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Twas the Night Before Christmas – February February 1, 2013

Posted by Pam in KC in Uncategorized.

tnbcIt’s time for the next block in our quilt-a-long – Twas the Night Before Christmas by Kaaren Johnston of The Painted Quilt.   Did you get your Gingerbread Men stitched out in January?

This month I’ve picked the  pinwheels.  We are making two 4″ (finished) pinwheels.

There are tons of ways to make Half Square Triangle (HST) squares, and you are welcome to make yours anyway you like.  This is how I made mine.

I started with 8 – 3″ squares.  Sure there is a bit of waste, but I’d rather trim to the correct size than fight to get a perfect 2 7/8″ square.  Two light and two dark for each pinwheel.  Since I’m not doing my sampler in all red, I found some Christmas prints in my stash – two with white backgrounds, a red and a green.

01-cut squares

Next, I drew a line, corner-to-corner on the back of the light squares.

02-draw lines

Stitched w/a scant 1/4″ on either side of the line. — That “scant 1/4” is because with the advent of rotary cutters, mats and rulers we can get more precise.




Cut the along the drawn line. Now there are 8 pieces.

06-cut on line

My favorite tool when making HST Squares with this method is the Quilt in a Day 6 1/2″ Triangle Square Up Ruler. (no affiliation)


I line the 2 1/2″ line on the ruler along the stitching line.

08-line up ruler

Then I trim along the edges of the ruler.

09-one trimed

Repeat it for the rest of the triangles.

10-all trimmed

I pressed my seams toward the dark fabric.

11-press open

Then trimmed the dog ears.

12-trim dog ears

Then I laid the HST squares to form two pinwheels.


I flipped the squares on the right over onto the square on the left. I’ll stitch along the seam where the pencil is pointing.

14-flip over

Stitch with a scant 1/4″ seam.

15-stitch 2 hst

Press the seam allowance to the dark fabric.

16-press to dark

Lay the two sections together to prepare for stitching. Here I’m checking to make sure I’ve got the two sections orientated correctly.


Stitch with a scant 1/4″ seam. I didn’t pin because I could feel that the seams were nested together.



I like to pinwheel my seams.  It makes the block lay flatter and when setting blocks together  it allows the seams to lock together.  The first step is to remove the stitching from the edge of the block to the seam.  Since my pieces where chain stitched, I was able to easily “pop” the seam.


Press the seams toward the dark fabric.


Flip the block over and admire your new pinwheels.


This is all that has to be done for February.  Naturally if you want to work faster you are welcome to.    If you are participating in this quilt-a-long, leave a comment and tell us where we can see your progress.



1. Beckie - February 1, 2013

Wow how neat when I grow up I want to be just like you. What great pictures and instructions.

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