Tuesday, September 1, 2015

New Blogger's New Block Blog Hop Tutorial - Mod Pinwheels



 Here is my finished square for the Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop.   I’m calling it MOD Pinwheels.


Mod Pinwheel, 12 1/2" x 12 1/2" square

        Before I start giving instructions for how to make the square, I want share with you that after I drew it, I realized there were several different ways that it might be constructed.  Being a scientific kind of gal, I decided to attempt to make it all three ways to determine which was the easiest.
  
      First I tried paper piecing.  That went well until I got to the last bit.  I don’t know paper piecing that well, and I couldn’t figure out how to “close” the square properly.  Guess that means I have a good excuse now to buy Amy Garro’s book - I think she is a paper piecing genius.  But for me, a novice at it, it wasn’t the best choice.

      The second way I tried to make the block was by making half-square triangles.  Normally I like a half-square triangle, but in working with squares of different sizes, I found this didn’t work so well either.  

      The last method I tried was flip and sew.  This turned out to be the one for me.  I tried it with exact sizes on the first pinwheel, then I decided to cut the white squares 1/2 inch larger and trim the squares  to the correct sizes and that worked much better although it took longer.  This is a time-consuming block but I think the result is well worth the effort.  Another disadvantage of flip and sew is that there is some fabric waste, which I don’t love, but there are people (Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts, I’m talkin’ about you!) that are masters of scrap use, so I learned that scraps are quite worthwhile to have around after all.  Plus, I admit that I really love this square and even plan to make my own bed quilt from it (someday after I get all my other obligations finished…)  It has a LOT of versatility, and works great with prints, solids or a combination of both.  

      MOD Pinwheels Tutorial:  

This square is actually composed of four separate pinwheel shapes which I am calling Blocks 1 - 4..  You will construct all four and sew them together to make the completed 12 1/2  x 12 1/2 inch square.  Here are the different blocks that compose the Mod Pinwheel. (I also have them further down for your reference.)

The first step in this process is to starch the fabric.  Use a lot of starch as it really helps when dealing with bias edges.  

Cutting Instructions:
(All measurements are in inches.)



White Fabric

  • Five 3 x 5 rectangles
  • Two 4 x 5 rectangles
  • Three 3 x 3 squares
  • Three 3 x 4 rectangles
  • One 4 x 6 rectangle
  • Two 5 x 5 squares

You will have a total sixteen white squares.

For the colored parts of the pinwheel you don’t need exact pieces cut, but in the interest of making it a little easier, I’m going to give you the relative sizes of rectangles for each size of block: (These are generous sizes, so as you get comfortable with the flip and sew, you may be able to cut the strips a little smaller, just always measure against your white squares diagonally with a quarter inch over to make sure they will cover the corners when you flip them.  

Light blue 

  • One 3 1/2 x 6 rectangle
  • One 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 square, cut in half down the middle
  • One 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 square cut in half down the middle
  • One 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 rectangle

Medium Blue

  • One 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 square, cut in half down the middle ( you will use both halves so keep them handy)
  • One 3 1/2 x 6 1/2 rectangle
  • One 4 1/2 x 7 1/2 rectangle

Dark Blue

  • Two 3 1/2 x 6 1/2 rectangles
  • One 6 1/2 x 6 1/2 square, cut in half down the middle
  • 1 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 rectangle

Green 

  • Two 3 1/2 x 6 1/2 rectangles
  • One 3 1/2 x 5 rectangle
  • One 4 1/2 x 7 rectangle

Coral Fabric

One 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 rectangle


Diagram 1  - Mod Pinwheels Blocks


Sewing Instructions

The main thing to remember is to pay attention to the direction of the diagonal in the diagram and place your fabric right sides together so that when you flip it when it is sewn, it will be going in the correct diagonal direction.  I have denoted in parentheses the correct direction, but using the diagram is best for this.  I also think it is good to read through the entire tutorial before you do any sewing.  A lot of this stuff you probably already know how to do, so don't be insulted that I'm going through each of the steps in detail.  An experienced piecer will probably be able to just look at the blocks and make the squares; in which case I say, go for it!

      I am giving the directions with diagrams and in great detail for Block 1 only; you just follow the same directions for each of the four blocks.


A Little Tip:  I laid all the white squares of the same size and all the different colored squares of the same size together in piles next to my sewing machine - you can even label the sizes with a sticky note.  It makes it easier to just pick up what you need for each unit.



Please Note: I’m showing pictures of the sewing using a green rectangle because I didn’t take pictures of every HST as I made it.    

IMPORTANT TIP:  Do NOT do any trimming at all until the directions tell you to do so.  You will be using the entire white rectangle as a template to trim the excess colored fabric!

 Block 1:




Diagram 2
Unit 1 /Light Blue: Finished HST should be 2 1/2 x 4 1/2

1.Take one white 3 x 5 rectangle and one 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 light blue rectangle.  Starting with right sides together, place the long edge of the rectangle at least 1/4 inch past the middle diagonal of the white square. (\)


Diagram 3



2. Holding both squares in place, flip the unit so that the back of the white fabric is now on top and you can see the blue fabric underneath. (Diagram 4)



Diagram 4


3. Mark down the exact center diagonal of the white rectangle in the same direction as the blue fabric underneath. (Diagram 6)



Diagram 5


4.  Make sure that the blue fabric underneath is at least 1/4 inch past the sewing line before you sew along the line. Set aside.



Unit 2/Medium Blue: Finished HST should be 2 1/2 x 2 1/2

1. Take one white 3 x 3 square and one medium blue 4 1/2 inch half square.  Right sides together, place the medium blue rectangle at least 1/4 inch past the middle diagonal of the white square.  Direction does not matter as you can turn the square to the correct direction after it is sewn.

2. Flip the entire unit over so that the back of the white rectangle is face up.  You should be able to see the blue fabric underneath.


3.  Mark down the exact center diagonal of the white rectangle in the same direction as the blue fabric underneath.  Make sure the blue fabric is at least 1/4 inch past the pencil line before you sew down the marked line.  Set aside.

Unit 3/Green:  Finished HST should be 3 1/2 x 4 1/2

1. Take one 4 x 5 white rectangle and one 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 green rectangle.  Right sides together, place the edge of the dark blue rectangle at least 1/4 inch past the center diagonal of the white so that when you flip it up after it is sewn, it will go in the same direction as the diagram shows (/).

2.  Flip the entire unit over so that the back of the white side of the white rectangle is facing up.  You should be able to see the green fabric underneath.


3. Mark down the exact center diagonal of the white rectangle lightly with a pencil in the same direction as the green fabric underneath.  Make sure the green fabric is at least 1/4 inch past the pencil line before sewing down the marked line. Set aside.


Unit 4/Dark Blue: Finished HST should be 2 1/2 x 3 1/2

1. Take one white 3 x 4 inch rectangle and one dark blue 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 inch rectangle.  Right sides together, place the edge of the dark blue rectangle at least 1/4 inch past the middle diagonal of the white rectangle so that when you flip it up after it is sewn, it will go in the same direction as the diagram shows (\).

2.  Flip the entire unit over so that the back of the white rectangle is face up.  You should be able to see the blue fabric underneath.


3.  Mark down the exact center diagonal of the white rectangle lightly with a pencil in the same direction as the blue fabric underneath.  Make sure the blue fabric is at least 1/4 inch past the pencil line before sewing down the marked line. Set aside.


Trimming the HSTS

1. Take each untrimmed square and first iron to set the seams on the back and then with the colored fabric on top, flip it over and iron flat.

1.  Take the green HST over to your cutting board and place it so the white rectangle is face up.  Lay the corner of a ruler (I used a 6 1/2 x 6 12 inch one but any square edge ruler will do) exactly on top of the edge of the white square as shown and trim off excess colored fabric. (Diagram 6)  Now you may trim the excess white fabric off to 1/4 inch.  (Make sure you are trimming the excess that is underneath/against the colored fabric.)

Diagram 6



Diagram 7
3. Next, take the rectangle and flip it over.  It should be about 4 x 5 inches. Fit the ruler exactly over the rectangle so one edge of the ruler is exactly aligned with one side of the rectangle as shown and so that the inch marks align exactly, using the bottom of the white side as your straight edge.










Diagram 8
4. Move the ruler over to the 3 3/4 mark so that about 1/4 inch of fabric sticks out on one side and trim it off. (It may not be exactly 1/4 inch but that is okay, just make sure the other side is at 3 3/4 inches.)       (Diagrams 8 and 9)        

Diagram 9









Diagram 10






5. Now move your ruler so that the edge of it is on the other (left) side of your HST.  (Diagram 10)  Make sure the inches are aligned with the rectangle, which is now approximately 3 3/4 x 5 inches.  Move the ruler about 1/4 inch until the right edge of your HST is exactly at 3 1/2 inch mark and there is about 1/4 inch of fabric sticking out on the left side.









Diagram 11
6. Lay a second ruler against the left edge of the ruler and with your hand firmly on the second ruler, move the first one and trim. (Diagram 11)




Now your square is the right width and you must trim the top and bottom in the same way to make it the right height.


Diagram 12
7.  Flip the rectangle on its side, white triangle down.  Lay your ruler so that the right edge of it is aligned with the right edge of the HST, the left side is aligned with 5 inches, and the bottom is exactly aligned with the inch marks as shown. (Diagram 12)








Diagram 13
Carefully move the ruler 1/4 inch to the left until the left side is at the 4 3/4 mark and about 1/4 inch sticks out.  Trim off excess.  Remember it may not be exactly 1/4 inch that you are trimming off, it doesn't matter as long as the left side is at 4 3/4 inches. (Diagram 13)








\
Diagram 14



Now move the ruler so that the left edge is aligned with the left edge of the HST and the inch marks are all aligned.  The right edge should be at 4 3/4 inches. (Diagram 14)









Diagram 15
 Carefully slide the ruler over about 1/4 inch until the right edge of the fabric is aligned with the 4 1/2 inch mark.  Place a second ruler against the left edge (as in Diagram 11 above) of the ruler and holding your hand on the left ruler, move the right ruler and there will be about 1/4 inch excess which you trim.  Now your green HST is 3 1/2 x 4 1/2, it’s finished size. (Diagram 15)




Trimmed and finished unit



Repeat these steps for the remaining HST’S in Unit 1, trimming them to finished sizes denoted above.  

Diagram 16
When you have trimmed all the HST’s, iron all seams open.  I try to trim the corners at an angle 















Sewing the HST’s

This is the easier part, but I will warn you that it is not easy to get a square perfectly aligned with a rectangle so that the points meet perfectly.  I had to do them over and over and I still could not make the points meet perfectly.  I decided this was okay as I like the finished product VERY much and these are wonky pinwheels anyway.

1.  Using the diagram for block one, sew Unit 1 to Unit 2, carefully matching the seam lines.












Diagram 17
2.  Here are the seams, lined up and nested against each other.


Here is the unit sewn.  You will want to trim off the excess and then iron it flat.  There should be a quarter inch space for sewing above the point.



Diagram 18
Diagram 19



3.  Sew Unit 3 to Unit 4. Then sew the two units together, with Unit 1/2 on the left and Unit 3/4 on the right.  The center will be quite bulky; turn it to the back and trim only the extra bits of fabric on the outsides of the center.  You now have completed 1/4 of the square!  (I'm so sorry, I did not take a picture, but it will look exactly like the diagram above, only in fabric.)


4.  Go back and repeat above steps using the diagrams below for the remaining three blocks.  The unit sizes are the sizes after you trim each unit.  I suggest sewing all the units for one block at a time, then trimming them all to the sizes shown on the diagrams, then sewing the entire block together before moving on to the next block.



Diagram 20

BLOCK 2:

Unit 1:  Take one white 4 x 6 rectangle and one medium blue 3 1/2 x 6 1/2 rectangle.  Sew (\) and trim to 3 1/2 x 4 1/2 as instructed above in diagrams 3 - 19)


Unit 2: Take one white 4 x 5 rectangle, one dark blue 3 1/2 x 6 1/2 rectangle and the 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch strip of coral.  Sew (/) and trim to 3 1/2 x 4 1/2 as instructed above in Diagrams 3 - 19.  Then add the strip of coral to the left side of the HST as show above in Diagram 20.


Unit 3: Take one 3 x 4 white rectangle and one 3 x 4 inch green rectangle.  Sew (/) and trim to 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 as instructed above in diagrams 3 - 19)


Unit 4: Take one 3 x 4 white rectangle and one 3 x 4  light blue rectangle. Sew (\) and trim to 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 as instructed above in diagrams 3 - 19)


Diagram 21



Unit 1:  Take one 3 x 5  white rectangle and one 3 1/2 x 5 in green rectangle. Sew (\) and trim  to 2 1/2 x 4 1/2 as instructed above in diagrams 3 - 19)

Unit 2: Take one 5 x 5 white and one 6 1/2 half-square piece. Sew and trim to 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 as instructed above in diagrams 3 - 19)

Unit 3:  Take one 3 x 3 white square and one 4 1/2 half-square piece. Sew and trim to 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 as instructed above in diagrams 3 - 19)

Unit 4:  Take one 3 x 5 white rectangle and one 3 31/2 x 6 1/2 medium blue rectangle. Sew (\) and trim to 2 1/2 x 4 1/2 as instructed above in diagrams 3 - 19)

Diagram 22

Unit 1:  Take one 3 x 5 white rectangle and one 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 green. Sew (\) and trim to 2 1/2 x 4 1/2 as instructed above in diagrams 3 - 19)

Unit 2:  Take one 3 x 3 white square and one 4 1/2 medium blue half-square. Sew and trim to 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 as instructed above in diagrams 3 - 19)

Unit 3:  Take one 5 x 5 white square and one 6 1/2 light blue half-square.  Sew and trim 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 as instructed above in diagrams 3 - 19)

Unit 4: Take one 3 x 5 white rectangle and one 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 dark blue rectangle. Sew (\) and trim to 2 1/2 x 4 1/2 as instructed above in diagrams 3 - 19)

Sewing the block together


 Once all the blocks are complete, you can complete the square.  Sew Blocks 1 and 2 together across and Blocks 3 and 4 together across.  Then sew Block 1/2 to Block 3/4, remembering that they will not meet up in the middle because they are different sizes, but they will be the same length.  

You have now finished your 12 1/2 inch Fabri-Quilt New Block, MOD Pinwheels!  Please let me know if you have any questions or if something is unclear.  This is a long tutorial, but once you finish one block and understand what you are doing you'll get the hand of it and it's a fun challenge, I think.


What I love about this block is its versatility - you con't have to sew them the same way I did, you can move them around and get lots of different arrangements.  Here is a pillow I made, using my second practice block and another arrangement:





And here are some potholders that I made with printed fabrics when I was experimenting:







Hope you have fun with the MOD Pinwheel Block.  Please let me know and share photos if you make it.  And be sure to check out the other bloggers' new blocks, too.   Below is a list for the New Blogger's New Block Blog Hop (Quite a mouthful, I know).  It runs from Monday to Thursday this week but of course the tutorials will probably be on everyone's websites for - well,  EVER!  I for one can't wait to see what everyone came up with...

Also, thanks so much to Yvonne, Cheryl, Stephanie and Terri Ann for coming up with this FAB idea. I had so much fun with it, and I'm guessing I'll have even more fun making all the new blocks on the blog hop.  (I may not finish 'till I'm 80 or so...)



Monday's Group:

Host – Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl
Kelly @Quilting it Out
Martha @Once a Wingnut
Irene @Patchwork and Pastry
Cassandra @The (not so) Dramatic Life
Andrea @The Sewing Fools
Bernie @Needle and Foot
Silvia @A Stranger View
Wanda @Wanda’s Life Sampler
Sandra @Musings of a Menopausal Melon
Vicki @Orchid Owl Quilts
Jess @Quilty Habit
Diana @Red Delicious Life
Chelsea @Patch the Giraffe
Margo @Shadow Lane Quilts
Renee @Quilts of a Feather


Tuesday's Group:


Host – Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs
Wednesday's Group:

Thursday's Group: