The quilt I have been working on recently has a lot of pinwheel blocks. (And yes, I did fix that one that was turned wrong). A friend reminded me that when I made a pinwheel quilt about six years ago I announced that I would never make another pinwheel block in my life. I thought they were fussy and fiddly and I must have unsewed half of the ones I made. What happened to change my mind?
I got a tip that was a complete game changer for me as far as pinwheel blocks are concerned.
I took a class with Carrie Nelson (Moda Rosie, Miss Rosie's Quilt Company, LaVie en Rosie) and learned from her how to make a perfect, flat pinwheel. A few people commented that they didn't have good luck with pinwheel blocks, so I just have to share what Carrie taught me. It only takes seconds and makes all the difference.
First, arrange your half square triangles in the correct pinwheel pattern for your project.
Sew the top two units together. Sew the bottom two units together.
RIght sides together, place a pin at the exact point where the four half square triangles intersect. Get that pin right on the point on both the top and bottom sections. Sew the two sections together, carefully removing the pin as you get to it.
So, here is the secret:
See where my seam ripper is aimed? Remove those three or four little stitches that are at the top of the vertical seam leading up to the raw edge. Insert your seam ripper and gently tug them out. They come out easily.
Now flip the block over and do the exact same thing on the other side. Obviously, be careful and don't remove any stitches below that horizontal seam line.
Fiddle with the seam with your fingers, pressing the seams in opposing directions. Look what happens! The center seams flop apart and form a mini pinwheel.
The significance of this, is that now your pinwheel block center is going to lie as flat as a pancake and all your points will come together perfectly.
Trust me, this took five times longer to describe than to actually do it. If you haven't heard of this method for pinwheel blocks, give it a try. I think you will be pleased with the results.