Friday, February 12, 2010

Whirligig Block Tutorial

The whirligig block is lots of fun a goes togeher rather quickly. You don't need a lot of fabric just enough to make 2 5 inch light colored block and 2 5 inch dark colored blocks. It's a fun way to use up scraps.
Step 1:

  • Cut a piece of template plastic or thin cardboard into a five inch square.
  • Draw a line down the middle of the template.
  • mark a 1/4 of an inch on opposite sides of the the line and the template (look at the photo)
  • Draw a line from the 1/4 inch mark diagonal across the square.

Step 2:
  • Cut the template on the line- there now you have your template for your whirligig.
  • Mark the right side so you always cut your fabric the right way!

Step 3:
  • Now pick your two fabrics - a light and a dark one to make your whirligig.
  • cut 2 light and 2 dark into 5 inch squares.

step 4:
  • Stack fabric blocks (right side up)
  • place template on block and draw diagonal line.
  • Tip: always place your template the same way- to ensure your blocks spin the same direction.

Step 5:

  • Cut the blocks on the line- keep them organized because now we have to put them together.

Step 6

  • Line up the white with the opposite blue- see picture

Step 7:

  • line up diagonal edge of fabric like in the picture and get ready to sew.

Step 8:

  • Sew your blocks together with a scant 1/4 inch on the diagonal sides.

Step 9:

  • Press to the dark fabric

Step 10:

  • Now it's time to square up your blocks because right now they should be rectangular.
  • the short end should measure 4 1/2 inches so square the block to 4 1/2 inches (refer to the photo)

  • See your nice squared up squares.

Step 11:
  • Now you need to place your squares out to make a whirligig- the easiest way to do this is to refer to the photo

Step 12:
  • Place 2 of your blocks right sides together in row one and do the same for row two.
  • sew them together with a scant 1/4 inch seam.

Step 13:
  • press each row the opposite way so you can nest the seams and reduce bulk when you sew your rows to gether

  • nesting the seams- refer to the photo

Step 14:
  • sew your rows together with your scant 1/4 inch seam

  • press your rows open.

There you go a beautiful and whimsical whirligig- now make a whole bunch and put them together to make a whirly fun quilt!


  1. Thank you for such a clear tutorial, I will have a go at it now!

  2. thanks for the great tutorial, i wanted to make those for quite some time and think i will now eventually..

  3. Thanks!
    I just finished making one of these and had trouble squaring up the final blocks. They didn't end up lining up perfectly...what's the best way to square up that final block?

  4. Thank you so much for a great and picture rich tut! Found this via link in the forum at MSQC.

    Best regards from Eva Mari :)

  5. que ótimo tutorial, encaminharei à minha professora de patchwork, ela vai adorar. Na próxima aula vamos fazer!