Pinwheel Quilt: Assembling your Quilt Top

IMG_1355In my last post, we went over how to make a pinwheel block. Once you’ve made all 105 of those and cut out your 184 solid blocks, all that’s left is to assemble your quilt top.

Every quilt pattern I’ve ever read has had instructions on how to assemble a quilt top, and what I’ve deduced about this process is that there is never just one way to do it correctly. The most important thing is that your blocks line up and your quilt ends up square.


FullSizeRenderThe general principle in quilt top assembly is to identify repeatable patterns. Because this quilt has no borders and only two kinds of blocks, it’s pretty straightforward. The photo to the left is the most obvious repeatable pattern. Using 10 solid blocks and 6 pinwheel blocks, assemble 16 larger blocks.

Below are two diagrams which will illustrate how to assemble your quilt top. The first diagram shows the completed quilt top, and the blocks and their quantities. The second diagram illustrates the assembly process I used to put it all together.

Diagram 1: Shows the quilt top and the block pieces it consists of. 16 larger blocks, 3 strips (for the last block in each row), 4 strips (to sew on the right side of the larger blocks in the last row), and one strip that goes at the bottom of the last block in the last row.
Diagram 2: For the first three rows, sew four larger blocks together, and one small strip on the last block of the row. For the last row, sew an extra strip to the right of each large block, and the 5 block strip to the bottom of the last large block.

As you can see, there are some gaps between the blocks in Diagram 2. This is just to illustrate what each row consists of. I sew two blocks together, then two pairs together to make a row. Once I have all four rows, I sew two rows together, then I sew the two pairs of rows together. I find that this helps to keep the quilt more square, and it helps distribute the weight of the fabric more evenly as you sew.

Once you’ve assembled your quilt top, press your seams flat, iron your quilt top thoroughly using a little spray starch, and you’re all done! Woohoo! Now all that’s left is the backing and the binding, which I’ll cover in my next post.

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