| | | |

Summer Pinwheel Quilt

Today I’m excited to share with you a quilt that I started over 4 summers ago, it’s this super simple summer pinwheel quilt. It was a breeze to make and should not have taken me 4 years to finish!  If you like this project you may also like this Gingham Daydream Quilt.

Summertime Pinwheel Quilt - so easy you can make it with a bunch of layer cakes or 10" stackers. A simple summer quilt to make

Several summers ago (I think it was 4, but to be honest I’m not sure). I got the idea to make a red, white and blue quilt for summer. I was literally in the store, saw the fabrics, then got the idea. It was one of those spur of the moment ideas — I’m sure I’m not the only one that has them :).

My Summer Quilt Project:

I started the quilt without much of a plan, just that I’d make a bunch of half square triangles.  I bought 3-4 prints of fabric and a 10″ stacker. (If you’re not familiar, a 10″ stacker is a package of pre cut fabric all cut into 10″ squares, sometimes they are called layer cakes).

Summertime Pinwheel Quilt - so easy you can make it with a bunch of layer cakes or 10" stackers. A simple summer quilt to make

I ended up making 82 half square triangles each sized 9 1/2″ x 9 1/2″. I trimmed them up and put them in the “pile”.  They sat there for 4 summers.  Each Spring I would plan to pull out the blocks and finish the quilt, and each year summer would pass with the blocks still in a box.

Then we planned a cross-country RV trip and I decided a couple of weeks before we left that I was absolutely going to finish the quilt before our trip.  Within a week I had the whole thing finished. Including quilting.

Summertime Pinwheel Quilt - so easy you can make it with a bunch of layer cakes or 10" stackers. A simple summer quilt to make

Why I let go of the idea of a “perfect quilt”

I figured out WHY I finally got it done, I stopped caring about how it looked.  It sat there for years because I was obsessing over the layout of the blocks.  

A couple of weeks ago, I sat down one Sunday afternoon after church and started making pinwheel blocks.

The only guideline I gave myself was that each block would have all red, or blue blocks. I didn’t even care if they were all the same print. When it came time to assemble the pinwheel blocks I just shuffled the blocks then stitched them together.  I didn’t put it up on my design wall and stress over it for ages.

I also quilted it with a  simple overall meandering pattern that I did myself and is far from perfect.

Summertime Pinwheel Quilt - so easy you can make it with a bunch of layer cakes or 10" stackers. A simple summer quilt to make

Let me tell you. I LOVE how it turned out. Allowing myself to just finish something even if it wasn’t perfect in the end was so liberating.

How to Make a Similar Quilt:

I don’t have a pattern for this quilt (since I’m sure as you’ve noticed as you have been reading, that I was just making it up as I went)  and the fabric is now long out of print.

Gingham Girls by Amy Smart for Penny Rose Fabrics
Gingham Girls by Amy Smart for Penny Rose Fabrics

Note: This is NOT meant to be a full tutorial or pattern. Just guidelines to get you started.

If you’d like to make something similar I’d recommend using Riley Blake’s Gingham Girls line. It’s got the same vintage feel with fun red white and blue prints. You can read more about the line on Amy Smart’s blog, Diary of a Quilter. 

Quilt Details

The quilt is 82 HST’s (Half Square Triangles).

You need 41 white 10″ x 10″ squares and 41 10″ x 10″ squares of various prints.  

Just layer one white fabric with one print fabric and create two HST’s.  (If you need to know how to do that click here).

Trim each HST to 9 1/2″ x 9 1/2″.

If you’re not familiar with the process you can find a tutorial on How to Make a Half Square Triangle HERE.

Layout the HST as shown in the photo and stitch together by rows.

That’s pretty much it!

I’m happy to say that the quilt has now driven across the country with me. We toted it (and our family) down to Southern Utah this month.  2000 miles, 3 kids, 2 adults and a dog in an RV, and so far no one has drawn any blood *wink*.  The experience was far from drama free, but I’ll still call it a success.

Similar Posts


  1. Melissa,
    The Pin Well by far is my favorite quit to make.
    My most recent was made of 5″ squares cut in 1/4…tiny Pin Wheels variated colors of Polka Dots in light shades made a special baby quilt for a new great granddaughter.

    Thank You for sharing your ideas!


  2. You make all your sewing projects look so easy. I’m sure you encourage the younger ones ones who
    have never sewn before to give sewing a try.
    R V vacationing is great. Every family should.if they haven’t.

  3. I love this Pinwheel quilt and how easy it is but how great it looks. What a neat way to use big scraps too!

    1. It’s an abbreviation for a Half Square Triangle. I think there is a link in the article on how to make one.

  4. I am enjoying your site thank you. Love Love the pinwheel quilt. I am going to give a try. I am guessing only, but are you LDS? I get the feeling you are. Thanks again for your site.

    Marylou Cady

  5. One of my students used this to make a quilt for competition. She LOVES how it turned out! Is there any way I could send you a photo?? We leave for the event a week from tomorrow. I can let you know how she places, too!

  6. Beautiful!! What is the finished size? It looks like you have 8 HST across and I’m guessing 10 down with 2 left over?

  7. I love your pinwheel quilt! Do you have any idea how much of the patterned fabric is needed or how much backing fabric is needed? I am looking to work on my second quilt and this pattern seems do-able, but I have no clue on yardage. Thanks!

    1. I don’t I’m sorry, I just started chopping up the fabric I had and decided to just make it as big as what I had on hand.

  8. Hi Melissa, your quilt is a perfect RV family quilt. It’s beautiful. It’s “perfect” just the way it is. I learned a long time ago to let perfection go. My quilts are never perfect. But honestly after they are finished and washed the imperfections don’t even show, or at least I don’t notice them. Safe travels on your RV trip with your family.

  9. Does it matter which way the “blades” are turning. I made a gray and white quilt for a granddaughter and I had them going clockwise. I assume it’s either way as long as they all all are going the same way?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.