Pinwheels for baby

At our sewing group’s end-of-year Christmas party, I was lucky enough to receive two rulers in the Kris Kringle gift swap. (That is the short version of events. The long version is that I saw a plant on the gift table even before we had drawn numbers. I said to my friend Marjorie that I hoped I would not draw the plant as that would be cruelty to plants. I have brown thumbs, fingers and toes, and its survival could not be guaranteed. Marjorie likes plants and offered to swap numbers if that happened. Yep. That is what happened. Later, I realised that in the swap with Marjorie I was ending up with my gift back, so Sharon and I swapped. Short version: I received two lovely rulers.)

Both of the rulers were hot pink, which made me instantly warm to them. One of the rulers was a Sew Easy Pinwheel Magic 6½-inch ruler, the kind that you place on pre-sewn squares at an angle and then cut to make pinwheels. I have had so much fun playing with that!

Pinwheel magic quilt in progress

I chose blue and green to coordinate with a backing fabric I have in my stash and came up with a layout.

Pinwheel magic quilt in progress

Pets always have a very consistent way of ‘helping’.

Pinwheel magic quilt in progress

When you have made one quilt top, you then cut it up.

Pinwheel magic quilt in progress

Not bad for my first magic pinwheels, eh?

Each block is 6 inches square, so the main section of the finished top is 36 × 42 inches. I then added extra narrow white borders to bring it up to 39 × 45 inches to better fit the single width of backing fabric.

This was a good stash-busting quilt. I pulled out blue and green fabrics from my stash to coordinate with my chosen backing. I only needed one 9-inch square from each fabric, making it easy to find enough. One of the green fabrics, which I have a bit more of because it came from the bargain bin, is waiting to become the binding. I am learning that my stash is full of fat quarters and 30 centimetre cuts, but I rarely add yardage to my stash, except in linen and white. I usually buy larger quantities as I need them. If I had allowed myself to go shopping, I might have made the borders a stronger colour than white, but white is what I had, and it looks just fine.

The other ruler is called a 3 Plus Ruler. I am yet to figure out what to do with that, but it looks handy for circles, marking seam allowances and cutting binding strips.

First, however, I need to cart my sewing machine downstairs to the dining room and quilt this and the monkey baby quilt top I have sewn.


40 thoughts on “Pinwheels for baby

  1. I like that arrangement very much, it gives the impression of a cloud passing in front of the sun in the way the colours change from strong to pale and back again. One can never have too many rulers, don’t you agree?

  2. Carla, I love this. I’ve just unpacked my storage shipment and I have so very many UFO’s, but I’d love to give this a try sometime. I really enjoy your blog. Miss the sewing group. Hugs to you, Sharon Cronin

  3. Gift swaps can be funny like that; of course you got the plant! The pinwheels look great, but I especially love the photo of your “helper”. 🙂 I had a quick google around for the 3 plus ruler, and it does seem like it might be a lot of fun to play with circles.

  4. That looks like great fun! Glad the swap worked out well in the end – I kill plants too except for an indian rubber plant that seems to like a bit of a drought every now and again when I forget to water it!

  5. Oh this is beautiful. I am always so amazed at how quilters are able to cut sew recut resew and magic they have this awesome looking quilt that makes you think it is totally impossible to do. Well, it would be for me. This one caught my eye because of how the colors make the pinwheel pop in and out. I couldn’t help staring at it in a googley eye sort of way.

    • This would be a lot more complex and time consuming the usual way – cutting a lot of wedge shapes individually with a template and wrestling with bias seams. With the ruler, I think it is easy enough for a beginner.

  6. What a gorgeous quilt, defintiely a great use of your new ruler. I must look into getting one of those rulers to try out myself. I’m hoping to have some baby quilts to make for a family member in the not too distant future and this looks like a really fun design to work with.

    • Yes, it is fun and relatively quick, which makes a good baby quilt, I think. For baby quilts, I like something pretty but not precious or painstakingly hand pieced for when babies make a giant mess (as babies do) and the quilt needs to be flung into the washing machine.

    • My helper’s main household task seems to be greeting visitors. She is very good at answering the door and making people feel welcome. 🙂

      She will also fetch toys on command, but that is more entertaining than helpful as the toys all end up out of her toy box and under the dining table when she has played with them.

    • The rulers are fun. Maybe you could borrow a friend’s.

      I could work with stash because I started with the biggest bit – the backing – and worked from there. I really do not have large quantities of much!

  7. Pingback: When in doubt … | Granny Maud's Girl

  8. Thats amazing – I might sound a bit daft but those point wheels are totally mesmerising! Now this might be daft also, as a question. But is it hard to stop cutting at the end of the square, or is it easier with a small rotary cutter. Mine’s a 45mm one and probably not as easy to control! :-0

    • Not daft at all. I was worried about overshooting with the rotary cutter and cutting into the next piece, but it didn’t happen. There is about a quarter inch buffer, which I found to be plenty. You can cut your squares a bit bigger to allow an extra safety margin if nervous, but I found the standard size listed on the ruler’s packet was fine for me.

      It looks like I used my smaller cutter, but that might simply be because I had a new sharp blade on it. I find I need less force, and therefore go less wrong, with a new blade.

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