Jenny’s Friendship Pinwheel Quilt

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Jenny demonstrates a quick and easy way to make The Friendship Pinwheel Quilt using 10 inch squares of precut fabric (layer cakes) from the Off Shore line of fabric by Deena Rutter for Riley Blake.  Learn how to chain piece to save time and use a press line to make snowballed corners.

Get the supplies needed here:

Video Transcript (Downloadable PDF Here):

Hi everybody, it’s Jenny from the MSQC. And I’ve got a fun project for you today. I am calling this the Friendship Pinwheel because it’s got that great pinwheel in the center with an essence of a friendship star around it. And I just think it’s a really fun block. So to make this quilt what you’re going to need is one packet of 10 inch squares. And we have used this darling line called Off Shore by Dina Rudder for Riley Blake. And you’re going to need one pack also of white ten inch squares or you can use yardage. And it’s going to be about 2 ¾ yards of fabric for your yardage. So let me show you how to do this because this is really fun.

So what we’re going to do first is you’re going to choose three contrasting squares. And one of these squares is going to be your pinwheel. So whichever square you decide you want to be your pinwheel, set that aside. We’re going to use our, our boats. That’s going to be a nice pinwheel right there. And we’re going to stack our two squares on top of each other like this. Now what we’re going to do is we’re going to cut them right in half. So we’ve got five inches right here. Right in half. And then we’re going to be sewing them together this way so we need to take a half an inch off for seam allowance so they remain square. So we’re going to line these back up, turn them, and cut half an inch off the bottom. So right here on the bottom of these we’re going to take a half an inch just like this. Now with our last square, we’re just going to set these aside for a minute. With our last ten inch square, we are going to cut that in half  and in half again. So we’re making four five inch squares out of that. So I’m going to line up my ruler here along the edge and get a nice five inch cut. Right here. And then I’m going to flip them and cut them again so I get 4 five inch squares . This is going to be our pinwheel block, our pinwheel square right here. And we’re going to set those aside and we’re going to cut our background fabrics.

Here’s our background fabrics. You also need three of those. Now if you’re doing yardage on this you can go ahead and cut strips that are just five inch strips. I mean that would be a real easy way for you to do it. I have mine in squares already so what I’m going to do is the same thing I did with my three colored blocks. I’m going to take two of these and I’m going to cut them in half. Just in half like this. And I’m going to trim a half an inch off the bottom exactly what we did with the other set we’re going to do to our background set as well. So here we’ve got this with our half an inch off. And that’s just to make sure when we sew them together that our blocks stay square. So again now these are going to go in one pile and then this one is going to be cut in fourths just like one of our colored pieces is, one of our printed pieces. And again I’m going to use my ruler, line it up on the edge and then turn it and cut it again. And you get 4 five inch squares just like that. So we’re going to set these aside.

So now what we’re going to do is we’re going to take our pieces right here and there should be two colors. So we have this little plaid and this little beach scene here. And we’re going to snowball the top of these. And by snowballing I mean we’re going to put a corner on one side. What I’m doing now is I’m giving a little bit of a press to these squares so that I have a sew line. You know a lot of times I’ll eyeball that sew line across the edge of my square and, which works great for smaller squares but when you get a five inch square, my eye gets a little crazy sometimes and I don’t always get in a straight line. So I’m just going to give a little press to these because what we’re going to do is we’re going to lay our piece up here like this. Actually I want to lay it this way. And that actually doesn’t really matter. That’s just my directional thing that I’m doing right there. So what I’m going to do is I’m going to sew this across here like this. And, and I’m going to do that to all four of my colors even though they’re different prints. So let’s go to the sewing machine and do that.

We’re sewing right on that press line. And this is what’s going to make our pinwheel block. So it’s going to come together really fun. Alright, we’re right on that line sewing across. And when I get to the end here because this is such a big piece, I’m actually just going to whip it around and sew it again. Now you don’t have to this. This is not part of this quilt pattern but I can’t hardly stand to leave that much fabric there going to waste so I’m just like taking about a half inch. And then I will put these in a baggy for some other project that I’m going to do sometime. Because what I’m looking at is I want to do, I want this to be snowballed. I’m trimming this right here. And you can do this with your rotary cutter or your scissors. Because this is what we’re looking for. This is the piece we want to see right here, and, but, but now I have this cool little fat quarter and I have not idea what I’m going to do with this but I’m going to have a whole bunch of them if I do that. And that’s just a great way to save some time for another project because there’s so many things you can do with half square triangles . And we could have actually added that in a border or something like that so you can be creative with those and see what you come up with. I’m just going to, I’m just going to keep sewing my, my long blocks together here. We’re going to do four of those.

Ok so now we’ve got all of our pieces sewn. I trimmed off my pieces. And we need to iron these back. You’re putting that all on the same corner. And we’re just going to roll them back, set our seam. Roll it back. Set and roll. Set and roll. Alright so once you get all your pieces ironed we’re ready to put them together in the block. And what we’re going to do is we’re going to take our pieces and take a background square. You’re going to put them right together just like this. So this long side of the triangle goes against your background square. And we’re going to sew a quarter of an inch right down the side. And we’re going to go to the sewing machine and do that.

So here we go. Quarter of an inch right down the side. And we just chain piece all of these, one after the other. Alright we’ve sewed down the side of all of our pieces. And we’re going to go ahead and clip those apart. And press them open. And I’ve got another one there. We’re going to press all of these open. And we’re going to press them all to the dark side. Although it’s not going to really matter. This is one of those times where, you know, you just go Wow with your pressing and it doesn’t matter. Alright. Enough of that wildness, here we go.

Alright so now what we’re going to do is we need to snowball the corner one more time. And we’re going to snowball it with a white. And we’re going to do it on this side. So again these are five inch squares so we’re going to want to fold these half diagonally and give us a sew line. And you know you can draw the line if you want to. A lot of people are way more comfortable drawing the line. It’s really up to you. It’s just a little faster for me and seems to work just fine. So now what we’re going to do is we’re going to snowball all these corners. And I’m going to do the same thing I did before where I sew right on this line, right here. And then I’m going to come back and sew another line about a half an inch away for some mystery project that I’m going to do sometime. So let’s go ahead and take these over to the sewing machine and sew our last snowball on. Now remember it goes on the bottom half of your colored side. So you know you wouldn’t want to snowball white to white. So we’re snowballing on this colored side, just like this. And let’s go ahead and add those on. Again we’re staying right on that line. And I’m just going to sew through. Alright.

So right here this, this is what your block should look like. You’ve got a snowball here and a snowball here. And then we get to put them together. Now remember this piece right here is going to be our pinwheel. So as we start putting them together we’re going to stagger these fabrics. And we’re going to put them together just like this so that our, our block pinwheels around. There we go. Whew! I almost got lost there. And then this one. So see how that happens. It makes a pinwheel with a larger friendship star. So we call it the friendship pinwheel.
Then you’re just going to sew this together like a giant four patch like this. And I think I have one of those done over here. So this is the block you get when you’re done. It’s a great little block. You’re going to go ahead and sew your whole packet together. It’s going to give you 12 big stars like that. And so what you’re going to do is you’re going to set them together  three across, four rows. And you’re just going to sew them straight together. I mean it’s no sashing, no anything. You’re just sewing your stars straight together. You’re going to add a 5 ½ inch border. That’s about a yard and a half of border fabric. And your quilt is going to be done. And it’s going to come out to around 64 by 82. So it makes a great size quilt. So we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the Friendship Pinwheel from the MSQC.

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  • lynda

    I put the x on the back of the square you are going to cut before it is sewn ..Then I would make a very little slit in the center of the x.. then sew he two fabrics all the away around. Then you are ready to cut the fabric but since you have the previously sliced center there is less chance of slicing the bottom fabric. Maybe an extra step but it might help

  • Sandy

    I am currently making this and the idea to sew a second seam and use the triangles later was great. I am putting them together so I can put them somewhere in the border, it will tie in great thanks for the tip.

    • LeeAnn M.

      Hi Sandy. Since you have experience with these blocks and snowballing the corners, can you please share with us the sizes of the half square triangles?