A Maypole Dance quilt block is a great introduction to pinwheel quilt blocks for the beginning quilter.
No triangles to cut. No bias edges to mess with!
Learn to stitch up this pattern quickly using the Connector Corners technique. There are instructions to make this block in 4 different sizes.
Let's get started.
These abbreviations are used in this tutorial:
SA are 1/4" and pressed toward the dark fabric unless noted otherwise.
Skill Level: Beginner
Choose fabrics with good contrast so that the points in the center of the pinwheel aren't lost.
The Connector Corners (CC) technique is used to create the half square triangle.
When making CC, I find it easier to fingerpress the patches when the fabric is starched before cutting.
Cutting Chart for a~ Traditional Piecing ~
|Patch||Fabric||Qty||Finished Block Size|
|1||L||4||1½" x 2½"||1¾" x 3”||2” x 3-1/2”||2½" x 4½"|
|2||D||4||1½" x 1½"||1¾" x 1¾"||2” x 2”||2½" x 2½"|
|3||D||4||1½" x 2½"||1¾" x 3”||2” x 3½"||2½" x 4½"|
|Unfinished Block Size||4½"||5½"||6½"||8½"|
With a pencil (I've used my Bohin Mechanical Chalk Pencil) mark a diagonal line on the backside of all four #2 patches.
With right sides together (RST), align the #2 square with the right side of the #1 patch as shown below. Sew on the drawn chalk line. (Using an open toe applique foot makes it easier to see where you need to stitch.)
Now you have a choice to make. You can either trim away just the excess #2 fabric (below, top), or both the excess #1 and #2 fabric (below, bottom). Be sure to leave behind a 1/4" seam.
Trim all four pairs of patches.
With RST, add the #3 to the top of each #1/#2 unit, pressing the SA towards the darker #3 fabric.
Repeat for a total of 4 matching units.
Arrange the patches into the Maypole Dance design, remembering to rotate each a quarter turn as you make your way clockwise around the block.
Stitch the patches into rows. The seams nest in the center which makes it easy to get a good match. Use pins if needed to hold everything together. (I do!)
Press with the SA away from the #1 light rectangle.
Sew the rows together. Again, the SAs nest. Pin the center match point if needed. A pinwheel block with a perfectly matched center is a BEAUTIFUL thing!
After checking to see that the match is good, remove a couple of the stitches in the SA from the backside so that you can twirl the SA. This distributes the bulk in the center making the block easier to machine quilt.
Our Maypole Dance quilt block is complete!
It doesn't get much easier than this.
Three fabrics. Simple sashing and cornerstones.
A quick baby quilt to whip up at the last minute!
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