Last weekend, I made Peppermint Pinwheels. It is one of my newest patterns and features Hoffman’s Holiday Elegance Collection. This pattern has plenty of pinwheels in varying shades of red, white and silver. It is a sparkling addition to holiday decor.
If you are interested in making this pattern, I have posted some YouTube videos to demonstrate a few of the techniques. And I am willing to share some of the tips and tricks I used when making the quilt.
My first step is to layout all the fabrics to make sure I know which one is which and that I have enough of each. At this point, I will made a fabric map if I am using different fabrics than the pattern specifies. Then, I will generally starch the fabrics and iron them. Starching before cutting minimizes warping, especially for bias cuts like triangles.
Once everything is pressed and ready to go, I but all of the pieces at once for this quilt. If a quilt has lots of colors or pieces, I may cut them one at a time. This one made sense to cut them all at once as many of the cuts were the same. For example, I layered the red fabrics, so I could cut them all at once.
Time to sew! I started with Half Square Triangles (HST) 8 at a Time. This was much more efficient than making them two at a time. It was also much less painful than cutting lots of triangles, which get wonky. To make HST 8 at a time, cut two squares of fabrics = 2* (finished size +1″). On back of one square, draw two diagonal lines and two perpendicular lines. Sew 1/4″ seam on both sides of diagonal line, only. Cut on all four drawn lines. Press and trim to (finished size + 1/2″). I make my HST a little large and trim them to size. That ensures they are square and will make pretty pinwheels. When trimming, set your square ruler so the diagonal line on the ruler is aligned with the seam. I like to use a ruler that is closest in size, which minimizes the chances of cutting it to the wrong size. Thankfully, I have square rulers ranging from 2 1/2″ to 15 1/2″. Here is a quick video demonstrating the technique.
Once the HST were made 196 to be precise, It was time to assemble the pinwheels. These are easy to chain piece. One tip is to make piles of the HST and place them in the orientation you will sew them. This minimizes the number of times you will reach for the seam ripper because the HST were facing the wrong way. I was pretty proud of myself, I only reached for the seam ripper twice. The nice thing about pinwheels is that you can center your square quilting ruler on it and trim it to size easily. You don’t need to worry about cutting off points.
The largest Pinwheel is set on point. So, you treat it as a Diamond in a Square.
The next block to tackle were the Flying Geese, which were made four at a time. Again, I then to cut these a little larger to allow for trimming. The trick when trimming Flying geese is to center your ruler on the point. First, ensure you have the 1/4″ seam allowance at the top before trimming any excess from the top. Then, trim the other three sides.
The last set of blocks were the Cat’s Cradle. Generally, I like to use the Creative Grids Rulers for these. However, this Cat’s Cradle was bigger than the Cat’s Cradle XL ruler could handle. The technique is the same though. The instructions make two at a time, minimizing the need to cut triangles. Most of the techniques shared in the pattern minimize the need to cut triangles, which helps keep your blocks square.
Assembly was pretty simple. The quilt center is a five by five set of blocks. A few simple borders are added. Then, the pinwheel border is made. When making the border, carefully watch your seams to ensure the border turns out the right length!
I will share pictures of quilting, once it is on the longarm…