The Snowballed Pinwheel Quilt Tutorial

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Jenny Doan shows us how to make The Snowballed Pinwheel Quilt using charm packs (precut 5 inch squares of fabric). The finished quilt is 45 inches by 50 inches.

Find details here:

Transcript (Downloadable PDF Here):

Hi, I’m Jenny from the MSQC. Today we’ve got a fun idea for you. It’s a new twist on an ordinary pinwheel but it just gives it such a different look and I really love it. Let’s look at this quilt behind me. And you can see that they’re pinwheels but they’re set on point so they’re just a little bit different. And we love it when one little block makes a whole difference. So what you need to make this quilt is two charm packs. You’re going to need one of color and one of solid. And that will make your pinwheels. And for the extra corners you’re going to need 11 more squares or about a ¼ of a yard of fabric. Actually ten inches of fabric. And then you’re also going to need a yard and a half will do your border and your binding. And your inner border is going to be half a yard to ¾ of a yard piece. And so it’s, you know, it’s really easy to make, really small amount of fabric. It makes a quilt that is 45 by 50. One of the things I want to remind you about is with charm packs is that one charm pack makes a baby, two makes a crib, three makes a lap, and four makes a twin. And to make a pinwheel, of course, you need one of color and one of solid. So you know if you’re going to use four colors, you’re going to need four solids.


So to make this block we’re making an ordinary pinwheel. Just like we normally do. And to do that you’re going to need a charm of color and a charm of solid. And you’re going to put them right sides together. And then you’re going to sew a quarter of an inch all the way around the outside edge. Now I have one here where I’ve done that already. And then what we’re going to do with this once we have it all sewn is we’re going to take our ruler and we’re going to lay it diagonally corner to corner. And we are going to make this cut right here and then we’re going to cut it diagonally corner to corner on the other side. Now if your charm pack moves at all make sure that you lay it right back down so that it stays together because it’s the, it’s the consistent seam and consistent cutting that makes this work. So now we have these four squares that are really four half square triangles. And we’re going to take them over here to the ironing board and we’re going to iron to the dark side. So I’m going to lay these with the dark side up and then just roll them back. And we’re going to do that to all four of these. And then we’re going to put these together as a pinwheel.


So we start by just making the normal pinwheel. And to make the normal pinwheel you’re going to have your, your points come to the inside but you want to arrange them so it’s light, dark, light, dark like this. So point to the middle, light, dark, light, dark. And so then what we’re going to do is we’re going to sew this pinwheel together just like this. And it’s going to come together in, just like a four patch. So we’ll sew these two, these two. Then we’ll fold it together and sew the others. So let’s go to the sewing machine. I’m going to start by just putting these two together like this and then carrying them over to the sewing machine so they stay lined up. There’s nothing worse than getting your pieces mixed up. We don’t want to have to rip. So again I’m going to take a couple of stitches. Make sure that my edges are lined up and then I can zoom right down that side. And then we’re going to take again a couple of stitches. There we go. And then make sure this is all lined up. Now would be a good time to cut off your little points, your little, these little ears out here I call them. And I’m just going to do that, cut these in two. And then I’m just going to cut off these little edges right here. My little bunny ears. And then we’ll iron this open. And your piece should look something like that. Where it goes light, dark, light, dark. So we’re going to iron this. And then these should go together just right like that. And it does. And so we’re going to lay these right sides together and then go ahead and sew this side right here. And I, I really do like to take a few stitches and then I just open it up and make sure that everything’s lined up, particularly my center mark right here. And that should give me a nice pinwheel with a nice center. Alright oh that’s just perfect. So now I’m going to lay this, iron this open I mean. And if you find that you have too much bulk in here, if you don’t want to iron your your seam to the side you can always press that open. And that gets rid of some of that bulk right there if you want to do that.


So now we have a normal pinwheel. Now what makes this pinwheel stand on point is that we’re going to take another one of our solid squares right here and we’re going to cut this into fourths. That’s going to give us four 2 ½ inch blocks. And we are going to snowball this pinwheel. So we’re going to put our corners right like this on all four corners and we’re going to snowball that. So let’s go to the sewing machine and snowball our pinwheel. Now what you’re going to do is you’re going to lay your pinwheel right in the corner here, I mean your corner. Let me show you here real quick. We’re going to lay our pinwheel right in the corner here and we’re going to sew this diagonally right here. To know that you’re doing is right is that you’re going to go across these two. So we’re going to go ahead and sew corner to corner diagonally and snowball that corner. And you can iron these to make a line or you can eyeball them. If your square isn’t too big it’s pretty easy to eyeball. Now what I’m going to do is I’m just going to add another corner and I’m just going to go all the way around this. Here we go. Here’s the next one. One more on this side. And then one more, very last one. Let’s get that corner, there we go. Alright so now we have snowballed all of our corners and that’s how it’s going to look where you’ve snowballed them all. And then we’re just going to take and trim those off. So I’m going to lay my ruler a quarter of an inch from the seam line and just trim that off. On the outside, pointing out this way. You don’t want to cut on the inside. You’ll have to start all over if you do. And it’s not important that this is perfect. You just don’t want to get too close to your stitch line because you want to make sure that you’ve got plenty of room there. And then this is what you’ve got and we’re going to press those out and make it a square again. This is really a fun little block. I love how just adding one little thing and it completely makes a different block. So this is the block you’ve got now.


Now you’re going to take this and you’re going to make all of your, your pieces just the same. You know sew all the way around, cut it diagonally both directions, fold it open, sew it together as a pinwheel and snowball those corners. When you set the quilt, you’re going to set them, this one is set in rows of six across by seven down. And so it just makes a beautiful little quilt. Now I want to show you one more thing. This is really fun and sometimes when we do something a little differently we like to show that as well because this block is this quilt. But this is the same block here. Let me show you this. But instead of the beige on the corners, here’s your pinwheel, we put, we put the green and blue as the pinwheels and then we put the red and beige as our snowballs. So it gives it a completely different look. And it just makes a really fun quilt. So we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the Snowballed Pinwheel from the MSQC.

posted: Charm Packs, Quilts and Quilt Blocks | tagged: , , , ,
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