Easy Double Pinwheel Quilt Block Pattern

  • 01 of 02

    How to Make Double Pinwheel Quilt Blocks

    Double Pinwheel Quilt Block Pattern
    Janet Wickell

    This colorful Double Pinwheel quilt block pattern is sewn with sixteen easy patchwork units -- eight quick pieced half square triangle units and eight plain squares of fabric.

    Use the colors shown in the illustrations as a guide to help you assemble the Double Pinwheel quilt block, but choose any colors you wish for your own blocks.

    The center of the pinwheel is a combination of dark blue and bright yellow, and the pinwheel extensions are lighter versions of both colors. Try making the pinwheels in bright primary colors such as yellow, red, and blue -- maybe throw in a bit of white to calm down the design just a bit.

    Finished Pinwheel Block Size: 12" x 12" square

    Double Pinwheel Block Cutting Chart

    It's helpful to cut squares for half square triangles a bit larger than necessary and then square up the finished units to the correct size after assembly. Later in ​this article, we describe how to trim back accurately. Read the instructions before you cut patches that end in 7/8".

    Dark Blue:

    • Two 3-7/8" x 3-7/8" squares

    Butter Yellow

    • Two 3-7/8" x 3-7/8" squares

    Lighter Blue

    • Two 3-7/8" x 3-7/8" squares
    • Four 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" squares

    Lighter Yellow

    • Two 3-7/8" x 3-7/8" squares
    • Four 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" squares


    Continue to 2 of 2 below.
  • 02 of 02

    Assemble the Double Pinwheel Quilt Block

    Double Pinwheel Quilt Blocks
    Sew the Double Pinwheel Quilt Blocks. Janet Wickell

    Sew Half-Square Triangle Units

    The Double Pinwheel is one of the thousands of quilt blocks made with the versatile half-square triangle unit, a patchwork unit you'll use repeatedly when you make quilts.

    There are several ways to quick-piece half-square triangle units, called triangle squares for short, but the popular method explained in this pattern is a good choice when you're making a scrappy set of quilt blocks.

    Try the Magic 8 half square triangle method if you plan to create lots of identical units.

    1. Pair the butter yellow 3-7/8" squares with the dark blue 3-7/8" squares. Pair the lighter yellow 3-7/8" squares with the lighter blue 3-7/8" squares. Keep groups together and set aside.
    2. Draw a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner on the reverse side of the lightest square in each group.
    3. Use a quick piecing method to sew the paired squares together to create half triangle square units. After sewing, you will have four butter yellow/dark blue units and four lighter yellow/lighter blue units.
    4. Each completed triangle square unit should measure 3-1/2" x 3-1/2" square.
    5. Use chain piecing techniques to speed up assembly.

    Arrange the Double Pinwheel Block Components

    1. Create four horizontal rows by arranging your triangle units and plain squares as shown.
    2. Use a quarter inch seam allowance to sew the components of each row together.
    3. Press seam allowances towards the plain squares when possible. Press seam allowances where butter yellow/dark blue units meet towards the dark blue fabric.
    4. Sew the rows together, butting the loft created by pressed seams into each other at intersections to help you achieve a perfect match. Use straight pins to keep the fabrics from shifting.
    5. Press the quilt block. The block should measure 12-1/2" x 12-1/2". If it doesn't, press again and remeasure. Use an easy squaring-up method to correct slightly skewed blocks or blocks that might be just a bit too small.

    Block Assembly Options

    Quilt blocks can be assembled in many ways. This pattern explains how to assemble rows first and then join the rows. You could opt to assemble the block in quarters instead to avoid handling stretchy rows of patchwork. Analyze each block to determine how you think it can be easily assembled.