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Playing with Pinwheels in Quilting

Lesson 5 of 5

Student Discussions

Cheryl Arkison

Playing with Pinwheels in Quilting

Cheryl Arkison

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Lesson Info

5. Student Discussions

Lesson Info

Student Discussions

How is everybody else going to have a finished pinwheel here? Are you still working on this? You finish from anyone it's that's ok, ok, so what was your logic and making this one do any logic? No, no, we're just trying price average that you like together with this in a kind of felt like I mean I was going I think this is play there's no mistakes okay, so I'm gonna hold this up and you're going to explain what we did I'm gonna put on the design oh, I was going to make one of half square triangles that peace and started and were one of those yeah, yes it's ok, it didn't play well with the other pieces so I I did use the seam ripper and I took it out confessions you're not to use the same I bring this on I figured that looks pretty cool without trying to make it anything other than one of is right now I guess to fabrics together and do that with some break together. So I was just like and one of the things I like about this fabric is because there's so much white in here it's not a sharp...

of a contrast actually, you know this white and this is cream this's this dozen being despite the fact that this is such a dark blue on some of these sections the contrast is it's much lighter yeah, so you get a very different sense of mew movement in the block likewise, with these sort of curly on what I would call that background fabric right that creates something different so this is showing us how a change in fabric gives us something very different right does not plan the whole time totally e what will be that was your plan? I see nikki has something to look at that she used the same fabric so that's kind of fun that we can see some different things we'll look at that right? So we have a pinwheel within a pinwheel kind of thing can I just show point something out? Not a mistake you have your pinwheel right it copies here, but on this section you've got the two darks next to each other, right and that's just because the direction you follow the same direction but it doesn't work but there's nothing wrong with that is that's the play, right? Right. So when I started out, I was I thought, well, they need to go in the same direction and then I laid it out and didn't really think about it I said the first two together and then looked at it and then your mind doesn't thing where you're like turning and thinking if you turn it enough times it'll reverse directions turn in and that's yeah so great so it's so I mean I thought do I take it out and we didn't know because now I know what that looks like exactly I mean I would be happier if the inset pinwheel was reversed this one but there's no way I would have known that without making that exactly so I'm perfectly ok with that we need to experiment and we need to try it on this website well that's what's not a mistake it's not what you intended but that's not a mistake no right and there's a lot of time so I have a design while in my sewing room I will leave lots of blocks randomly off on my decide if I'm not using the design love the time ray as my reminders as or I've played and made one and I haven't had a chance to do more I leave it up there because I'm like yeah I want it I want to see where I can go we're doing that now and what's the different idea and where can I go with it and everything like that so cool and we go ahead and look it's the different fabrics like the same fabric, giving us a very different affect right depending on what it's with but at the same time you're getting the same thing we get here where this kind of gives you a little bit of a lower contrast because that's a lot of a lighter section in my mind that would now be the corner pinwheel of another four so they would just get bigger get bigger as you go right but because that was not spinning the way I wanted to yeah I'm not going to go any further with that because I can see the image exactly you can if you want not saying to do it here but this is totally salvageable if you want to do it the other way it as a matter of taking this inset pinwheel oat taking it apart and then you just you can flip the direction right but that day I play that's what that's not playing thing that's not play that's where good yeah well I'm one of those things we're talking about quilting as business right if you want to make quoting your business it doesn't it's not work anywhere it's not play anymore right it is work hopefully you love your work right in life in general hopefully you love your work or you make changes so that you can love your work but it's a very different world when it when your play becomes your work when your hobby becomes your work absolutely there I was going to show you another block where did it uh and in my pile of things that I never should you guys before it's one of the ones where I made a mistake awfully ad man but it's another example of ways of where we can go it's not press so pardon me for that right where I've got to two of the triangle that one size and to it another kind of fun, right? It's another way to play see all the things I know well, I didn't know that you were talking about just yeah there's mistakes right? I don't have the correct point on this, right? But just like nikki said to fix that would be work I know what I need to do to fix it. I know how to change this it's not a big deal, but to fix it would be work, so I'm fine with having said, ok, if I ever want to make this block, I know what to dio the's can also be a great point of reference for you on these if you don't ever intend for these to be in something, don't hesitate to take a fabric marker and right right on the block what you did right or right on another piece of fabric and pen into the block and say what you did to get there and if there is what you think is a mistake or you want to do something differently next time say what that isthe exactly basically and then put these air there in a plastic bag or been or even in a binder like sleeves in a binder so then you have that point of reference for what it isthe right I'll do that with machine quilting give a little sample put it in this leaving a binder and then right right on the plastic sleeping what it is that I did it was this stitch you know, set the machine to this this is what my intention was that this is the kind of batting and fabric so that I can see differences and things you could do absolutely the same things with this, you know, instead of relying on your memory to do it if these have no destination there's nothing wrong with writing right on it what you did? Yeah, yeah. And then you know, you have the point of reference for if you want to play again or if you want to take that play just like we talked about when we were in the translating inspiration class here creative live having a record and being intentional in recording what you d'oh that matters here too with the play because you khun b intentional in this you know, well, I was trying to do this and I and it didn't work or I was trying to do this and it worked great I want to make more and make that note and when did you play and what were you feeling when you did it is absolutely essential tio sort of keeping track or embrace the true spirit of playing just go for it the next time you get in there and make the same mistake again right or and now they know now I really get it right it's it's working for me at this time so push that block down the block up the hill karen, may I just show where you're at at this time I know you're not finished I see you still working there? I know she's gonna have a little baby quotes wow! Somewhat directional let's take my stuff out of the way. Turn it ninety degrees or to seventy. Good. Yeah. Okay, so explain your thought process here or your intention or what you did. You know there's, no thought process. Just explain what you did. I'm not a traditional quilter, even with what I would call modern traverse or yeah, patterns so I I often do mystery quilts amman years day and so I just like what deconstructs the pinwheel deconstructed the pinwheel. Yeah, so I thought I started the giant. I've never gone big, so I got one big and then I I tried it with very different background and that one way right, like that's, what happened here is she kind of step instead of lining up these points, she moved it up and added into the backgrounds now we did the same thing here but on a smaller scale now needs just a third one with the blue and I mean the darker blue and maybe even like along the bottom all right? Well I'm curious to see where you go with us and if we smaller that's really interesting I like that I'll give it back working there you go and michelle is clearly has an idea in mind but we have half square triangles, lots amounts of them pardon blocking way squaring things out is you see what that becomes that's nikki is now piecing strips it could be really interesting could be really, really interesting I am going to take this fabric sometimes we want to play with our fabric let's talk about you know, we went over today the basic way to make a pinwheel and everyone's kind of going with that, but one of the ideas I had was about looking at different ways to make the pinwheel and nicky working on the stripes there just reminded me of that so I'm going tio take the cheater way out use a striped fabric no nothing wrong with that at all a couple different of ideas that we can do when we're thinking of the striped fabric right? I'm going to make my life easier I'm just going to cut it with a six and a half inch square I think so when we're doing let's look at my six and a half inch square here I have this line across that would let me know what each side of my pinwheel might look like ray I do that right now I've changed the way that goes what if I do so have turned it from being on the dagnall there teo being on and I want to cut the line I'm going to just simply show you this is not wasting fabric don't I can see people going she's just cutting new which is going to dio while I like scraps get used I'm going to cut that in half right so now when I go to use that I'm just going toe see if I have anything here they're not the same size but you're getting the idea right that's a very different look then if I were to do this I'm going to take the exact same fabric hold it against my ruler and then I cut that this is where that directionality comes into play completely different look right just depending on how I cut the fabric I know the things remember is I cut this fabric so I have bias on these outdoor outside edges right but that's not that big of a deal but who's to say I couldn't also make my half square triangle this way is if I cut to pieces of fabric again I'm just going to grab some random fabric and I'm gonna cut cut to stir actually here let's make my life easier the strips already cut I'm going to take a nice wide piece of fabric and I need a later color of it there we go I'll just do these and that will be the size that it isthe and to show you what I mean here so taking this concept of turning the stripes I thought well can't I make my house were triangle that way because you know what that's going to be enough I'm just gonna that excess their god there's two pieces of fabric a light in the dark sewn together in a strip set so typically how long is this piece could have gone the flute length about fifteen inches so who's to say I can't make my I have to go what do I have the space for in my strip so they're going to be small it's okay I'm gonna cut out my half square triangles this way instead because part of my play is exploring different ways to make the hops where triangles so I'm using that forty five degree line and cutting out half square triangles now is this the ideal way to do it? Not necessarily because number one I'm getting all this all these scraps but these air bias edges right so I just want to be careful doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it it just means you need to be careful with them so line that up, you also need fairly wide strips, tio to get to where you want to go, right? But these could easily, you know, maybe I saw those together and cut another one out. Who knows? But this is just about exploring a different way of doing it. I think it could be really interesting what this leads me is like, well, what if I had a whole bunch of strips that's, right where they're wider? What could I get from there? Because now I've just made the exact same thing that we've been making all along a pinwheel block, but I made it a different way by experimenting, right? So play can happen that way as well, right? I see you have another one. People prosecuted me kind of want him our purpose wonky on purpose, okay, suppress it, and then we're going to share it. All right? Ok. I'm going to show you where the bottom of this box are. Those strips sets that I had made before, are they not? No, maybe not. Maybe they got pulled out of the room. That's all right, that's. All right. Um, kelsey way could get from the improv class the blue blocks of strips if they're around, that would be fantastic. Just cause I thought since we're already on that tangent, I don't want to get off their let me play and see what happens because I want to play with this idea of construction. But I wanted more. Yes, thank you. I'm not gonna I'm not gonna cut it squared up because I know what I want to do with it. Okay, perfect big ones that you have you ever done a windmill? Armenia excuse me up a pinwheel and cut it into a circle or used it like, yeah, circle kind. I have actually very recently. So we're obviously going on the improv. Group's? Yeah, here. I'm playing with it. I like this little bit. I really, really like this little bit where he she inserted another fabric. Now, can I ask, how did you make it? Has a different ways to have constructive. I still get it up close. And I did. Actually, I used a piece of that denise schmidt fabric and just sort of, um, soda in the night. Then I slice it in a triangle, and then I added to it two more. So instead of going that sort of making the half square root, you were bill says you, yeah, yeah. Definitely yes ok so the task your question about the circle yes I actually did just play with that I had some orphan blocks that somebody else had made I don't know where they came from and I tried it two different ways I did it where I took a pinwheel and created a circle application and put that on and then I did what I call a reverse circle technique where the pinwheel is behind always the background right on and the reverse technique worked much better is it clean seemingly really nice clean look and you didn't have to worry about the bulk right of the seam allowances um here so worked really really well let's I'll show you what we mean let's take one of my pinwheels just you want peppermint candy for some reason I don't like it he did red and white well with the pen we hold a lot of stuff like that there was not a little one of mine just because the size I'm going to take this think of tape and you have choices when you're doing this I can move it so I'm off center right see look what looks like a beach ball from yeah yeah or you can make it quite perfect um in there or any sort of other way this is the biggest thing I have with circle here so we'll just do it this way I'm going toe I mean eyeball where I am there on that I'm going to take this it was a great suggestion thank you for it. Cut that out guns and and like lexicon piecing and pinwheels oh, yeah, you could do tons of different we get kind of bulky I'm sure with seams and something but there's a real easy around that right? And just at least to try it right maybe you go at a large scale machine piece back there. Bigger? Yes. Great. If you're ever cutting circles, this is my one tip don't do little cuts like this open your scissors wide and as you close them, turn the fabric through them, you get a much smoother edge. That looks really good. Apparently, I learned that in canada so there's a circle it looks really good, right? So then you could do really fun things you wanna applications circle, you know, onto another block that's kind of fun. It was fun, right? Do you want tio put it on, you know, a more solid background right off to the side, right? Maybe you have a whole bunch of these. They all look like beach balls, right? You cut up, make a whole bunch of of these and you there, you know, it's beach balls sitting on the beach or something like that, um you can do it, let's. You know, we talked about putting it on this block. He could do it there. Oh, yeah, right. But then what's interesting is that's that positive? Negative? Yeah, thing as well, because that was that goes back to see its tangents. Where's, my big block. This was one of the other ideas I loved this let's get that flatter really messes with your eyes. I know it's fun, that's another thing that we can do there hey, let's. See how that's really, really cool e do that without looking at what cousin paid like, how do you can you how would you piece there's your original squares? You mean this part? Yeah. Um, what I would probably do is actually make a strips that we're talking about strip sets, make a strip set of the two. Peek through two pieces that you want, right, and one in one direction, one in the other right? And because I'm the reason I say one in one direction one and the others, then you can still cut your squares and piece them together. That way, if you make you could do it all cutting from the same strip set, but then you cut it before you so it which you're more inclined to stretch, right at the same time so I would this is, you know, a twelve and a half inch this is six and a half so kind of two, six and a half inch well because we're cutting it down even first maybe cut out to seven inch strips so them together and then do the same thing and then you're going to cut out your squares but making sure you're pairing up offices and then it would go together just like we have our normal pinwheel and then this is applicator on top, right? And then you're also don't have as much bulk because you haven't layered like this, right? Because right now that there's so much bulk here in the center of this now if you wanted to do it, say three instead of this being a square, I cut out from my small and but remember when it was this where there, then you have three fabrics in that strip set totally doable, totally doable to be really, really fun going and going and going, right? Well, I don't like being like a baby quote it's not unmanageable if you go to thirty inches, right? Yeah then it's quite nice table topper or the center of something, right like you put it, then maybe you pick one of these and it's as a border and so that it's floating you know, on it what's the positive and negative and it kind of messes with way we've come up with so many different ideas as we've been playing here so here remember I had those large ones I'm gonna go back to the tangent I was on before a little press and I'm going to cut out squares from this so right now it goes like that, but if I put my forty five that way, see, I have different options if I want to cut it out as the square as it is now, I'm not going to get quite I can get up to ten inches no nine inches nine inches is where I get and I'm gonna go right in the middle of that white for their because why not let's see what happens not entirely sure where this is going to go yet already so I've taken that and I've cut it on the angle by turned that into a half square triangle now say that was I've just given myself so that it looks like I've built almost like a string block, so that was a lot of work when I could have done that an easier way, but I had to play and experiment with it okay, so have you guys here in the studio gotten even more ideas based on what I've shown you what you've done along the way awesome and hopefully everybody watching at home same thing in a show karin's was added more to hers and add that on to the last bended sort of you get the idea we'll get yes I see what you've done so we showed it this way before this matter yeah that's how we showed it before I'm going to show it the same way so as you've been sewing um in this class how have you guys felt like hasn't been fun have you went well yeah this is kind of a nice reminder to do it yeah it's nice to think outside of your regular box way you normally put something together okay? Because you generally work a lot with half square triangles, right? I remember you telling me that that's what I'm working with now but you said working in a different way that's why I'm intrigued to see yours to see what you don't see she's you've taken this isn't even further deconstruction is I think that's really, really cool I love it in all the blue right? I think it's another great way to show off a favorite fabric because this is a beautiful fabric and that's your consistency in all of that so when you're thinking of where things might go in that it's a great way to do it can I grab your squares here not together in the block oh see now this is nice so nikki took we'll have us all in blues. Nikki took a strip set right and pieced it that way. But what happens is when we put it together now, it's getting us tremendous movement because it goes in different directions, which is really economies looks great, right? Cause now now it feels like a windmill, not a pinwheel, right? Because it's really, really quite moving in that and so gives us a lot of different opportunities and possibilities for that. I really, really like that certain color the later. Well, I guess it's later, I'm not. That really just definitely goes to the background. The other one comes. Comes for around here. Yeah, exactly, because that piecing it because you have this dark, but you still see this. And you know, if this was even higher contrast, yeah, I'm looking for a yellow. Exactly. Yeah, but I the only one I could find that was the right yellow was such a low volume that it reads his white okay, yeah, yeah, we don't have got a lot of yellows here in the studio and I didn't want something with a lot of pattern because I thought this the strips I had enough pattern, no, but I think that's really, really works because what we're seeing that's what we wanted to I'm guessing that's what you wanted was that movement I didn't know where you didn't know I didn't know I was like what if I have a straw because I just took you have all these pre cut strips why should be cutting fabric so I just sewed two pieces together and then have them and so them to get and I just kept sewing it together and then block's got um michelle, can we ask you to just pin my campaign up but if you are well I can help I just sort of ran into side chomping yeah I've got to see what you've done so let's see that and I love what you guys were saying that you know you started without necessarily knowing where you're going and it's it's a fun process and it's exciting to see what might happen this is someone that can help you so as you're pinning up explain to us what you were doing well, I just wanted to kind of play with the size, the large ones and the smaller ones and so this is where I'm kind of going ok? And then I started throwing in just some other colors so that red where's the other one hope it must be on the floor way one that this yes he has need texture to it, huh? Come back here well you didn't watch it just it is you know is working quite well because look at this now right like it's an extension of the design and you have this pinwheel but it goes into the solid because it's darling if you took a picture of this and black and white for example you would really see the value and the way some of those kind of blend together same with this sort of this dark into this blue right it may not be the same colors but in in a pinwheel generally there is that light in the dark right so we had an opportunity to really play you guys have all done tremendously different things right? So hopefully your work has inspired the people at home in the play that they're doing here right and so I you know, wonderful psychologist take him or leave him carl young the creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct and I think in quilting more than almost anything else or craft or making more than anything else if we don't get in there and experiment and play nothing new is gonna happen right? Whether that's for you or anyone who's doing it for a living along the way so if you really want tio embrace your creativity if you want to try something new in the sewing room or on the dining room table play is your ticket absolutely. So I hope you guys had fun here in the studio. I hope you guys had fun. I hope that you turn off this class and you start rating your stash. Now that the class is over, though, that you start reading your stash and you get out there and you play.

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.