Carpenters Wheel Quilt Pattern

Carpenters wheel quilt

Carpenters wheel quilt

I’ve written about the Carpenters Wheel quilt block before now, but for this quilt I have played around with the colours a bit to give a very different look to the block.  It’s definitely a big block, so I have only used four of them – all 24″ square finished size – and I have added sashing to separate the blocks.

The finished quilt measures 55″ square and I have used 1.1/2 yards of dark blue, 3/4 yard of green and 1 yard each of red and light blue fabrics.  You can buy these fabrics at a 10% discount in this week’s special offer.

Carpenters wheel quilt block

Carpenters wheel quilt block

Cutting requirements for the carpenters wheel quilt

3.1/2″ squares:  sixteen dark blue, forty eight light blue

3.7/8″ squares:  sixteen each in dark blue/light blue, sixteen each in green/light blue, thirty two each in blue/green, sixteen each in dark blue/red, sixteen each in green/red

For the sashing you will need twelve red strips 1.1/2″ by 24.1/2″ with nine 1.1/2″ light blue squares for cornerstones

For the border you will need 2.1/2″ strips of dark blue fabric:  two at 51.1/2″ and two at 55.1/2″

Make half square triangle units

Make half square triangle units

Making the carpenters wheel quilt block

Make half square triangle units with the 3.7/8″ squares in the colour pairings listed above.  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.  This will give you two half square triangle units which are now 3.1/2″ squares.

In the traditional colouring of this block the red diamonds would be the same light blue as in other parts of the block – I have added the red in for this quilt because I felt that it gave an extra zing to the quilt.

Central area of the block

Central area of the block

As it’s quite a big block, I am showing you the layout in several stages.  The central area of the carpenters wheel quilt block is made with four patches forming a pinwheel.

The frame outside this has a light blue square in each corner with a pair of half square triangles between the corner squares – one green/red and one blue/red.  These are placed so that the red triangles combine to form a larger red triangle pointing towards the middle.  The green and the blue triangles are placed so that they form blue or green stripes with the triangles of the central pinwheel.

Next frame of the block

Next frame of the block

The next frame of this block is made entirely with half square triangle units.  Around each corner there are three blue/green half square triangles.  You’ll need to check the photo to see which way to place these.

Between the corners there are two half square triangles – one blue/red and one green/red.  These are placed so that the red triangles complete the red diamond that was begun in the central area.  The blue and green triangles are placed so that they match the colour inside them:  so one side of the red diamond is all blue while the other side of the red diamond is all green.

Carpenters wheel quilt block layout

Carpenters wheel quilt block layout

The outer frame of the carpenters wheel quilt block is made with a dark blue square and two light blue squares in each corner.  Between them are two pairs of light blue/dark blue and light blue/green half square triangle units.  These are placed so that the light blue triangles form two larger triangles along each edge, pointing in towards the middle.  The dark blue and the green triangles are placed so that they form either dark blue or green stripes with the triangles inside them.

Sew the squares together across each row and then sew the rows to each other to complete the block.  You need to make four of them.

Use sashing between the blocks

Use sashing between the blocks

Assembling the carpenters wheel quilt

Sew the blocks together in two pairs using sashing to separate the blocks.  In each pairing you’ll have two blocks and one 24.1/2″ sashing strip.

Join the pairs of blocks with sashing

Join the pairs of blocks with sashing

In order to join the pairs of blocks together, make a strip consisting of two red 24.1/2″ strips with a light blue 1.1/2″ square between them.  Make three of these strips and sew one to the top of the blocks, one between the pairs of blocks and one at the bottom of the blocks.

Add sashing to the sides

Add sashing to the sides

For the sashing down the sides of the blocks, make two strips consisting of three light blue squares and two 24.1/2″ red sashing strips, so that you have a cornerstone at each end of the strip and one in the middle.

Make two of these and sew one to each side of the quilt.

Add the quilt border

Add the quilt border

Finally for the border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of dark blue fabric.  Sew the 51.1/2″ lengths to the top and bottom of the quilt and the 55.1/2″ lengths to the sides.

That completes the carpenters wheel quilt top.  It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding.  Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section.

Here’s the video:







Last Sunday we had a gorgeous sunny (if cold) day and I went off to explore Cannon Hill Park.  Now when my children were small we used to go to a local park where there were swings, slides and plenty of space for the children to let off steam.  Cannon Hill Park has all this and so much more – lakes, tennis courts and even an art gallery.  It was obvious that the flowers are confused about the seasons – I saw snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils all blooming at the same time.  Can spring be far away?

I’m off to London now – Katy and Ben are taking me to see the show Les Miserables for my Christmas present and I’m really looking forward to it.

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  1. Lynn Tocker says:

    Hello Rose – you have made this block do-able! I’ve managed to avoid making the Carpenter’s Wheel, despite admiring the block enormously. Thanks for taking the ‘fear factor’ out of it 🙂 Love your vibrant colour combinations. Cheers, Lynn

  2. Sandra Barnett says:

    Oh Rose, Another great pattern and very well explained but right now I am taking a break because I just had eye surgery Just gettting some sight back in the eye Will be back at it sooner to longer of a story to go into but just say it was an adventure. Hope you had a great time at the show. Love the flowers our weather is not bad but I don’t see any flowers popping up Of course I am not looking
    Have a great week Happy Quilting

  3. karin wijaya says:

    Hi Rose, the Carpenter wheel should be your another lovely quilt.
    I love the design and its bright colour. Thank you Rose

  4. je suis fascinée par vos tutoriels bravo il faut que je choisie des bon tissus et commencé merci pour ce partage

  5. Thanks. Rose. Its beautiful design.Very good colour combination. l

  6. Suzanne Jarvis says:

    Thank you for the photos of the lovely flowers. I especially enjoyed the crocus photo. They would bloom in abundance at my university near Chicago- none here in San Diego, I’m afraid. I hope you enjoy Les Mis!

    • Thanks, Suzanne. I am surprised that there aren’t any crocuses in San Diego. I would have thought that most things grow there.

  7. Hi Rose,
    Your pattern is beautiful. Love the colors. I’ve been having a lot of trouble with the Quartered Star Quilt Pattern. I made 4 blocks but they either ended up shorter or larger then the completed 9 1/2 inch block. Probably because of too much pressing because they were pretty much out of shape. I put it aside and will start again from scratch as soon as I get tons of mending done.
    I can’t believe you are seeing flowers in February. I look out my window and see grass covered with snow. How you find time to do all that you do is beyond my comprehension. You are truly amazing. I’m sure you’ll be very happy with your Christmas present. I saw the musical and enjoyed every minute of the show.

    • Hi Claire. Good luck with the mending. If your blocks are different sizes you could always trim them all to a different size. It wouldn’t matter if you trimmed them to 9″ as long as all of them were 9″. Try and trim a little from each side rather than all from one side. Your winter seems to be lasting longer than ours. We’ve actually been lucky here in Birmingham and haven’t had very much snow at all – just lots of rain and wind. I thoroughly enjoyed Les Miserables – as you say the music is beautiful, and live theatre is always a great experience.

  8. I love the carpenter’s wheel block but don’t think I’ve seen it in this variation before. I just love your version!

    • Thanks, Louise. It’s a gorgeous block anyway, but I was pleased with how different it looked when I added that bit of red.

  9. Rose you have outdone yourself with this one. It is beautiful. Have a great weekend.

  10. Love this Carpenters Wheel block Rose,and think it would look stunning as a table centerpiece to place a vase of spring flowers on.Have a lovely weekend with your family,and enjoy your Christmas pressy.Loved the spring flower photo’s a real joy .Thank You for sharing xxxx

    • Thanks, Carole. You are right – it would look great as a table centre. Spring flowers are always so welcome, hinting of warmer weather to come.

  11. Rose, Your tutorial, for what looks complicated, is brilliant. Thank You.
    I love this pattern.

    Have a really lovely and safe trip to London.
    The flowers would lift your spirits. Thanks!!!

    • Hi Mary. It’s a great pattern if you don’t mind half square triangles. The flowers here in London are further forward than they are in Birmingham.

  12. Jean Stocks says:

    Hello Rose,
    I’ve been looking for pattern for a centre bed square for some time and this looks like a possibility, if I can get my class tutor to help! As my bedroom colours are blue and white I would change the colours a bit though..if I do get it made I will send a photo.
    Love the photos of Cannon Hill Park, as I am in the north of Scotland my daffs are a little behind but not much.
    Enjoy Les Mis, it’s a wonderful show.

    • Hi Jean. The pattern would look great in blue and white. Your duffs probably aren’t as confused as ours are down here.

  13. Thank you, Rose for the great patterns. I really enjoy them. Right now I am collecting them for the future because I have sooooooo many other things to work on, but this one tops my list of next month!
    We have seen only one sign of spring here in Wisconsin, USA, and that is a Robin. It is usually the first returning bird of spring. We have about 5″ of snow on the ground and cold temps and lots of wind. I can’t wait until the crocuses, daffodils, and forsythia starts blooming.
    Hope you had fun at Le Mis. I hope to revisit London soon.
    Thanks Again,

    • Hi April. I thought that our weather was bad, but you’re definitely still in the grip of winter! Even though the days are now getting longer, it seems to be taking a long time to get to spring.

  14. Christine Southgate says:

    My word Rose, that’s lovely but a bit of a brain teaser. Enjoy Les Mis – I once saw a student production & loved it so hope one day to see the full stage show.

  15. You will love Les Miserables. Thank you for all your instructions they are always so clear and concise.

  16. Love this block, will have to have a go at some point.

  17. This is beautiful Rose. I always thought this block was complicated, but you have made it look easy. I’ve always wanted to make this block. Now with your expert tutelage, I will give it a try.
    The flowers in Michigan have more sense then to rear their heads this time of year.
    I hope you will enjoy Les Miserable. I have heard it’s very good.

    • Hi Linda. There are a lot of half square triangles, but it’s simple enough to put the block together once you’ve made them. I feel sorry for my daffodils – they reared their heads and then got hammered with some severe frosts!