Thursday, January 3, 2013

Whirlygig Quilt Block Tutorial

As promised earlier this week I have prepared a tutorial for you!

This is for the Whirlygig block. This is an easy block and alot of fun! There is a bit of cutting but the block goes together quickly with chain piecing.

I reviewed a bit with this tutorial and I was totally inspired by SewCraftyJess and her 4x5 Bee Blocks here. I love the way she has put the whirlygig's together, and instead of using the white in between she has used another print. I did think about using my  'Lil Twister template/ruler but there is fabric waste with it so I decided to go with cutting my own templates. 

I tweeked my tutorial a bit as I had made these several years ago but in a smaller size. For this project I made my blocks to finish at 12 inches (12.5 unfinished). This means the 9 smaller individual blocks are 4in finished and 4.5 inches unfinished. 

Ready? Here we go!

As for fabric I used Kona white from a jelly roll - 2.5in strips and Kona grey. For the colors I literally pulled from my scrap bins or simply cut 2.5in strips. The pieces will be cut 2.5in by 3 inches.

First take a piece of cardboard (cereal box, cardboard from charm pac, anything fairly sturdy)
Measure a rectangle 2.5in x 3in and cut out. Next take your ruler and measure 1.25 inches in from the upper Left hand corner and mark. Now do the same from the lower right hand corner and mark. Connect your marks, and you should have a diagonal line as shown above. Cut on this line. You can change this up and make the diagonal more pronounced. It will give your blades more of a pinwheel shape - narrower at the base and wider at the tip.

Next take your template and cut your background pieces. You can cut 2 layers at one time to speed up the process. Just be sure if you are cutting your printed fabric that you cut with BOTH layers Right sides up. If you cut otherwise, as in right sides together or wrong sides together, you will get one set of blades that are backwards (yes, this happened to me- and I am a bit spatially challenged anyways, so it took me a moment to figure out what I had done when the pieces didn't come together!) I cut all nine backgrounds and put each in its own pile and then cut all of my prints and put one print on top of each background. that way you can just pick up each pile and sew otherwise the pieces can get scattered - after all there are 72 pieces to each 12 in block! Don't let that scare you off, it goes together quickly!

                                My cut pieces. You will match a print and a background piece.

 When you put them together to sew they will look off and not match up perfectly. This is the way it is supposed to be. Sew with scant 1/4 in seams and chain piece them. 
 Next open each piece and finger press seams so they alternate.  Lay out in a cross design. Piece the two top sections while nesting your seams. Next piece the two bottom sections doing the same. Again chain piece all of these sections. Finally sew the top and bottom sections together along your horizontal center seam, being sure to nest and match your center seams. If you find that you are having issues due to stretching (if cut on bias) don't be afraid to use spray starch to help with that. 
Ok now your should have one block approx 4.5in!  Repeat to make each of the other 8 blocks. Finally trim each block down to 4.5inches. I used a 4.5 in square ruler but it is not necessary, any ruler 4.5 inches or wider makes it easy to trim.
 Finally arrange all your blocks to your liking. Sew them together by rows. 
Top 3 blocks together; middle three blocks together; and finally the bottom 3 blocks being sure to match up seams. Then sew top row to the middle and bottom row to the middle being sure to match up the seams of the blades and the block seams.  And there you have it!

 I hope you enjoy making these!  I would love to hear from you and see your blocks if you use this tutorial. I think I see a project in my future using this block in a similar way as here. If you have any questions please let me know.


1 comment:

  1. I'm spatially challenged too Ginny, so thanks for the tip!

    Have a quilt to make for my son, this might just fit the bill.


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