Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Patches & Pinwheels!

Patches & Pinwheels!


Block size: 6"
Quilt size: 86"X86"

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Quilt Retreats are perfect for finishing UFOs that have been lurking around! My former guild in North Augusta SC holds a retreat at Hickory Knob resort every January! Fun fun fun for 4 days and I finally finished this 16-patch & Pinwheels quilt in January 2004! I love how it turned out and gave it a place of honor on the antique guest bed. 

I had been working on these 16 patch blocks and pinwheel blocks during sit and sew days at the local quilt shop! I used 2" strips from the 2" strip bin in darks and lights to make the 16 patch blocks. The triangles were cut from 3.5" strips using the easy-angle ruler! 

*NOTE* This tutorial was written before my Essential Triangle Tool became available.

I love this ruler...it works with the sizes of strips I like to keep on hand and I don't have to worry about adding that 7/8" to the finished size of the triangle to figure out what size to cut! This quilt was inspired by an antique quilt I saw on eBay. To make this quilt you will need: Assorted 2" strips separated into lights/darks Assorted 3.5" strips separated into lights/darks. For 16 patches:

Match a light 2" strip to a dark 2" strip and stitch right sides together with a 1/4" seam. When you get to the end of the strip pair, don't cut the thread, continue sewing onto another pair until you have several pairs sewn in a long chain of continuous piecing! Then take two pairs and sew them together, in light/dark/light/dark fashion so you have several panels 4 strips wide. Press the seams towards the dark fabrics. Square off the end of each panel, and sub cut into 2" sections.

Arrange strips of squares as desired and stitch into 16 patch blocks!

For each pinwheel, match a 3.5" light strip right sides together with a 3.5" dark strip. Using the easy angle ruler, follow the 3.5" guide lines on the ruler to cut pairs of matched triangles. Feed the triangles through your machine. Press them open towards the darker fabric and trim dog ears.


The pinwheels change direction in this quilt every other row! So I assembled this quilt one row at a time so I could get the pinwheels turning in the right direction!

                               Row A                                                Row B 

You will want to pay attention to which pinwheels go where. It adds a lot of motion to the quilt! I also did about 4 different variations of pinwheels: Version 1: All blades the same fabric as above.

Version 2: 3 blades the same, with one "maverick" blade!

Version 3: two pairs of blades!


Version 4: all blades from the same color family, but all different fabrics! Doing pinwheels this way added to the "vintage" feel of the quilt and helped me use up every triangle pair I had cut!

I laid out the blocks 13X13, putting the pinwheels in their right rows so they were spinning in opposite directions every other row. I added a 2.5" cut inner border of a shirting stripe, and added a 5" cut outer border of a diagonal plaid that also added to the old time feel!

Close up of piecing and quilting! You can really see here how the different rows have pinwheels going opposite ways!

I used up lots of 10.5" squares of neutrals in a fun pieced backing that cleaned out a lot of stash I didn't want anymore!


Close up of backing and quilting design!  


  1. Anonymous10:33 AM EST

    If I use 2.5" strips, what size are my triangles? Patches and triangles

  2. Anonymous10:57 PM EDT

    Dear Bonnie, I'm a new quilter.I'm searching sites for inf and came upon yours. I really like the few i have seen Thanks

  3. Beautiful and easy! That is my kind of quilt...Thanks sew much for the pattern and your site. I am a new quilter too, and need all the "easy" patterns I can find.

  4. Thank you Bonnie! I am a new quilter also, and need all the help I can get. Your patterns are beautiful and seem to be easy.

  5. Lovely quilt and a great stash buster! Thank you!

  6. Anonymous9:58 AM EDT

    Hey Bonnie-
    If I make the blocks bigger, does the quilt lose its motion?

  7. Anonymous11:30 AM EST

    This is a wonderful pattern. The first one I made was using dark print scraps with a tan background scrappy mix. It was beautiful! The second one is with bright print scraps and an ivory tone on tone scrappy mix for the lights. I love this one too!

  8. Anonymous11:35 AM EST

    This is a great pattern! The first one I made was using dark print scraps and a tan scrappy mix for the lights. It was beautiful! The second one I made was using ivory tone on tone scrappy mix and then bright color prints for the darks. I love this one too. They look different just by the color choice. Great pattern! Well written and easy to follow directions. Thanks!!

  9. Anonymous3:45 PM EDT

    My first Bonnie quilt, and my favorite because I used so many fabrics with memories attached. When I realized that, I started asking friends for scraps. It's like a warm hug from so many people I love!
    Janis Harrold


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