Classic Blocks: Fresh Fabric... the Whirlwind Quilt Block {tutorial}

Before I start: I made a Pinterest Board with all of my Classic Blocks: Fresh Fabric tutorials. Check it out.

Welcome May! Nothing could be better this month than a fresh and beautiful quilt block.

The Whirlwind block puts a chunky 'spin' on the pinwheel (quilting pun!) and when you put lots of them together, check this out...

background pinwheels appear in the corners!

Can you see them?

The dreamy floral fabrics I used are from the Veranda Collection that Brenda Walton designed for Blend Fabrics. I love the huge blossoms and butterflies.

In our Classic Blocks: Fresh Fabric sewalong this month someone will win this bundle of 7 Veranda fat quarters! All you'll need to do to enter is sew up one Whirlwind Block (or more) and upload a picture below.

Are you ready? There is a catch to the block this month:

In order 'cut' your cutting and sewing time by more than half - I want you to make two blocks this month. Or make one block and then have the pieces to make a second block in about 60 seconds if you want, lol.

When I picked the Whirlwind Block (because it is just so delightful) I realized that I could carefully measure and cut the eight pieces that it contains, or I could stitch first and then cut to make it much faster.

The quickest way to make this block - by far- is to sew together 2 WOF (width of fabric) strips and then cut them up.

So... to make a 12'' Whirlwind block (plus a bonus 12'' reverse-color Whirlwind block if you want), cut:

  • 1 strip 5'' x WOF from the main fabric
  • 1 strip 5'' x WOF from the background fabric

Sew the two strips together and press the seam towards the darker fabric.

Sub-cut the strip into four 9 1/2'' squares.

Then slice each square in half diagonally.

Note: slice each one in the same direction (such as bottom left to top right like I did above). The direction that you slice your squares also determines which way the whirlwind spins.

Separate out the 4 triangles that are mostly print and the 4 that are mostly solid (or whatever your fabric choices are). Each group is enough for 1 block.

Arrange the four triangles from one group in a whirlwind pattern as in the first photo above.

Then sew them together in 2 sets as in the second photo above. Press the seams.

The last step is to sew the two halves together. In order to make the center seams line up, I like to match them and then use a pin. It's kind of hard to see in the picture above because I accidentally picked one with a white head - oops!

Trim and square up the block to 12 1/2'', if necessary.

Wasn't that easy??? Now if you want you can quickly stitch those other 4 triangles together for a second block.

Join our sewalong below for your chance to win the bundle of 7 Veranda fat quarters. All you have to do to enter is upload a picture of your Whirlwind Quilt Block below. I'll choose the winner at random on May 31st at 10pm Eastern. Make sure you enter your correct email address - that's how I'll notify the winner.

Please note: You don't need to have a blog or enter a link to join our sewalong. The 'Link' field is optional.

Good luck!

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