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Rainbow Pinwheel Mini Quilt

Mini pinwheel quilt project

This tutorial makes an eye catching mini quilt, or a cushion cover.  It’s colourful and a great way of using scraps or charm squares. The instructions below are for the quilt but if you quilt it onto wadding and then follow the instructions for constructing one of the cushions in our home projects section.  Or of course you could size it up to make a full size quilt, you could use layer cake squares which are 10 x 10 inches.


Selection of rainbow fabric - I used a Denyse Schmidt Modern Solids Charm pack by FreeSpirit using 64 charm squares (enough to make 2 minis).   You could use a selection of scraps or a fat quarter bundle of Kona Solids. You can order the full range of Kona Solids from Plush Addict.

17 inch squared of backing fabric.

2 metres of bias binding

17 inch square of wadding - I used Hobbs 80/20

Thread for quilting – I used Gutermann Variegated Threads



Picking your fabrics. I used a solids charm pack for ease of cutting and colour matching.  I knew I’d have lots of great colour combos available.  I’d suggest spreading your fabrics out and then sorting them into piles, 1 pile for each pinwheel (16 total).  I opted to have 4 shades of colour in each pinwheel, if you don’t have such a big selection of colours available you could use 2 colours per pinwheel.

Half square trangles 



You will be making 16 pinwheels, each comprising of 8 x 2.5inch half square triangles.  I used my Big Shot to cut 4 triangles per 5 inch charm square, only half went into this quilt. I’ve kept the rest to make a pinwheel cushion cover in the future.   You need to cut 128 x 2.5 inch half square triangles. 


How to sew a pinwheel

Piecing the pinwheels

Start by laying out your triangles into the pinwheel pattern to make sure you are happy with how it will look when finished. If you want to change any of the colour combinations now is the best time to do it.

Join each pair of triangles by placing them right side together and sewing along the longest edge to join the.   Once they have all been sewn press the seam towards the darkest fabric.  Then sew each pair of triangles to the pair of triangles which will go next to it making a rectangle (half a pinwheel) as per the photo below. 

Pinwheel quilt tutorial

Press the seams again, don’t skip the pressing even though it takes a while, it’ll look much better if you do it.   Join the 2 rectangles (each half of the pinwheel) to complete the pinwheels.

Free mini quilt patterns

Lay your pinwheels out and decide on your layout.  I decided to go with diagonal rows of similar colours.  Once you have your layout confirmed sew together the 4 pinwheels of each row.  Press your seams again and then join the rows together to make your quilt top.


Drawing a quilting design onto a quilt

Cut your wadding and backing fabric a little larger than the quilt top and pin the layers together.  Decide how you are going to quilt your mini, if you need to draw on your quilting design.  I decided to go with curves along the diagonals as a contrast with all the straight lines in the quilt.

Quilting curves

Choose your thread and quilt your mini.  I choose matching variegated thread for each row.

Trimming a quilt

Free pattern for a mini charm quilt

Trim of any excess wadding and backing fabric and stitch around the edge just a few millimetres from the edge to hold all the layers together when you bind. If you are making a cushion cover instead of a mini quilt you now have the front panel of your cushion.  Use one of our cushion projects to get instructions for sewing the back.

How to bind a quilt

Choose your binding and sew it around the edge of your quilt. I used black binding to make the colours pop.  If you aren’t sure how to bind a quilt this tutorial is the way I do it

Tada!  Your quilt or quilted cushion is now finished. 

  Quilted pinwheel pillow cover


 If you enjoyed this project why not check out our How to Quilt series by author Kerry Green.

How to make a quilt