Pinwheels from Layer Cakes

It’s reached the stage where my rapidly growing toddler is starting to find things that I have told him are ‘lost’. New and higher hiding places are required!  Each ‘find’ is greeted with over-enthusiastic jumping up and down accompanied by screaming  of  ”I found it.  I love it.  Mummy it not lost!”


Today he rediscovered his windmill thingy.  The ones you are meant to put in a flower pot in the garden for the wind to blow.  We are lacking in both flower pots and garden, so it has lived in the house where it is either used as a weapon or blown on… The first method gets you sore, the second gets you wet as spit rains down upon you in bucket fulls – hence the toy becoming ‘lost’.

The shape of the windmill is very similar to a very basic and versatile patchwork block – the pinwheel. Which is what it was named after.  The original toy consisted of the windmill wheel shape being loosely pinned to a stick to allow it to rotate. Thus a pin wheel.

pin-3This basic block is made up from four half square triangles to produce a windmill effect.  These blocks are then joined together in a variety of layouts to produce some beautiful and gorgeous quilts. 

One common layout is to have a mixed set of fabrics,  based on a colour, fabric pattern, etc and sew each windmill using one of these fabrics and a common plain fabric.  The common color then ties the windmills together with some unity.

Sometimes a whole quilt is sewn from just two fabrics, with or without internal borders.

pin-2Some are just full of color and texture,  or a quilt may be split up with solid blocks of color between the pinwheel blocks.

If you have never sewn a pinwheel block,  click HERE for a link to a video tutorial on how to sew a pinwheel block.  The second part of the video is full of various layout ideas, some as mentioned in the text above.

I have made this video assuming that you will be sewing it from Layer Cake packs of fabric.  These are packs of 10 inch square pre-cut fabric. You can explore some of the different packs available by clicking on any of the pictures below.


I’m now off to find more secure hiding places for the drum,  toy piano and a multitude of pointy hard things.

Bye for now



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