Delainey’s Swirls and Twirls Quilt

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Delainey’s Swirls & Twirls Quilt: An Easy Charm Pack Quilting Tutorial with Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Co. MSQC’s Jenny and special guest Lynne Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles teach us how to make a simple and beautiful pinwheel quilt, Delainey’s Twirls & Swirls Quilt using charm packs (5 inch squares of pre cut fabric.

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Video Transcript (Downloadable PDF Here):

Jenny: Hi, I am Jenny from the Missouri Star Quilt Company and I am here with Lynne Hagmeier. How are you, Lynne?

Lynne: I am good. Glad to be back.

Jenny: We are so glad to have…

Jenny: We had such a great time the last time Lynne and I filmed together and if you remember or haven’t seen that video it’s about a book called Loose Change and Lynne has a new book out and since I think she’s a genius and I just love the way she sews… this one is called Layers of Love. And what Lynne does is layered patchwork on top. So, today what we are going to do is this quilt behind us right here and wait until you see how easy this is. I mean, it is just amazing. It’s just so quick and easy. I just love the way you think! It’s just amazing to me. So, walk us through this, would you?

Lynne: If you are going to traditionally make a pinwheel, there are a lot of parts and pieces, and every time you take a seam and have to press, there is more chance of error.

Jenny: It’s true.

Lynne: So, if you can cut background squares and layer on triangles and stitch them, you are just stitching squares together in a row. So what we are going to do is…

Jenny: Wait, tell us what we need for the quilt, just tell us what we need.

Lynne: Okay. You need a charm pack and two fabrics: background and border.

Jenny: So how much of one charm pack? How much of the background do you need?

Lynne: A couple yards.

Jenny: Okay.

Lynne: A couple yards of each.

Jenny: So you are going to need a couple yards of background and we have these background squares right here and then you are going to need, just one charm pack?

Lynne: One charm pack.

Jenny: One charm pack makes this?

Lynne: Seventy-two inch a square.

Jenny: And that?

Lynne: And leftovers to make a little runner.

Jenny: Oh my gosh.

Lynne: You have to buy additional background obviously; all you have leftover is pinwheels but…

Jenny: Very cool, that’s really cool. Alright so tell us now, now tell us how to put this baby together.

Lynne: I like to layer up to three charm squares. I feel like I can still cut and not mess up with three layers.

Jenny: I do too. I agree three’s a pretty good number.

Lynne: I will line up my charm on my mat so that the two and a half inch mark is kind of in the middle and then use a square, ruler or any kind of square ruler that is at least three and a half inches, most of them are about four, this one happens to be a six.Then you can line up your forty-five degree markup on a line and feel pretty confident that three and a half is on both sides. And then we are just going to cut the two corners.

Jenny: Very nice.

Lynne: Now we have a bias edge which we are going to pretend now is a straight edge, so now you can cut a three and a half inch square just like you would cut a three and a half inch square, which also cuts off the other two corners.

Jenny: Very cool.

Lynne: And then you just cut corner to corner and get two big triangles.

Jenny: And I love how you, yeah, I love how you have that laid out on your mat right there because this, right here, it just looks so,

Lynne: There is your charm square.

Jenny: There is your charm square, yeah.

Lynne: Any time you are doing layered patch work, you want to make sure, if you do not use the factory paint edge, you have a bias edge or you use a painted rotary cutter.

Jenny: And…

Lynne: Because then…

Jenny: Wait, go ahead.

Lynne: it doesn’t unravel, it just curls and frays and you get a nice, primitive look without it just falling apart.

Jenny: That’s right. We use the bias edge because it doesn’t unravel.

Lynne: That’s right. Correct.

Jenny: Very cool. So then, so when I see this, actually, I see this cut in half and the corners cut off. So it was interesting to watch you cut that. Do you show how to do that in your book?

Lynne: I do. This technique is in your book, uh, my brain didn’t even go there, but I love that fact that you always see things a little bit differently, and we can also cut it that way. So, if we cut our five and a half inch square…

Jenny: Wait, oh no, yup, that’s right. I actually was thinking, “wait it won’t be a square if you cut it in half,” but that’s what we want. That’s what we want.

Lynne: So we are cutting it in half first.

Jenny: Right.

Lynne: And then I will have to think about this a second to get the correct…

Jenny: Well, you got your two and a half in here…

Lynne: Right, so there is your two and a half. Here we go. Still basically the same. It is easier, though, because you actually have your half marks to do. So, six to one, half dozen to the other.

Jenny: Yes, I love, I love the different minds, how different minds work. That is really cool.

Lynne: And even as much as I have simplified things, it is amazing to me how you can take it one step further and go, “oh but what if,” and then I just go…amazing. Ok, so we will finish up this other one and then I will get you to…

Jenny: Yes. Finish that up.

Lynne: Position and I will have you sew one. So then we get…

Jenny: We have two different size triangles here and we have our background square. How big are these background squares?

Lynne: They are six and a half inches.

Jenny: Six and a half, okay. So we are going to take one of those and… you guys watch this, it is so cool. So we are going to put this right here and we are going to take a big triangle and a little triangle.

Lynne: We are going to put a big triangle on one corner and a little triangle on the opposite corner.

Jenny: Now, does it matter which corner? You want to make sure you are all putting them on the same side.

Lynne: Yes.

Jenny: Okay. So you are going to do lower left,

Lynne: Upper right.

Jenny: Upper right on the small.

Lynne: Correct.

Jenny: And then, how do we attach these?

Lynne: We stitch.

Jenny: Just on top.

Lynne: An eighth of an inch from your bias edge or from the paint edge.

Jenny: I love that part. I love that part because there are no pieces to cut. So, we are really just going to stitch right along this edge, so I am going to go to the sewing machine and do that.

Lynne: You are really embellishing a square, so you have not distorted the square, anybody can sew squares together in a row.

Jenny: Yes, even me.

Lynne: Especially you.

Jenny: I got this lady one time and she says to me, “You even sew crooked and it works out.”  And I was like, “Well, I don’t try to sew crooked”.

Lynne: How rude of her to point that out.

Jenny: I know, I just thought that was like, I thought, well, oops! Now, I am caught up on something here. I am doing too much talking. Hang on. There we go.

Lynne: The eighth inch is kind of a basic rule of thumb. I really prefer if you are going to err one way or the other that you do a thread’s width wider than an eighth inch because if you get too close to your bias and you are not perfectly straight and you run off into the paint points or off your bias edge, then when you wash it, it is going to come undone a little bit. The beauty of it is, you just go back over it and stitch again after you wash it if it comes out, because you can go right through your quilting and everything.

Jenny: I love that.

Lynne: This is a quilt that my granddaughter has adopted. The Layers of Love book is actually based on… the layers is for the layers patchwork, the love part is our eight grandchildren are featured in the book. Each one of them either selected or I made a quilt based on their personalities. So, this one is called Delainey’s Twirls and Swirls. She is our dancer diva in the family.

Jenny: I don’t know why I have so many threads on here, that shouldn’t be happening.

Lynne: It didn’t happen on the first place.

Jenny: No.

Lynne: Okay, so now we have…

Jenny: Hang on, a few more threads.

Lynne: A bunch of big triangles and a bunch of little triangles…

Jenny: Alright ,and they are all going to be stacked here. So, you are going to do… do you assembly line sew like I do where once you get to a certain point you sew all your, all this on and then all that on, yeah that’s what I do.

Lynne: I get all my blocks together, I cut all of my charm squares into triangles, I will go through every block and sew the big triangle on one corner and then cut them apart and then flip them around and do all the little triangles.

Jenny: It keeps it from getting mixed up.

Lynne: It does. And then you start at the same corner every time. So, as you are laying this out across your quilt top, we would obviously go in rows, and since we don’t have enough to show you the whole quilt top, we are going to do a block.

Jenny: Look how cool that is.

Lynne: As the small ones…

Jenny: Look how cool this is.

Jenny: So then, so then when the small ones get together…

Lynne: So they automatically come together if you put the big ones all together in the middle, the little ones are automatically going to come together in the intersections in the corners.

Jenny: That is so cool. So let’s take a look at how this goes. So you have a row where you have: down, pointing, down, pointing, down, pointing, I mean, just a row of that, and then you add your next row. And I might be inclined myself to sew them together into four patches.

Lynne: I actually did. I did my pinwheel blocks together because I felt like I had more control over color.

Jenny: I think so too. Oh yeah that is true.

Lynne: And then really, randomly, there is a couple in here where there may be two colors together in the little pinwheels, but they are much less obvious so I don’t worry about that. But that really is the easiest way.

Jenny: To do them together in a four patch?

Lynne: Block of rows, rows of blocks.

Jenny: Yes, rows of blocks.

Lynne: You know what I meant.

Jenny: So, I am going to go ahead and sew these together and I am going to do it just like a four patch. So just like this is laying here, I am going to put it right sides together on this one and sew it together and then we will do the same thing with this. And this one you are going to do… you are back to your quarter inch seam, correct?

Lynne: Even though we use an eighth of an inch seam for our layered patchwork, I am a normal quilter and use quarter inch seams.

Jenny: Wait, wait, wait, did you just say you were normal?

Lynne: Well, fairly normal. I use normal quilter quarter inch seam. I have a lot of questions about that. I didn’t realize in the instructions that I needed to say…

Jenny: Is this the side right here?

Lynne: It is. This is your side right there. Do you want to rip that one off and I can press it?

Jenny: Yes. Here we go… my, here we go. Team work here.

Lynne: And I just like to press these the way they want to go, away from the pinwheel that has, it will press this direction for this one, press this way.

Jenny: Yeah, so it just basically, the bulk of your fabric is right here so it will go the opposite direction, which means the other ones will also go the opposite direction.

Lynne: Make it happy.

Jenny: And you will be able to put those right together. So, we are going to layer these on top of each other and match up our seams right here so they line up nice and tight, and then we are just going to sew this down. And I have my machine set on a quarter of an inch but it looks a little fat. But the point, the point is it’s most important just to be consistent, correct?

Lynne: It is. On a quilt like this where all the blocks are exactly the same, consistency is key.

Jenny: Alright, let’s iron this baby open. Oh how cute!  Look how cute that is! I have to show. Okay, go ahead and iron it.

Lynne: Thanks.

Jenny: That is so fun. So then you just put them in blocks and automatically those little pinwheels now are going to form.

Lynne: Yes, they are.

Jenny: Because as you start putting these little ones together, let’s see.  It goes this way, okay, because this would make a block in here.

Lynne: Correct.

Jenny: So then you have these tiny ones. So that is how you get the big pinwheels and the small pinwheels. They come right off the corners. So tell us a little bit about your book. How many projects are in here?

Lynne: There are about twenty-one projects, twelve unique ideas. We have eight grandkids, so we added a couple extras, but with the major projects and things like the little runners or we have pillow toppers, large and small, from two different sizes of precuts, just lots of fun things.

Jenny: Oh and is that Delainey?

Lynne: That is Miss Delainey right there.

Jenny: So this is Delainey’s, what is it? Delainey’s…

Lynne: Delainey’s Twirls and Swirls, she named it.

Jenny: Delainey’s Twirls and Swirls. And that is a picture of her right there. And you have made a special quilt for her.

Lynne: She picked out the fabric.

Jenny: Very cool, oh that is beautiful. Look at that. So look at this one, you guys. Isn’t that great? That is so darling. So any kind of fabric you choose, this will work. It works awesome, it goes together quickly, we love those kinds of quilts.

Lynne: Pick a charm pack that you love and a background and a border and you are good to go.

Jenny: So we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on Delainey’s Swirls and Twirls and you can get the pattern in this book Layers of Love plus a lot more. Thanks for coming today. It has been so fun to have you.

Lynne: Oh, thanks for having me.

Jenny: It’s really great. We hope you enjoyed this tutorial from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.


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  • Cindy

    I just LOVE watching you two together!

  • Karen from Pa.

    I just received Lynne’s Layers of Love book and it is WONDERFUL. Such beautiful quilts included in this book. I want to make them all but have decided to make Aleece’s Charming Stars quilt using today’s Daily Deal, Cheddar and Indigo. What beautiful colors in this 10″ stack. Can’t wait to get it and get started. This quilt is going to be for ME WOOT WOOT

  • Lindsay

    You can also just use charms for the background. The large pinwheel points will touch but even less cutting!