Aug 21

Rail-Fence Pinwheels and nine-patch quilts (24, 25, 26)

I took a little hiatus from quilting this winter because I was dealing with really bad morning sickness.  I pretty much got up with the kids, somehow got through the day and went to bed when my husband got home.  The thought of quilting made me sick.  But I have good news!  I’m all over that now!

I had a yard of fabric with small floral and foliage print and did not know what to do with it until I found two others to match it perfectly.

So I made this baby quilt, a rail fence pinwheel.  I stippled over the quilt with a meandering pattern using green cotton thread:

Rail Fence Pink and Green Pinwheel Quilt

Quilt 24 meandering

The back of the pink and green pinwheel quilt.

I loved this pattern a lot, but wanted to try it with a different color scheme.  Since I was pregnant, I thought I would make one for the new baby.

rail fence pinwheel baby quilt

This is the first time I had made a scrappy binding, and I think I like the effect.  I used several fat quarters for this, as well as a series of coordinating fabrics.  The quilting was done in a larger meandering pattern than I normally do, and this time I did quilt it with red thread!  I’m so crazy!

Alternating nine patch quilt

With these same fabrics, I also made a simple nine square quilt, again quilted with red cotton thread.  After taking this picture, I decided to take apart the binding, make it narrower, and sew it back on.  I like the white binding, and I think it goes well with this quilt, but as seen in this picture, it was just too thick and the corners weren’t right.

Quilt 26, the backI love the fabric that I bought for the back.  I’m not big into buying all coordinating fabrics, but this one screamed “BUY ME!” so I did.  This quilt went to a neighbor who had her baby two weeks after mine.



  1. Serena says:

    What pattern is the quilt 25 – my daughter is looking for a quilt for her room and wants to make one like it using 2 colors for the whole quilt – but not sure how much fabric etc etc

    • Tanya says:

      I don’t know the name of the block, although I have been trying to find it, but it is very easy to make. I can’t give you exact measurements since I don’t know how big you would like each block to be, or how large you want your quilt to be, but let me give you some estimations.

      For a standard twin quilt, I usually purchase 5 yards of one fabric to make the backs of my quilt. If you cut this in half and sew the selvage sides together, this would give you a piece of fabric approximately 80 inches wide by 90 inches wide. You could also use this for a full, but it is too small for a queen. The piecing, however, will be determined by how small you want your blocks. I say the safest bet is to buy three yards of the two fabrics. Buy more if you want to piece together small pieces.

      When it comes to piecing, it is very easy. This pattern is made from the same repeating block…one that is half white (color A) and half another color (color B) and made into a square. For example, say you wanted an 8 inch wide pinwheel (in the finished quilt). This would need four of these half square rectangle pieces. So, you would cut 4 pieces of color A, 4.5 inches x 2.5 inches (resulting in a final 4 x 2 inch rectangle after sewing) and 4 pieces of Color B, also 4.5 inches x 2.5 inches. Take one 4.5 x 2.5 of color A and one 4.5 x 2.5 of color B and sew them together on one of the 4.5 inch sides. Press seam with an iron. The resulting block should be a square made of two equal sized rectangles measuring at about 4.5 inches on each side. Arrange 4 of these Half square rectangle blocks in a pinwheel shape, and sew accordingly, making sure to press your seams as you go. Make sure that all of your pinwheel blocks have the same color pinwheel in the middle (have them ALL be color A or ALL be color B) so that when you sew them together, the rectangles on the outside of the pinwheel will form other pinwheels as the blocks come together.

      So, I’ll give you some measurements to help you out, but the rest is up to you.
      If you want to make a pinwheel with the final size of 6 inches, your initial cut rectangles will be 3.5 inches by 2 inches.
      If you want to make a pinwheel with the final size of 8 inches, your initial cut rectangles will be 4.5 inches by 2.5 inches.
      If you want to make a pinwheel with the final size of 10 inches, your initial cut rectangles will be 5.5 inches by 3 inches.
      If you want to make a pinwheel with the final size of 12 inches, your initial cut rectangles will be 6.5 inches by 3.5 inches.
      If you want to make a pinwheel with the final size of 14 inches, your initial cut rectangles will be 7.5 inches by 4 inches.
      If you want to make a pinwheel with the final size of 16 inches, your initial cut rectangles will be 8.5 inches by 4.5 inches.

      (Shortcut–if you want to make it easier on yourself, you can cut your fabric from selvage to selvage using the width of the short side. Then, you can sew one strip of fabric A to one strip of fabric B, and press seam to one side. Then, you cut the resulting strip using the width of the long side. For example, cut a 2.5 inch strip of A and a 2.5 inch strip of B. Then, sew them together. Press. Then, cut the resulting strip into 4.5 inch squares. Much easier, and much faster.)

      A standard twin is 65 inches by 88 inches, but I try to make mine about 5 inches longer on each side because quilts shrink when they are washed.
      A standard full is 80 x 88
      A standard Queen is 86 x 93 (I make mine much larger because of the shrinking.)

      Sorry I don’t have pictures. Let me know if you have further questions.