Monday, August 31, 2015

New Block Blog Hop

Presenting 3D Pinwheel Parade!

This is my block for the New Block Blog Hop.

Thanks so much to Fabri-Quilt for providing the set of fat eighths to each of us and for sponsoring the fabulous prizes: 8, that's EIGHT bundles of 1/2 yard cuts of each of the 6 fabrics for the hop.  That's a 3-yard total prize!  Pretty amazing I'd say.  Thank you so very much to our 4 hive mamas from the New Bloggers Blog Hop.  When that hop ended, the fun was extended. :-)  They dreamed this up, Fabric-Quilt jumped on board, as did over 60 bloggers.  There has been a ton of work done behind the scenes by Yvonne, Stephanie, Cheryl and Terri, from dreaming up the idea, to approaching the fabric company, to contacting the new bloggers, to cutting up and distributing the fat eighths, to answering a myriad of questions and concerns from the bloggers, and then--!  There is the organizing of the hop itself, the linkups, the gathering in of completed blocks and assembling them into quilts and then distributing the finished quilts.  Phew!  Every single one of the blocks will be made up into charity quilts, sewn up by our very own hive mamas.   Quilters (and their sponsors) just rock this world, don't they?  Did you know Fabri-Quilt has a great blog?  Check it out here!

I had fun playing around, coming up with various ideas, and it was a good challenge to my creative side.

So, Monday to Thursday this week there are approximately 15 blogs per day, each with a new, original block to share with you.  That is over 60 new blocks, tutorials provided for free.  AND prizes.  Suh-weet.  Here are the others presenting their blocks today:
My host is Yvonne at Quilting JETgirl  (enter to win the draw here as well as see her block) 
Kelly @ Quilting it Out
Martha @ Once a Wingnut
Irene @ Patchwork and Pastry
Cassandra @ The (not so) Dramatic Life
Andrea @ The Sewing Fools
Bernie @ Needle and Foot
Silvia @ A Stranger View
Wanda @ Wanda's Life Sampler
Vicki @ Orchid Owl Quilts
Jess @ Quilty Habit
Diana @ Red Delicious Life
Chelsea @ Patch the Giraffe
Margo @ Shadow Lane Quilts
Renee @ Quilts of a Feather

You can check on the following sites for the URLs for the blogs for subsequent days:
Tuesday:  go to Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs for the list
Wednesday: go to Stephanie at Late Night Quilter for the list
Thursday: go to Terri at Childlike Fascination for the list

Alright, on with the new block from moi!
A note about my block: it employs folded triangles in two corners of the block.  This adds visual interest in that you have a raised folded triangle that is unattached on one side, which lies on top of the larger triangle beneath.  A quilt created with these 3D or layered triangles provides tactile interest as well, which is great for a child, but also for a person with Alzheimer's or dementia, as it gives them something to fiddle or twiddle with.  This helps to calm down the agitation while they are amused by running their fingers over the quilt finding the little "pockets" created by the folded white triangles.

If you would like a free PDF version of this pattern click here.

We were given a set of 6 fat eighths, from which to create a 12 1/2" unfinished block.  The palette is Fabri-Quilt's Prairie Cloth Cotton Solids and was named Watermelon Summer.  We had to use at least 3 of the colours in our blocks, and we weren't allowed to add any of our own.  Our block had to have a summer theme.  My favourite season.

I wanted to create a secondary design, only apparent if you piece 4 or more blocks together.  I don't have EQ7.  But I do have SQ1!  Sandra Quilts1... groan...
This mock-up doesn't show the folded white HSTs that meet in the centre; that was something I thought of after I drew and coloured the basic block.
The above arrangement is what led to the name, 3D Pinwheel Parade, since the coral and turquoise pinwheels parade around the centre pinwheel.  I loved the pinwheels on a stick, aka windmills, we'd get as kids in the summers, loved the secondary designs that only showed up when they were spinning.

If you rotate the blocks 90 degrees, you get this secondary pattern:
You'd still get the chartreuse and blue pinwheels forming if you were to make even more than 4 blocks

The block takes about 35 minutes from start to finish, according to my pattern tester ;-)

HST = half square triangle.  This is the shape you get when you cut a square in half on the diagonal.
RST = right sides together

Shape: 3 7/8" square
  • Cut 4 aqua
  • Cut 2 coral
  • Cut 2 turquoise
  • Cut 1 lapis blue; cut this one in half on the diagonal to yield 2 HSTs
  • Cut 1 chartreuse; cut this one in half on the diagonal to yield 2 HSTs
Shape:  3 1/2" square
  • Cut 3 white.  Cut only one of these in half on the diagonal to yield 2 HSTs. 
Shape:  3 1/2" X 6 1/2" rectangle
  • Cut 2 white.
The building blocks of the block


1. Draw a diagonal line from one corner to the other on the wrong sides of each of the 4 aqua squares. Place an aqua square atop a coral square, RST.
Love my Hera marker for this job

Sew a scant 1/4" on each side of the drawn line.  Cut apart on this line to yield 2 HST squares.

Press the seams to the aqua triangle.  Square the unit up to 3 1/2".  Repeat with the other aqua/coral pair.  In the same manner, place an aqua square atop a turquoise square and repeat this process.
4 coral/aqua HST square units that measure 3 1/2"
4 turquoise/aqua HST square units that measure 3 1/2"

2.  Note: these next 2 HST square units need to be mirror images of each other, so colour placement is key.

Set the lapis blue triangle right side up on one shorter, straight-of-grain side so that the right angle of the triangle is on the right, and the longer, diagonal, bias side of the triangle is on the upper left.  Place a chartreuse triangle right side up so that the bias edges are beside each other.  Do this with the other pair now.

Take the 2 triangles you cut and press them in half, RST.  Set one in the same orientation as the lapis blue triangle, at the bottom of the blue triangle.  Be sure to align the raw edges and have the folded edge on the body of the blue triangle.  Set the other white folded triangle on top of the blue triangle, RST, but at the top, aligning the raw edges here too.

Now flip the chartreuse HST on top of the blue triangles, sandwiching the white folded triangle between the two larger HSTs.  Pin.  Sew a scant 1/4" seam from the raw edges.  Press the white triangle onto the blue one, pressing the seams open to reduce bulk.  You will end up with 3 layers of fabric on one side of the pressed open seam and one layer on the opposite side.  If you wish, you can snip the white triangle seams so you can press them both open.  Square to 3 1/2".

This is what it will look like:

One raw edge of the folded triangle is sewn into the diagonal seam, the other raw edge lies on the outer raw edges of the block, and the folded edge rests on top of the blue triangle, unattached, which creates a layered white triangle.

Assembling the block

Lay out the units as shown below.
Sew each row together, pressing seams in opposing directions as shown on the photo.  Note: you may wish to press the centre seams that make the pinwheel unit open to reduce bulk.

Tip:  when piecing the coral and turquoise pinwheels, pull back the seams about 1/4", so you can ensure the seams abut or nest.
This will give you nice crisp points at the centre of your pinwheel.

Ta-da!  Here is your finished block:

I have a total of 4 blocks: the first one I did just to see if it would work out of my stash, the second I did following my instructions, still out of my stash, and the third and fourth were with the Watermelon Summer fabric from Fabri-Quilt, one to send away and one to keep.  Here is what they look like in real life, 4 together:

Or turned 90 degrees, as I mentioned at the beginning, and showed you with my graph paper drawings:

I love it when something I've drawn out on graph paper comes to reality!

Please remember to visit Yvonne today to enter to win one of the fabulous prizes.  Hope you hop on over to my new block mates today to check out their creations as well.  And remember to check back Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for more fun and inspiration and chances to win!


  1. I really love the 3D effect you added into your design, Sandra. You are so right that someone is going to get a treat having your blocks in their quilt. :) Sometimes the best tools are a bit of graph paper and colored pencils; the blocks you made look just like your initial design!

  2. The secondary pattern your block design creates is wonderful! I love it. And I love the "old school" graph paper and colored pencils. Great job! Martha @

  3. It is such a fantastic idea to incorporate some dimension into your quilt block, and I love how you have embraced the flexibility of half square triangles.

  4. Very nice Sandra. I love the secondary pinwheel that forms in the negative space.

  5. Very cute! And love the pinwheel that emerges when you have multiple blocks together. Great job!

  6. What a great block and I love the 3D white triangles. These would make lovely fidget quilts. I love your creativity and how you are always thinking outside the box.

  7. A very unique block with your 3D effect, good going girl!!

  8. That is really neat I love the secondary patterns. Great job.

  9. What a great idea! I love that the block can be used in sensual aid quilts for people with Alzheimer or dementia. The graph paper works pretty darn good, I usually start with graph paper myself.

  10. Awesome! I love seeing different creative ways to begin a quilt block. Since I am new to quilting, your blog is a good lesson for me to try. Thanks for sharing in the Blog Hop today!

    1. Thanks Sherry! That means a lot, as I was going for simple but with a bit of a twist. You are a no-reply blogger, so I have no email address to respond to you privately. Thanks for checking this out and leaving such a sweet comment. :-)

  11. Great block! I love pinwheels and I love that the corners make another pinwheel when multiple blocks are put together.

  12. I never thought about 3D elements being good for those with dementia...interesting. Your block is fantastic! I've always loved pinwheel blocks (my block for the hop makes a secondary pinwheel too) and those 3D triangles make it extra special.

  13. SQ1 was great for designing this fun block. I think it is now on my bucket list. (Except with lots of bigger blocks). Love it!

  14. Spectacular tutorial and such an incredible block! Thank you for sharing and have a wonderful creative day!

  15. Haha... SQ 1- that is great! I use the American method of pencil to graph paper. Works well but time consuming to make changes, right!

    Great block Sandra! The tutorial is well written also. What a fun project this has been!

  16. Great block! Love the variations on a simple pinwheel and how the blocks create the repeating pattern next to each other!

  17. What a great block, I love the secondary patterns and the negative space for quilting!

  18. I have only version of SQ1 as well, in my case HQ1, but Helen's Quilts may be better renamed as Havoc Quilts! Love your pinwheels and the secondary patterns. Well done.

  19. The little half-square with the line really is intriguing - I also like the negative space.

  20. I love that 3D effect you added. EQ7 won't think of that for you, so you are doing pretty great with your SQ1. :) Great block and tutorial!

  21. I'm a big fan of pinwheel blocks, especially those asymmetrical ones that form secondary designs. I'm quessing that when you get more than four blocks together, you'll be amazed at how the designs spread. The second peek suggests that there will be diagonals of pinwheels running across the quilt -- sort of Irish pinwheels!

    1. P.S. I love my graph paper. For everything, not just drawing squares and triangles.

  22. I better up my half square triangle game!!! such a cute block :)
    And I love your diagrams!!

  23. you are not alone in the paper and pencil drafting arena :D I really love this block and the layout you provided is awesome. Great job, and I hope to see more of your designs soon!

    1. Love my graph paper, I do! Thank you for your sweet comment. You are a no-reply blogger, so I doubt you will see this, but if you do hope you can fix it here:

  24. Great block!!! The 3D element was a great idea.

  25. Hey I remember those pinwheel blowing things we had as kids!

    Wow, this is beautiful beginning!

  26. That is really cool the way you made it 3 dimensional. Definitely put a different spin (pun intended) on the ordinary pinwheel block! Also, I'm thinking I really need to try one of those hera markers...

  27. Sandra your block is "suh-weet!" And very unique! I copied and pasted it into another layout just for fun and right off the bat saw that you can get some fun effects with it! Great job!

  28. great block Sandra! I love the way the secondary pinwheels are created when you join the blocks together, and that they've got a unique dimensional quality. Nice work!!

  29. I love your block design... beautiful and great job on your tutorial!

  30. Another winner - love this look. I follow you and Inspired by Fabric by Bloglovin and newsletter.

  31. Such a great way to use pinwheels in this design Sandra. And that little something with the corner HSTs is lovely

  32. I am not always a huge fan of pinwheel blocks but I love how this one gives great secondary designs when placed and rotated. Well done on your block design!

  33. I love your block and your blog title! Beth @ Words & Stitches.

  34. Love pinwheels! What a great idea with the folded element, lots of fun! You can also curl the folded edge to have a curved edge, I know, but just leaving it loose is great too!

  35. Thanks for the 3D pinwheels! I should make this quilt now and tell my daughter to give it to me when Alzheimer's sets in!

  36. I had the luxury of testing this block pattern last weekend, and must say it's a fun make. I love the little 3D pockets, and pinwheels of summer. Such a neat twist, Sandra, as I'd never even heard of adding something like this in! Didn't we all have fun with this hop!


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