Pinwheel Quilt Tutorial

Now I have my 24 pinwheel blocks it is time to get them into a quilt. If you missed out on how to make the pinwheel quilt block click here for a recap. I split the tutorial up into sections to make it easier to follow. As I am also kind of new to quilting I thought making it into more bite-sized chunks would be simpler.

Whether you choose to follow my method and measurements is totally up to you, this is here for you as a guide. And if you are new to patchwork and quilting too, you can see how I got on and what I actually did wrong.

Preparing Your Blocks For Sewing

  • Don’t rush ahead of yourself like I did and instantly regret it. I didn’t at first take the time to square up my blocks so had to go back and undo the stitching with my seam ripper. So before you do anything next make sure your squares are all squared up and to the right size.

Pinwheel Quilt Block - Tutorial

  • Some of my finished pinwheel quilt blocks were a little crooked on the side, this was from lack of practice and some of the fabric slipping while sewing. While I squared up my pinwheel blocks I cut a little more off some than others which made them slightly uneven. This is something I would pay more attention to on my next quilt and something to keep in mind.

Creating The Quilt

  • After I had squared up my blocks I then went on to cut the strips of plain white cotton.These strips are to sit between each block to break it up. Each strip is to measure 2.5 inches wide and 7 inches long. I ironed out my white cotton to get rid of all creases and laid flat on my cutting mat.

  • I used the lines on my ruler to line up and measure the length I needed as well as how wide I needed it to be. The ruler is great to be able to keep each piece square and keep your measurements at the same time. I started by measuring a long strip of 7 inches long and cut.
  • I then split the longer strip into thinner strips measuring 2 1/2 inches. I needed 18 in total.

  • Before pinning and sewing I took my 4 different pinwheel blocks and laid them in the order I wanted them to be. I then took each piece and pinned it along the side of each of my pinwheel quilt blocks, sewing them in place and pressing the seam open.
  • I pressed the seam towards the white cotton to stop any more bulk at the back of the pinwheel quilt block.
  • I then slowly joined the whole line together. Remember to always finish by pressing the seams open and pressing the fabric to keep wrinkles away.

  • Once the strips were together and pressed I cleaned up the edges, got rid of any stray threads and evened out the edging to create straight lines. I did the using the ruler to make sure it was straight and cut with the rotary blade.
  • I then added in the longer lengths to add the strips together. I used a 1/4 inch seam again to connect the block strips to the white strips.

  • As you can see that the far side where the white strips run over the blocks are a little out of line. I unfortunately had to unpick this and align them up again. To avoid having to do this once you have created your strips line them on the floor and make sure that they line up perfectly.
  • Use your ruler and an L shape ruler to make sure that all the blocks and strips are even and fit together.
  • I then levelled off the sides to create straight edges.

Creating The Border Of The Pinwheel Quilt

  • I cut 2 strips of 48 inches by 5 inches for the two longest sides and 2 strips of 30 inches by 4. This would create my border of the quilt.
  • Sew on the strips short edges first and then the longer edges. After each one press the seam.

  • The next step was to create a backing, I cut a large rectangle just a little bigger than my patchwork layer to use as a backing layer.
  • I then cut the same size layer in my wadding. I layered up the 3 pieces of the pinwheel quilt ready to quilt.

Quilting The Pinwheel Quilt

  • Lay the backing layer down with the wadding in the middle and the patchwork layer on the top.
  • Pick key points in the top layer to use to hold the 3 layers together. I used safety pins at each intersection and edge to hold the 3 layers together. This will help stop movement when the pinwheel quilt is quilted. ( What I learnt after doing this was that you can use a fusible spray to join your top layer to the wadding and then the wadding to the base layer.) Once I find some I will do a review and youtube video on it.

  • I just managed to quilt my blanket though I struggled a lot. This is a technique I really want to work on as it is such a shame to be let down at this stage. I used a combination of my normal foot and a free machine embroidery foot. I am looking into getting a more suitable foot if there is one.

Creating The Binding

  • Once quilted I made my strips for binding of 2 1/2 inches wide and 190 inches long. I only needed 179 inches to cover the perimeter of the quilt but always add on at least 8 inches to give you room to work with.
  • You then need to join them together by crossing the strips at a 90-degree angle (making an L shape). Use the lines on your cutting mat to make sure both strips were set in a straight line. Once they were overlapped I pinned them into place.
  • I then took a small ruler and joined the corners in a diagonal. ( I am going to make a video on this at a later date to show you). I used a light pen to mark this, you can use any marking tool.

  • After you have sewn the diagonal line, pull back the strips to check that they are a continuous line. Cut down the leftover fabric to a 1/4 inches seam allowance.
  • Take to the ironing board and fold down one side to create a triangle. Press that in place and then fold the strip in half – wrong sides together – and press into place. Make sure your whole strip is folded ready to sew on.
  • Never start your binding on a corner, pin and start halfway down an edge. Remember to always sew your binding onto the front of the quilt. Start using the triangle folded end and pin in place. You can pin the rest of the binding on and remember to mitre the corners. I didn’t as these things often move with me and I end up making more mistakes.
  • Start sewing the binding down with the flap open until roughly 1 inch down before stopping, lifting the foot and continuing to sew with the flap shut.
  • Once you get to a corner you want to stop the needle and back stitch a couple of times 1/4 inch away from the edge. Take the quilt away from the machine and create a 90-degree turn upwards with the binding. This will give you a diagonal line where the stitching ends. Hold the binding in that place and fold back down to continue the line of the quilt edge.
  • Measure 1/4 inch from the top of the quilt again and start sewing from there, this will create the mitred corner.

  • Once you have got round on the home stretch cut down the binding so you are left with 1 – 1 1/2 inch strip that overlaps the original strip. This will then tuck inside to create a neat edge and  keep any loose ends hidden away. Sew over both strips until you join the starting sewn line.

  • Once the binding is fixed in place bring the loose edge over to the back and pin into place.
  • Fold the corners so that they create a little fold and a line diagonally. Start by pinning down the rest of the binding and then get to the corners, fold one side in then the other over the top.
  • You can either stitch the binding into place by hand with a small whip /slip stitch or by machine. If you were to use your machine, I would recommend stitching in the ditch to keep a neat quilt.

Press the pinwheel quilt to finish and hang it up or lay on your bed. If you have enjoyed this tutorial please leave a comment. If you have tried the pinwheel quilt before but used a different method let me know in the comments and include links to any sites, blogs or channels you use.

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