50+ Pinwheel Quilt Block Patterns and Pinwheel Quilt Designs
Learn how to make a pinwheel quilt block with these free patterns and tutorials!
Learn how to make a quilt that's both fun and whimsical with these 50+ Pinwheel Quilt Block Patterns and Pinwheel Quilt Designs. The pinwheel quilt has a long history both abroad and on the shores of the U.S.A.
From as early as the beginning of the nineteenth century, half square triangle quilts like these have been a favorite of both beginners as well as advanced quilters. The concept for quilt blocks involving pinwheel patterns is simple enough, however you can get as creative as you please when it comes to free quilt patterns like the pinwheel quilt.
Traditional pinwheel quilt block patterns are constructed using four half square triangle pieces arranged to look like a playful pinwheel. There are a variety of ways you can create a pinwheel quilt block.
You can build your quilt blocks using the same fabric pattern, alternating fabric patterns, or even different scraps of fabric for each blade. Additionally, you can use single quilt blocks as accents for pillows, or create an entire quilt from these waggish little guys. No matter how you choose to design your quilt, there's no denying that free quilt block patterns like the pinwheel quilt block are both delightful and easy to make.
Table of Contents
What is a Pinwheel Quilt Block?
One of the most beginner-friendly, and oldest, blocks for quilters is the pinwheel quilt block. Pinwheel quilts have a history stretching back to the early 1800s in America, and are considered a close cousin of the Dutch windmill quilt block. Pinwheel quilt blocks are also a common motif in Amish quilting.
Typically, pinwheel quilt blocks are created using half square triangles in alterating colors, such as the blue and white example pictured above; the color contrast between the two hues gives this block its distinct pinwheel appearance. Pinwheel blocks often appear as the center blocks for star quilts. Whirligig quilt blocks are an altered version of the classic pinwheel block, and use rectangular pieces of fabric instead of half square triangles.
Playful Pinwheel Quilt Block Patterns
When it comes to quilt patterns, free is preferable. Luckily, free is always the name of the game here. This selection of pinwheel quilt blocks offers plenty of scrap-friendly quilt blocks as well as a myriad of money-saving free quilt block patterns you're sure to enjoy.
- Lucky Pieces Quilt BlockMake a modern quilt block that has ties back to the Jazz Age with this quick and fun Lucky Pieces Quilt Block. This free quilting tutorial may look complicated, but we promise, it's so simple that you can make several in an afternoon.
- Propeller Quilt Block PatternThis geometric quilt block pattern is as easy as can be with only squares and half-square triangles to make up the patchwork design.
- Patchwork Pinwheel BlockStart your next quilt with a colorful and cheerful quilt block pattern like this Patchwork Pinwheel Block.
- Dutch PinwheelIn this free quilt block pattern, the triangles are sewn together in squares, and then pieced to create the Dutch Pinwheel motif.
- Charm Pack to Pinwheel BlockCombine different charm pack patterns to create a sense of movement within your pinwheel quilt patterns that will be even more eye-catching than usual.
- This awesome new twist on the traditional pinwheel quilt pattern is perfect for any quilter looking to take their quilts to the next level. Curved piecing can be tricky, but Amy's tutorial is so clear and easy to follow.
- Pinwheel Star BlockThe Pinwheel Star Block is also known as the Two Colors Star. It features a pinwheel quilt pattern at the center of a star quilt pattern.
- Flying Geese Pinwheel Block PatternThis creative quilt block combines both flying geese quilt patterns and pinwheel quilt patterns to make geometric quilt patterns that seem to have a pinwheel at the center of a more traditional arrangement of flying geese.
- Double Pinwheel Quilt BlocksWe call these blocks "Double Pinwheel Quilt Blocks" because they have two pinwheels. The two pinwheels share the same center, so they look like they're overlapping.
- Candy Pinwheel Quilt BlocksThis fun, half-square triangle quilt block pattern adds pointed ends to classic pinwheel quilt blocks for a candy-shaped block that makes for a colorful and unique pinwheel quilt pattern.
- Kansas Twister BlockCheck out this fantastic guide on how to make a wacky-looking Kansas Twister Block out of scrap strips of fabric.
- Disappearing Pinwheels BlockThese quilt block patterns are as simple to put together as a regular pinwheel quilt pattern, you'll just be putting them together in a nine patch quilt pattern.
- Starry Pinwheel Block PatternCombine two classic free quilt block patterns to create one block that is absolutely stunning. The Starry Pinwheel Block Pattern is two free quilt block patterns in one.
- 4 Patch Boston Quilt Block PatternThis free quilt block pattern consists of four patches that use half-square triangles to create a quilt block that can be combined to make a handful of designs.
- Going Dutch Friendship Star BlockLearn how to make friendship star quilt blocks with an impressive pattern that brings out the best in your fabric colors.
- Triple Framed Pinwheel Quilt BlocksTo make these blocks, you'll be framing small half square triangles with borders, and then piecing the three triangles together to create a larger half square triangle.
- Hand Pieced Flying Geese Pinwheel BlockFollow along with this guide to learn how to take pretty hst triangle quilt patterns and piece them into a pinwheel quilt pattern.
- Simple Pinwheel Quilt BlockCombining just two colors and stunningly simple quilt block patterns, this design works up quickly and looks fantastic.
- Sliced Improv Quilt Block PatternThis improv quilting tutorial is great for both beginners and experts, because a novice quilter can learn how to make this specific improv quilt design but more experienced quilters can use it as more of a guideline.
- Geoscope Quilt BlockIf you like to play with shapes within your quilt block patterns, the Geoscope Quilt Block will be a perfect addition to your next quilt pattern.
- Friendship Block TwistThis Friendship Block Twist features a friendship star inside a brightly colored octagon to make it pop. Individual quilt blocks from this pattern make great mini quilts.
- Starry Skyline BlockGeometric shapes come together to form an artistic and truly heavenly design that incorporates the look of a pinwheel quilt pattern, diamonds, and more.
- Dutchman's Puzzle Quilt BlockWatch your fabric really come to life after using them to make this free quilt block pattern. It's as easy and breezy as a pinwheel pattern, and even more exciting.
Whimsical Whirlygig Quilt Block Tutorials
These whimsical whirlygig quilt blocks are fun, playful, and look absolutely adorable on quilts and quilted decor once they're finished. Add a modern, off-beat twist to your next project with these fun quilt blocks.
- Whirlygig Quilt BlockThis informative and free tutorial uses the leftovers from a charm pack to make these adorable quilt blocks.
- Whimsical WhirligigSome of us are dreamers, and this Whimsical Whirligig quilt block pattern encourages the dreamer in all of us to never stop imagining.
- Mini Whirligig BlockThis free quilt block pattern is great for mug rugs, smaller quilts, or filling corners in a larger quilt. The Mini Whirligig Block measures only three inches across!
- Bright Hope Whirligig BlockWe love contemporary quilt block patterns that get creative with traditional quilt blocks! The Bright Hope Whirligig Block combines the more classic whirligig and bright hope quilt blocks.
Pinwheel Quilt Designs for Every Skill Level
It's always surprising how user-friendly many quilt designs can be. Take advantage of this collection of pinwheel quilt designs for every skill level, and try your hand at some of these simple half square triangle blocks. You can go at your own pace and make a pinwheel quilt that fits your skill level with these easy tutorials.
- Made using layer cakes in batik prints, this tutorial for how to make a pinwheel quilt breaks down how to piece together a classic pinwheel block.
- Forest Paths Mini QuiltA walk in the forest in summer is the inspiration for this Forest Paths Mini Quilt, which is sewn all in scrappy greens.
- Polka Dottie Pinwheel Quilt PatternThis quilting pattern combines the ease of flying geese with the cuteness of pinwheel block patterns to make a quilt out of four jumbo quilt blocks.
- Peppermint Snowballs QuiltEven if it isn't winter, remind yourself of some of its charm with the soft and pretty Peppermint Snowballs Quilt.
- Spinning and Spiraling Christmas QuiltThis festive Christmas quilt is so gorgeous, you won't want to put it away when the holidays are over. The Spinning and Spiraling Christmas Quilt is one of our most intricate fat quarter quilt patterns.
- Briar Rose Star QuiltThis Briar Rose Star Quilt is one of our favorite queen sized quilts because instead of repeating one block across the whole quilt, it incorporates several different kinds of blocks into a larger star quilt pattern.
- Patches and PinwheelsBy alternating pinwheel quilt pattern blocks and 16 patch blocks, you see a diamond pattern emerge across the entire quilt. This quilt is a great project for using up scrap fabric.
- Priscilla's Pink Pinwheel QuiltA baby's quilt should be fun and colorful, which makes Priscilla's Pink Pinwheel Quilt an excellent and easy baby quilt pattern to start with.
- Pinwheel Doll QuiltThis Pinwheel Doll Quilt pattern features a center panel pieced from small pinwheel blocks. Make this pinwheel quilt pattern for all your daughter's dolls.
- The unique look of the pinwheels in this charm pack quilt also give it a timeless quality that means your little ones will want to hold onto it even after they've grown.
- Peter's Pinwheels Baby QuiltIt's always nice to have quilts with a gender neutral quality, and that's exactly what you'll find with the Peter's Pinwheels Baby Quilt.
- Box of Candies QuiltNothing's sweeter than using candy as an inspiration for your next quilt, which is why you'll just adore the Box of Candies Quilt.
- Kaleidoscope Pinwheel QuiltThis pinwheel quilt tutorial encourages you to raid your stash of fabric scraps to get the multicolored yet cohesive look of this handmade quilt.
- Truffle Pinwheel QuiltEasy patchwork and fun designs combine to make this Truffle Pinwheel Quilt a quick, attractive quilt pattern.
- Buttons and Bows ThrowThe Buttons and Bows Throw is an easy quilt pattern that you will give a beginning quilter some experience working with sashing and half-square triangle quilt patterns.
Pinwheel Quilt Decor and Other Quilt Block Patterns
You don't have to confine your love of the pinwheel quilt block to, well, the quilt. Incorporate pinwheel quilt blocks into quilted home decor of all kinds, including quilted pillow decorations, tasteful quilted table runners, and more. With this list of cute pinwheel quilt decor and other quilt block goodies, you definitely won't be spinning your wheels thinking of new and different quilt blocks to create.
- Sail away this spring with a gorgeous mini quilt pattern that brings to mind warm sunny days and light ocean breezes.
- Use a colorful a honey bun and some matching backing fabric to learn how to make this extra-long table runner.
- Simple Pinwheel Table RunnerCombine the clean and simple look of pinwheel quilt patterns with the quick creation of table runner patterns to add some traditional quilting flair to your kitchen or dining room.
- Pinwheel Quilted Table RunnerThis easy quilting pattern for the kitchen combines a table runner pattern with a pinwheel free quilt block pattern to make a quilt that is truly three-dimensional.
- Pinwheel Table Topper PatternAs if making patchwork pinwheels weren't easy enough, this classic pattern gets a modern update with AccuQuilt GO! dies, making it even easier.
- Victorian Pinwheels Quilted Tree SkirtThe Grand Pinwheel Quilted Tree Skirt is one large pieced pinwheel made with velvet and holiday fabrics that give your Christmas tree a sophisticated edge.
- Midnight Frost Table RunnerBreak out your favorite blue and white fabric to prepare and get ready to learn how to sew table runner patterns with the elegantly quilted details.
- Timeless TrivetAdd a quaint little touch to your home and protect your table from rings and scratches at the same time with the Timeless Trivet.
- Chevron and Pinwheel PillowcasesMaking pillowcases with this Chevron and Pinwheel Pillowcases pattern allows you to match your pillows and shams to your quilted bedspread.
- 3D Pinwheel PotholdersIf you have any friends who love the kitchen as well, these will make a sweet gesture as some small handmade quilt gifts.
- Retro Mini Quilt Table TopperTable topper patterns like this can be made with any kind of fat quarter quilt patterns and still stand out, so find some of your favorite colors in your home decor and use them as inspiration for this small quilt project.
- Pinwheels and Holly Table TopperThis fun-sounding Christmas quilt pattern can be made with scrappy quilt fabric, which means you can cut your home decor budget this holiday season.
- Patriotic Pinwheel Quilt Runner TutorialYou can use your patriotic patch quilt for your fireplace, like the designer, or somewhere else as a decoration. Or, make several and give them away as gifts.
- Pinwheel Pillow for PuppiesPeople aren't the only ones who need a little comfort in their everyday lives; you can give your precious pup some extra luxury with a Pinwheel Pillow for Puppies.
- Pinwheel quilt patterns are colorful and fun, making them the ideal choice for coasters that will become everyday decorations for your home.
- Beginners Pinwheel Table Runner Quilt-Along: FinishingQuilt along with us and learn how to make your very first quilt project! In this video series, Christian Tamez will teach us how to make a pinwheel quilt table runner.
What's your favorite quilt block design of all-time? Let us know below in the comments!
Read Next38 Free Log Cabin Quilt Patterns