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  1. #1
    Shiny Thimble

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    Aug 2019
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    Default Help needed with Pinwheel blocks sizing to a panel.

    I need to border an oblong panel, as Jenny Doan did with a unicorn panel (2018), using two different sized pinwheel blocks. My panel is 44.1/2” x 24.1/2”, but can be cut down a fraction if necessary. I have several times watched Jenny’s video where she used 10” and five” squares made into pin wheels to exactly border her panel. I’m struggling with the math to know what size fabrics I need to start with, for my size panel, especially using two different sized pinwheels. I’ve looked at various cheat sheets for cutting HST’s and am no wiser. Can anyone who has done this border of two sized pinwheels help me please? KatyD

  2. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Help needed with Pinwheel blocks sizing to a panel.

    The best advice I can give at this point, KatyD......take some scrap fabric and do the test blocks and see what the unfinished measurements are when the large and small pinwheel blocks are created. That will give you a base of measurement. Jenny does state in the tutorial, to cut the size of your panel to fit the blocks.
    You also have the option to put a solid border around your panel to increase the dimension to find the size that will work for the size of pinwheel blocks you want to create.
    Sherri

    "Don't let someone else's ugly spoil your beautiful. " Thanks, Bubby!!!!!!

  3. Thanks am2901, Claire Hallman, sydneybean thanked for this post
  4. #3
    The Guild President

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    Dec 2016
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    Default Re: Help needed with Pinwheel blocks sizing to a panel.

    I have not made that one, but I bought the pattern. I was intrigued by the video but wasn't clear on the measurements. According to the pattern:

    The finished size of the large pinwheels is 8".
    The finished size of the small pinwheels is a little confusing -- the pattern says 3", but you are supposed to alternate them with 3.5" squares made out of the background fabric...which means the small pinwheels should probably finish at 3.5".

    The pattern also called for sewing a 2.5" strip on one vertical and one horizontal side, which would help make everything fit.

    The pattern does not say what size to cut the panel, but there are 5 large pinwheels across, so my best guess is 40"wide (not including seam allowances) by 32" high (again, not including seam allowances).

    Hope this didn't add to the confusion!

  5. #4
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Help needed with Pinwheel blocks sizing to a panel.

    KatyD, you can cheat on this one! Just go ahead and make your pinwheel blocks the easy-peasy-Jenny way. Don't try to figure out the math ahead of time. Just make them!

    Then lay them out around the panel. This is when you do the math. Keeping in mind the quarter inch seam allowance, figure out what the size of the pinwheels needs to be.

    Now trim your pinwheels down to that size. Make sure that you trim an even amount off each side of the pinwheel. You do this by measuring out from that center spot of the pinwheel, then trim/trim/trim/trim. (Marking your ruler with a spot of tape to mark the center of the pinwheel can help you to trim two sides at once.) And did I mention that you need to keep the quarter inch seam allowance in mind?

    This method will save you from making a miscalculation when creating your original half square triangles. I love Jenny's easy-peasy method, but I find it all but impossible to predict what size the HSTs will be! That's fine if you're just sewing a bunch of pinwheels together, but not when you need a precise size to border a panel!


    P.S. I would probably do a paper sample first. Take 10" squares and 5" squares and use staples to create a 1/4" seam. See if this helps you see the direction in which you're heading before you cut any fabric!
    Toni ... If I keep sewing long enough, will they make their own dinner?

  6. #5
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: Help needed with Pinwheel blocks sizing to a panel.

    When I made a quilt from an almost 36x42 panel, I knew I wanted 6" finished blocks, so I made them.
    Then I added an oversized border, sewed it on the panel, and trimmed it down to fit the rows of blocks.
    Way easier to make the panel fit the blocks, than trying to make all the blocks fit around the panels measurements.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #6
    Missouri Star

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    Jun 2011
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    Default Re: Help needed with Pinwheel blocks sizing to a panel.

    Pinwheels are one of those blocks that don't change appearance when you trim them to smaller sizes. Nice.

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