My Primitive Little Quilt

Well, long about now I’m really getting embarrassed. I keep blogging on these ‘almost finished’ projects and it’s dawning on me I need a 12-step program for this because there are so many more projects to go! Why do I put these projects away at such a late stage? Why not just finish them because it only takes such a little amount of time to do that? I’m exasperated with myself!!! They are all so cute and I love ’em! Grrrrr…

To make this project I used this very cool tool called the Primitive Penwheel Tool. Without it these off-set penwheels are very difficult to make. It creates a look that reminds me of the artist M.C. Escher where the same image repeats itself within the same image. If you’re not familiar with him you have to check out his official website here.

I began with a little quilt like this. They are 3-1/2″ squares with a 2-1/2″ border.

The inside lines on the template are arranged along the seam lines in the little quilt. Technically, the instructions direct you to just cut the square out with a rotary cutter using the template at this point, but I like to trace around the template with a permanent, acid free Pigma pen on the whole quilt top and then cut the squares out. The crosshairs of the template rest on each joint in the quilt including the border joints.

One row at a time is cut out and sewn together before the next row is cut. In order for the process to be successful, it is imperative the squares are sewn back together in the exact order they are cut out.

Here is a good example of the process. Note how each square is related to the next and the sewn square below it.

Then each square is pinned together in the exact order it is cut so they don’t get mixed up before they are sewn.

For great design purposes I must share with you my very BIG mistake. Note in this picture all the greens and reds clumped together. Each pinwheel is not distinctively set apart from one another. A painful lesson for me, you must be careful what fabrics are chosen and where they are placed. While it looked well mixed up when it was first sewn, it did not turn out that way when sewn back together as pinwheels. Charm squares are a wonderful option for making this little quilt, however, often charm square packs do not offer enough variety of color, texture, or tonal diversity for a really sucessful result. If you use a charm pack feel free to supplement with your stash to increase the success rate.

Remember, when the squares are sewn together again all sides are bias. That is, you are working in the most stretchy form the fabric can take. Because of this, the quilt most likely will need to be squared up on all sides. (And, besides the fact that it sat in my closet for a year, not good!)

The quilt is so small, it is easy to use your domestic machine to quilt it. I just stitched-in-the-ditch! Yep, I did every pinwheel, but it was worth it!

Once quilted the binding is attached and ready for the handwork which I love, love, love! Yay! Almost done!

Gotta love it! Oooooo, love miniture quilts SO much, and especially in these colors. Even though I disappointed myself with color placement, I still love it! Wahoo!

Hummmmm….. what’s coming next week…..?



  1. Janet - March 11, 2014

    I know the feeling…you have done well & I’m on the road to finishing up “projects” too…mine aren’t little ones…thanks for sharing…

  2. Lou Ann - March 11, 2014

    I just love these and even have the directions and the tool. It still just boggles my mind to try and figure out how to make it. I guess I need to get the tool and some fabrics out and give it a try! What’s one more UFO at my house? I really love it Mari!!!

  3. Mari - March 11, 2014

    Thank you SO much! You will enjoy making it Lou Ann. It’s a bit addictive 🙂

  4. Linda Froggie - March 11, 2014

    I love it, Mari! Since you mentioned it, I would try to separate the colors, too. I am having a hard time trying to match the original pic to the twisted one! I better get started on my UFO’s, you are making me look bad.
    ~Joyful Hopppy Quilting~

  5. Lynette - March 12, 2014

    I feel your pain/angst/whatever you want to call it! I too have so so many projects in the latter stage of almost done and then move on to a new one with resolve to FInISH this one!!!!! Slowly and with steely purpose I am digging in and getting after these UFO’s! When you find an identity for this affliction please inform me as I hope to join a support group! Oh wait I suppose that’s called a quilt guild!!! LOL
    Love your little pinwheel! It’s on my “Some day I want to make/try” list! 😉