Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Halloween 3D Pinwheel block tutorial

Hi quilters! I've been searching for a design idea to use on my Spooktacular Mini Swap quilt and recently came across this cute block tutorial at Little Thunder Lizard.  This is a great way to use your pre-cut 5 inch squares. I love the movement of a pinwheel block and the 3D effect in this block takes that movement to a whole new level! Ashley Eaton wrote great instructions for creating this block.  She created some darling baby quilts with it. So pop over and read her tutorial - or stick around and see how I made a fun Halloween mini quilt using the same technique.

Here is what your finished 3D pinwheel block will look like. 

I started with a charm pack of Monster Bash by Moda. I knew I wanted a 2 by 2 arrangement of this block for a mini quilt so I chose 16 of the charms and arranged them in 4 rows of 4.

Then I chose 16 charms for the pinwheel blades. These each need to be pressed on the diagonal:
And then pressed again on the diagonal to create a quarter square triangle.
Now place these on the edges of your charm squares to create a pinwheel. The 4 raw edges of the triangle will line up with the edge of your charm square.
Unless you are using all the same fabric for the background charms and the same fabric for the pinwheel blades, this is a good time to snap some quick phone pics to keep track of which charm/blade goes where.
Now use a couple of pins to secure each QST to its charm. Even if you are not normally a pinner for small seams, you're working with 5 layers of fabric here so the pins are helpful. Set your needle position to give you a smaller than 1/4 in seam allowance. Then sew the blades on the charms. Now adjust your needle position back to a true 1/4 inch seam. When you sew the charms into blocks your seam should lie just outside the previous seam.

 Ashley recommended pressing seams open but I found that too difficult. The seam wants to lie in the opposite direction than the pinwheel blade is pointing. (So that thick QST is actually lying flat rather than being bent back onto itself.) But pressing the seams this way ends up giving your abutting seams when you sew the block together so it works nicely.

When joining blocks together you can easily press the seams open because you won't be dealing with any pinwheel blades in those seams.

Four joined blocks will finish at 18 inches square. I'm planning on adding a 2 inch border of one of the dark fabrics before quilting and binding it.  This one has to be done and sent to my partner by September 20th. But I've got several other projects with deadlines coming up so I'm hoping to finish it up soon. Thanks for stopping by today. I hope your projects are going well.

Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
and Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation


  1. Cute fabrics. Thanks for the tute!

  2. Hey, I just might not lose my points making them this way!!! Awesome - thank you!!!!!!!!!

  3. Very cool - I love halloween and 3D so both together is great!


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