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Thread: Question about pinwheel blocks

  1. #1
    Member lgmdonna's Avatar
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    Question about pinwheel blocks

    I am making a pinwheel quilt where the pinwheel blocks alternate with a solid color block. I am using 5" blocks. Now that the pinwheel blocks are completed they are larger than 5". Do I square up the pinwheel blocks to 5" to be even with the solid color 5" block? Or do I just square up the pinwheel block to even out the edges?
    Kimberley

  2. #2
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    How much to big are your pin wheels? your solid and your pinwheel blocks must be the same size or your corners won't match. If you trim too much off you will lose the points on your pin wheel. Does the 5 inch block include the 1/4 seam? are your seams the right size? Before trimming I'd check seam size and all my cutting measurments. Could you have cut your pinwheel pieces too large? I would check everything before trimming. Once you trim it off you cann't put it back. Good Luck , let us see your finished project.

  3. #3
    MTS
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    How much bigger are they?

    You can trim your Pinwheel blocks down to whatever the UNFINISHED size of your plain blocks is......in this case, 5".

    Having both sets of blocks the same size makes life so much easier.


    Just make sure when squaring each block that you keep an eye on the diagonal and the center of the Pinwheel.

    You want the ruler to have BOTH
    a)the diagonal lined up so it bisects the corner exactly AND
    b)the center of the block lined up with the correct measurement on the square ruler - for your block, 2.5"l.

    You don't want to trim one side, turn it, and find out you don't have enough fabric, or that the Pinwheel is now off center (even though the diagonal is fine).

    Both are equally important.

    At least with using plain alternate blocks, you won't have all that bulk at the corners, your blocks should go together smoothly.
    Last edited by MTS; 11-16-2012 at 12:40 AM.

  4. #4
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    If it is a quick quilt, I would leave if they are all the same size. Then I am not up to following patterns I love being an individual. Seriously if they are all the same size with the chance of any other block to the same size . Then you piece together as pattern. Just size will be different, without squaring up. Donot tell quilt police.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  5. #5
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    I'd cut larger alternate blocks to match the pinwheel size.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Toni C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gollytwo View Post
    I'd cut larger alternate blocks to match the pinwheel size.
    This is what I thought. Make sure all your pinwheel blocks ARE the same size. If not use the smallest to trim them like MTS said. Then you know how big your alternate blocks need to be

  7. #7
    MTS
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    I assumed, perhaps wrongly, that the 5" solids were already cut.

  8. #8
    Member lgmdonna's Avatar
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    I have already cut all the pieces. I cut 5" solids, and 5" blocks for the pinwheels. I have assembled the pinwheels and now they are larger and the edges are not all "even". So I started to even up the edges when I got to thinking about my original question posted here. I did realize that I would need to make sure my angled lines were all 2.5" and to make sure the point remained centered. I would find the center point of my solid square, match it up to the center point of my pinwheel and then cut it to the right size? Is that correct? I have only trimmed a few and realized that they still weren't all the same size. Some needed more trimming than others. I stopped when I began to question myself. I have no room for error here.
    Kimberley

  9. #9
    Member lgmdonna's Avatar
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    make sure my angled lines were all 2.5" from the center point
    Kimberley

  10. #10
    Member lgmdonna's Avatar
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    "Does the 5 inch block include the 1/4 seam?" No. The blocks are 5" cut.
    Kimberley

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by lgmdonna View Post
    I am making a pinwheel quilt where the pinwheel blocks alternate with a solid color block. I am using 5" blocks. Now that the pinwheel blocks are completed they are larger than 5". Do I square up the pinwheel blocks to 5" to be even with the solid color 5" block? Or do I just square up the pinwheel block to even out the edges?
    - Ah oh, I did this same thing but only made 2 solid blocks, uff thank goodness...I realized wow these won't be the same size, luckily it was just a 'for fun' side project. I will keep an eye on this thread to see what you end up doing so I will know now what to do with all my pinwheels I've already made...
    -Best of luck to you

    LIVE ~ LAUGH ~ LOVE

  12. #12
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    This circumstance is exactly why I always piece blocks first before I cut plain alternate blocks.
    It also helps to piece the more complicated blocks before the lesser pieced blocks for the same reason.

    Jan in VA
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
    This circumstance is exactly why I always piece blocks first before I cut plain alternate blocks.
    It also helps to piece the more complicated blocks before the lesser pieced blocks for the same reason.

    Jan in VA
    Experience is an effective teacher!

    In the meantime, though - - -

    Do you have any template plastic? If so, I would cut a 5 inch square of it and draw diagonal lines on it.
    Then I would use that to square up my pinwheel blocks. Or buy a five-inch square ruler that has the diagonals on it.

    I would square up the pinwheel blocks to be the same size as the solid squares - if they are different sizes, you will have a mell of a hess trying to put the them together.
    It definitely helps to have the intersection marked.

  14. #14
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I did that same thing, first time I made pinwheels. It didn't take me long to do the pieced blocks first, then measure it and cut solid alternate blocks. This won't help you now but will if you make another like it.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  15. #15
    MTS
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    You want to line up the 2.5" lines (BLUE SOLID LINE) with the upper right quadrant of the pinwheel block, as well as the diagonal (BLUE DOTTED LINE).
    Make sure that you have enough "block" left on the other side of the RED LINE (5" border).

    Name:  TrimmingSquare.JPG
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    If all is okay, trim the right and top edges of the block without moving the ruler or the block.

    Turn the block so that the two trimmed sides are now at the bottom and left on the mat.

    Place the ruler so they line up with the 5" lines (RED) at the bottom and left, with the untrimmed edges at the right and top.

    Line up the center and diagonal again in the upper right hand corner.
    Trim the right and upper edges.

    And you should have a perfectly sized Pinwheel block.

    In theory anyway.

    Oh, one last note.
    If you're using a ruler that has the added 1/2" measurement, like the one in the picture (GREEN circle), ALWAYS make sure it is on the bottom left, away from where you're measuring and cutting.
    Last edited by MTS; 11-16-2012 at 08:31 PM.

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