Pinwheels with Ruth Ann and Mary

Ruth Ann brought her friend Mary to visit at the cape.  Mary had recently lost her mother, who was an avid quilter.  Mary says that quilting saved her mom’s life, as she threw herself into it when her father passed away suddenly.  As they were dividing up her mom’s belongings, the one thing that Mary wanted most was the quilt that had been on her mother’s bed.  When she went to claim it, it had already been taken by a sibling.  Mary decided it would be most honoring of her mother if she would learn to make a quilt of her own.  The quilt was simply pinwheels with sashing, and I told Mary she could make it very easily using the Magic 8 method to make half square triangles.

We only had time for a quick lesson, but Mary made her own pinwheel and went home inspired.

Ruth Ann has been making quilts for many years. She has a wonderful eye for selecting fabrics and putting colors together, but she had never made a pinwheel.  After watching how easy it was for Mary, she came back a few weeks later with a stack of batik fat quarters and wanted me to teach her to make a pinwheel quilt.

Most instructions for making half square triangles have you start with the size block you want to make and calculate the size square to cut from that.  In order to minimize waste, I took the reverse approach.  Since she had fat quarters, which measure 18″ x 22″, I had her cut four nine inch squares from each piece, so that only a 4″ x 18″ piece was left over.  She used the magic eight method to make eight half square triangles from each pair of nine inch squares, then put those together in sets of four to make pinwheels.  After trimming them all to the same size, she added 2 inch strips of sashing to finish at 1-1/2″.

I love the way the red batik makes these blocks pop. She then added a wide border of blue for a finishing touch.  Nice work, Ruth Ann!


1 Comment

  1. Cheryl says: Reply

    That is beautiful, Ruth Ann. Hope I get to see it in person!! Your fabrics are awesome!!

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