Pinwheel Layer Cake Lap Quilt | New Quilters

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I liked making a pinwheel baby quilt so well that I just finished quilting a larger lap-sized version of the same pinwheel pattern.

If you know how to make a half-square triangle block, you can make this quick and easy quilt. Start with 10″ squares from a fabric layer cake collection (or you can cut some of your favorite fabrics into 10″ squares), combine them with white 10″ squares to make half-square triangle blocks, and use the pattern below as a guide to arrange them into a quilt.

The finished quilt is the perfect size for snuggling up in on the couch or in your car. Thanks to my friend Ruthmary for piecing the quilt.

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Quilt pieced by Ruthmary Schauer and quilted by Christine Mann.

If you don’t know how to make half-square triangles, they’re easy! Click or tap here to see our tutorial.

Pinwheels Layer Cake Lap Quilt Pattern

Size: 54″ x 72″ (137 x 183 cm)

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Fabric You Will Need

  • Twenty-four 10″ squares of white cotton quilt fabric, or 1-2/3 yards if you want to cut your own squares from yardage.
  • Twenty-four 10″ squares of colored fabrics that look good together. I combined fabrics from two different layer cake collections: Singing in the Rain by Beverly McCullough (Riley Blake), and Badda Bing, by Me & My Sister (Moda.) I find that using more than one collection gives the quilt a nice variety. blank
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  • Binding: 1/2 yard, cut into seven 2-1/2″ width-of-fabric strips.
  • Backing fabric: 3-1/4 yards (this allows for an extra 2″ of backing fabric all around the quilt.)
  • Batting: Double/full batting package, or one piece 56″ x 74″.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Blocks: Combine each white square with a colored square and make each set of two squares into half-square triangle blocks. The 24 sets of squares will make 48 triangle blocks. Learn how to make half-square triangle blocks.
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  2. Use a ruler and rotary cutter to trim the blocks to 9-1/2″.
  3. Using the pattern above as a guide, lay out the blocks into four rows of four blocks each.
  4. Sew the rows together, using scant 1/4″ seams.
  5. Batting and backing: Cut the batting and backing fabric to 56″ x 74″. If you use regular-width quilt fabric, you will need to piece the backing to make it the right size. If you use extra-wide backing fabric, you can simply cut it to size.
  6. Layer and baste the quilt top, batting, and backing. Learn about basting.
  7. Quilt the layers together. I recommend stitching in the ditch as the first step in machine-quilting. If you also want to add free-motion quilting, there are a number of different styles to try. I stitched a free-motion triangle inside each colored triangle, and a kind of free-form cloud motif in the white triangles. Here’s how it looks on the back of the quilt:
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  8. Binding: Cut seven strips that measure 2-1/2″ x the full width of your fabric, from selvage to selvage.
    Make the strips into quilt binding, then sew the binding to the quilt. Learn how to bind a quilt with no hand sewing.

I used polyester fleece as backing for this quilt instead of the traditional batting/backing fabric combination. In the cool-all-year Northern California climate, fleece makes sense. If you live in a warm or hot climate, you may want to omit the batting layer and use a single layer of flannel for the quilt backing. Flannel is just as soft as fleece and much thinner and lighter.

Learn how to back a quilt with fleece.

If you decide to use a fleece backing, keep in mind that the patterns and colors and patterns from the fleece will show through white areas on the quilt top. I didn’t want that look for this quilt and as a result used a solid white fleece backing. Another option that will prevent show-through from the back of the quilt is to use the traditional combination of batting and backing fabric. The batting will keep anything from showing through on the quilt top.

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