Wednesday, January 23, 2019

~ Pinwheels and Pinwheels and Pinwheels ~

Who doesn't love pinwheels?   It's one of the first quilt blocks most of us learn to make after the Rail Fence and Nine Patch.  They are fun and really not hard to make with today's new quick tricks.  The Magic 8 HST's is the fastest way to make a bunch of pinwheels fast.  
Two pieces of fabric = 2 Pinwheels.  So today I'm going to show you just how quick and easy they are to make.  If you would like to try The Magic 8 HST's method you will find a FREE printable chart by clicking here.

Use the chart to decide what size to cut your two pieces of fabric. I've chosen to use Kona Snow and Riley Blake Dots for my pinwheel fabric.

Once you have cut your fabrics to the correct size you will need to draw two diagonal lines from corner to corner.  There's several different tools that could be used to draw the lines. I have a couple but I find them a bit hard to use.   I'll be needing to mark several fabric squares so this contorting of the fingers will eventually cause some muscle cramps in my hands.  

For me the quickest and easiest way to mark 2 lines 1/4" away from the center is by using a larger ruler.  Lining up the quarter inch line with the 2 diagonal corner points.  Draw a line from one end to the other.  If you are using a print fabric make sure you are drawing on the wrong side of the fabric.  

Turn your fabric and draw the second line 1/4" away from the center on the opposite side.

Now we need to do the same thing on the other two corners.  

You should end up with something that looks like a big X.  Layer the fabric right sides together and add a few pins to keep the fabric from shifting.  My HST's are going to finish the exactly size I need for this quilt. If I were making them larger and trimming to the correct size, I wouldn't worry about pinning.

 Do not stitch on the lines.  Stitch just inside the line.  
Your needle should touch the inside of the line.  Repeat on all 4 drawn lines.

Some of my pieces turned out a little wavy.  This is an easy fix!    

Let's go ahead and give them a little press to set the seam and flatten the fabric.

It's so much easier to set the seam now than after they have been cut into 8 small pieces.  So as the old saying goes "We killed to birds with one stone"  What a horrible little saying.  Is there another one that isn't so horrible but means the same thing?

Moving along...Now it's time work some magic!  This is a great time to pull out the rotating cutting mat.  Cut the fabrics in half as shown below by the red lines.  You could do the math and find the exact measurement on your ruler for the half way mark.  But I just line up the edge of the ruler where the stitched lines cross.  And line up the bottom of the fabric with one of the lines on the ruler and cut.  It works every time!  

Now cut from corner to corner as shown below with the red lines.

TADA!  Magic!

For those of you who do not have rotating mats here's is another option that I used for years.  Place your fabric close to the corner of the table.  Make as many cuts as you can without contorting yourself.  Then rotate yourself around to the other side of the table.  In the first picture I'm standing on the same side as the pink tape measure on the table.  In the second I've shifted my body around the corner to the end of the table.  To be honest I still do this quite often.  It so much easier than dragging out another gadget.

Another little handy tip is to trim those "dog ears" off before pressing open the HST's.  This s the quickest and easiest way and you don't need to buy another ruler! I have the little wing clipper rulers and I NEVER use them.  This is by far quicker than having to worry about lining up a ruler just right. 

That's it!  Press these little babies and start making some pinwheels!   Mine finished at the exact size needed.  I needed 256 HST's.  They were pressed and trimmed, ready to be sewn into pinwheels in just under 2 hours.  That's pretty darn fast.

I cant wait to share this with you.  Cute as a button!  A great little scrap buster too.  The Red Polka Dots Pinwheels are my consistent fabric to pull it all together.  

#quiltingtricks #magic8hst's #podunkpretties

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  1. Might just have to give it a try today. Thanks for the nudge!

  2. I love this method if I don't want to pull out the AccuQuilt! Great tips on how you mark and sew - and press!! Thanks!

  3. Great tutorial, thanks so much for taking the time to share this.

  4. I've been using this method for years--the only way to make HST's! Love using my Bloc-Loc ruler to square them up too.

  5. I love pinwheels ... one of my favorite. You can do so much with these little blocks. Thanks for sharing. This method is the best. I, too, love my Bloc-Loc ruler! One of my favorites.

  6. I love this method and I'm making 510 pinwheels-don't even want to count how many HST's it is. It seems like it will never end however I have about 275 finished. I'm a Bloc Loc lover also, especially if I oversize my blocks which I often do. It does add an extra step to trim to size but I've had so many be a tad off so I go the extra mile not to have to cut more fabric. I have a smaller cutting mat I keep by my sewing machine. I used to put it on my cutting board and when cutting the block apart I would just rotate the mat but now I have a 17 inch rotating mat which I love.

  7. Thanks for always showing us an easier way to do things. I, for one, always appreciate it.

  8. This is a great tutorial, Lea Anne. It is very well explained, and the photos are excellent. Thank you. I just love your work.

  9. I love your tutorials! Thank you so much! Looking forward to having some fun with these.

  10. Just so dang pretty Lea Anne...I love this method too...I need to use it more often and perfect my hits for sure...thankbyou!!


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