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How to Make a Pinwheel Quilt Block

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Learn how to make a pinwheel quilt block. It is a basic quilt block made from two squares of fabric in the same color or two different colors. It’s a fast and easy classic quilt block that is perfect for beginners. 

Pinwheel quilt blocks are one of the most popular quilt block patterns. They’re simple to make and can be used in a variety of different quilts. Once you’ve mastered this block, you’ll be able to create all sorts of amazing quilts.

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How to Make a Pinwheel Quilt Block

Materials

Fabric

Equipment / Tools

  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Quilting Ruler
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Straight pins
  • Iron
  • Ironing board with a pad
  • Sewing machine

Quilting Favorites

Making Half Square Triangles

This tutorial will show you how to make a pinwheel quilt block using simple techniques. The Pinwheel Quilt Block is a simple four-patch quilt block made from four half square triangles (HST).

Each half square triangle is made using two colors of fabric squares. You will need 4 half square triangles.

Here is a tutorial for the half square triangles.

Instructions

Cut fabric the Squares. Refer to your quilt pattern for the square size and number of units required. Every two squares make two finished HST units.

Next, Mark the Squares. Starting with equal size squares of fabric, place the ruler diagonally on the back side of the lightest square. Use a pencil to draw a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner.  

Place the lighter square on top of the darker square with the right sides together matching the edges all the way around. Secure with straight pins.

Sew a scant 1/4-inch seam allowances on each side of the marked line.

Separate Triangles by cutting along the diagonal seams alone the center line using a rotary cutter. You now have two half-square triangles.

Press seams to one side toward the darker fabric or open, trim the square.

Making Half Square Triangles HST

Laying out the Classic Pinwheel Quilt Block

So, you have your 4 half square triangles sewn, pressed, and trimmed. Now it’s time to lay them out and sew them together to create your pinwheel blocks.

Begin by laying out the four half square triangle units to form pinwheels. Making sure that they are pointing in the correct direction.

Sew the top blocks and bottom blocks together

Pinwheel Block Assembly

Sew together the top two blocks using a quarter inch seam Allowance.

Press the seams to the right.

Sew the bottom two blocks together using a quarter inch seam allowance.

Press the seams to the left.

Next align the top and bottom block sets so that the middle seam nests together. This allows the points to line up nicely.

Sew the top to the bottom, using a quarter inch seam allowance.

Press the seam open.

If necessary, trim your block to the square size specified in the quilt pattern you are working on.

Pinwheel Quilt Square Sewn Together

That’s it, you have a beautiful pinwheel quilt block ready to use in your pattern.

Here is a diagram to help visualize the steps in creating an easy pinwheel block.

Sewing the Pinwheel Quilt Block

Once you learn how to sew this fun quilt block, the possibilities are just endless. Here are a few easy quilt block patterns to start with.

Sample Pinwheel Quilt Blocks

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