Saturday, 18 August 2012

3D pin wheel Tutorial

In my last post I showed you the pin wheels that I was going to use in my quilt swap.  Well, a friend on flickr asked me to show her how to make them.  There is a minor problem with me showing her, she lives far away from my house, so I have decided to try to make a tutorial for them.  I am no expert on this, so you will have to bear with me and if you have a problem understanding you will have to make a comment or send me an email and I will try to help.  That sound OK?

Firstly choose the size of your finished block, mine was going to be 4" finished, so I cut 4 x 2.5" squares in background fabric.  I wanted my pin wheels to (sort of) float, so I cut my pin wheel fabric 2" square which would give me my 1/4" seam allowance, and 1/4" of background fabric before the point of the pin wheel.  Trust me it did work. 

pinwheel fabric folded and pressed

Fold your pin wheel fabric into a triangle and finger press.  Place them into a corner of your background fabric.

Now fold again as shown below

Make sure you have all points together.

I tried to pin this all in place and then to sew, but I found that the fabrics moved no matter how carefully I worked.

You can see the pin does distort the fabric

Now I don't usually pin things, so it might be that I am not so good with pins, but I wanted these to be the best I could manage, so I decided to sit and 'tack' them........ goodness I haven't 'tacked' since I was at school.
Nice and flat now, ready to sew
 As I have been so fussy with the pin wheel spokes I thought it best to 'tack' my two halves together.  The corners have a number of layers of fabrics, so I didn't want them to move under the pressure foot of the machine.

Tacked ready for the machine
 I "chain pieced" all the halves together.

 As there are a number of layers of fabric, I have pressed the seams open

Reminder...must recover my ironing block, it looks terrible
 I forgot to take a photo of the next step which was joining two halves together to make a whole.  I didn't tack this bit, just placed seams together and went for it,  Voilà!!

Not bad piecing
 You can see that my pin wheels will float in the middle of the background square.

I love them 
This is where all mine are headed.

Hope this helps Nichol.  Good luck to you all.


  1. Those are so cute. Wouldn't that look cool across the top of a purse or little zippy pouch?!:)

    Thanks for the tut Jo!

  2. brilliant Jo. Will have to give it a try

  3. that looks really sweet, and easy?!? I am making (another) baby quilt. I think that I may give those a go.

  4. Thank you for the tutorial Jo ,it ties in beautifully with the HP allday with Helen Spence.