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Playing with Pinwheels in Quilting

Lesson 1 of 5

Intro to Pinwheel Play

Cheryl Arkison

Playing with Pinwheels in Quilting

Cheryl Arkison

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Lesson Info

1. Intro to Pinwheel Play

Lesson Info

Intro to Pinwheel Play

Thank you so much for tuning in to pinwheel play with cheryl are kissed, and if you haven't already, this will be a great time to download that bonus material so you can get everything you need handy and join us today on some crafting now, cheryl, your first generation ukrainian, you've written three books. I'm sorry. Go ahead. First generation canadian, canadian merry go crying and onda and you've written three bucks. Your most recent one is titled you inspire me to quote and what's that about it's all about the crazy ideas that people that we love give us to make a quilt out of and how you turn them from that crazy idea into a quote. Awesome. So make sure to check those out. You get them on amazon and amazon. Your local quote store should have them. You can also get them directly from the publisher cnt publishing perfect. So let's, go and get started. All right, thanks. Okay, so we're here to talk about play. So much of us on most of us is quilters. We go in and we're all about ok, I...

'm going to make this quilt. And it's, like we have blinders on, we're headed straight into the studio or the sewing room or the kitchen table, whatever it is, and we're like, no, I've got to make this quilt and I've got to start. This is the fabric I need. This is the pattern I have and everything is very rigid and precise. Andi even when we're going in there with a little bit more of a free form plan, we know that we're coming out with a quilt at the end, right? But how many of us have ever watched kids play? All of us have watched kids play right? They do things for the sake of doing it. The majority of the time it is about the moment in time, right? It is about the repeated activity, they're going at it and they're having fun the whole time, I think as quilters, we've really lost that sense of play, that sense of just going in and sewing for the sake of sewing and not really caring where it goes, right? So today, in this class, we're going to take a very so simple block, and we're going to turn it around and play with it. And see what we come up with I don't know what you guys are going to come up with I don't know what you're going to come up with at home, but I encourage all of us to just play and see what we can do okay, so what are our goals for the class beyond just making a whole bunch of quote blocks, right? I want us to renew our natural optimism we all started in quilting because it was something that got us excited. We got excited about making right and we got excited about making something, but we also got excited it was really need to shop for fabric and then to cut it up yes to cut it out, even that was explaining and so we wanted to do all of that, and then we got excited for sewing and so I want us to so for the sake of selling again as well and just have fun with it and see where we can go at the same time, you know, maybe you've never made we're going toe were on focusing specifically on a pinwheel block, but maybe you've never made a pinwheel before. Maybe you've never made the components of a pinwheel before, so we're going to go over some very basic skills, but from that we can expand our skills tremendously because there's more than one way to make a block more than one way to make a pinwheel right? So we can do lots of different things and then finally what I want us to dio is because we're sewing for the sake of sowing we don't know what we're ending up right in my other creative live class on improv we were sewing without a destination in mind the exact same thing here but we're taking a different technique and we're taking a different room it's a different kind of road trip, right? And we just want to go for it there um this is a picture I have three kids and this is my youngest son in this hour by youngest my son in this picture we were at the ski hill I swear he pushed that, you know, cube up and down the bunny hill twenty times he was not quite two and he just kept doing it and doing it and doing it with that giant smile on his face the entire time it wasn't easy for him to d'oh, right? He had to put a lot of effort into it if he was an adult insurers but was sore from pushing up a hill the whole time, but he would push up and he would go through that orange thing and the thing was slide down and he would run after it and sometimes if I didn't catch it at the bottom it took off and he's running and running and falling but he did it and it wasn't hard but it was fun, right? He just played and so this is what it is they do it because it is hard because it is a challenge because it is something to push yourself to do and that's what we're going to do here today, right? We're going toe try some different things with the pin will everyone here in the studio you're all going to make different blocks and not just because you pick different fabrics but because huge you go on a tangent a certain way or you start doing something a certain way and you're really curious about what could I do with this right let's see you never know, right? Okay, but why don't we play? This is really important right before we can get to play as adults, we've lost that ability to push something repeatedly up the hill was a very specific task that he had, but he said it for himself and he loved it. But as adults we logically go what a ridiculous idea like how is that fun? Right? I had fun watching him because he wasn't but then I even I was like, ok dude, seriously, but he was having a good time and you have to learn from it and I've learned from him in that way s o when it comes to quilting, why are we afraid of that challenge? Why a re afraid to take that step towards thie unknown well that's because it is the unknown right? We don't know where we'll end up and we're so used to going in with a plan here's our our fabric here's our pattern this is what we're going to do and at most maybe we change up the size of it so we change the colors or or something like that but the majority of us quilters that's where we go some of us are already very much in this play world but this is still a great class for you because what you will dio is play I'm forcing you to sit down and play and you know it's like day care for quilters on we don't know what we'll do with the end but embrace that right? The best way to get rid of fear is to acknowledge that it's there and face it and then it's not so scary anymore, you know? Yeah, you know you have your there you could just hang out here well, I'd keep doing what I'm doing right and then at the annual have forgotten that the fear was there entirely for quilters we love our fabric and one of the reasons we are afraid is because we don't want to waste precious fabric right fabrics not cheap so we spend the money on it and it's so pretty and we just want to pet it right? Like, oh it's pretty I like you, I'm not going to use you, but if you just pet, it has no value it doesn't do anything for you other than look good on a shelf. Well, so does a knickknack or any kind of charge key your souvenir there's look good on a shelf, but this doesn't have value because its value is when it becomes something right and whether that something is a quilt or becomes something that you made in the process while you were making it it's getting value to it to another thing that people are afraid of of just making, quote, blocks and that what do I do with these? What am I supposed to do with his pile of blocks that that are anywhere right? I don't know, I don't know what you're going to do with them, right? But that's not the point right? You can start a little pile of of orphan blocks that can go somewhere they can become placements, they can go on the back of quills there's lots of uses for them but don't let and no destination for the quill block b something that stops you from making a globe block right eventually you'll have a bunch of those that you can do something when if you want to start thinking down the line when you go to play play in all the same colors so that at the very least all the colors of what you're doing match and it becomes much easier to then put them into something together, right? If you just kind of go randomly with scraps, if you're fine with a totally random collection of things great, but if you're someone who needs to have that be a specific thing, then go forward and have a controlled color scheme in your place so you can have that little bit of control but still play right? We're also always afraid of making a mistake right? For quilters, that means cutting off a point, the blocks not quite big enough, you cut and you've made a mistake, and now that fabric isn't used that all goes out the window because we're just playing right my son pushing that block up the hill sometimes didn't he let go before he got to the top? Well, that's a mistake in his world because he was trying to get it through that orange obstacle just went back down the hill, picked it up, went right back up again, right accepted the challenge and forged ahead ok, the other final thing and I think this is on the key whether you heard quilter and eyes were afraid of judgment right, we're afraid well, what will my person, the person sitting next to me and I would never stand up and show this it guild? Because it's not a finished quilt and some guilt even have rules that you can only show finished projects and stuff like that? We're afraid of that judgment. Well, thank goodness for social media because, you know, as long as you have few people following you on social media, someone will like your image someone well on if they don't like it, they just don't if they don't actually like it, they just won't click the heart right? And it's not a big deal and you're not noticing, you know, I'm not going to notice that nikki hasn't liked my image today. Maybe nicky wasn't online, maybe nikki didn't actually like it. I don't care, but look at all these fifty other people who did right and so don't fear judgment at all and don't judge yourself either. This is a judgment free zone, okay? We're all cheerleaders that was had pom poms, right? We're all here to just enjoy it and have fun and be the kid pushing the block up the hill just because we can, so what do you gain when you decide to do this right? Well, the whole sense of adventure er adventure is fun it's it's! You know, we can't be afraid to just see where life takes us, right? If we do, then we wouldn't get out of bed in the morning right on dh that's no good that's no good for anybody, and if we were afraid of adventure and our sewing, we wouldn't go into the sewing room ever right? We would buy kits and put them together. And would we have a very nice quote at the end? Absolutely right, somebody did all the thinking for us did half the work for us fantastic that's a great fast way to get a quilt, but there's no adventure in that right, so embrace the spirit of adventure. I also want you to use cherished fabrics. I brought fabrics here in the studio today that I love and on letting you use them. I've used them tri color combination you've always wanted to try, but I've never really gotten to that's what I did, you steal my blocks there in pink and gray. I've never used those two colors together, but they look amazing. I've always admired things, I'm not generally a pink person. But it's a great color and why not right? So and I picked some favorite fabrics to do with that so let's go for it on dh what can you gain? We were talking about sort of orphan blocks and blocks with no destination will their charity blocks or the start of another quilt so the back there's so many opportunities don't let that hold you back at all on dh when you play this is where you can make your mistakes you can figure things out when you're willing to play right you can go well, that didn't work let's try that again, right? And if you're going into it with I want to try, I want to experiment I want to play then you're not getting hung up on I have to make another block for that quilt because it's screwed up here, right? So give yourself the opportunity to do that and what that does is that gives you freedom, right it's just pure freedom there's no, nobody is holding you back or holding you down in any of this case, right? I love this will roll doll is one of my favorite authors and so a little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men, right? Even the wise know that sometimes you have to let your kids get naked and paint the floor in themselves you do it on a day when the floors need to be washed anyways those are my children yeah, that was my and that's how I used to let them paint right? I've got a admittedly a crappy old kitchen with floors that are in rough shape as it is and they needed a bath and the floor is needed to be washed so this used to be how we always painted and they had fun there was paper you can see a little bit in the corner there they did start on the paper but it's nonsense and it's joy and I had to so much fun what I wouldn't let them paint me I have limits but um but they had fun right? And so we have to learn from that spirit of play from the children because they can bring so much so what we do so that's what we're going to do here today is we are going to play and have a good time so I'm going to ask my studio audience here to pick two fabrics on ly to just to start we're making a very basic thing first I want you to pick two fabrics I want them to be high contrast okay, so a dark and a light varying prince whatever just picked two fabric that you love no for now just pick the two fabrics with one step at a time the blue fabrics and a separate been for, you know, anything on the table is fair game. Just it has to be something that we can cut a square out of. So ignored any strips that you see it's play. Remember, we don't have to overthink things at all. Go for it every interesting, but okay. We're all going to have a different set of fabrics described to remember. We're not. We're not making something with the destination in mind. We're just going to try and see what happens and see where we go.

Class Description

Have more fun with the basic pinwheel block! In Playing with Pinwheels in Quilting, Cheryl Arkison will teach you variations on the traditional pinwheel pattern and encourage you to get creative and play.

Cheryl is the author of two books on quilting and a huge advocate for having fun. In this beginner and advanced-friendly class, you’ll learn new ways to work with an old favorite. Cheryl will teach:

  • Fabric cutting and pressing for variations on the traditional design
  • Sewing techniques for your unique pinwheel designs
  • How to trim blocks inspired by a design wall

Playing with Pinwheels in Quilting will help you add a little more energy and creativity to your quilts.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Cheryl Arkison - Pinwheel Play - Tools.pdf

Cheryl Arkison - Pinwheel Play Bonus.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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I have taken all four of Cheryl's classes and she is an excellent instructor. Amazing. She is clear, engaging, non-judgmental, informative and has a ton of quality suggestions. Can't say enough about her! I hope that she does more courses in the future. Thanks very much, Cheryl and Creative Live. Very inspiring.