The Spinner Blocks Made Easy – Part 1
Hello Dear Friends and Readers,
It seems we are living in very challenging times…. The Corona virus, (now named SARS-CoV-2) is changing the world as we know it at a rapid pace. I really hope you are all taking care of yourselves and staying home as much as possible until the storm passes.
It is also worrying to see line ups in stores and restrictions on essential items. As scrap quilters, I believe we are very good at making the best of what we have available. Before we start on todays block, I would like to add that if you have potatoes, you can always make something. They are a very versatile and nutritional food. They have seen many populations through very difficult times in history. One of my favourite ways to use them is by making Gnocchi. They are easy, filling, and I always find so satisfying to make. Here is a link to how to make them in case you would like to.
Today I think it would be prudent to use something you already have so that there is no need to go out! I know you are always looking for great ways to use your scraps, and this block is absolutely no exception. I really believe this design would work well with any style of fabrics providing there is sufficient contrast of the small triangles. This block can be used with scraps you already have. If you have some already cut out it will make good use of them!
A long long time ago, I made some of these blocks. The problem was, I couldn’t decide how to set them. I chose to challenge myself because it does contain triangles, but with an easy method of construction. The method is good. It requires only minimal trimming if at all. However, the block looks quite busy with scraps.
The Spinner block pattern was published by Nancy Page in the 1930’s, however I believe the design predates the publication. Recently I saw an antique quilt in which these blocks had been set like pinwheels, as later published by Nancy Page, When they are put together it is so much easier to see the secondary pattern coming through.
I think I really have a renewed love for this block as I have soooo many 2 1/2” squares, 3” squares and 5” squares, already cut so why not sew up some more!
Block size 9 1/2” x 9 1/2”
Requirements for one Spinner Block Made Easy
4 of 5”’ x 5” squares in medium to dark fabrics, cut once on the diagonal (use four for a block, keep four for another block)
4 of 3” x 3” squares in a light fabric cut once on the diagonal
4 of 2 1/2” x 2 1/2” squares in medium to dark fabric.
Making The Spinner Block Made Easy
The Spinner Block is made up of four units. The main thing is to make sure that when you set the units, that they are all facing in the same direction, just as you would for any Pinwheel Block.
Lets get started.
To make one of the units.
Using a scant 1/4” seam, sew the short side of one one light triangle to one side of a 2 1/2” square. Finger press the seam.
Sew a second light triangle to the adjacent side of the 2 1/2” square so that the hypotenuse of both triangles will line up once the triangle is turned back.
Finger press, I use my wooden thing, to turn back the second triangle. Do not trim yet.
Place this pieced triangle on top of the larger triangle which was cut from a 5” square. Sew a more generous 1/4” seam so that your seam allowance is close but not completely intersecting the point where the pieces all join.
Turn back. Finger press. Trim off the doggy ears. The unit should measure 4 1/2” x 4 1/2”.
Quite sharp. Repeat to make four units altogether.
Place in a pinwheel arrangement. Make sure that the pinwheels are all facing in the same direction. Sew together using a 1/4” seam allowance, like a four patch.
Definitely a good scrappy project!
This is how they look when they are put together. You can see that secondary diagonal pattern crossing through.
If you are ready to make some more of these Spinner Blocks, here is the link to Part 2
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