Stars & Pinwheels Quilt Tutorial

Jenny Doan

Stars & Pinwheels Quilt Tutorial

Quilt Size: 80" x 92"
Jenny Doan demonstrates how to make a quick and easy Stars & Pinwheels quilt using 10 inch squares of precut fabric (layer cake). Jenny used Sycamore Layer Cake by Jan Patek Quilts for Moda Fabrics.
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video transcript

Hi everybody, it’s Jenny from the MSQC. And I’ve got a great project for you today. Let’s take a look at this quilt behind me. Isn’t this fun? Of course I love stars. And we’ve got our stars on here but the fun part comes in, what happens in the corner of our star block makes this pinwheel. So let me show you how to do this. So to make this quilt what you’re going to need is one packet of ten inch squares. And we have used Sycamore by Jan Paddock for Moda. I love Jan’s fabric. It’s always so warm and cozy. Love it. I love her too. She lives pretty close to us here and she’s just a great gal. Alright so you’re going to need one packet of ten inch squares. You’re going to need some background fabric, 5 ½ yards and that takes care of all of this background fabric. And our outer border is two yards and that’s a nice big six inch border because we wanted to show off that beautiful leaf print. I mean it’s just, just such a fun, fun thing. Alright let me show you how to do this. There’s a little bit of cutting involved.

So we’re going to take our ten inch square and we’re going to cut it. I’m going to show you how to do that. So this is the block we’re talking about right here. Right here. And so we need some star legs and we need some of these geese that are in the corners out of every block. So this is how we’re going to do it. We’re going to take our ruler and we’re going to cut two strips of 2 ½ inch wide. Two strips that are 2 ½ inch wide right here, one and two.. And then we’re going to sub cut those into 2 ½ inch squares because we need eight 2 ½ inch squares to make our star points. So I’m just going to lay these together. I’m going to grab my little 2 ½ inch ruler. And I’m just going to cut. So there’s two and then four, six, six and eight. So there’s ours. They’re all stacked double so you can see that there’s actually eight there. Then out of the leftover piece we’re going to cut our center square which is going to be 4 ½. And we’re going to lay our ruler on here and just cut that out like so I’m just going to cut kind of straight across, move this and then cut this over. And that gives us a 4 ½ inch center square. And then we’re going to cut two 2 ½ by 4 ½ inch blocks so I’m going to cut two strips here like this, one and two right here. And then I’m just going to cut a little half an inch off the end of these. So that they’re 4 ½ because they all need to be 4 ½ So here we go, just like this. There’s my little two inch piece. So that’s pretty good. I mean this is pretty good waste for a, for a layer cake. I mean not very much there.

So you want to just stack those up in, in, in, keep them together. Keep your star legs together for sure. Your centers and your bar blocks. Alright now we need to cut some background fabric. And we need some 2 ½ inch squares. When we make our outer geese for the corners they have 2 ½ inch squares and there’s eight of those. And then you need 12 of these 4 ½ by 2 ½ inch blocks. So you’re going to cut, cut your selvedge off first. Oop, open your rotary blade. All things are important, right? Then we’re going to cut some 4 ½ inch blocks and you’re going to need 12 of those for each block. And then you’re also going to need eight, two, four, six, eight of the 2 ½ inch squares. So that’s for each block. So let me just cut one more set here. Alright so we’re going to talk about making the star block first.

And what we’re going to do for that is we’re going to take a center square. And we want our star legs to be different so I’m actually going to use another square I have over here. Here it is. And then we’re talking about our star legs. And I have some legs done but I’m going to go ahead and show a couple, how to do a couple of these. So let me get these apart. There we go. So we’re going to take our 4 ½ by 2 ½ inch rectangle and we’re going to put two 2 ½ inch squares on each corner. Sew diagonally corner to corner. So you want to draw the line or iron the line. You can finger press it like this. And it gives you a little line. So we’re going to sew one, trim that off, iron it back and then sew the other side. So let’s go ahead and do that to a couple of them here. So we’re just going to lay our presser foot, sew from the corner to the corner. And I’m just going to, you can chain piece these. So we’re just going to slide another one in. There we go. Now let’s trim these off. And I like to just go ahead and. I’m going to go ahead and clip my thread. And I like to just lay my ruler in here a little bit and trim that outside edge off. That outside corner. And then we’re going to go to the iron and iron these back. Excuse me. I’ve got a little frog in my throat. Not literally. There really isn’t a frog but, you know. Sometimes when you say something it’s just like oh, what does that mean. No, no frogs here. Alright here we go. So now these are ironed back we’re going to add the other square to the other side. And that’s going to make us a flying geese unit for our star legs. And so again we’re going to put these on and we’re going to sew from the middle out. Alright.There we go and one more. And you need four of these for your stars because you want legs on all four sides of your center square. And let me trim that one off. And we’re going to press those open. Alright. So you need four of these for your star.

Now we’re going to turn these into blocks. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to take our 4 ½ by 2 ½ inch background blocks. And we are going to sew this onto the bottom of our flying geese units. And we’re going to go ahead and do a couple of those right here. There we go. And one more. You know as I got to making these I realized that whenever I sew the bottom strip on I’m always sewing it, I’m sewing the background to the background. So that’s a good thing to remember because we’re going to make another set of flying geese and the background is going to go on the other side. But if you’re always sewing the background to the background it will help you remember. Alright. So let me show you how this is coming together now.

So here’s our center and here’s our legs. And our legs are going to go on all four sides like this. And so this is your star block. This is what you get. Now these corner blocks we fill in with another flying geese block. It’s just made the opposite way. So let me show you how to do that. You’re going to take your 4 ½ by 2 ½ inch rectangles that you cut off your ten inch square. And you’re going to take your background fabric and we’re going to make a flying geese out of that. So again we’re just going to fold our corners like this and sew them from the center out, oop let’s go this way like this. And once you get that one sewn on you’re going to add this one. So this is how this flying geese block looks, like this. Then what you’re going to do is you’re going to add your little background piece that is 4 ½ by 2 ½ to the top of that. And that is going to go over in this corner right there.

So let’s take some of these blocks. Let’s move our star block. And let’s take some of these and let’s put them in the corner. So this one, they’re going to rotate around. So that means they’re just going to fly in a circle around our quilt. So this one they all have to point. Oh, you know just think of them going in a circle. Their little noses are going in a circle. And they’re going to come around like this. Oop, wait, this way, circle Jenny, circle. So then we’re going to go ahead and we’re going to sew these three rows together and that makes our block. So don’t get them mixed up, you know make sure you stay with the, that they’re going to right direction. And you can pin if you need to. I’m just going to stitch this down. This is the top row. And then I’ve left this sitting on my sewing table in the direction it goes. So I’m just going to pull that over here and sew that down right here. Now I’m going to sew the other two rows together and I’ll meet you right back here.

So now I have all my rows sewn and I’m ready to sew them together to make my whole block. And just remember to press your top and bottom seams out like this. And your middle seam in and everything will nest perfectly. So once you get those sewn together you’re going to have a block that looks just like this. Now the fun happens in this block as we put the blocks together. So let me show you what happens here. So here is this. We’ve put them together just like this. And you can see that half of the pinwheel starting. And I’m going to go ahead and add another row down here so you can see. Look at that pinwheel that just forms by putting our blocks together. So up here we’ve got one, two, three, four, five, stars across and one, two, three, four, five, six, stars down. So 30 star blocks. And then it makes all this edge. Now this is actually, the top edge ends like this. Look at. Well let me show you here if I can find it. Figure out how to get it on here. Oh here we go, like this. So I wanted these pinwheels to finish out in the border. So what I actually did was I took the rest of these blocks and sewed them together to make a border. So now I’ve got, you know I’ve got my border here. I’ve got the rest of my geese blocks like this. And they’re going to be turned like this. And then you put a solid block in between and two more geese blocks and a solid block. You just fit them in as you go around. And it finishes those pinwheels and gives you a whole other look that’s all finished and complete. I love it when we take things kind of out into the border. And so it just comes together so so fun.

So one of the really fun things about this quilt is the backing. So normally you’d need about 7 ½ yards of backing for this because you’d sew three rows of three to get your back big enough. But I used fleece on the back. So let me show you this. Look at this fleece. Now one thing that’s really fun about fleece is when you quilt it it shows the design. So look at that leaf quilting. That leaf motif you can see our quilting so clearly. The other fun thing is that it’s super warm. But better than that is it’s 60 inches wide. So you’re only going to need five yards of that fleece to make a nice big backing. And you’ll probably have a little piece leftover to make some pillow covers or something that are so cuddly and soft. So we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the Stars and Pinwheels quilt from the MSQC.

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