Sunday, January 24, 2010

Charmed Whirlgigs Tutorial

Here is the tutorial of my favorite quilt pattern. I have named it "Charmed Whirlygigs" because using charm squares make it oh so easy. I am not a photographer by a long shot and trying to take pictures while using both hands to iron etc. make me even worse than i usually am. LOL

Materials:
Charm Packs- at least 2 packs, you will use 2 charm squares for each block. If you have a charm pack that has 42 squares then you can do a 6 by 7 square layout for your quilt.

Background fabric- I don't have an exact measurement for this because I always have a fair amount of white muslin here. You will get 18 "pieces" from each 5" strip that you cut. This will make more sense as you read further. You will need 168 "pieces" total for the 6 by 7 layout.

Directions:
Cut ten 5" strips from your background fabric using your WOF (width of fabric)
Then subcut these strips into 4 1/2" rectangles. You will need 84- 41/2"by 5" rectangles
Line a small stack of rectangles with the 5' side on the top and bottom. I use a 5" marked square on my cutting mat to line them up and to make the next step much easier.
Measure in 2" on the top of the rectangle (from left to right) and mark with a little line. Come in 2" on the bottom of the rectangle (right to left) and again make a little mark. Mine didn't show up well but if you enlarge the picture you should see it.
Now take a ruler and line it up with your little marks. Cut from the bottom mark up diagonally to the top mark. You don't have to make the marks if you want to just use the ruler to find the 2 inches in on the top and bottom. The marks just make it easier and more accurate. I do stack about 6 rectangles at once using a large rotary cutter.
Take your charm packs making sure that they are all lined up right side up and cut off 1/2" on one side only.
Place the cut charms squares in the 5" block on your cutting mat with the 5" side on the top and bottom just like you did with your background fabric. Mark and cut.
Place your cut pieces beside your sewing machine exactly the way they are going to be sewn. It is easy to get these backwards and this helps that not to happen.
Pick up the charm piece and lay it on top of the background piece with the tip just a smudge peeking over and a little background showing at the bottom. Look at the picture below to see.
I chain piece all my pieces, but I would recommend making a test square first to make sure everything is lined up correctly.
Press the seam on the charm side and then open and press toward the charm side.
I forgot an important picture here and don't know blogger well enough to slip it in but I take all 4 pressed pieces and line them up by my sewing machine the way they will look when completed. Again, this just helps in not sewing pieces in the wrong way. Sew the 2 top pieces together and then the bottom 2 pieces.
Press your top and bottom pieces toward the charm side and then place together pinning at the middle seam, nestling the 2 seams together. This is very important because will insure accurate piecing.
Sew together and then press to one side and stand back and admire your beautiful block. And no trimming!!! When I first started making this quilt, the directions made the block with sides sticking out and you had to trim the whole block. Because I really don't care to trim ;-) I fiddled around till I came up with this method. I am sure many others have come up with the same idea. I just wanted to share with others.
If my directions aren't clear please let me know......this is my first tutorial so I am kind of green.
I was thinking that we should maybe start on February 1st for our quiltalong. That will give everyone time to buy fabrics if they need to. I will also have time to set up a flickr account for us. I will also post directions for a 5 1/2 " by 6" rectangle if anyone want to make larger squares.

I will post the giveaway next.
Thank you everyone,
Cathy

32 comments:

  1. Cathy, This is absolutely brilliant, I have always wanted to try pinwheels but never had the courage to try it, your tutorial looks sooo easy that even someone like me might be able to do it!!!

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  2. Wow Cathy, these look GREAT! Thanks so much for sharing.

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  3. Oh how fun! I am going to have to shop for a quiltalong. :-) You must have awesome eyesight, I don't see your marks at all! :-))

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  4. this looks do-able to me! I have some charm packs Im itching to use!!

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  5. Great tutorial. I have two charm packs that I've been trying to decide what to do with. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. Thanks very much this looks great. Will give it a try for sure.

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  7. I am so excited to get started, and yay there are no templates! This is a great Whirlygigs tutorial.

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  8. This is great! I have a template for 5.5 x 6, but this is is great to be able to use charm packs!

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  9. Oh wow......might have to try that!!

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  10. I love your tutorial! I did a test block today and I can't wait to do more. Fun and easy! Thank you.

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  11. Hunting on google, I was looking for a pattern to make a whirligig quilt, and I'm so happy to have found your tutorial! I'm a new quilter, completely hooked on it! I'm looking forward to making this as a birthday gift for my sis. Mine will be scrappy; even though i've only been quilting since August, I've got a fair-sized stash growing! Thank you for sharing the quilt love!

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  12. I am making one of these and I did it with a template and half way through I am like why didnt I just cut them all!!!!!! But next time maybe :D

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  13. Thank you so much for the wonderful tutorial! It is the best and easiest I've found. I was able to whip out a baby quilt in a few hours using your method. You are the best!

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  14. Brilliant does not begin to describe your technique. Thank you! I can not wait to get started. :^)

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  15. Thanks for sharing this lovely block. I am a newbee to quilting and your instructions are easy to follow. Can't wait for the next quilt along.
    Pat

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  16. This is a much easier way to cut rather than using a templet, which is the way I made mine. But I loved making it and it turned out great.

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  17. Cathy, this is a wonderful tutorial. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

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  18. Cathy, this is such a great tutorial! I finished my first Charmed Whirligigs this week and love it. Thanks so much!

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  19. Thank you so much for the tutorial!! I've got two charm packs ready to go! Do you know what the finished block size is? :)

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  20. Thank you for this tutorial Cathy. I made a babyquilt and 2 dollquilts: http://ingrid-handwerken.blogspot.com/2010/05/alledrie-quilts-af.html

    Thanks! Ingrid.

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  21. That is a GREAT tutorial. Thank you for all the notes and tips!

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  22. fab, fab, fab. a year and a half later and it is still mahhhhvelous! thank you so much.

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  23. Thank you very much! So easy, so beautiful. I made a cover for my kitchen drinking fountain whit this pattern: http://panoepapel.blogspot.com/2011/08/costurando-muito.html.
    Hugs from Brazil,
    Claudia

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  24. This looks great. I feel a little dense for asking (an undercaffeinated day so far), but what is the finished size of the block?

    Thanks again for sharing your tutorial!

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  25. What a great idea, thanks for sharing!

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  26. oh oh OH! I'm so excited to try this...I just posted a quilt post on my blog: pastichepuggle.blogspot.com...I think this will be my NEXT Quilt of the Month!!!! Thanks for the inspiration!!!

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  27. Thanks for the tutorial. I just finished a 5x5 quilt using the whirligig pattern. As soon as I get it quilted and bound I will send you a pic.

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  28. I love it! I am going to pull some fabric together tomorrow. can't wait!

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  29. Thanks for the tutorial! Easy to follow. I can't wait to try it - I have the PERFECT charm pack for it!

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  30. Your tutorial is fantastic!! I don't need to buy a fancy ruler... I can use what I have plus your instructions! Thanks! All I need to do is calculate how much fabric I would need of white and a variety of other fabric to make a lap quilt - there's the tricky part!!

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  31. I am so glad I found this before I spent many more nights trimming those blocks to 5". I couldn't figure out why they didn't line up right and I had to trim each one. Now, I know I need to trim charms first. Whew. Thank you.

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  32. Wow! Great tutorial. I just have to make one in 2014.

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