Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Finish and a Twisting Pinwheels Tutorial

If you are interested in purchasing the gizmo, you can go here In Stitches

To start simple, choose 4--5" sq pieces of fabric.  Charm packs are great for this, but I'm adding from my own stash as I go along and cutting 5" sq pieces too.

Lay them out the way you would like them to lie against each other.  Sew together to make a four patch block.

Now, cut two--2 & 3/4"-3" strips of white quilter's choice fabric (or your own color choice) the length of the right and left sides.  Sew the strips on.  Press.

Cut 2 more same width strips (2 &3/4"-3") and sew along the top and bottom.  Press.

Now you have the piece you will cut your twisting pinwheels from.
(the instructions say that "there will be a 1/4-1/3 loss from the beginning size of your project before cutting and the end result using the twister.")

The instructions also have you start cutting from the left, but I started from the right because of work space and comfortableness.

Place the gizmo dead center over lines that intersect on the seams between two borders and the first square.

This is where you make your cuts around the gizmo.  Be careful not to extend your cuts too far beyond the gizmo as you might cut into fabric needed for another square.  The instructions tell you to leave the block in place once it's cut, but I wanted to make sure my cuts went all the way through before I moved on to the next square to cut.  Realigning to finish incomplete cuts isn't hard, but it's not fun either.

Continue cutting on all intersecting seams.  Your four square should now look like this.

Notice all the little squares just perfect for your next scrappy project!  Now, angle the first square you cut so it is straight.  Piece the new block together matching up fabrics into their pinwheel shapes.

Now you are ready to assemble the new block by sewing the squares together.  I press my seams to the side and press one row opposite the other so I can lock my seams into place for nice fits on the seams.  Once all nine squares are sewn together and the new block is pressed, trim off the excess white border and true up your block.

These blocks measure 9 1/2" sq when finished.  To make the larger, center blocks, I laid out a rectangle of 5 x 4--5" fabrics, sewed those together, attached a border and cut using the method above.  Here's a shot of me picking out the fabrics for the second, center block and laying them next to each other to see how they play together.

The center twisting pinwheels block measures 19" x 15 1/2".  You can sew as many 5"sq fabrics together as you'd like in whatever lengths or widths you'd like as long as you put the border around them.

Here is the first center block finished.

And here is the second, center block finished, but only laying on top of the first one.  I need to make a trip to our LQS that sells the Love fabric to continue the quilt.

And another corner block I made up yesterday.

I hope this has helped with the questions some had from the last post.  If you have any more you can post them here, or email me and I will answer them as best I can.

For those joining from Friday Finish, here is what I finished this week.

I'm calling this the "Aloha" block and it roughly measures 36" sq.  Another quilt for our bed in the making.  You can find other great projects and finishes at Amy's blog for Sew & Tell Friday Finish.

Happy Weekend one and all!


  1. WOW! I love it :o)
    I made a quilt for my son using this special cut. It's easy and makes such a great impact. I especially love the fabrics you used. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Wow Dee! This is amazing! I love all of the colors. :) GREAT job!

  3. How clever and cute! I adore your fabric choices as well! :o)

  4. Dee! Great tutorial! I would never be able to make the gizmo work without your photos! Now I am seriously thinking of buying one! Fantastic!

  5. Yay!!!! Such a happy block!! I have been busy swapping for Neptune, and may need to borrow your gizmo when I am ready to cut!!!
    Also, when I saw those square scraps, "Hello scrappy borders!" just popped into my brain! Thought that I would let you know!!

  6. Cool tutorial! And what a lovely result! Such a cheerful quilt.

  7. great tutorial. i love how it turns out.

  8. AMAZING little trick you just shared! Thanks so much!

  9. Wow, I love it! I can't wait to see the bed quilt finished up ... thanks for sharing.

  10. Cool! I never would have guessed that one. You did a great job with the tutorial.

  11. Now it make sense! That is awesome. Thanks so much for taking the time to make it understandable!

  12. Oh Dee, I just love this... the colors and the pattern. Steph

  13. That's a cute trick/gizmo! Lovely colours.
    Thanks for visiting my blog :)

  14. You go, girl !
    Not only buying a new fun tool, but sharing the how-to's with all of us !
    We are blessed to know you !
    Thanks a big bunch !

  15. What a gorgeous quilt! I still can't wrap my head around whirligigs, but enjoy watching the process. Thanks for sharing. Happy Sewing! :o)

  16. that's so cool! I love pinwheels and have never seen anything like that! I love the Amy Butler print you have there too!

  17. Wow. That is amazing! I am bookmarking this and putting it on my sewing bucket list!

  18. neat, neat, neat! what a fun block. so full of color!

  19. Wow! These are so amazing. I will definitely be putting this on my short list of things to try!

  20. Crazy pretty! Thanks for the tutorial!

  21. Fantastic Tutorial!!

    Thanks so much..
    just found your blog via René Creates



  22. I recently purchased the Twister tool, but the diagram on page 5 of the Let's Twist book doesn't look like they have the tool on the seam line(s). Can you help? Thanks, Dee

  23. So pretty!

    I love this idea. I wonder if I could mark my Marti Mitchell square template with permanent marker to do this? Does any angle work? The lengths are consistent on all sides right?

  24. Thanks for the tute. Yours is the first one that is clear to me . Thanks again Audrey

  25. Wow, thanks so much for the pics of your process. I have the instructions and all the tools, but it's sooo much easier for me to "see" how it works. You're a dear!!

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