Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Whirlygig Tutorial... Part 1

Hello Everyone,

By popular demand, here is the first part of the Whirlygig tutorial. Today I will show you how to construct the center whirly part. Sources for the tools I used will be at the end of the post.

First choose your two fabrics. As you may recall, I am using black and white and one bright color. Then lay your template on the fabric and cut 12 "whirly" pieces, 6 of each color.

I stack my fabric and cut through at least two layers at one time. But if you do this make sure that your fabrics are ALL right side up. I use a rotary cutter right up against the template, if you don't feel comfortable with this method, you can trace and cut with a scissors.

Once you have all your pieces cut, you will begin to join them together. Take one of each color and begin.

Line up the inner corner of the whirlygig black and white piece, right sides together, as pictured above.

Then gently curve it to meet with the bottom piece so it looks as pictured above. I pin at either end then fill in the middle portion evenly with pins.

Then take it to your sewing machine and gently feed it through using a quarter inch seam allowance, removing pins as you go along.

Once it is sewn you will have a piece as pictured above.

Take it to your ironing surface and gently press the top piece back so that it nicely pressed flat.

Continue joining all the whirly wedges together until you have all 12 together.

Once you have all 12 together, then you will have to complete the circle. This is done the same way that you have sewn the rest together.

Join them right sides together, pinning at both ends and then through the middle of each piece. Sew your quarter inch seam to complete the circle. Take it to your ironing surface and press open.

Now you have a completed whirlygig circle!! Well, minus the middle.

Now because I altered the original pattern, which was applique, my whirlygig circle comes out larger than it should be to fit the spikey curves on properly. If you use, John Flynn's Template set, you will not have to do this and you will also not have to do the second part of this tutorial. So we have to trim it down. I traced the correct circle onto template plastic and then laid it on the whirlygig circle as shown above.

Trim away the excess with either a rotary cutter (if you are confident) or trace and trim with a scissors. Now you have the perfect size to complete the block.

Next we need to make the center circle. Choose your fabric and lay your template on and cut with the rotary cutter or trace and cut with a scissors.

This circle includes the seam allowance for turning under.

Take a Perfect Circle, the correct size, and trace around with a chalk pencil to mark your quarter inch seam.

You can see the chalk mark in the photo above.

Now take a needle and thread, and run a basting stitch in the seam allowance.

With the perfect circle inside, pull up the basting stitches, spray with a little starch and press. Pull the perfect circle out and you are ready to applique the circle into the center of your whirlygig. You can either machine applique or needle turn. Whatever your preference.

The next post will feature how to paper piece the spikey arches.

Here are the resources for the tools I used:

Whirlygig Template set can be found at Material Obsession or John Flynn Quilting Company.
Book used is Quilts with a Spin by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins.
Perfect Circles by Karen Kay Buckley.

Stay tuned for the next part of the tutorial!!

Until Next Time...



irishgirlsews said...

Your whirlygig is so cute, I definitely want to try those circles!
Thanks for sharing the process.

annemariesquilt said...

Wow you make it look so easy ;-))
Thanks for showing us .

deborah said...

Excellent tutorial! I don't have the patience to hand piece a block so happy to see the 'easier' way:) well, at least you make it look easy!

Jocelyn said...

How cool is that! Great tutorial.

alobsiger said...

Wonderful tutorial, Jackie! You make it look so easy!!

Barb said...

What a wonderful step by step of this process! thank so much for taking the time to share it with us. I'd love to try this sometime!

Vicki W said...

Great tutorial!

Messy Karen said...

now this looks like good fun!

WoolenSails said...

Wonderful tutorial and fun piece to quilt with.
Will have to get my room cleaned again and finish some projects, so I can start trying some pieced quilting.


Simone de Klerk said...

Thanks, Jackie, for the great tutorial! This looks easy, but I am not sure it is ;o)

Rumi said...

I love your whirlygig blocks but I confess that I am too lazy to make one! Will just have to admire yours.

Robin (RsIslandCrafts) said...

It looks so easy but I think like Rumi, I will just admire yours for now. I will add it to my need to try list though because it does make a gorgeous quilt.

Poppyprint said...

Okay, that doesn't seem so scary. Maybe I should give it a whirl? All of the templates and tools certainly look helpful....hmmm now you've got me thinking!

Jane's Fabrics and Quilts said...

Oh thank you, I would love to give this a "whirl"

Dandelion Quilts said...

I agree, you do make it look easy.

Vivian said...

Oh my goodness, Jackie. I have been following your progress with these blocks and already had the Piece 'O Cake book so had already told myself that a whirlygig quilt had to go on the quilt bucket list for next year. Then earlier today I ordered the Flynn template set and now I read your post and your doing a tutorial. I tell you it's kismet!

Can't wait to see the next parts of the tute.

Cathi said...

Great tutorial -- those blocks are all so beautiful!

pratima said...

Your tutorial is so detailed and wonderful, Jackie! Thank you for the links to the templates :)

Unknown said...

Great tutorial. I love how you showed every step where a not so detailed quilter (me) can follow. Can't wait for the next part.

Unknown said...

You make curved piecing so easy. Thanks for the great toturial. This is definitely on my to do list!

Nedra said...

Great tut Jackie! I purchased my template from John Flynn last year at Houston, and have yet to make one! I will be pulling out my fabrics in January I promise!

Teresa said...

Great tutorial and I do want to try this block. I guess it will go on my bucket list with the others. Oh to be a cat so I could have 9 buckets to fill.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Those perfect circle templates look really useful!

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