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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Guest Blocker Sharon ---Playing With Whirly Gigs

Thank you Madame Samm for inviting me back to Sew We Quilt for the November Block Party . I am Sharon of VroomansQuilts and excited to be here to share how to turn the basic Whirlygig block into something special.

BASIC WHIRLYGIG


Cut one of each background fabric and focus fabric strips - 2" x 15"


With right sides together (RST), sew a 1/4" seam down one long side.


Press open toward the focus fabric. You now have a 3.5" x 15" strip.


Sub cut four 3.5" units - you have a little bit left - wiggle room.


Lay out your four units. Sew your top units together and then your bottom units together.


Press seams to the long focus fabric strip.


Using your middle seams, match you top and bottom sections right sides together, pin and sew. Press this seam open due to seam bulk. Easy Peasy - these are your basic steps.

LET'S STEP IT UP


Again we need our two beginning strips - one focus fabric and one background fabric - 2" x 15" AND cut four 2" squares of background fabric. Draw a line from corner to corner on your squares.


TIP - to be sure you have all your 'triangles' going the same correct way, fold your square and pin to each unit. Then open and pin in place. Tip - to prevent your machine 'eating' your units, start on the long side and sew to the point - and chain piece them through your machine. Trim to 1/4" and press to background (will help with seam bulk when putting entire block together).


Again, layout your sub units. Sew your sections together, then the top and then your bottom - just like your basic Whirlygig. Pressing the same.


This is your new Whirlygig variation.


Now if you stitched your squares on the opposite sides, you get this block. Also known as a Whirlygig variation, frienship star variation, and spinning star variation.

LETS STEP IT UP


Again we need our two basic strips. And we are adding the four 2" squares of background with four 2" squares of contrasting fabric.


Remember that TIP of folding your squares (line drawn from corner to corner) and placing on your units to be sure they are all going the correct direction. Yes, these are flying geese units. Stitch all your background first (start on that long side), trim to 1'4" and press out. Then stitch your contrasting squares (starting on that long side), trim to 1.4" and press. They should be 2" x 3.5" if you need to trim up. Don't let geese units scare you - breath and take your time.


Just like our other blocks, lay out your units, stitch your sub units and then your top, then your bottom. Then the two together - pressing as in previous steps.


Your finished block - called a Double Whirlygig, a Pinwheel Whirlygig, a Folded Star, and a Folded Flower block. Confused? Did I scare you with the triangles and geese? OK breath because.....

LET'S STEP IT UP


Ok, all of those still breathing in a paper bag - relax. I am going to show you how to make that last block using just squares. You will need 4 background and 4 focus fabric - 3.5" squares (charms would work nicely with this and the largest I would go).


Take your focus fabric squares and press in one corner to opposite corner - you now have a triangle. Working from the FOLDED side, take the lower corner and match to open triangle corner - press and pin. Place these new units on your background squares as shown in the photo and pin in place.


Just like in your prior blocks, lay out your units. DO NOT BASTE - it only adds more bulk in your seams - just pin.


TIP - after sewing your sub units together, open up the seam and trim the inner most bulk out. Then stitch your top and bottom units together,


Your finished 3-D Folded Whirlygig, Folded Star, Folded Flower - what ever name. TIP - fabrics with multi-color, bold prints, or Batiks work best with this block so the 3-D really stands out.


Here's a display of all the Whirlygig blocks. I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. Don't be afraid to try a 'step-up' with a simple change in a block. Most importantly - have fun.

Sewingly Yours,
Sharon

48 comments:

  1. Very nice! I am definitely learning a lot with all of these block tutorials being submitted.

    Thanks Sharon for sharing! :)

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  2. That was very interesting and informative Sharon! You showed us more than making 5 whirlygig variations...you showed us how to play and experiment with block design, too! Thank you very much!

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  3. Sharon, that is an awesome tutorial. Thank you so much for sharing. I can't wait to have a go at all the variations.

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  4. Sharon, this was great! I love the variations of the block, the pictures and tutorial were excellent, and I've learned lots! Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial. I would like to try it at once, but I have other things to finish first.
    But I will definitely play a lot with the blocks in the future.

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  6. Excellent tutorial Sharon. Thanks!!!

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  7. thanks ! who would have known you could do all of these from 2 strips > I sure did not !!! thanks Sharon ( You are an amazing quilter !!! )

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  8. Awesome as always! Thank you for more great tips and blocks.

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  9. What a great tutorial Sharon - I loved your step it up methods of doing a little more and a little more! blessings, marlene

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  10. Sharon, what great use of the Whirlygig block. Enjoyed watching each new step it up block. Love the tips you added too!

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  11. Thanks! This was really neat - I loved your stepping it up ideas. You give me the inspiration to play around even more. ~Jeanne

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  12. Sharon, these are super cool! Love the 3D one. Must try this out! Thanks for showing us how!

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  13. Nicely done, Sharon! That was fun watching the block evolve. I especially like the idea of the 3D folded loveliness, and will try this soon! I learn something new every day!

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  14. Beautiful block and the fabrics you used are so pretty. Thank you.

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  15. Thanks for the tut! Very interesting! Love the idea of the 3-D - less sewing!! Excellent!!

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  16. Good Morning Sharon....OK, now this is pretty awesome...a cut here, a cut there and a spin here and a spin there and presto...3 blocks...ok, whirling gigs here I come ...lol
    Thank you for always making us glad we know you ...

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  17. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial, Sharon! This is a such a fun block.

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  18. Great tut. thank you so much. I'm designing teacher end of year sampler quilts and need some great blocks to use for it. Can you also tell me what the finished size of these are?

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  19. Sharon, you always have something to inspire me to try! Great tutorial!

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  20. Great and thanks for the tutorial.Beautiful blocks.Great job!!

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  21. I love blocks that can be different depending on placement or color choices. Nice tutorial, Sharon. Judy C

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  22. Thanks Sharon those look fun to make!!

    Huggs, Nancy

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  23. Many thanks for this tutorial. Now I have 4 beautiful blocks in my box! Gun, Sweden

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  24. Fun blocks, Sharon! And a great tutorial on a basic block and how to take it from basic to wow!

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  25. You made this look so easy, I can't wait to try it out. Thanks!

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  26. Love the way you progressed through this tutorial - thank you!

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  27. great tutorial you made it look so easy!

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  28. Great tut! Mrs. Pickles is right, you make it look so easy...lol!

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  29. Thank you for the great tutorial. I like the way you progressed from the simplest to the more challenging. All of the blocks look great.

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  30. Wow, you do make this look easy! Thanks for all the ideas! (Like I really need more ideas!)

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  31. Great tutorial Sharon. I love the whirligig variations.

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  32. What a great tutorial! I love the way you changed it up to make different ones. I can't wait to try them all. Thank you for the inspiration. :)

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  33. Great tutorial! Thanks for sharing! Happy Thanksgiving!

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  34. Sharon that is brilliant, thank you for showing so many variations on a theme.

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  35. Great tut Sharon. I love all the variations, but I think the 3D is my favorite. Such easy to follow instructions too!

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  36. Thank you so much for a great tutorial. I have had a wirlygig quilt on my to do list for such a long time, but did not want to work with templates. I love how easy you made it. Thanks Samm for the printer frienly button...you are making it so easy for us to print out the tutorials.

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  37. I love the "step it up" part of this tutorial! Great job! I feel like you stretched my brain a little bit!

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  38. great tutorial, love all the different variations. Who knew a wirlygig could have so many faces!!

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  39. Sharon, great tut!! Love all the "let's step it up" parts!!

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  40. Thanks for a great tut... I have made a couple for my Nov Block Party Sampler! Having a ball trying out all these great techniques!

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  41. What fun this is! I love pinwheel/whirlygig type blocks. I love how you kept 'stepping it up'. Thank you!

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  42. Sharon,
    You make a great teacher!! Start with the basic, and then "step it up" in incrementally more difficult steps. I love it!! That is the best way to teach most anything and this coming from a 30+ yr. teaching veteran. Great Job!!
    Blessings
    Gmama Jane

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  43. Thanks for this great tutorial. I am going to try this right away!

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  44. Thanks so much for the terrific tutorial. I plan to try this soon.

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  45. Thanks so much for the terrific tutorial. I plan to try this soon.

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  46. I'm a few days late but Thanks for showing us all the different blocks that could be made. You made me laugh with the paper bag comment. hehe. Thanks again for a great tutorial!!

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  47. TOO CUTE - love all the variations

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