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.
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.