Blog Hop, Progress, Quilt Block

The Whirling Plus Block Tutorial

Today is my day to post my new whirling plus block tutorial on the Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop 2015!  The Hop is sponsored by Fabri-Quilt, which donated fabric to over 60 quilters to create original designs, and hosted by Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl , Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs , Stephanie @Late Night Quilter , and Terri Ann @Childlike Fascination.   The end of my post has all my fellow block designers listed.

My block is named the Whirling Plus Block, and here it is:


This 12.5” finished block was made from 6 fat eights from Fabri-Quilt’s prairie cloth cotton solids, in the Watermelon Color Palette of Lapis Blue, Turquoise, Chartreuse, Aqua, Coral, and White.


Block Construction:

This block consists of a Lapis Blue plus sign, two colors for the center pinwheel (Chartreuse and Turquoise), a White background with Aqua and Coral for the top and bottom large triangles. These large triangles will become large pinwheels throughout the complete quilt. I recommend prewashing this fabric in prior to piecing.  Here is an example of the secondary pattern the block creates as a quilt:

Quilt Option 4


Plus sign:

4 Lapis Blue pieces 2.5” x 4.5”

4 Lapis Blue pieces 2.5” x 2.5”

Center Pinwheel:

1 Chartreuse piece 2.5”x 5”

3 Turquoise pieces 2.5”x 5”


4 White pieces      2.5” x 2.5”

2 White pieces         3” x 8.5”

2 White pieces         3” x 12.5”

Large Triangles:

1 Coral piece 4” x 11”

1 Aqua piece 4” x 11”

Piecing Blocks:

1) Begin with one of the lapis blue plus sign 2.5” x 4.5” pieces, and the chartreuse center pinwheel 2.5” x 5” piece. Place the chartreuse piece at an angle on top of the lapis blue piece as show here. Be careful to create an angle that is at least ½ inch from the top and left edges. The intention is to have a wonky pinwheel, so don’t worry about a precise angle or measurement. Sew a ¼ inch seam as show by the dotted line.

Step 1IMG_3446


2) Flip the center pinwheel piece and press towards the chartreuse. Your piece should look like this:

Step 2



3) Next, from the back trim the pinwheel piece to the same size as the original background piece.  The cutting lines are shown here with the thick dotted line.

Step 3

IMG_3449   IMG_3450   IMG_3451

4) Now trim the excess lapis blue background piece ¼ inch from original seam. Take care to trim the intended color, leaving a chartreuse pinwheel blade with a lapis blue background.

Step 4

                    IMG_3452                 IMG_3454

5) Make three more pinwheel blades switching to the turquoise 2.5” x 5” pieces. You will end up with four pieces like this to complete the center pinwheel. The pinwheel is intended to be wonky, so vary the angles to make narrow and wide pinwheel blades.

6) Arrange the pinwheel blades as shown below:

Step 67) Add the 4 lapis blue and 4 white 2.5” squares to this arrangement as shown below:

IMG_34568) Sew together a lapis square and a white square, press open. Attach this piece to the outside of a pinwheel blade rectangle as shown below:

Step 8aStep 8bstep 8c

9) Continue with the other three blades until you have four complete blocks, pressing seams open. Sew the blocks together, first the left pieces together, and right pieces together, and then the two sides together as shown:





10) At this point, square up your plus sign block, to 8 ¼”.

11)  Sew the two white 3” x 8.5” rectangles on to either side of the block, press, trim to 8 ¼” x 12.5”. Next, sew the 3” by 12.5” rectangles to the top and the bottom, press, trim to 12.5” square.

Step 11

Step 11b


12) Add the large triangles in the coral and aqua colors with the same technique that we used for the smaller pinwheel blades.

Lay the coral fabric on the top left corner of the block at an angle. Vary angle slope as desired. Sew a ¼” seam. Repeat with the aqua fabric on the bottom right. Flip and press both of these rectangles.

Step 1213) Turn the block over to the backside, trim the excess off of the coral and aqua fabric to make a 12.5” x 12.5” block. Cutting along the edges as shown here with the dark black dotted line.

Step 1314)  Flip the block to the right side. Lift the colored pinwheel blades and trim the extra white background fabric underneath to ¼” from the seam.


Quilt Design:

The Whirling Plus block is extremely versatile in color and pattern. It is stunning as a stand-alone block, yet when combined in a quilt there are many options. With the color scheme and placement used above a quilt with alternating blocks would look like this:

Quilt Option 4

Other variations:

Block color choice2Quilt Option 3

Block color choice1 Quilt Option 1

Good luck and happy sewing. If you make this pattern or your own version of it, I would love to see it, link up with me at  Always feel free to contact me anytime.  This tutorial is also available by PDF here.

A special thanks to Fabri-Quilt for the donation of the amazing fabric, and to the hosts of the Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop 2015, Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl , Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs , Stephanie @Late Night Quilter , and Terri Ann @Childlike Fascination !




The Blog Hop Block Designers!

Monday, August 31st
Host – Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl
Kelly @Quilting it Out
Martha @Once a Wingnut
Irene @Patchwork and Pastry
Cassandra @The (not so) Dramatic Life
Andrea @The Sewing Fools
Bernie @Needle and Foot
Silvia @A Stranger View
Wanda @Wanda’s Life Sampler
Sandra @Musings of a Menopausal Melon
Vicki @Orchid Owl Quilts
Jess @Quilty Habit
Diana @Red Delicious Life
Chelsea @Patch the Giraffe
Margo @Shadow Lane Quilts
Renee @Quilts of a Feather

Tuesday, September 1st
Host – Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs

Colleen @Colleen’s Custom Quilting
Josi @Avocado Quilts
Cindy @Sewing Moxie
Stephanie @Quilt’n Party
Cristy @Love You Sew
Sarah @Sarah Goer Quilts
Shelly @The Carpenter’s Daughter Who Quilts
Jayne @Twiggy & Opal
Sharla @Thistle Thicket Studio
Adrian @Making It – Family Food Quilts Crafts
Julie @Pink Doxies
Sarah @123 Quilt
Deanna @Stitches Quilting
Jane @Jolly and Delilah Quilts
Carrie @The Zen Quilter

Wednesday, September 2nd
Host – Stephanie @Late Night Quilter
Hannah @Modern Magnolia Studio
Cindy @Stitchin At Home
Abby @Hashtag Quilt
Lisa @Sunlight in Winter Quilts
Carrie @Chopping Block Quilts
Eleanor @Cat Approved Quilting
Brianna @The Iron and Needle
Tish @Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland
Jan @The Colorful Fabriholic
Sarah @Smiles Too Loudly
Beth @Cooking Up Quilts
Leanne @Devoted Quilter
Liz @LizzyClips Design
Kim @Leland Ave Studios

Kitty @Night Quilter

Thursday, September 3rd
Host – Terri Ann @Childlike Fascination
Robyn @Hoops & Thimbles
Helen @Midget Gem Quilts
Jinger @Trials of a Newbie Quilter
Anja @Anja Quilts
Kathryn @Upitis Quilts
Mary @Quilting is in my Blood
Emma @My Handmade Home
Francine @Mocha Wild Child
Dina @Living Water Quilter
Deb @The Farmhouse Quilter
Lori @SewPsyched!
Amy @13 Spools
Denise @CrafTraditions
Sandra @The Bias Edge

Sandra @One Million Stitches

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  • Reply Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl August 31, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    I really like the secondary design that your block creates in a larger quilt setting. Having the colored portion of the center pinwheel rotate in the blocks is fun, too! Very nice tutorial.

    • Reply josiheron August 31, 2015 at 10:59 pm

      Thanks for the quick comment, and for all the effort putting this blog hop together Yvonne! I am excited about the options that this block has, and hope to make a quilt from it in the near future.

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  • Reply Margo August 31, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    What an impressive block! It looks great in a quilt too. Great job.

  • Reply Julie Stocker September 1, 2015 at 3:58 am

    Thanks for showing your secondary pattern options. I enjoy seeing how one block can impact the entire feel of a quilt. It makes a big difference!

  • Reply Irene September 1, 2015 at 4:25 am

    I find this block extremely clever and very imaginative – thank you!

  • Reply Lisa September 1, 2015 at 4:47 am

    Very nice block, with lots of possibilities. Clear Instructions as well. I just might have to try this one!

  • Reply Cindy September 1, 2015 at 5:19 am

    Nice block I like the secondary pattern that it makes. Great job.

  • Reply kim s. September 1, 2015 at 5:43 am

    Great block! love the play on pinwheels in the center and the secondary block!

  • Reply Leanne Parsons September 1, 2015 at 6:17 am

    Great block! I love the pinwheel in the middle of the plus, and the secondary pinwheels too!

  • Reply Tish September 1, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Great job! Love the block placed in a quilt. I think you did a great job explaining the sloped blocks.

  • Reply Sandra September 1, 2015 at 7:38 am

    Ooh, LOVE the secondary stars or pinwheels pattern that is created when you put blocks together!

  • Reply Jayne September 1, 2015 at 7:38 am

    What a fabulous block! Love how it all fits together! I’m liking the secondary pattern!

  • Reply Diana @ Red Delicious Life September 1, 2015 at 8:49 am

    Very cool design. I like how you can alter the angles slightly depending upon personal preference. The secondary pattern is great too.

  • Reply Cassandra September 1, 2015 at 9:03 am

    This is a lovely block with a nice sense of movement, and I love the secondary design!

  • Reply Sharla @ Thistle Thicket Studio September 1, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Awesome! Loving all of these blocks. Can’t wait to see the quilts made from them. I may have to use some of my hoarded solid FQs and try your block/quilt design! Or at least, add it to the wish list!

  • Reply Stephanie September 1, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Your tutorial is so well written. I love the potential this block has with the repeating patterns.

  • Reply Susan September 1, 2015 at 10:05 am

    I like how the joinings echo the block centers. Thanks for the tutorial.

  • Reply Silvia Sutters September 1, 2015 at 11:32 am

    I love cross quilts, and this one is really fun! Great job and great tutorial!

  • Reply Carrie Wikander September 1, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    I really like the offset pieces on the sides, that adds a lot of interest.

  • Reply helen September 1, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    I love the secondary pattern with the corners, and very well explained

  • Reply Cristy September 1, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    What a fun block! I love the accent spoke 🙂

  • Reply Cheryl September 1, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Wonderful design! I love plus sign blocks and your addition of the whirly pinwheel shape in the middle is great!

  • Reply Wanda Ann Dotson September 1, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    You have this tutorial thing down! I really like how easy it is to add the “whirling”.

  • Reply Liz September 1, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Great block Josi! I really like the secondary patten that’s created.

  • Reply Dena September 1, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    Neato! This is a cool block. Your tutorial has a lot of detail and good graphics and photos.

  • Reply Brianna Robertson September 1, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Nice block, I really like the secondary pattern!

  • Reply Deb @ farmhousequilter September 1, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    That’s a very interesting (and beautiful) block design. Your graphics are really amazing as well!

  • Reply Anja @ Anja Quilts September 1, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    This is a great block.

  • Reply DebraKay Neiman September 1, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Love this one too. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

  • Reply Terri Ann September 1, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    This block is so clever. I really like the play of the plus sign with the asymmetrical pinwheel inside, I can imagine this in so many different color ways!

  • Reply Sarah Goer September 1, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Great unique block. I love the secondary pattern and the variations that you showed!

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    What a cool idea and secondary design!! Nice use of Inkscape for your diagrams, very effective!

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  • Reply Karen September 2, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Josi, what a great new block! I really like the addition of the corner pieces–too fun!

  • Reply Carrie September 2, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    Great block! I especially love the version with the green and light blue in the corners.

  • Reply Denise September 3, 2015 at 5:19 am

    The wonky angles are great! This is a block that can’t be messed up 😉 I’m pinning it and sending it to my Mom too!

    • Reply josiheron September 6, 2015 at 10:47 pm

      Wonderful Denise, sending it to your mom is the biggest complement!

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  • Reply Anne September 5, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    Great blok and tutorial Josie. I love the design variations.

  • Reply Shelley Folkerts September 6, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Wonderful block and tutorial, Josie! Plus blocks are my favorite to make. I love how versatile the design is to change up and add your own touches to it.

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