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The Pinwheel Quilting Block

A batik pinwheel quilting block

The pinwheel is a 4 patch quilt block, that can be both frugal and scrappy.

The pinwheel is one of the most popular quilting blocks. I think that is because it gives movement to a quilt, is easily constructed, and works well with many kinds of fabric.  It is usually constructed with a dark and light fabric so that the pinwheel is highly visible.

To make a pinwheel block, you just need to make 4 half square triangles, and then sew them together as shown.

the grids on the pinwheel quilting block

You can see the grid of the block between the black lines.

Make your half square triangle, using one of the shortcut methods on the half square triangle page.

Sew the rows together,  and then sew the vertical seam.  Make sure you have the seams turned in  opposite directions to remove bulk.

There is a lot of bulk at the center of a pinwheel.  When I make a pinwheel, I like to press the last seam, the horizontal seam, open.

Lots of quilters get upset by this, as they think pressing any seam open weakens the quilt. I've never had a problem with it, but you can decide for yourself.

Just be careful pressing your pinwheel.  Make sure that you fabric is pressed before you begin, and you only have to lightly push down on each seam. If you over press a pinwheel, it will be a disaster.  All the seams will make indentation marks on the outside, and the harder you try and press them out, the worse it gets. 

Be sure and review the section on half square triangles.  You will want to choose one of the shortcut methods for making the half square triangles.



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