Friday, August 28, 2009

Pinwheel Pillow Tutorial, Part 1

Cheerful colorful pinwheels are a happy childhood memory. Who doesn't love to take a deep, deep breath and puff air to send the color wheel into a mesmerizing blur of hues? Even as an adult, I cannot resist.

I bought Moda's Hello Betty Honey Bun and have been using it to cover pillows in my living room. I love the vintage aesthetic the fabric has. When trying to come up with something to do with it other than strip piece or Log Cabin, I thought of this pinwheel idea. The idea was to get the same fabric pattern in the center of the four blocks alternating orientation to create the look of a pinwheel.

This pattern may not be totally unique, but I can promise it came from my own ideas. It's not based on anything I've seen over the last few weeks that I've been quilting.

Pillow top dimensions makes a 20"W x 20"H square. The finished dimensions of the pillow top when sewn to the backing will be 19.5"W x 19.5"H. This will fit my overstuffed living room toss pillows nicely.

1. Sew five 1.5"W x 21"L strips together.

2. From the strips, cut four 5.25"W x 5:25"H squares. Let's name each square: A, B, C, D.

3. Orient the squares so the same color meets in the middle and the strips orient alternating vertically and horizontally. A vertically-oriented square should never be sewn to another vertically-oriented square. Put right sides together and sew 1/4" seams. First, sew A to C, then B to C.

4. Repeat set 3 four times using different but coordinating sets of fabric. Once step 3 is completed, sew AC to BD.

5. Once the squares are finished, the sashing should be cut. Cut two 1.5"W x 10.5" strips and one 1.5"W by 21.25" strip in a solid complementary color.

6. You can choose to have the longer sashing go vertically or horizontally. I chose vertically. Sew the 10.5" strips between finished blocks A & C and B & D. Then sew the longer sashing to AC.

7. To complete the piecing, sew AC to BD. Press open. Now is a good time to make sure your top is perfectly square.

Now we're ready to make a sandwich and quilt our pillow top. The next post will describe the process I used. Until then, happy quilting!

Copyright Front Porch Quilts, 2009.

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