Quilting is 75% planning and 25% improvising for me. Given most of my quilts are of my own design, I have the fun of figuring out how to cut and assemble the pieces. Generally, I have a good idea on how this should go. But every so often, my plans go awry, so I improvise. This can lead to pleasant surprises. This Pinwheel Strip Quilt is a perfect example.

Pinwheel Strip Quilt – original version
Pinwheel Strip Quilt – improvised version

For my APQS Longarm Certification, we were given an assignment to demonstrate our all-over quilting technique on a 36 inch square quilt, which would be donated to Project Linus. I decided to use this opportunity to experiment with Jelly Rolls. Just sewing them together in stripes seemed easy but a bit boring. I wanted something a little more interesting.

The jelly roll had two main tones (pink and blue) and two values (light and medium). I assembled one alternating medium and light blue piece and the other alternating medium and light pink piece. The resulting 20.5 inch by width of fabric (WOF) pink piece and blue piece were cut into four triangles to make a giant pinwheel quilt square like the one on the right – easy peasy!

One small problem – I made a little error cutting. I folded the fabric in half to cut two 20.5 inch squares. This was correct. Then, I cut diagonally the two squares (while they were still right sides together) to create four right triangles. That was not correct. I should have stacked the squares so that both right sides were facing up instead of each other. If I had cut it right, I could have quickly assembled the pinwheel as originally intended. My actual triangles would not…. Time to turn lemons into lemonade. I fiddle with the squares as cut to make the improvised quilt shown above! Not quite what I intended, but not too bad either.

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