How to Make a Pinwheel Block

How do you make a Pinwheel block? I don’t know about other quilters, but I use the half-square triangle blocks together to make the Pinwheel.

Half-Square triangles. Using a dark and light fabric give a stronger effect.

Half-Square triangles. Using a dark and light fabric give a stronger effect.

Four triangles from two seams, efficient. Once the triangle blocks are made, pressed, and squared it’s a matter of laying them out. The seams need to all meet in the middle. However, the individual blocks must be turned right, or the Pinwheel doesn’t appear.


Pinwheel Layout 1

We can get other cool designs, like the hour-glass above, or the spinning top below.

Seams meeting in the middle. Not the Pinwheel though. Next.

Seams meeting in the middle. Not the Pinwheel though. Next.

To get the Pinwheel the fabrics need to alternate, light, dark, around the square.

It looks like a Pinwheel.

It looks like a Pinwheel.

If the blades look like they’re going backwards, turn each block around so the dark triangles replace the light, and the light replace the dark.



There you have it, a Pinwheel block with the blades going in the right direction. I hope this helps if you’re having trouble making a pinwheel block.

KayKauffman, an author, fellow blogger at Suddenly TheyAll Died, and quilter requested information on putting a Pinwheel block together. Kay, I hope this helps.

She suggested this post for the P day of the A to Z challenge. Except, P is the 16th letter of the alphabet. Who wants to wait that long? Besides, Sundays don’t have a letter and I needed a post for today.

This is the easy-peasy way I make Pinwheels, do you have another way? Would love to see some of your Pinwheel blocks. You can post them, or a link, in the comments.

Linking up with the Ultimate Blog Challenge.




6 thoughts on “How to Make a Pinwheel Block

  1. Kay Kauffman

    Thank you for this lovely tutorial, Nita! Next time I go to do a pinwheel, I’m sure it will be a success (so long as I do my seams right – evidently that’s my trouble). 😀

  2. Becky Sangha

    Nita, who knew you could arrive at so many designs from those four half square triangle blocks. Your blog is fun to read with clever ideas. Thanks for sharing. I’m sure I’ll be seeing you more in the next coming weeks during the ultimate blog challenge!

  3. Kebba Buckley Button

    OK, I just found a little image of you in the FB “like” widget. But it still would be friendly to have a larger “welcome photo” toward the top. Just an idea for your very well-written, very well-constructed, lovely blog–

  4. Kebba Buckley Button

    Nita, I’m visiting from the UBC. What a lovely, airy blog design you have. As a former quilter, I really enjoyed the clarity of your post. Plus, it really took me back to using basic sub-blocks to form completely different quilt patterns. One thought–do you want to put your picture on the front page of your blog? All the best–Kebba Buckley Button


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