Pinwheel Check Quilt – Free Pattern

Pinwheel check quilt

Pinwheel check quilt

This pinwheel check quilt has been made with two different pinwheel blocks and two different colourways.  Sometimes I get asked for my quilt patterns in different sizes and the beauty of this quilt is that it is so simple to make it bigger or smaller – just keep adding or taking away quilt blocks until you have the size that you are looking for.

I have made it as a 60″ square using twenty five quilt blocks – thirteen dark and twelve light.  Each block is a 12″ square finished size and I have used 1.1/4 yards each of black, gold and cream with 3/4 yard each of blue and yellow fabrics.

Cutting requirements

3.7/8″ squares:  one hundred and four each in black and gold, forty eight each in blue and cream, forty eight each in yellow and cream

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Making the dark pinwheel quilt block

The entire quilt is made using half square triangles only, in the colour combinations listed above.  To make each pinwheel unit, place two squares with right sides together and mark a line along the diagonal.  Sew a 1/4″ seam either side of the marked line and cut along the line to produce two half square triangle units.  Press the seam allowance towards the dark fabric and trim the corners where the triangle tips stick out.

Dark pinwheel block layout

Dark pinwheel block layout


For the dark pinwheel block you will need black/gold half square triangles only.  Lay them out in four rows of four.  The four central squares form a pinwheel with an extra gold triangle at the end of each blade of the pinwheel.  In the middle of each edge of the block the triangles are placed to form a larger black triangle pointing in towards the middle.


Sew the squares across the rows

Sew the squares across the rows


Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows together to complete the block.  You will need thirteen of these.


Light pinwheel quilt block layout

Light pinwheel quilt block layout

Completed light pinwheel quilt block

Completed light pinwheel quilt block

Making the light pinwheel quilt block

For this block you will need eight blue/cream and eight yellow/cream half square triangles for each block.  These are placed so that the blue triangles form a pinwheel in the middle with an extra blue triangle at the end of each blade.  There is a yellow triangle in each corner and along each edge there is a blue and a yellow half square triangle placed so that the cream triangles form a larger triangle pointing in towards the middle.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the light pinwheel quilt block.  You will need twelve of these.

Alternate the pinwheel quilt blocks

Alternate the pinwheel quilt blocks

Assembling the pinwheel check quilt

The quilt blocks are sewn together in five rows of five.

I have alternated the pinwheel quilt blocks to give a check design.  Begin with a dark block in the top left of the quilt and alternate with light blocks across each row.  The second row should begin with a light block so that the blocks are alternating down the columns as well across the rows.

Sew the blocks together across each row and then sew the rows to each other.  That completes the pinwheel check quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.

Here’s the video:

Thank you so much for all your good wishes last week for my birthday.  I had a wonderful weekend – I trawled all the silk shops in Soho, saw We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre, did the full tour of St Paul’s Cathedral (including climbing hundreds of steps to the Whispering Gallery) and visited a couple of Sunday markets before heading back to Shropshire.  How lucky I am to have such wonderful children.  This weekend will seem quiet by comparison – Malvern quilt show tomorrow and plenty of catching up on things.

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  1. Carole Manuel says:

    Belated birthday wishes, Rose. So glad you had such a great time celebrating with your family. I’m a bit behind in checking emails at present as I have family visiting me here in Cyprus so am getting out and about a bit more than usual. Thanks for all the wonderful quilt patterns you so generously share and the videos which explain all so well. Hope the Malvern quilt show was great too.

    • Thanks, Carole. How lovely to have family visiting – yes, thanks I had a wonderful weekend with my family. Malvern show was fun but I spent too much money.

  2. Tina Eames says:

    HI Rose, firstly & most importantly belated birthday wishes from down under (Australia). Thank you also for your generosity in sharing the patterns you do each newsletter, & for the clear instructions you provide, that have helped me gain confidence with my quilting skills & knowledge.

  3. Thank you so much for all of your patterns. I love that you tell us how much fabric right up front and the videos are sooooo clear and understandable. I have just subscribed to your Youtube channel and enjoyed several videos. Thanks again.

  4. Belated wishes from a Canadian quilter. I enjoy your weekly emails and especially like this quilt. My first quilt was a double pinwheel for my granddaughter. Keep the ideas coming.

  5. Hi! Rose,
    Belated B’day wishes from me. Glad you had a wonderful weekend & enjoyed yourself. Thank you for the Pinwheel pattern. I like it.

  6. Very pretty design.Thanks for sharing and tutorials.Rose.

  7. Thanks Rose for the pinwheel pattern. I have been getting out of my box, so they say in the U.S. which means I am trying harder patterns, but not too hard. I made a quilt for autism and sent it off to the quilters for a fund raiser. I sewed two 10″ right sides together, sewed around the edge with 1/4″ seam, then cut them into quarters. Sewed them together alternating a solid triangle in coordinating colors, and the autism pattern material on the outside corners, then reversed the block for the next one. Took some time but was proud of it when I got it done. I will have to send you a picture of it when I get it back…if I can figure out how to do that. Glad you had a great BD.
    Alana from U.S.

  8. Susanne says:

    Hi Rose
    Hope you had a great Birthday. I’m learning a lot from your tutorials, I have a problem lining up the squares. I know it going to get easier with practice.

    Thank you for all of your help

  9. Thank you Rose. Like the light block the best

  10. Marilyn says:

    Happy Late birthday Rose, I just love this block it looks so effective and all with half square triangles so easy, thanks so much it’s one I will defiantly try to find time to make. Thank you so much for posting every week for us.
    :-). Marilyn

  11. Sandra Barnett says:

    So happy you enjoyed your birthday weekend. Sounds like you had fun.
    Thank you for your very clear instructions. I always feel so confident after I hear from you, like I could do it. Am making a baby quilt for my son’s second daughter due in August. Trying free motion quilting. It won’t be great but it will be from Nana (me).
    Have a great time at the quilt show and have a nice quiet weekend

  12. Do you have a quick easy full sized pattern for a high school grad, that is real soon. My grandson will be going to college this fall thank you cheryl

    • Hi Cheryl. I think that this pinwheel pattern would fit the bill. It can be extended fairly easily if you want to make it a different size – just add extra rows or columns.

  13. I love this quilt pattern. I went to Malvern yesterday and there are some amazing quilts to see. A belated ‘Happy Birthday’ too.

  14. angeljeanne says:

    hello Rose I am so happy you had a lovely birthday, and that you did all that you did. I have to say that this quilt is so lovely and I like it very much, I loved your instructions and I may have had to look two times at them it feel very easy for me, Thank you so very much, yes it is great to be a Brit, have a wonderful day. HUGS and Cheers Jeanne

  15. Caroline says:

    Happy belated birthday wishes Rose. It sounds as if you had a wonderful weekend, very special and lovely memories.
    I really look forward to Fridays coming around to see what wonderful quilt you have made, it’s a great start to the weekend. I love this quilt with the two different pinwheel blocks. It’s definitely one that I’ll try, and by using different colours you’d get so many different effects I should imagine.
    Thank you for being so inspirational and making quilting easier for us all.

    • Thanks for your kind comments, Caroline. Yes, you could even use it as a scrappy quilt, using different colours in all the blocks.

  16. Thank you for the patterns . Just finishes off a baby quilt for my second grandchild. Free motion quilting has been a nightmare. I will get it eventually. Going to Canada on Wednesday to see the grandchildren, this is a welcome break from repairing , decorating and gardening. So we are leaving out home in France for a month. Neighbours and friends are helping to look after the house while we are away. I will be back at the machine in July trying to get over leaving the kids again. I will be having my birthday in Sooke, British Columbia. I hope to get some quilt shopping done.Kind regards from Mary

    • Hi Mary. What an exciting time you are having this summer. I hope you have a wonderful time in Canada.

  17. Margaret Jowett says:

    Hi Rose
    I just love your patterns and easy instructions which help a beginner like myself. Thank you for all the time you put in to instructing us by email.
    Last weekend reads as though you had a wonderful time celebrating your birthday with your family.
    Enjoy the Malvern Quilt Show this weekend and hope you manage to catch up on everything. Regards, Margaret

    • Thanks, Margaret. Yes, it was a wonderful weekend and I’m very much looking forward to Malvern tomorrow.

  18. Gail Brasser says:

    Thanks Rose for such a pretty quilt pattern, you really out did yourself this time pretty pretty…..
    Thank you for all you do for the quilting community

  19. Rose, I cannot believe there the same pattern.
    I love the lighter colour one.
    Glad you had a great birthday. Enjoy the quilt show.
    if your allowed to take photos maybe you will
    show us some. Thanks for the patterns.

    • Hi Mary. The two blocks aren’t quite the same pattern – very similar, though. I would love to show you some photos but I suspect there will be signs all over the show saying that photos are for personal use only.

  20. Talk about a “busman’s holiday”!!!??Spend you BD touring quilt & embroidery shops!! LOL Hope it was a wonderful, fun day! Hope you didn’t spend to much $$ LOL! Thank you for all the wonderful patterns the you share With us!!

    • Hi Sam. Oh that was just because I had a few hours before I met up with the kids. I don’t buy much silk, but I do love looking at it!

  21. Lill Helen says:

    Hi Rose.
    Belated birthday wishes! I really like this quilt pattern. Definately a must do! Thank you for the inspiration.

  22. Elizabeth says:

    I like the light block better. Think I will make it in red, white and blue. Can’t get a handle on the dark block, looks like pieces are out of place. I like the fact that you gave different instructions for each. Most times I want to make just one block to see how it comes out but with all instructions together it makes it hard for new people to pick out all the parts. Thank you for the extra time you spend on instructions for each.

    • Thanks, Elizabeth. I think that I made the dark block too dark. In my head the dark blocks formed more of a grid than shows up now. Thanks for your kind comments.

  23. Karen Theobald says:

    I want to also express my wishes for a joyous belated birthday! I love your weekly quilt ideas and particularly love this pattern. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Best wishes,

  24. Have always loved this block Rose, you explain it all soo well.
    Sounds as though you had the perfect Birthday,
    Thanking you for all the inspiration you give

  25. I do like this quilt, Rose. You never cease to amaze me with all your different designs. Your instructions always make quilting look sooo easy and it’s easy to see why you attract a worldwide following.

  26. Bekated Birthday wishes, Rose. I do so enjoy your emails with the clear and detailed instructions for making quilts. I am still a beginner and I appreciate them so much.
    Thank you

  27. Hi Rose
    Sounds like you had a really wonderful weekend celebrating your birthday. I have seen the musical We Will Rock You twice and each time I certainly have rocked! Did St Paul’s many years ago – well done you doing all the stairs. Oh yes! I really like the Pinwheel Check Quilt. I am fairly new to quilting but feel ready to move onto something more challenging, well for me anyway!
    Have a good weekend hope you get to enjoy this wonderful sunny weather.

    • Thanks, Gill. I have to confess that the children went up one stage higher in St Paul’s than I did – it’s forty years since I last went there and then I galloped happily up all the stairs! Glad you like the quilt pattern – it’s a very simple one.

  28. Alison Bucklow says:

    Rose. I think this is the prettiest block I have ever seen! Thank you for all your patterns, hurrah for UK quilters! Glad you had such a wonderful weekend.