Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tutorial: Star Twist Pinwheels with Jackie Robinson

Today designer Jackie Robinson of Animas Quilts is here, sharing a step-by-step tutorial for her Star Twist pattern using her "He Still Loves Me" fabrics. 
Don't miss Jackie's giveaway and special offer at the end of this post!

Have you ever admired a less traditional block and wondered exactly how it was  constructed? Or just assumed that because it looked involved, it was too difficult to make? If so, you'll love Jackie's unique pinwheel block. 
And what you'll love even more is how easy it is to assemble! It's just one unit, repeated eight times, with careful color placement! Keep reading to see how Jackie makes this block.

Hi all, it's Jackie from Animas Quilts and I'm happy to be here sharing my Star Twist design. This is a pretty - and sweet - little quilt.  I love the twisty chain effect surrounding the soft stars. You can find the entire pattern as a free download on the Benartex website, but I'll walk you through it step by step right here on the blog. I love helping quilters realize that some complicated-looking blocks are actually quite easy to make, and you'll see that's the case with this quilt.
"Star Twist" by Jackie Robinson 60” x 74”

Let's Get Started:

First, download the cutting info from the pattern sheet. (The pattern sheet will give you the whole pattern as well, but I'll walk you through the steps here.)  

Next, pre-cut all the pieces. You’ll notice the cuts are in descending order according to size.  The reason I cut this way is because IF we mess up a cut, we can always cut it down to a smaller size.  But, if I was cutting the small pieces first, that wouldn’t be an option - I'd just need more fabric. Be thrifty--cut larger pieces first!

NOTE:  I would (and did) make one change to the printed instructions.  For the star block centers, I just used fussy-cut light purple daisy squares rather than adding background colored corners. By the time you place all those diagonal corners on the star centers, the petals of the fussy-cut daisies are chopped off. 
So, follow the cutting directions on the pattern sheet, but when you are ready to cut the White on White background print, cut only (22) 2-1/2” wide strips into 
(31) 2-1/2” x 12-1/2”
(48) 2-1/2” x 6-7/8”
(48) 2-1/2” squares  (rather than 72)

Be certain to also print out the Templates. When I simply printed all four pages of the pattern, my printer cut off the top of the templates, so check your printer settings. Be sure to measure the template and be certain it is 4-1/2” tall.

You just might own a tool that will make cutting the template shapes easier.  If you have a TriRecs tool or a Half Rectangle tool or an Angle Play set of tools, dig it out.  It will make your cutting MUCH easier.

Star Blocks

1. Stitch a Right Facing Purple Multi Scroll triangle onto a Background triangle. Without pressing (because of the exposed bias edge), direct the seam toward the Purple. When you line up these pieces before sewing, make sure they are offset with ¼” ‘ears’ at each end so that when stitched everything is level. Make 24.   

2. Offset as before, sew a Left Facing Purple Multi Scroll triangle onto the Step 1 units.  Press gently toward the Purple. Make 24. They will measure 4-1/2” square from raw edge to raw edge.    

3. Place a 2-7/8” Background square right sides together with a 2-7/8” Green Mini Medallion square. Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the Background. Stitch accurately on both sides of the drawn line. Make 24.    

4. Cut the Step 3 units apart on the drawn line. Press toward the Green Mini Medallion. There will be 48 triangle squares measuring 2-1/2” square from raw edge to raw edge.  

5. Use the Step 4 triangle squares and 2-1/2” Background squares to assemble Butterfly 4-patch units. They will measure 4-1/2” square from raw edge to raw edge. Make 24.    

At this point, as I mentioned above, skip adding the diagonal corners on the 4-1/2” fussy cut light purple allover squares.

6. Assemble the units from Steps 2, 5 and the 4-1/2” Light Purple Daisy squares into Star Blocks. Press. Make 6. They are 12-1/2” square from raw edge to raw edge.   

Pinwheel Blocks - these are REALLY fun!

7. Diagonally stitch a 2-1/2” Green Scroll square onto two opposite corners of a 4-7/8” Black Scroll square.  Trim the excess from the corner and press gently toward the corner.  Make 12.    

8. Diagonally stitch a 2-1/2” Black Scroll square onto two opposite corners of 4-7/8” Green Scroll squares. Trim the excess from the corner and press gently toward the corner. Make 12.    

9. Cut the Steps 7 and 8 units diagonally through the plain centers, making 24 triangles of each. So far, so easy!   

10. Sew a 2-1/2” x 6-7/8” Background along the indicated edge of each Step 9 unit. Line it up with the square corner. It will extend about 2” beyond the diagonal corner. Without pressing (because of the exposed bias) direct the seam toward the background.   

11. Using the bias cut edge as a guide, diagonally cut the corners of the Step 10 pieces. Be gentle. The cut should extend to the corner of the Background piece.  

12. Positioned as shown, sew one of each color of the Step 11 units together to form a square. Press toward the mainly Black unit. Make 24. They will measure 6-1/2” square from raw edge to raw edge. You thought this was going to be tricky . . . see how easy!   

13. Watching placement, sew four of the Step 12 units together to form a block. Press. Make 6. They measure 12-1/2” square from raw edge to raw edge.    


14.  Lay out the blocks with 2-1/2” x 12-1/2” Background sashing units surrounding them. Add 2-1/2” Green Scroll squares for the cornerstones.    

15. Stitch the quilt top together. Press gently.

16. Stitch the 2-1/2” Green Scroll strips together, end to end. Cut two equal lengths for the side borders and attach. Press toward the borders. Then cut two equal lengths for the top and bottom borders, and attach. Press.

17. Attach the outer stripe borders, beginning and ending at the 1/4” seam allowance at each corner, and leaving the miter ‘tail’ extending.  

18. Place a corner to miter on your ironing board, with the border that is lying horizontal extending to the right, and the one that is vertical on top of it and extending up. Fold the top extending border diagonally under and position so it is exactly on top of the one extending to the right. Once you are satisfied that the miter is correct, smash it with the iron.   

19. Use a pin or two to hold the mitered corner in place.  From the underside, stitch in the pressed crease. Check to see that it’s correct and if it is, trim the excess from the seam to 1/4”. Press these seams open. Repeat Steps 18-19 for each of the corners to be mitered.   

20. Layer your quilt and prepare to quilt your masterpiece. I like to accentuate the diagonals by stitching diagonally through the corners. Detail the blocks. You may want to also quilt in all the seams (in the ditch). Outline the daisies in the border.

21. Bind with the strips specified, following the instructions with the Binding Miter Tool.  If you're not familiar with this terrific tool, watch a video demo here. 

You're done!

Thanks Jackie! Now for a giveaway and a special offer. "Like" Jackie's Facebook page and leave a comment below this post letting us know you did so. One commenter will receive a gift certificate for $20 worth of downloadable patterns from Animas Quilts. Giveaway ends November 9th at 11:59 EST and winner will be drawn randomly.

And make sure that you're following our blog (through a blog reader like Bloglovin' or via email; you can find sign-up options for both in the right-hand sidebar) to find more fantastic tutorials, interviews with designers, and news about Benartex's upcoming fabric lines!

Also, as a thank you for stopping by this tutorial and Jackie's Facebook page, she's got a special deal for you! For the next 5 days only, you can purchase a kit for this Star Twist pattern featuring Jackie's He Still Loves Me fabric for 15% off! Find the link for this offer here.
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  1. Thank you for a great tutorial.....love this quilt. I am a fan on Facebook of Jackie's :)

  2. Love this quilt, the colors are awesome!

  3. I forgot to say that I am a fan of Jackie on facebook.

  4. I love this quilt and am also a fan of Jackie's on facebook

  5. I am a fan of Jackie's on facebook. The star pattern came at the right time. I need it in a BOM with friends. Thank you!

  6. Beautiful quilt. I am a fan of Jackie's on Facebook!

  7. LOVE that pinwheel! Beautiful..thanks for the tutorial.

  8. Thanks for the great tutorial! Pinwheels and stars are my favorite combination for a quilt. I'm a new fan of Jackie's Facebook page.

  9. What a beautiful quilt design and a great tutorial. Thanks

    I have liked Jackie's FB page.. so enter me into the contest

  10. Now following Jackie on FB. Always love finding new inspiration.

  11. Thank you for a great tutorial.....love this quilt. I am a fan on Facebook of Jackie's :)

  12. Love the quilt. Thanks so much for sharing the pattern. It is nice to have a chance to win.

  13. This is such a beautiful quilt and one of my most favorite fabric lines as well. I have liked Jackie's page on FB

  14. I have always liked Jackie's patterns.

  15. What a fab and easy to follow tutorial! Thanks. Now a Liker of Jackie's Facebook page :-)

  16. Fun pattern! I have liked jackie's FB page and I follow you via bloglovin'--thanks for the chance to win a great prize!!

  17. Great pattern & tutorial! I "like" Jackie on FB,,,and follow you with email. Thanks for the chance to win.

  18. Just liked Jackie on FB and discovered a great new blog! Thanks for the pattern.

  19. Loved the Tutorial! Great block pattern. Just Liked Jackie on FB. and, I already get your blog!!

  20. Liked on Facebook and signed up for blog via email. Great pattern am looking forward to sewing it. Thank you.

  21. I love the colors of this quilt and the tutorial is great. Thanks for sharing. I am a fan of Jackies on Facebook and follow this blog with blog lovin

  22. Liked on Facebook. Your tutorial is much clearer than the pattern. I might just make this one!

  23. I liked her FB page. Thanks for the chance to win and for the tutorial!

  24. this was a lovely quilt Thanks for the tutorial. I am following Jackie on Facebook.

  25. I love both blocks in this quilt and fabulous fabrics!

  26. I follow your blog via e-mail but don't have a Facebook page so I can't go there to like Jackie's page. I'm working up to Facebook though and will have my very own page...one of these days.

  27. I can't like Jackie's FB page as I don't have a FB account. I follow your blog via email.

  28. I had already liked your page and love the quilt.

  29. Great tutorial. Thank you. I have liked Jackie on FB.

  30. Thanks for the great tutorial. I follow Jackie on FB.

  31. I have always enjoyed Jackie's quilts. I follow Jackie on FB. I follow your blog in bloglovin.

  32. Thanks for the tutorial! The fabric line is very nice. I 'liked' your face book page.

  33. Thanks for the tutorial! Beautiful quilts!

  34. I am a fan of Jackie on Facebook. I love this quilt and thanks for the tutorial

  35. I wish the pattern was still available!

  36. That is a beautiful quilt. I wish the pattern was still available for download!

  37. Hello! I very badly want to make this quilt. It is absolutely gorgeous!! But the pattern is no longer available in the links… any chance it exists somewhere else?

    1. I’m looking for it too! I love this pattern and am trying to locate the pattern for purchase.