Learn How to Make an Easy Five-Patch Quilt Block with Pinwheels

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Sew Grandma's Favorite Quilt Blocks

Grandma's Favorite is a popular, traditional five-patch quilt block pattern with pinwheel units in its corners. The block can be assembled in different ways, but we'll make it with a combination of half-square triangle units, strip pieced segments and plain squares.

Finished Quilt Block Size: 10" x 10"

On page 3 you'll find an example of a quilt made with sixteen identical Grandma's Favorite quilt blocks.

Make your blocks all alike, or raid your fabric stash to create a scrap quilt.

Instructions assume you'll sew half-square triangle units using a specific quick piecing method. Change cutting instructions if you prefer to assemble them in another way.
  • The same background is used throughout in the example.
  • Pinwheels in the four corners of the quilt block are blue and background.
  • Blue is repeated at the block's center.
  • Yellow-gold stands out at the block's center.

Fabric for One Grandma's Favorite Quilt Block

Dark blue:
  • (8) 2-7/8" x 2-7/8" squares
  • (1) 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" square

Golden yellow:
  • (1) 2-1/2" x 10-1/2" strip

Light background:
  • (8) 2-7/8" x 2-7/8" squares
  • (1) 2-1/2" x 10-1/2" strip

Sew the Quilt Block

  1. Pair each 2-7/8" blue square with a background square of the same size. Use my easy sandwich instructions to sew the two together, creating 16 half-square triangle units that each measure 2-1/2" x 2-1/2".
  2. Sew the 2-1/2" x 10-1/2" creamy-yellow and golden-yellow strips together lengthwise. Press the seam allowance towards the darker strip.
  3. Square up one end of the strip set you just made and then cut four 2-1/2" wide segments from it.

  1. Arrange the components as shown in the upper left portion of the illustration. Create four pinwheels for block corners, taking care to orient the triangles as illustrated.
  2. Sew each of the four pinwheel groups together.
  3. Sew a golden-yellow/background unit between pinwheels in the top and bottom rows. Press seam allowances towards the rectangular units.
  4. Sew together the components of the middle row, pressing seam allowances towards the center square.
  5. Sew the three rows together, matching seam intersections carefully. Press. The quilt block should measure 10-1/2" x 10-1/2".
  6. Repeat to make more blocks as desired.

This quilt example is made with 16 Grandma's Favorite quilt blocks surrounded by two borders that repeat fabrics used in the quilt blocks. A quilt like this would finish at 50" x 50".

Dark half square triangle units at the corners of blocks come together to form dark pinwheels.

It's easy to see how altering colors within blocks could produce a dramatic change in the quilt. Experiment with fabrics to find a layout you love.

Fabrics Required:
  • Dark blue: 3/8 yard
  • Light blue: 3/4 yard
  • Creamy-yellow 2-1/2 yards
  • Golden-yellow 5/8 yard

Cut inner border strips that are 1-1/2" wide. Use 4-1/2" wide strips for the outer border.

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