Thursday, September 16, 2010

adventures in pinwheels

I'm trying out a new tool this week called the L'il Twister; it's supposed to make pinwheels easier. Right out of the gate I'm a little skeptical, because how could they be any easier than the half-square triangle kind? But I'm giving it a go with these cute fabrics... lots of polka dot charm squares, some Moda Bleached White solid, and a flower stripe from Michael Miller:

Start by making a four-patch unit with charm squares and border it with 3" cut strips on all sides...

add this tool...

Cut like so...

Re-arrange like so...

And sew it all back together to make this ultra-cute pinwheel! The finished block is 9" square.

As I was going through this process, I was thinking, "this sure is a LOT of seams and cutting to make a 9" block! And this (photo below) is a LOT of waste!" (BTW - I loathe fabric waste, except in the case of paper-piecing New York Beauties... I mean how else are you going to get those super-sharp points, right?)

Anyway, even though I was extremely skeptical and so sure that I would not be happy with this tool, I can report that I AM happy with it. Those pinwheels are so cute and the process required little more thought than which charm squares to put together, that I have been won over. I'll keep you updated on the progress of this project; it's going to be a baby quilt when it's finished.

Incidentally, there is another Twister Tool sized to use with layer-cake squares and several projects for using both tools in the new book Let's Twist published by Country Schoolhouse Quilt Shop. It seems that quilt shops are having a difficult time keeping these items in stock, so I don't know where to direct you to purchase them. If I get more info I'll pass it on!


  1. Wow! How cool is that? And please do tell - what are the paper-pieced New York beauties? Is that something else you are working on?? Danielle x

  2. I'm on the fence about these kinds of gadgets. On the one hand, I think it's great that some clever person thought it up and got it manufactured and into stores. On the other hand, it seems utterly unnecessary; the kind of thing I'd use once out of curiosity and then never again.

  3. Thanks for the review, I adore what you have made with it, gorgeous pinwheels. xo


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