Pinwheel block Sewing Tutorial for patchwork, quilts and applique

Updated on by Sarina

how to sew a pinwheel block

A whirling Pinwheel is a good reminiscence of most of our childhoods. We all have made a paper pinwheel at one point in our lives – to entertain ourselves or to make another impressed or keep a kid occupied. This particular pinwheel doesnot whirl like the original, but it is a fascinating pattern to replicate.

Here are 2 easy ways to make pinwheel shapes with the help of fabric.

Method 1 – The basic pinwheel patchwork block

pinwheel patchwork block

To make this block, cut out 3 1/2 inch squares – 2 nos of one color and 2 nos of another color.

pinwheel patchwork block

Keep one color square and the second color square, together, rightside to the inside. Mark a line down the middle diagonally (the red line) Sew on either side of this line with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

pinwheel quilt block

Cut through the red line. Open up and you will get a half square triangle. 

pinwheel quilt block

Do this with the other square pieces too ; and you will have 4 pieces of the half square triangles altogether.

pinwheel block for quilting

Arrange in the order of a pinwheel and stitch them together. 

pinwheel shape for patchwork

Method 2  3 D Pinwheel 

To make this pinwheel shape, cut out 2 square shapes fabric in the dimension you want. Mark diagonally across the square. Cut across for making 2 triangles from each square. You get total 4.

You can finish the edges of the triangles to prevent fraying. Another idea is to make a facing for the shape so that it is reversible. 

pinwheel patchwork block

Keep the triangle in front of you, long side down as in the picture below.

pinwheel patchwork block

Fold one corner up. Press in place. 

arrange a pinwheel block

Do this for all the triangles.

pinwheel patchwork block

Arrange in the order of the pinwheel. (Refer picture)

pinwheel patchwork block

Related posts: How to sew heart-shaped blocks – 3 types; How to sew star-shaped blocks – 9 types; Names of quilt blocks.


I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

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