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?

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.

  • Linda Horne

    The chart is great I need to add flying geese and corner squares the size have to match with this chart and a flying geese chart no math to work with

  • Cathy

    You need to change your chart formula instructions at the end. The last step should be to add 1 1/4″ to get a starting square size, not 7/8″. This will help a lot of people out!

  • Christiana Dean

    That is the addition size the block is when set on point. Ex a 10 in block set straight is 10 in, but turn the block on point to set it, it is now 10 in + 1.414 =11.414 in for block size.

  • Boisenoise

    I am terrible at math, so I was delighted to see the chart. However, it didn’t work out for me at all!!! I wanted 4″ finished pinwheel blocks for my current project. According to the chart, that means I should make my original squares 3 3/8.” I decided to cut them 3 1/2″, since that would be easier to measure and would give me some wiggle room for trimming them down afterwards to make sure they were nice and square. Then I used my 1/4″ sewing foot and put them together exactly according to the instructions in the video. When the pinwheels were sewn together, the blocks measured about 3 3/4″ . . . and that’s not the finished size, but the size they are before putting them into the quilt! I’ll need to figure out a way to add strips between them to make up the difference, but I really wish I knew what went wrong!

  • Boisenoise

    There is, and it’s fairly easy! However, it’s a bit hard to explain just with words. Let’s say that in the blocks you show, you have pressed every single pinwheel seam towards the brown. When you look at the “lump” on the back, you should be able to use your fingers to open that center part into a tiny pinwheel of its own. (This is easier to do if you have cut off the little dog-ears from the squares as you have put the blocks together.) You may have to coax a few stitches loose from the seam allowance there in the center (which won’t hurt anything, because it is the seam allowance).

  • Texaspup

    HooBoy! My Brain is feeling like a Pinwheel!

  • S. Al-Haddad

    How about making pinwheel blades first from any size square then arrange on a block and measure to see if you like the size. Do one at a time until you find the size you like. Don’t forget to write down info for each size and don’t forget to make the block 1 inch larger as it will be cut into 4 squares each needing a quarter inch seam allowance on each side. To save fabric use scrapes or even paper cut to same sizes. Pin or write measures and wheel pieces to/or on the block piece for future reference. Very little math needed.

  • S. Al-Haddad

    This pretty much what Connie, I think, said a couple of years ago. Just saw her comments.

  • Ruth Freeman

    yes… so y want a 5′ finished pinwheel… sew and slice a 5″ block… and trim ea triangle to 3″…
    after 2 – 1/4: seams… a 5″ block

  • Ruth Freeman

    also when doing pinwheels… i have begun to pay attention to my pressing. When setting your seams… but sure things are sitting square… i now finger press the seam open before i press it… and i am getting much more SQUARE squares. yea! cutting pinwheels just a 1/2 bigger with this method and then trimming to the size u need before you sew them together…you get a perfect square

  • Ruth Freeman

    start with 5″…after cutting trim ea triangle to 2 3/4. do a sample…i believe my math is right.

  • Ruth Freeman

    if you don’t make them just a tad bigger… with method you have to be EXACT…seam allowance and cutting…much easier to to make the beginning square 1/2 bigger… sew and cut… then trim to the size you need… 4 1/2 finished… 4 triangles 2 1/4 plus 1/2 for seam allownce… tada… trim to 2 3/4….

  • Ruth Freeman

    start with a block 1/2 ” bigger than above for the size you want.. after sew and cut… you need a 5″ block… 4 triangles at 2 1/2… add 1/2 ea for seam allowance… (3″)…and trim to that size… always do a trial run with some scrapes and take notes… results will be perfect…you took the time to cut (whew) and sew… take time to press… these are all bias edges…press… don’t iron

  • Cathy

    Ruth, the person wanted to know how to arrive at exact sizes and what sizes to cut to get there so I offered a more helpful formula. Math is an exact science. But go ahead and add as much extra fabric as you want and trim as much fabric as you want. That can always be done. Knowing what sizes to start and end up with is always good to know.

  • Cathy

    You don’t add 1.414. You multiply by 1.414 to get the hypotenuse. So a 10″ square will be about 14″ on the diagonal.

  • Jeannie

    If I want a 4 1/2″ HST, I use a 5″ square, draw a diagonal line, sew 1/4″ on either side of the line, cut on the diagonal. Your HST should be about 4 1/2″ (this measurement includes seam allowances before sewing into your piece).

  • Belinda Brown

    But why didn’t anyone warn me that you can spin your pinwheels in the wrong direction? I made 42 blocks and 10 of them were spinning backwards. I keep reminding myself that this is what I do for fun and relaxation…

  • Lepplady

    Are those sizes before or after sewing. That is to say, will the 5″ block end up being 4 1/2″ after sewing? Or is that allowed for, leaving a 4″ visible block?

  • Sue Schleede

    You remember it because it is the square root of 2 which they taught specifically for calculation of diagonal length which we are doing here! It’s fun when high school math comes back!