Instructions for a Whirligig Quilt

Written by linda shepard
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Instructions for a Whirligig Quilt
A whirligig quilt can be pieced on a sewing machine or by hand. (sewing image by pncphotos from

The spinning squares of a whirligig patchwork will add a sense of movement to a quilt design. One plain fabric should be chosen for the background to compliment the colours of the whirligigs. This quilt design can be pieced using a sewing machine or by a hand-sewer with needle and thread. A small baby quilt using two fabrics may be a good starting point. The pattern can be expanded with additional squares or extra borders for a larger whirligig quilt.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 1 yard light-coloured cotton quilt fabric
  • 1 yard dark-coloured cotton quilt fabric
  • 1 yard cotton muslin backing fabric
  • 1 yard quilt batting
  • Cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Needle, size 9
  • Sewing machine
  • Straight pins

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  1. 1

    Cut a piece of cardboard measuring 12 inches square. Mark the top and bottom edges every 4 inches with the pencil.

  2. 2

    Draw a diagonal line through the square from the top 4-inch mark to the bottom 8-inch mark. Cut through the square on the diagonal line to create one whirligig pattern piece.

  3. 3

    Cut 16 pattern pieces of light-coloured fabric. Cut 16 pieces of dark-coloured fabric.

  4. 4

    Sew each dark fabric piece to a light piece with a 1/4-inch seam. Use a straight stitch to create eight squares of two fabrics.

  5. 5

    Sew two squares together. Alternate the light and dark fabrics to create a rectangle. Repeat and sew the two rectangles together. Alternate the light and dark fabrics to make one whirligig pattern square.

  6. 6

    Repeat to create four whirligig pattern squares. Sew the four squares together to complete the quilt top.

  7. 7

    Layer the quilt top over the batting and backing, which should be cut to the exact measurement of the finished quilt top.

  8. 8

    Pin the three layers together with the safety pins every 4 inches. Hand sew the quilt layers together on the stitch lines of the patchwork pattern.

  9. 9

    Add a 2-inch strip of binding to the quilt edges, right sides of fabric down, with a 1/4-inch seam. Fold and hand sew the binding to the back of the quilt.

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