off or pivot. I sew off. And then one more. Now to make our pinwheels, our pinwheels, we’re going to need four half square triangles, so this will do, this is a quick way to do half square triangles. We’re going to lay our ruler, once our square is sewn all the way around, we’re going to lay our ruler diagonally corner to corner, side to side like this. And we’re going to make a cut and then we’re going to take our ruler and lay it corner to corner and make another cut.

Alright now what we’re going to do is we’re going to press these open. And I turn them dark side up so that I can keep my seam to the dark side. What I’m going to do here is open these up and just roll them back like this. Just roll it back. It takes me a minute and then open this up. Alright so now because we want our square to stay five inches, we want our pinwheel block to remain five inches because all of our other squares are five inches and we don’t want to have to cut all those down. What we’re going to do is we’re going to square these up to 2 ¾. And so we’re going to lay our ruler on here like this. And I like to always start from a measurement that is easy to see on the ruler. So I’m at 2 ½ right here, I’m going to slide this up to 2 ¾ on both sides. And we are just going to trim this on two sides now. So we will have four of these that are trimmed to 2 ¾. That one. And I just have my diagonal line up here. I pull it into where it’s easy for me to see on the half. I’m going to scoot it into the ¾. And then I’m just going to cut on this side and this side. And out of one five inch square we get four of these that are 2 ¾ apiece.

Alright now we’re going to sew them together. And you want to make sure that all your pinwheels are rotating in the same direction. So basically I do all my pinwheels first. And I’m going to lay them down so they’re all going in the same direction. So once I make one like this I’m going to leave it here like as a little model. And I’m going to put these together so that I, they’re all going the same direction. And we’re going to sew this together like this. And we’re just going to sew a quarter of an inch. Because this is, you know, we want this to match exactly the other squares and we’ve already squared them up, they should fit together perfectly you’re just going to have to be kind of careful as you’re sewing them to make sure your quarter of an inch is pretty accurate. Alright I’ve got these two blocks. If I open them, let’s see, they should fit together perfectly. And we’re going to lay this on top of here. I’m going to take a few stitches and then I’m going to make sure that my middle seams are going to go opposite direction. So one’s going to go, the bottom one will go toward the needle, the top one will go away from the needle. And I’m just going to sew a quarter of an inch right along here. And then we’re going to press this open. Now if you want to you can trim off these little dog ears up here. You know, we’re not going to need those so you can just trim those off. And then we’ll press it open. And we get this great little pinwheel. And if your pinwheels feel like they’re like high in the center or something, you can always press this seam open. It’s not going to matter. I’m just going to press mine to the side and give it a nice shot of steam and it lays nice and flat. Now let’s measure it and make sure we’re right, we should be pretty close. We are five by five. We are perfect.

So now let me show you how to put this block together because this is a disappearing nine patch and I know you probably can’t see it yet but it is. So we’re going to put a nine patch up here and in one corner we’re going to have the white and in the other corner we’re going to have the pinwheels. And then we’re going to come down here and we’re going to have our colored squares are going to come all the way across the middle like this. And then down here in one corner again, we’re going to have our white and in the other corner we’re going to have our pinwheel. And it’s going to look just like this. So this makes a big nine patch just like this. We’re going to sew three rows of three together. And it’s going to make a block that looks just like this. So let me show you this one right here.

And so once you get your rows together, this is what the block will look like right here. And so we’ve got our pinwheels in these corners, our white blocks in these corners and all three of them sewn together makes a nine patch. So now what we’re going to do is we’re going to cut this right in half. Now I know that these blocks are five inches, so half of that is 2 ½, but I’ve got a quarter of an inch in this seam. So I’m measuring 2 ¼ from the seam line and I’m going to line this up all the way down. And I’m just going to make one big cut. And then what I’m going to do is I’m going to turn these and I’m going to cut them the other direction. Now if they come apart on you like mine just did, you can line them right back up or you can just take each piece, it’s still a quarter of an inch, you know, these pieces are apart, it’s still 2 ¼ from that seam line. So let me make sure this is lined up all the way down here. And we’re going to cut again. And then you have these four pieces right here.

Alright so now how we’re going to put this together is we are going to take these two pieces and we’re going to turn our little middle square to the outside like this and these two small squares are going to stay in just like that. So once you get your block back together like this, again, you’re going to sew the seam. So you’ll sew a quarter of an inch here and a quarter of an inch here and you’ll sew this together like a big four patch. And you’re going to get a block that looks like this. Now this is your disappearing pinwheel block with the pinwheels in the corners and the disappearing blocks on the other side. So then you’re going to make 20 of these and we’re just going to set these together.

But isn’t it so cool how simple this is and yet how it looks when they come together. Because they come together like this and it forms these secondary patterns that are so cool. Like this block I think is so cool. Then four of your pinwheels are going to come together in this block. And really this is how it is right here so this is your block. So you can see how this fits in here. Now to make the whole layout like this, you can see right here, this has our pinwheels this way and the next one has our pinwheels this way. So basically you’re taking your block and then you’re turning it and then you’re turning it back and you’re turning it. And you do that on each row and so they lay together opposite. So you start the opposite way. These pinwheels run this way on this row, they’re going to run this way. So it goes together super quick and easy but it just looks like you worked so dang hard and cut all those tiny pieces.

So from this cute little block you get this quilt. We’ve got four across the top and five down so 20 blocks total. It makes a great size quilt. It’s 67 by 80. And we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the Framed Pinwheel quilt from the MSQC.

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