Last week on the Penny Rose Fabric blog we learned about the Pinwheel block! The tutorial shows you how to make a block with 4 mini pinwheels, but also provides the cuts if you want one large pinwheel. I made the 4 pinwheel block version, as show on the tutorial, and also followed the steps to learn a different way of sewing half square triangles.
Check out the tutorial to see the step by step with pictures, but basically for this block you need 4 – 5″ x 9″ rectangles of your background fabric and 4 different pinwheel fabric selections of the same measurement. Draw out two 4″ squares side by side with diagonal lines on the wrong side of your background rectangles. Place right sides together with a pinwheel fabric and sew on either side of your diagonal as you would with squares. You can sew on both sides of the diagonal all at once by sewing past the drawn lines and pivoting back the other side. (Penny Rose’s Tutorial has great pictures with the dark thread to better understand this.) The next step would be to cut along the marked lines, press your squares, then trim to size. These ended up being 3.5″ squares.
I’m not sure that I find it any faster and you also save more fabric using 4″ squares vs 5″ x 9″ rectangles. Drawing out the diagram on the rectangles also seems to take up more time. In the end I’m happy I learned a new technique and I may find that It does come in handy on some other project down the road of my quilting journey 🙂