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  • Writer's pictureElise

Three in one Quilt idea (part three)

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

We started with the Rail pattern which was fairly straight forward. We then went into the Pinwheel which required a little more thinking. Now I'll show you some ways you can actually take them, shrink them down, and combine them. Heads up, I sewed all seams at 1/4".


Variation One: Mini Squares

  1. For this variation, I started by making my Rail pattern out of five different colors of a 5x5 square. It required eight strips each and each strip was 1" wide. I did it fast, so though you really shouldn't skip the ironing, I didn't iron until I had a square wide enough to make it 5x5. If it isn't completely square, you will have to square it. You need two of these squares. In order to Square something, you measure the halfway point out from the center in all four directions, cutting anything that falls beyond these points off.

  2. Next I made 2 5x5 Pinwheel squares. Again, if it isn't completely square, you'll have to square it. This will probably happen anyway as not only are Pinwheels hard to do perfectly, you would need two squares at least 3.78"x3.78" big for a 5" square which is a difficult size to get/make. You will need two of these squares.

  3. Figure out how you want to position your four squares. I had the identical squares kitty corner from one another and positioned in a different orientation.

  4. The next step is back to easy. Cut two 10x1" strips. Cut one of the strips widthwise in half. These three strips will fill in the gaps between the four squares. Now figure out whether you want the long strip to be going up the middle vertically or across the middle horizontally.

  5. Whichever way you decide, take a short strip and place it in the correct location between two and attach it to one of them, right sides (the sides without the seam material) together and sew. Attach the square belonging to the other side of the short strip to the strip and sew. You should now have one half of the pattern complete.

  6. Repeat step 5 with the other side and then using both "halves," do so again with the center strip.

You now have yourself a fancy looking square that really only required you to learn two things. Well done!


Variation Two: "Pinwheels and Rails"

  1. Follow steps 1-3 above.

  2. Arrange the squares in an alternating pattern and orientation. Sew all together same as you did the squares above but without anything in between. The bars in the rails should look like they are leading the pinwheels around.

  3. The finished square above will be a little smaller than 10". We need to create a border, also called a lattice. Cut two 10x3/4" strips and two 9 1/2x3/4" strips. Arrange around the square so that the two 10" strips are opposite one another as are the two 9.5" strips. Sew the 9.5" strips on the square first as centered as possible. Then sew on the outside 10" strips on the neighboring sides.

This variation can easily be made into a full-sized quilt without any latticework.


You now know four different quilt squares. More if you mess around with orientation of the quarters of the pinwheels or cut the pinwheels into thirds and rearrange them again. You might even be able to make a full quilt's worth of different squares without looking elsewhere!


I hope this proved helpful in learning some basic quilting. The kits will be available for as long as supplies last, so ask for a kit when you check materials out and check back often to see what new kits we have available.


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