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Quilt Block Patterns: Sew Easy Pinwheel Quilt Blocks

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Use a Colorful Fabric to Inspire Easy Pinwheel Quilt Blocks
2007 Hoffman Challenge Fabric

2007 Hoffman Challenge Fabric

This pinwheel quilt block pattern was used for a past forum event, where members made 8" quilt blocks, each in a monochromatic color layout that coordinated with the 2007 Hoffman Challenge fabric, shown above.

Use the same method by choosing any fabric you love and designing the pinwheels around its colors. If you like the color combo of the fabric, you'll no doubt like the combination when it's repeated in quilt blocks.

The inspiration fabric itself needn't be used in the quilt blocks, and whether or not to use it in the final quilt layout is up to you. Try it for setting components, or perhaps in the borders. If the fabric doesn't contrast with finished quilt blocks, sew one or more fabrics that do between the blocks and the inspiration fabric. For instance, sew a narrow, contrasting border to the sides of the quilt first, and then use the inspiration fabric in an outer border.

This type of pinwheel quilt block is assembled with four half-square triangle units that are dark on one side and light the other. The differing color value makes the pinwheel blocks appear to spin when they're sewn together.

For the event, both fabrics used in a single block were the same color, but one was light and the other was dark. Overall, a wide variety of colors were used, resulting in lovely scrap quilts for the recipients.

The starting point for "dark" and "light" is up to you, but when selecting fabrics for a single block, it's important to choose fabrics that contrast with each other or you'll lose the pinwheel's spin.

To make blocks similar to the ones we used in the forum, sew with tone-on-tone fabrics or choose prints that "read" as (look like) the color you're targeting when viewed from a distance. Avoid true multi-colored prints with no definite color.

See page 3 for cutting instructions for several sizes of pinwheel blocks.

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