Pushing Myself With Pinwheels

I finally finished piecing this quilt top of pinwheels with lots of inner borders and sashing!

I used a pattern I got from Anina last summer. I cut the fabrics right away, and started piecing it at a quilt retreat earlier this summer. Then I grew a little tired of it, and I got distracted with other inspiration. I pushed myself to finish the piecing recently – yippee! Now that makes three finished quilt tops in my pile that need quilting.

More pinwheels? Yes, remember these? Since I was playing with scraps, these 48 blocks were much smaller than I realized (5 inches each), so they make for a small quilt (about 22 inches wide by 31 inches tall) that could be used as a wallhanging, table runner, play mat or doll quilt.

Here is my current layout, organized with same-color pinwheels arranged to make a 4-patch. I like this layout, but it didn’t feel quite right yet to me, so I am pushing myself to take it farther.

I thought each colored 4-patch section could use sashing around it, which would enlarge each block and hence the entire quilt. I didn’t want to use white sashing, so I dug deep into my stash to come up with something bright and cheerful.

Now that feels much better to me! I love how the block really glows, and I love a bigger size of 11 inches. So I’m off to continuing framing each pinwheel block. I hope to have another update for you next week, or maybe even a finished quilt top.

For both of these quilt projects, I have been utilizing my design wall quite a bit lately. It’s very high-tech: start with a laminated table cloth with flannel on the back and add three evenly-spaced grommets to one end. Put three equally evenly-spaced nails high up on the wall to hang the design wall when you need it. Since those nails are high up, they won’t be noticed when the design wall is tucked away in the linen closet. Use the flannel side to stick fabrics and blocks to play with your design.

Having these projects in-the-works hanging on the wall has kept me focused and pushing myself forward before getting sidetracked with another. When inspiration strikes, I try to capture it in a sketchbook until the design wall is free again.

26 comments

  • your quilt looks great, and the blocks are coming along nicely. i really like the addition of the frame!

  • I like the stripes and borders of the first quilt, can;t wait to see it quilted. What kind of machine are you quilting on anywho?

    The second one with the borders really makes it pop out at the eye! Nice adjustment.

    When I move, I would like to make a design wall too!

    • Thanks Sara! I haven’t figured out how to quilt the first quilt, but I know I want to do some kind of straight line design. I have a simple Husqvarna Viking machine, which is nothing fancy for doing machine quilting. Wish I had a Janome or Juki for quilting! Thanks for your opinion on the borders for the second pinwheel project. I feel so much better about that project now. I highly recommend the simple tablecloth method for a design wall since I can take it down when it’s not in use or when we have guests.

  • Hello Terri,

    WOW I just love that first quilt, I think the use of the stripes really sets it of. Good luck with all the pinwheel quilts.
    Happy sewing.
    bev.xoxo

  • Little Gems! How great to see it again.

  • I love both of them. Yesterday I was cleaning my sewing room–again–and found a set of blocks that I had dreamed about the night before. Weird. Anyway, I briefly thought about putting them in a donation pile, but then I thought, nope I dreamed about them for some reason. So…I think I’m going to sash them in stripes and then white, like your first quilt. Great inspiration. Thanks, Terri!!!

  • Love all of these pinwheels…the sashing around the blocks in the second quilt really makes them stand out…love the high tech design wall, too!

  • I love the pink framing of your pinwheels! It kind of reminds me of something you’d see in Japan. Like their special origami papers or something… very pretty!

    Soon you’ll have a new sketchbook to start putting your design ideas in! I mailed it out today, USPS!

  • You have some major pinwheel action going on! I really like the top you have finished.

    Having a design wall really helps me, too:)

  • I LOVE pinwheels, and yours are gorgeous!

    I really like the addition of the sashing around the four-patch pinwheel blocks. I agree that it adds a lot to the overall look.

    I’m excited to see the finished product!

    ~ Meagan

  • Goodness Terri – these are wonderful – so much pinwheel colour flying round. Love the top one with the stripey borders and the additional blocking around the second set of pinwheel blocks really sets them off.

    Thanks for the design wall info – that is really helpful as the more I’m getting into fabrics the more I have been wondering about this. Currently my design wall is ‘the floor’ but I will definitely see about rigging up one as you have described.

    Good luck finishing your quilt top :0)

  • Fantastic! I really love the inner borders on the first quilt and the big pink one on the second set of pinwheels is just perfect!! I hadn’t thought of putting grommets on my design wall…excellent idea 🙂 I may have to go hunting in the garage for those strange grommet pinchy things!

  • LOVE the way the sashing looks around the blocks. I loooooove it!

  • Love your quilt tops. I think my favorite is the one with the pink Dance With Me fabric. I really should have gotten more than an fq of that when it was out.

  • Love your quilt tops and can’t wait to see the finish on the one your putting borders around the pinwheels.
    Your design wall looks like mine. I have a tablecloth flannel back also hanging on my wall. Been using it for years. Works great.

  • the frame is a great idea for the little pinwheel blocks! i love that you used a color rather than white. it’s going to be fabulous!

    i love your completed quilt top, too. you are cruising right through your projects. yay you!

  • Hello Terri, both quilts looks lovely! I really like those colours! The best is that pink/fuchia fabric you have made seshing for the pin wheeles (white/colour), it’s beautiful and reminds me one Finish fabric! Also the first quilt has really nice fabrics as well as the seshings! Lovely combinations with colours!
    My pin wheeles are waiting…I just wanted to make them without any plan and I don’t have wery much those fabrics, so perhaps it’s going to be babyquilt, or small pic-nic blanket.
    Best wishes Teje

  • Wow, so amazing…I can barely sew paper…so quilting is like – whoaaa! Fabulous work!

  • So cool! I how you made those 4 patch pinwheel blocks. Very creative!

    Jennifer 🙂

  • How did I miss this project at the retreat? What fun. I like the bright borders for both of those pinwheel quilts. 🙂

  • Love the vivid colors Terri! I sure wish I had enough space for a design wall

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  • Love both quilts Terri! The pink really outlines those blocks, can’t wait to see it completed.

  • Hi Terri, Wow what have I been missing! (I have had a quiet time for a little while, not tripping around blogland ….) You are so creative, I love how the sashing has added another dimension to your already gorgeous pinwheels. Can’t wait to see the rest :0)
    What a good idea too for a design wall, it always sounds so grand and expensive, yet you have brought made it quite simple and inexpensive. Thank You for your inspirations.
    Have a great week!
    Val xx Oxfordshire UK

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