Summer Sewing ~ Pinwheels in the Park Pattern + Tutorial

on June 23 | in Sewing Tutorials + Patterns | by | with 90 Comments

Rachel Measham-Pywell from Four Wise Monkeys designed this quilt for our Summer Sewing series. We love the quilt and we love just about everything Rachel does; she’s joined us on the blog before! Remember her darling backpacks and Book Buddy drawstring bags? She’s also done pattern reviews for us like for this cute Modkid pattern. Learn more about Rachel in her introduction, and be sure to check out Four Wise Monkeys. Rachel will be back for throughout 2011 so look for more sewing fun to come!…

Rachel made a PDF version of this quilt tutorial so if you prefer to print it out you can download your copy today.


  • At least 6 fat quarters of medium dark fabric – pinwheels
  • At least 6 fat quarters of medium light fabric – pinwheels
  • 2 m of white fabric – pinwheels and sashing
  • 20 cm of spot fabric – binding
  • Piece of backing fabric 2 m x 1.6 m (I used a good quality single bed flat sheet)
  • Batting at least 2 m x 1.6 m
  • Finished size 71” x 54 ½”

All seams are a quarter of an inch.

Cutting instructions
Medium/Dark Fabrics
From your fat quarters cut 12 x 8 ¼” squares – 2 from each fat quarter

Medium/Light Fabrics
From your fat quarters cut 24 x 7 â…ž” squares.

White Fabric
Cut 3 x 8 ¼” strips across width of the fabric and cross cut into 12 x 8 ¼” squares
Cut 4 x 3” strips across width of the fabric (short sashing)
Cut 4 x 3” strips across width of the fabric (long sashing)
Cut 4 x 4” strips across width of the fabric (top and bottom borders)

Assemble Your Blocks ~ To make 1 pinwheel block:

From your medium/light colour fabrics take two 7 ?” squares and cut them both blocks in half diagonally to make two triangles.

From your white and medium/dark colour fabrics take an 8 ¼” square and cut both squares in half diagonally then in half diagonally again to make 4 triangles.

Lay our block out as pictured.

Flip the blue triangles over so they cover the white triangles. Turn the triangles so they look like the right angled triangle pictured. Sew down the outside edge using a ¼ inch seam. Sew all triangles with the medium/dark fabric on top as pictured so that your pinwheels will all end up facing the same direction.

Sew the four pairs together and press the seam. I prefer to press my seams open.

Your block will now look like this. Flip the medium/light fabric triangle over the triangle you have just constructed and sew the blocks together carefully along the long edge, being careful not to stretch the fabric as it is sewn. Press the seam. Repeat to make four squares.

Sew two squares together, using the picture as a guide to ensure that they are orientated correctly. Press, then join the two rows together, carefully matching the seams. Press.

Your first block is done! Follow these steps to make another 11 blocks.

Assembling the Quilt Top

Using a design wall or your lounge room floor, arrange your block in four rows of three. Take a photo for reference.

Take 4 x 3” strips of the fabric and cross cut them into 8 x 14 ½ “ rectangles for your short sashing strips.

When you are happy with the placement of each block, add a 3” x 14 ½” short white sashing strip between the blocks. Sew the blocks and short sashing strips together in rows and press seams. Do not sew a sashing strip to either end of the row.

Take 4 x 3” strips of the fabric and sew them together along the short ends. Press. Cross cut this strip into 3 x 47 ½” rectangles for your long sashings.

When sewing on long sashings and borders, mark the half way and quarter points of your strip of fabric and the half  way and quarter point of the quilt. Pin the quilt at these points, and at regular intervals along the strip for more accurate sewing.

Sew the rows together by adding the three 3 x 47 ½ “ strips of long sashing between the rows. Press seams.

Take the 4 x 4” strips of fabric and sew 2 strips together along the short ends. Repeat with the other two strips

From both strips cut a 4” x 64” rectangle and a 4” x 54 ½ rectangle. These are your side and top borders

Sew the 4” x 64” strips for the side borders the left and right sides of the quilt. Press seams.

Sew the 4” X 54½” strips to the top and bottom of the quilt. Press seams. Your quilt top is finished!

Finish the Quilt
Smooth out the backing fabric on a flat surface such as a table or a floor and secure it down with masking tape.

Place the batting on top, ensuring it is smooth with no bumps or wrinkles. Lay the quilt top on top of the batting and pin or baste the three layers together.

Quilt as desired. I quilted in a curvy zig zag stitch, spaced 3” apart, using my walking foot and a decorative stitch on my sewing machine. Trim the backing and batting.

Cut seven strips, 2½ wide across the width of the binding fabric. Join the seven binding strips into one long strip and press the seams open. Fold the strip in half length ways and press. Stitch the raw edge of the binding along the of the quilt using a ¼ “ seam and mitring the corner as you go, or use your preferred binding method.

Turn the binding over and hand stitch into place. Label, date and enjoy your quilt.

This week you could win a complete fat quarter pack of Spring Street by Carolyn Gavin, Crafting a Meaningful Home by Meg Mateo Ilasco or a $25 Gift Certificate to Sew,Mama,Sew! Comment on any post this week for your chance to win!

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90 Responses to Summer Sewing ~ Pinwheels in the Park Pattern + Tutorial

  1. Naczynia says:

    Thanks for the cool post, i will try this out now.

  2. Sherri says:

    LOVE! So cheery and summery…

  3. Penny says:

    This pattern would make a perfect 4th of July table runner with red white and blue fabrics. Thanks for posting!

  4. Marcia W. says:

    Gorgeous quilt!

  5. Nadine says:

    Love this quilt! Such a modern effect. I’m sewing projects for my soon to be born first baby, this one will definately be included! 🙂

  6. Cynthia I says:

    Love pinwheels! Such fun colors.

  7. April Hurley says:

    I have been looking for a pattern to make a baby quilt for a friend and this is perfect thanks for sharing!

  8. Leah says:

    This is a fabulous design and I just ordered fabrics in very similar colors!!

  9. Rebecca says:

    LOVE this! Thanks for the instructions!

  10. Bethany says:

    I have tried pinwheels twice and it didn’t turn out perfect, but this is a great step by step to help those that are not quite so far in thier quilting walk!! 🙂 Thanks!!

  11. Kathy says:

    Very well done tutorial. And the pictures are very clear. I will have to make one of these, for sure!

  12. Linda says:

    This is one of the nicest pinwheel patterns ever. It looks quite pinwheel like.

  13. bruinbr says:

    What a great tutorial! I’ve been wanting to make a pinwheel quilt and this is perfect!

  14. what a fun festive quilt!

  15. Debbie says:

    Well-done tutorial–and beautiful quilt! I’m thinking of making it for a wall quilt and adding a big covered button at the center of each pinwheel.

  16. Beth T says:

    This is such a cheery quilt. The name is a perfect fit.

  17. Jeanne Gwin says:

    that is a very lovely quilt. Wouldn’t that be pretty on my old settlers bench for July 4th. Wonder if I have time to get it made, probably not. Thanks for the pattern and tute.

  18. Holly Dapore says:

    I love this quilt! Thanks for the tutorial.


  19. Glenys says:

    So pretty!

  20. Sherry Book says:

    This is a way-cool pattern….my daughter would love a quilt like this…and SO EASY! Thanks for the tute!

  21. anonymous says:

    it’s a nice quilt, but i’m confused by all the different types of measurements, metric vs. non-metric in the supply list, finished size, and cutting directions.

  22. Elaine P says:

    I love this quilt, thanks for the tutorial it is very clear!

  23. tanya says:

    i want to picnic & then snooze on this asap!

  24. Margaret says:

    This is a great pattern. I love that you only have to make 12 blocks and you get a nice-sized quilt out of them.

  25. carole whitridge says:

    I love the fresh, summery colors!

  26. kathyh says:


  27. Renae says:

    Our friends just found out they are having a little girl, this might be just the right quilt for her! Thanks!

  28. Liz says:

    What a perfect summery quilt – thank you so much for the tutorial!

  29. Sherry J says:

    I love this quilt!! this is so cute! thanks for the tutorial.

  30. MarciaW says:

    Thanks for the tutorial for this lovely quilt.

  31. Christine M says:

    Lovely quilt. Thanks for the tutorial.

  32. Ramona says:

    I really love this pattern. Great directions. Now just to decide what colors to use.

  33. Gina says:

    This pattern definitely goes on my “to do” list!

  34. Charlotte says:

    Love your pattern and thank you so much for the tutorial!

  35. Elaine says:

    I LOVE this block and am thinking about making it for a bee. What is the finished block size?

  36. jen says:

    BEAUTIFUL quilt!!! very summer fun, I love it! I wish I had the patience for quilting, but large projects scare me still

  37. Lori says:

    Love everything about this! The fabric, the pattern… so fun!

  38. Kathleen says:

    I love that the pinwheels are so big, not too small and busy…Thanks for the great tutorial.

  39. VickiT says:

    What a beautiful quilt. Did you need my address so you’ll know where to mail that gorgeous quilt with such bright colors? LOL

    Wonderful job on the tutorial as well. Thank you very much.

  40. Teresa Block says:

    What a yummy summer quilt!

  41. evaft says:

    Truly lovely, I’m new to quilting but I’ll give this a try. Thanks!

  42. N. Perez says:

    How I wish I had read this just a few days before. I’m working on my first quilt and didn’t know to tape the backing to the floor when layering. I am not much of a seam ripper, so it’s going to stay the way it is now = not perfect. I’m definitely considering this tutorial for my next quilt. Thank you very much!

  43. hueisei says:

    Beautiful quilt. Loves the color combination, Read+aqua+white..

  44. Stephanie S says:

    What a beautiful quilt! Another project to add to my “someday list”, lol.

  45. Stephanie says:

    I love pinwheel quilts. They always looks so happy.

  46. Anne Marie says:

    So lovely – have followed her blog for ages – she is great!

  47. Maeve says:

    Such a beautiful quilt! Love everything about it!

  48. Katrina H says:

    Beautiful! Thank you so much for the pattern and instructions! I cannot wait to make this quilt!

  49. SewLindaAnn says:

    Oh my gosh, the placement of the prints and colorways is perfect for these pinwheels. They just really standout and are so pretty!

  50. Ellen Ban says:

    Such a pretty quilt! My first quilt was my nephew’s baby quilt made with this block.

  51. Serena says:

    Oh, I love the colors you used!

  52. Rebekah says:

    love this!! such a beautiful quilt!

  53. Margie Bennett says:

    Wow this quilt block is so beautiful! You make it look so easy. It really makes me want to make some today.

  54. Jessica says:

    Oh my, the tutorial made what looked super complicated seem really easy. I’ll have to try this!

  55. Jennifer says:

    Cute pattern and great colors! This puts me in mind of our picnic quilt growing up (although it was made by my great-grandmother out of double-knit and other random materials! Gotta love true scrap quilting!) 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  56. Ooooh thanks for the tutorial! That is a more advanced pinwheel than I’ve seen. Very cute. 🙂 Once I finally am able to sew a straight 1/4inch line I may have to try it! 🙂

  57. Tara says:

    Lovely tutorial! I really love the teal/red combination.

  58. Cheryl says:

    Love that! It is SO cute and summery!

  59. Mary on Lake Pulaski says:

    Great quilt pattern!

  60. Sarah Morris says:

    Wow! Adding this to my to-do list.

  61. Cassie says:

    LOVELOVELOVE this quilt. Thanks so much for the PDF. Have a fantastic summer!

  62. THis looks like it would be an easy project for a beginner like me.

  63. Heidi says:

    I LOVE it. The simplicity of each square for sewing, but it looks complicated.

  64. Westin's Mom says:

    I love pinwheels and I’m obsessed with red and aqua together! Great quilt!

  65. Tara says:

    I love pinwheels, I love this color combination and I love this quilt.

  66. bess says:

    LOVE this quilt!! it’s now on the ‘to do’ list. 🙂

  67. Hannah says:

    What a cute pattern, and a whole new take on pinwheels!

  68. Kristin H says:

    such a cute pattern and I love the color combinations!

  69. elsa says:

    oh gosh, I love this quilt and that it’s not complicated! I’d love to win this book too!

  70. KT says:

    Love the pinwheels! Thanks for a great tutorial!

  71. What a pretty quilt. And it looks like it comes together quickly! That’s the thing that always turns me away from a quilt. It just seems like it takes FOREVER to finish all that piecing. I might try this one, though. 🙂

  72. Amber H says:

    I love pinwheels! This is a great tutorial.

  73. melanie says:

    love this one!!!

  74. April says:

    This looks like something i could attempt! Thanks! I love the fabric you used, it really make the pinwheels pop!

  75. Deb Joseph says:

    I am swooning over the polka dot fabrics in Rachel’s Pinwheel quilt…I would love to make one like this. Thanks for the pattern and well-written tutorial.

  76. Addy says:

    I love this! Thanks for a fun tutorial!

  77. Beth says:

    I love the pinwheel quilt. I made one years ago that is hanging on our living room wall. We get so many compliments on it. Great idea about the sashing, too, in case your points aren’t quite lined up perfectly.

    As if I didn’t love enough, I adore the color choice. Thanks for sharing. Beth

  78. Sonja says:

    Thank you for sharing this tutorial. The quilt pattern itself is just wonderful and the wonderful color combination just makes it even better.

  79. Sydney says:

    This looks amazing! And makes what looks like a very daunting task into something so doable! Thanks so much!

  80. Debbie B Sam says:

    What a great tut, I have this thing for pinwheels right now! Love the fabrics and your instructions are perfect 🙂 Thanks!

  81. Michelle Balletti says:

    I had to totally “pin” this quilt!

  82. Michelle Balletti says:

    So had to “pin” this quilt!!

  83. Eleonora says:

    beautiful summer quilt!thanks for the tutorial,it’s very clear.

  84. Jenny Weigel says:

    I love,love,love everything about “Pinwheels in the Park” quilt!

  85. Rebecca says:

    cute quilt!

  86. KA-UTE!!! Love it!

  87. Jen O says:

    Beautiful bold pinwheels. Perfect for summer!

  88. Cathy Eystad says:

    This is a great lesson to get people sewing triangles. It really isn’t as hard as people fear and the results are so fun! I LOVE the fabric in this quilt. Well done!

  89. Rie says:

    What an awesome quilt and thanks for the tut – very clear & precise… I’m very tempted to make one.

  90. This is adorable, what a perfect 4th of July quilt! I can’t wait to get started, thanks for the pattern!!

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