Friday, November 12, 2010

While the Cat's Away

I had a million things to do last weekend. My husband took my daughter out of town to visit a college and I was looking forward to being alone - I promised myself I would clean up and organize some of my stuff.  I've gotten way behind on clutter control, not being able to do much for so long. Just sitting looking at all of the paper, books, magazines, mail, etc. drives me crazy. I get to some of it and then I turn around and there's more! No, sorry, I'm not going to show you my real mess. Let's just say that my mother may be turning over in her grave about now . . . Although I do like to think that she'd understand what I've been through in the past few months and would give me a pass. If she were alive, she'd undoubtedly step in and help.

Stuff all over, everywhere

Papers and magazines piled up, needing to be filed

What's the best way to avoid doing work you really don't want to do? Find something inspiring to distract you, of course. Cheryl from my yahoo group made a Pinwheel quilt that was generating quite a lot of attention and talk. As you can see, her quilt is lovely and everyone drooled over it and we were all curious as to how she made it. Some said the pattern is in the Square Dance book by Martha Thompson, others had seen it at quilt shows or shops made with a special "Twister" tool.

Well, I couldn't get Cheryl's pretty quilt out of my head for days and all the talk about the Square Dance or "Twister" quilt intrigued and inspired me even more. I went to a quilt show at the Chicago Botanic Garden last Friday and what do you know? There was a small "Twister" quilt there too. Now it seems like they're everywhere I look. This happened to me with hexagons last year - I couldn't stop seeing them everywhere until I made one with hexagons myself.


 Fay Stickler made this "Twirling Pinwheels" quilt. Black seems to be a popular option for the setting and borders.

I knew I was going to be very busy in the next few weeks - out of town for a lecture, work to do on patterns and then the holidays - and I wouldn't have time for it then. It really was now or never. I had no time to run around and look for the ruler so I made my own template and then figured out how to make the quilt myself.

Sew 5" x 5" squares together and add a border.

Homemade "ruler" - 4" x 4" cut from template plastic.  Place at seams where they intersect and cut around the square template. Twist the pinwheels and sew together in rows, matching the colors of the spokes. Almost like a puzzle.

You guessed it, I never did get around to cleaning or organizing - I took advantage of my "alone" time that weekend and on the spur of the moment - a sort of "whirlwind spree" if you will - made a quilt just for myself.

I finished putting the top together on Sunday. I still have to decide what to do about the borders, but I'm pretty sure I'm going with black too.


I really had a lot of fun making my Pinwheel/Square Dance/Twister quilt - sewing all the squares together first and then cutting them apart to get the pinwheels. When I showed my husband how I made it he said "You did what??" and laughed that I would make a quilt and then cut it apart to make another one.  A big thanks to Cheryl for her inspiration! There's always next week for cleaning and organizing. . .  .


12 comments:

  1. I've been seeing variations of this quilt all over, so thanks for the tutorial on this cute quilt. As I started reading, I thought, "Oh, great; yet another tool I *need* to find and buy!" But now, with just a bit of template plastic, I too can avoid Clutter Control this very day! ;-)

    Linda in NC

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  2. I have to say, I should have probably bought the tool - the plastic template slipped quite a bit and was difficult to work with. The tool has non-slip feet on it I hear.

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  3. I have been seeing this quilt everywhere too and was going to try it out. I bought a book (Rotary Revolution) with a no-waste variation of the block, but your way is even easier. Thanks for sharing! ♥

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  4. guess what!! i'm working on one as we speak lol!! i've been inspired by all the buzz going on in the small quilt group about this intriguing puzzle block [thanks Cheryl]..it was just a matter of time before i got sucked in too! i'm just at the block cutting stage & i need to make a template..it's all too exciting!! btw it's 3am here..just couldn't sleep so what's the next best thing to do, crazy huh!!

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  5. I've seen several of these lately. My friend Louise made one last month for Lee at Two Thimbles. She found the template at Temecula Quilt shop online. What a fun quilt to make. They are all so beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing your technique.

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  6. Right you are!! It is a great looking quilt! When I work with a homemade template I always glue a piece of sandboard on it so it won't slip while cutting, doesn't cost much, but sure helps. Although my husband seems to miss a piece every now and then hihi! Must have been a great feeling making this quilt! Happy sewing, hugs, Daniëlle

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  7. Thank you to Karen for posting about the Lil' Twister piece I made for our favorite quilt shop owner. I made it using 3" squares. It ended up approx. 11"X12"..Lots of fun to make and they sew up quickly. Louise

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  8. I certainly can't blame you for making that quilt instead of organizing. I would do the same thing. I just love it. I'm going to have to look for that tool. I have a lot of scraps that would make a great quilt like that!!

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  9. Grazie per l'ispirazione e per il tutorial!
    E' importante ogni tanto lasciare da parte le umili faccende per dare spazio alla creatività!

    Ciao Domenica

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  10. How cute! I'm going to try it this week . Dori

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  11. Great tutorial, and I love the quilt. I may have to make one now! I have a friend that made one a few months ago, and she said she still doesn't know how she did it. :)

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  12. Your post inspired me to try this. Thank you.
    I marked around the template on my top and then used my ruler for the cutting. The tool would undoubtably have made the cutting easier.

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