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Thirties Pinwheel in a Square Quilt Block Pattern
The Pinwheel in a Square quilt block pattern represents just one of the many types of pinwheel blocks that have been designed throughout the years.
This pattern was written for 1930s reproduction fabrics, and it's a good match for the quilt block. Switch to contemporary fabrics or reproductions from any other era because pinwheel quilt blocks are suitable for any type of fabric you choose.
Make identical blocks or use your leftover fabrics to make a scrap quilt.
Each pinwheel quilt block finishes at 12" x 12".
Choose Four Fabrics for the Pinwheel Block
White or White on White for the center pinwheel's background and for the angled strips that touch the block's corners.
- (2) 6-7/8" x 6-7/8" squares, each cut in half once diagonally
- (2) 3-7/8" x 3-7/8" squares
Inner Pinwheel: a '30s print—try pink, orange, yellow, blue or purple.
- (2) 3-7/8" x 3-7/8" squares
Square surrounding inner pinwheel: illustrated as a green '30s print.
- (2) 5-1/8" x 5-1/8" squares, each cut in half once diagonally
Block corners: a warm '30s print if your inner pinwheel is made from a cool fabric, or a cool '30s print if your inner pinwheel is warm. Read color wheel basics if you are not sure which colors are considered warm or cool.
Continue to 2 of 2 below.
- (4) 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" squares
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Sew the Thirties Pinwheel in a Square Quilt Block
Assemble the Quilt Block
- Gather the white triangles cut by dividing the 6-7/8" x 6-7/8" squares in half once diagonally.
- Find the four 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" squares cut for block corners. Draw a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner on the reverse side of each.
- Align a corner square right side down at the 90-degree corner of a large background triangle, matching all edges. Sew on the marked line.
- Trim away excess fabric as shown, top illustration, leaving an approximate 1/4" seam allowance. Press seam allowance towards the corner. Repeat for all corner units.
- Pair each smaller background square with a pinwheel square of the same size. Use a quick pieced half square triangle method to create four half-square triangle units from the pairs. Completed units should measure 3-1/2" x 3-1/2".
- Use a quarter-inch seam allowance to sew the half-square triangle units together into two rows as shown in the center illustration.
- Press seams in adjacent rows in opposite directions and then join the rows. Press seam allowance either way.
- Fold each green triangle in half along its longest edge to find the midpoint. Finger crease to mark the spot on each triangle.
- Place a triangle right-side down along one side of the pinwheel unit, matching the pinwheel's center seam with the triangle's marked midpoint. Sew together. Press seam allowance towards the triangles.
- Sew a corner unit to each side of the pinwheel center, again matching midpoints to make sure the block does not become skewed.
- Press seam allowances towards the corner units. The quilt block should measure 12-1/2" x 12-1/2". If it doesn't, see how to fix problem quilt blocks for tips and techniques that you can use to square it up.
Make additional quilt blocks until you have enough to create a quilt.