Monday, June 5, 2023

Rainbow Neighbourhood House Block #10 and Pinwheels

Twin quilt makers, this is your final assignment! This week we are making house block #10 and the pinwheels that spin across the quilt.

I have seen a few tops done, or nearly done this past week and I am swooning over how wonderful they are. This post will also discuss the sashing pieces needed to fit both the throw and the twin together. I will also be showing you some other quilts and projects I've done using this wonderful house block pattern. As lots of you have learned, it can be quite addictive!

Here is my ninth house, a cream, or low volume one.

Someone said the cream house could be washed by the sun, so that is what I'm calling this one, the sun-washed house. I just love the fabric I used for the house front, one from the line "Nouveau Soul" by Island Batik. I used the same moon and stars fabric for the windows as in my blue house, but in white instead of light blue.

My tenth house will be a Christmas house as per the pattern. I am following my pattern EQ8 mockup pretty closely as I will use the photo of the finished twin to redo the pattern cover.

Pinwheel Tips

I have a couple of tips for making the 20 pinwheels that are dotted around the twin quilt. One tip is don't make them if you hate HSTs! Cut 20 4.5" squares of a favourite fabric and use those instead. Seriously.

In the pattern, I have you make them using the two-at-a-time method, but there is nothing to stop you doing them eight at a time; just cut your two squares 6" and sew across both diagonals, cut on the drawn lines as well as through the centre both horizontally and vertically.

When you press these, no matter which method, press the seams to one side. I like the darker fabric side. Then the diagonal seams will nest nicely for two steps!

The first, squaring the HSTs to 2.5". I do this two at a time, layering the two HSTs atop each other right sides together, abutting the seams. Think of the top one like a Bloc-loc ruler. It takes a little bit of practice and a little bit of "I can do this!" but it cuts your squaring up time in half.

When you press the final horizontal seam, follow the direction of all the diagonal seams. They will either all be pressed to the right or all to the left. THEN. You can spin the centre seam by gently pushing the one side of that seam up and the other side down. A couple of stitches will open up which is fine, because you've 'locked' that seam by stitching horizontally across, right? That tiny pinwheel you get is so cute! What's more, that centre is nice and flat because all the seams that meet at the intersection are evenly distributed.

I did this for the LeMoyne star on the side of the house too.

Sashing and Quilt Top Assembly

For the throw, it is a standard, traditional layout with cornerstones. You can put the final border on or not; you can make it wider if you prefer. With the 2.5" strips as indicated in the pattern, the throw finishes 60.5" square. Here is my original quilt, blocks made throughout 2017, and top finished in 2022.

For the twin, you have varying lengths of sashing that get pinwheels sewn onto them at one or both ends. The quilt is assembled in rows, but not traditional rows, as they are not all equal. The hearts nestle together in the centre, tying the happy neighbourhood all together with some love! I walk you through the assembly step by step, so be sure to follow carefully. I also give you each section's measurements so it should all go together swimmingly!

The flimsy parade is June 15, so you have ten whole days to get the top done. This is when the QAL usually ends. However, the twin is a fairly involved quilt compared to previous years, so the flimsy parade will be June 15 and it will stay open for just three or four days. And then, the final parade will open June 30 and will stay open for a full week. What this means is that if you don't get your flimsy done by June 15, relax! You will still qualify for any of the prizes on offer if you link it up at the June 30 linkup. 

Flimsies or finished quilts qualify for all prizes.

If you really want to try for the 'Get Your Rainbow Neighbourhood Quilt Quilted by Quiltinator' prize, then don't even worry about finishing the quilt; simply link it up at the June 30 linkup as a flimsy and you're in! Know that you may not win that prize, so you will have to figure out the finishing on your own, or talk to Gale at Quiltinator for an estimate for her to do it anyhow!😉

If you just enter a flimsy at the June 30 linkup, then you will not qualify for the automatic free pattern and fat quarter from me though, just so you know! But as I stated, and I want this to be crystal clear, you WILL qualify for any of the other many prizes.

Other House Quilt Projects

The original house block I designed got immediately turned into a cushion. I hadn't intended to make more than one block! 

However, when I quilted this on my Bernina during a winter in our Florida home at the time, I quilted in windows and siding, door details, scalloped 'shakes' in the roof, and a heart... Well, it hit me: I could make windows out of fabric! Out came the graph paper, and another house with fabric windows happened, and well, I started making them in rainbow colours and doing a few different styles, and the house quilt idea was born. I always knew I wanted to make a rainbow neighbourhood, but it took a few years to let things percolate, several sketches and brainstorming sessions before I settled on the one as you know it.

One of the challenges in my three years as an Island Batik ambassador was to make a Christmas project that incorporated 3D elements. One of my projects was my Holiday House cushion.

This house has a 'crystal' doorknob, a bow and beads on the wreath, button evergreen trees, and (not shown because I wasn't sure exactly what I'd do) are the snowflake button 'bows' I sewed afterwards on top of each present.

Another year for another challenge we were asked to make a quilt that made creative use of borders and bindings. This was April 2020 and we were in lockdown, so I made quilt I called #stayhome.

The house in this wallhanging has a Trip Around the World block for the side and an appliquéd semi-circle window in the door.

As you know, within the pattern is the bench pillow and the original cushion pattern. These houses really can take over your creativity, can't they?! I have an idea to make a bag using a block too, maybe a Yoga Shala, and use the bag to take my yoga stuff to teach my classes, as I do my Positive Flow tote!

Happy sewing once again, and I will see you in ten days time for the Flimsy Parade.


  1. All your houses are beautiful, but the sun washed one is super lovely.

  2. Perfect name for sun washed, such a pretty block!

  3. These are beautiful blocks. I regret that I could not sew along with you this year. It's nice to be reminded of Stay Home.

  4. Your houses are beautiful, Sandra! I need to get busy and get to a flimsy stage. Three down...six to go...not sure I'll make it but it will get completed sometime this year! I loved reading about how Rainbow Neighbourhood came to be. Sun-washed is a perfect name for the new pretty!

  5. I love the houses, and can't wait to get my last two done. I may be skipping the sashing in order to get it all quilted on my frame...heaiding out tofigure that out now!

  6. Love the challenge of this twin quilt. Not sure I stuck to the colors but it's been fun. Putting it together will hopefully go well.

  7. Working on the sashing for the throw! Decision made! Bottom sashing done, on to third row of houses! Excited!

  8. I've so enjoyed this challenge and definitely not stuck to the pattern, changing some of my houses to other uses, now being a quaint village. I also changed up some of the chimneys, windows, etc., so bringing out the naughty side of me. Thanks you Sandra & it is at flimsy stage, so will see if I get it quilted in time. Take care & hugs.

  9. I have WAY too many projects on the go to even start this - but I would have made the "stay home" one if I'd been following you then! I love everything about it!

  10. très jolies maisons! bravo!

  11. Sandra, I LOVE that pillow!!! P.S. I am a teacher as well who is getting near retirement.