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Making a hot pack out of pinwheel blocks

 

Yesterday on QUILTsocial I used the Dreamweaver XE and some leftover half-square triangle units (HSTs) to make a matching potholder for our tea towel. Now I’ll use the HSTs leftover from our baby quilt to make some cute pinwheel blocks for a microwaveable hot pack.

 

The Dreamweaver XE
The Dreamweaver XE

 

Here are all the HST units made from the leftovers of the snowball blocks in the baby quilt that we made in my post, How to make a snowball block from a 5″ charm square . As you can see, I’ve trimmed away all of those “dog ears” to make it easier to sew the units together.

 

HST units
HST units

 

One of the simplest blocks to make with HST units is a pinwheel. You can make them scrappy (for example use HSTs that are made from different fabrics) or you can make them so that all of the HSTs are made out of the same two fabrics as I’ve shown below.

 

Pinwheel setting
Pinwheel setting

 

Two HST units are sewn together to make one half of the pinwheel block. The other half of the block is exactly the same, it’s just been rotated around.

 

Sewing into units
Sewing into units

 

Chain piecing the units together makes the sewing faster, saves thread and makes pressing them easier too. Since I’ve sewn all of the units in the same orientation, I can press all of the seams to the same side while they are still chained together. Once I clip them apart, we can rotate the bottom half of the pinwheel block and the seams will be pointing in the opposite direction.

 

Pressing the chain pieced units
Pressing the chain pieced units

 

When the seams are pressed in opposite directions they but up against each other. This makes sewing the two halves of the block together easier and makes the block lay flatter.

 

Butting the seams
Butting the seams

 

Here are four of the finished pinwheel blocks made with HST units.

 

Pinwheel blocks
Pinwheel blocks

 

Since my pinwheel blocks only measure about 4″ across, I’ve made 12 pinwheel blocks which I’ll  arrange into two rows of six blocks each prior to sewing them together with the Dreamweaver XE.

 

Arranging the pinwheel blocks
Arranging the pinwheel blocks

 

I sewed the two rows of pinwheel blocks together and then pressed the seams of the two rows in opposite directions.

 

Sewing the rows
Sewing the rows

 

Since I’ll make these pinwheels into a microwaveable hot pack, I sewed the two rows together and then added a 2″ border on all four sides of the pinwheels. Next, I found a fun fabric to use on the back of my project and trimmed it so that it’s exactly the same size as the front.

 

The top and backing
The top and backing

 

Now that the top and back are made, tomorrow I’ll sew these together using the Dreamweaver XE and add some rice to make this into a microwaveable hot pack! See you then.

 

 

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: The Dreamweaver XE + HSTs = a fun and functional gift

I have been designing and publishing quilt patterns for the last 16 years under the business name Fairfield Road Designs. My patterns range from fusible applique and piecing to felted wool applique and punchneedle. You can see all of patterns on my website www.fairfieldroaddesigns.com.

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