The Quick and Easy Pinwheel Block Method

Last week, when I shared the new decisions I needed to make on my baby quilt , you lot most decisively told me I should make pinwheel blocks between the jungle fabric squares. I completely agreed, but also cringed at the thought of all the extra work. After all 10 pinwheels require cutting and sewing 80 half square triangles. (In future to be referred to as HSTs)

Or do they?

Somewhere in the back of my brain I remembered there’s a quick way to make a square that consists of two HSTs.

An HST Square

I rummaged around in my grey matter then cut out 10 red and 10 mustard 6″ squares.


The technical bit…

At the start I had looked for a formula for how big the squares should be, but I couldn’t find one – Please tell me if you know of one. So I calculated for a pinwheel that measured 6″ once sewn into the quilt I needed 6″ squares and a small amount of trimming. (FYO: A pinwheel that measures  12″ once sewn into a quilt would need 10″ squares and a small amount of trimming.)

I placed one red square and one mustard square wrong sides together and sewed a 1/4″ seam around the edge…


I then cut each in half from one corner to the other…


…then in quarters by cutting across the other diagonal…


This created four HST squares from each pair of larger squares…


I pressed each HST square with the seam towards the darker fabric…


I then trimmed the HST squares to make them 3.5 inches square exactly.


I rather liked that I needed to trim, because it meant my squares were unquestionably the right size.

Then I pieced the squares together in pairs – being careful to make sure they were all pieced identically, so the final result would be identical pinwheels..


More seam pressing…


…then the pairs were pieced together in pairs…


Followed by more pressing.

Et Voila! A pinwheel block…


So pleased I remembered this method.

Hope you’re having a great crafty week.

Until next time,

Bekki x


14 thoughts on “The Quick and Easy Pinwheel Block Method

  1. I know that, from two 18 inch squares placed right sides together and cut on both diagonals, you get 8 x 8 inch HSTs because that’s what I did for my baby fox quilt but I don’t have a formula for those or for pinwheels because I like to follow instructions where somebody else has done the maths for me. 🤔
    Your pinwheels are looking good although I’m assuming the gold colour is more accurate in the first set of photographs is it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m talking nonsense of course and my first comment should be regarded as ‘fake news’. You mark the diagonals on those 18 inch squares and sew a line 1/4 inch away from each. Then you cut those 18 inch squares into quadrants which will give you 8 x 8 inch HSTs and not a hot mess.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I should have though harder about that fake news, given your loathing of maths – you’re right it makes no sense at all.
        Will be more careful about trusting you in future.


    2. Thanks for the 8×8″ HST top tip.
      Yes, I’d spotted you didn’t like the maths.
      Thank you. The photo colours are all over the place now I look. Yes definitely richer than those last pics.


  2. The only challenge with this method is sewing all those bias cut edges without stretching them. But I have done this before and it is a neat and handy trick. So much easier to cut after than before.

    Liked by 1 person

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