OMG! Two posts in a week? Blazing saddles, she's on a roll.
My last post had some links in it to The Fat Quarter Shop, my favorite online resource for fabric. For this project, you will need either two charm packs, one white or cream and one in color, like these two:
You could also cut white and patterned yardage into 2.5" strips. But for the sake of this tutorial, I'm going to be working with jelly roll strips. (I've bought jelly rolls at Walmart before. The fabric isn't as high a quality as the Moda products, but I've used them before without any trouble. See it here - scroll down a bit to the baby quilt and pillow. I personally preferred to cut my quilting teeth on less expensive fabric and saved buying the pricier stuff for when I got more confidence.)
I have a white jelly roll, like the one above, and a jelly roll of feedsack reproduction fabrics, like this one. To begin, you'll want to sew one white strip and one patterned strip together, with the right side of the patterned fabric facing the white fabric. Sew along the entire length using a 1/4" seam. And because I'm a press open gal, press open your seams.
You'll end up with something resembling this. The finished strips should measure 4.5 inches x the length of your fabric.
Now it's time to cut. I highly recommend a rotary cutter, quilting ruler, and self-healing mat for cutting fabric. It's the most accurate way to cut fabric. However, and I speak from experience, rotary cutter blades are super sharp and will lop off unprotected parts of your anatomy. If you would prefer to keep all your digits intact, be sure only to cut when you are completely sober and fully awake. Do not use a rotary cutter if you are easily distracted by movies with a shirtless Matthew McConaughey or Javier Bardem. And if you sing while cutting, resist the urge to pick up your rotary cutter and use it as a microphone. Okay. PSA done.
Since our strips are 4.5 inches wide, we want to cut our sewn strips down to 4.5 x 4.5 squares. Like so:
Each strip set should yield 9 4.5" pieces. You'll use eight for the blocks for your quilt and have one left over. (Since this is my second pinwheel quilt, I'll be using all the extras from the two to make a third.)
Now that you have your pieces all ready, let's get sewing again. To make the pinwheel, you need to arrange your pieces like this:
Now take the left top piece and place it on top of the bottom left piece, right sides to together, and sew across the top of your pieces using a 1/4" seam. (Please excuse my man-hands and sausage fingers. I carry half my excess weight from my wrists out and from my ankles down.)
Now I always check to make sure my seams are indeed all lined up before I sew because seam-ripping ranks right up there with the basting process of my least favorite quilting tasks. This is how I do it:
Press your new seam open and admire your handywork:
The quilt I'm making will be 6 rows x 6 columns of these lovely, simple blocks in various colors. That's 36 blocks. That sounds like a lot, but it's really not (look ma, I'm a poet!). When you get a rhythm going the blocks come together quite easily and before you know it you've got a stack of blocks just waiting for the next step - sewing your blocks together and finishing your quilt top. I'll be tackling that next week.
In the meantime, have fun sewing.
Interested in more quilting information? Here are some basic quilting tutorials made by others that were infinitely helpful to me while I was teaching myself to quilt:
As always, if you have any questions, leave a comment and hopefully I can help.