Update on the Easy Pinwheels

Update on the Easy Pinwheels

If you haven’t seen the super easy pinwheel check it out -

But there are some questions that arise when you are doing more than the standard charm pack. So we went to our users and they came up with some great info to work with. Try the following -

Here is what have discovered…Cut your squares of fabric:

3 3/8” = 4” Block

4 1/2” = 5” block

5 1/8” = 6” block

5 7/8” = 7” block

6 5/8” = 8” block

7 2/8” = 9” block

8” = 10” block

8 5/8” = 11” block

9 3/8” = 12” block

Now here is the formula, it blew my mind but thank goodness for calculators!

Finished block size x 1.41 = finished diagonal

Divide the answer, the finished diagonal, by 2. Add 0.875″ and round up to the nearest 1/8″ to find your parent block size.

There, aren’t you glad I just gave you the measurements?

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Pretty cool eh’!! Just to be sure, I did make the 4”, 5”, 6” and 7” blocks with those measurements and they were spot on. I hope this helps you all! Let me know how it works for you.

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  • Cathy

    Hi hsl, if you know your finished block size (meaning block-sewn-into-the-quilt-totally-finished width) take the diagonal measurement of the finished block, divide that by 2 and add an inch and a quarter. That will be your starting square size.
    For example: You want a finished 4 1/2″ block?
    4.5 x 1.4142 = 6.3639 (your finished diagonal measurement)
    6.3639 divided in half = 3.18195.
    Now add 1 1/4″ for seams and you get 4.43195 (roughly 4 7/16)
    So you would need to start with 2 squares that are about 4 7/16″.
    Since most people don’t like to deal with sixteenths, you could round up to 4 3/4″ starting square size and trim a smidge off sides when your pinwheel is done.

    If you want to start with your cut square size, you reverse all the steps above. So you would SUBTRACT 1 1/4″, then MULTIPLY by 2, and finally DIVIDE by 1.4142 and that will be your finished block size. That means finished and sewn into your quilt!
    For example: 5″ charm pack squares
    5 – 1 1/4 = 3 3/4 (x 2=7.5). 7 1/2 divided by 1.4142 = 5.30 so your finished blocks will be about 5 5/16″ or a bit bigger than 5 1/4″.

    The math on the blog chart is not entirely correct. You don’t add 7/8″ for seams. You add 1 1/4″ for seams. 7/8 is what you would add for half square triangles, but these are essentially quarter square triangles so they get 1 1/4″ added to turn out right.

  • Mary

    Me too. TMI for beginners!!

  • P Hoppe

    I’m still confused. Are the finished block sizes after the blocks are sewn together in the quilt? Are your finished 4″ actually 3.5″ after sewing them into the quilt or are they 4.5″ pinwheel blocks that end up 4″ after sewn into the quilt? I guess I just need to make one and find out. I need each pinwheel section to measure 2.5″ so I can make a 6″ finished Churn Dash.

  • sharon owens

    can you make pinwheels with the mini charm packs?

  • Janice Jacobson

    I have tried many sizes last one was 11″ beginning square it was very close to a 12″ finished square will try again to recheck

  • Carolyn Burrell

    Just got my MSQ BLOCK magazine. Best ever quilting magazine, thank you, Jenny Doan. No ads, instructions are so easy even for dyslexic me. I have watched the tutorials and can now have my BLOCK to take with me wherever I go…

  • Amy

    Thank you! Even though I am a math major I was getting trip up on figuring out this formula!

  • ifangoch

    Thanks for that – I was so confused wondering how a square less than 6″ would give a 6″ block. I totally forgot that there were 2 squares. Doh!

  • Sheila Murrey

    I cheated even more and bought the EZ half square triangle template. If you need a 5″ square, cut a 5″ strip across the width and then just use the template, so easy. I have just cut and made 90 10″ blocks for a king size bedspread in next to no time. Brill!

  • http://quiltbabble.com quiltbabble

    For some reason I remember 1.414…Is that Pi?

  • nermalsmom

    No, pi is 3.14. ;)

  • http://quiltbabble.com quiltbabble

    Yikes…well, it has been more than 50 years since high school math.

  • Nancy Cerreta

    I am just starting a baby quilt and have my 5″ squares cut out, now instead of a plain block quilt, I’ll be making these fancy pinwheel blocks! So excited to try this easy method. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  • buckingtrout

    Love this method…never watched video until today, but have made 5 charity destined lap size quilts (using my scrap box of 5″ charms). I tried this system from your great magazine article. I usually put together with alternate solid squares and although a 5″ square charm done this way is bigger than a 5″ charm square…It doesn’t take much time to square up and cut down using a standard 6″ square ruler. Just remember to trim on all 4 sides and not just 2. I just love being able to share quilts that look like I spent tons of time making them, but in reality it was quick & easy. Everyone who’s received one just loves it.

  • JenniferMSQC

    We love quick and easy! Thanks so much for watching! We’d love to see some pics, too.

  • Sharleen

    ok enough is enough! Just tell be what size squares I need to start with to get a 6 1/2″ unfinished block

  • Laura-Jean Siggens

    you can make pinwheels with any size squares. any size. have fun with those mini charms. these are one of my favorite pre cuts. :)