How to Make 3D Pinwheel Quilt Blocks

How to Make 3d Pinwheel Quilt Blocks

We love to add 3d elements to our quilts, especially ones made for kids. This is a fun and easy block you can make in any size to add a little extra pop to your top.

Fabric Requirements

You can make this block any size you want. The only thing to remember is to cut your pinwheel fabric 1″ smaller that the background squares.

You will need 4 background squares and 4 pinwheel squares.

For our sample block, we used 6 1/2″ background squares and 5 1/2″ pinwheel squares. This will give us a finished block of 12″. To determine what size to start with, divide your desired finished block size by 2 and add 1/2″ for the seam. Cut your background square this size.

Example: 8 inch finished block – 8/2=4. 4 + 1/2″= 4 1/2″ background square. 3 1/2″ pinwheel square.

Make the Pinwheels

  • Fold one pinwheel block in half on the diagonal, wrong sides together. Finger press.
  • Fold it in half on the diagonal again. Press.
  • Line it up along one edge of a background square, making sure it touches one corner.
  • Sew a 1/8″ basting stitch along the pinwheel.
  • Repeat for 4 pinwheel squares.
  • Lay out your block, lining up all the pinwheels in the center.
  • Sew the top blocks together. Sew the bottom blocks together. When pressing these seams, press them in opposite directions to make it easier to nest the seams and get a nice point in the middle.
  • Sew the two halves together.

You can mix and match these to make an entire quilt of pinwheels, or incorporate them with other blocks as a fun accent. We used them in our Pixie Dust quilt to accent our Fairies. You can get the pattern in our Etsy Shop.

2 Replies to “How to Make 3D Pinwheel Quilt Blocks”

  1. In future videos, could you cover how you press seams (open or to side), especially where quilt block corners/centers meet (e.g., 4 patch/9 patch)?
    Do you use the ‘pinwheel’ technique?
    Do you find that pressing seams open creates flatter seams so flatter blocks?

    1. Yes we will make a note of that and touch on it in future videos! How we iron the seams really depends on the design and how it all comes together. Using the “pinwheel” technique makes nesting easier and helps get points and seams lined up, but we’ve found that pressing seams open does help reduce bulk on areas where there are lots of points all coming together. We usually do to the side unless it is a bulkier seam.

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