Random Sampler QAL – Whirligig

April 18, 2013 § 4 Comments

Here is the next block in the Random Sampler QAL.  I couldn’t find any official name, but it is a variation of a whirligig block.  And it is a simple one. Seems like we needed something easy, right??  There are a couple of different ways to make this block. The other way is to leave the center block whole rather than pieced… which would be good if you wanted to fussy cut a fabric. But then the seams get a little tricky when assembling and I just didn’t feel like explaining that method at the moment. And the measurements start getting funky. Maybe in a future block???

I put all of the sampler blocks on my design wall along with a few orphan blocks that I’m hoping will work.  The snowflake block is an extra from the from my Crazy Snow Days quilt that I made along with my SIL a couple of years ago.  The HSTs are from my first attempt at the Tree of Life block that I didn’t like.  And the Square-in-a-Square blocks are from my discarded attempt on the backgrounds from the Merry Merry Snowman quilt. I am hoping that I can work in some of my orphan blocks into this quilt plus a few more!  I really want to start thinking about how I want to put these blocks together. I’m inclined to

Alright. Let’s get started. This block finishes at 8 inches,  8 1/2″ including the seam allowances.  I hope you like it.


1. Choose 4 different fabrics. A light value, a medium value, a dark value and a contrasting color.

  • From the light (mine is the cream with polka dots) cut 4 – 2 1/2″ squares.
  • From the medium (mine is the green) cut 4 – 2 1/2″ squares.
  • From the dark (mine is the blue floral) cut 4 – 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles.
  • From the contrasting color (mine is the orange) cut 4 – 2 1/2″ squares.


2. Sew a light square to a medium square pressing the seam towards the medium square. Make 4 units.


3. With a pencil, mark the diagonal on the contrasting square – – or – – use The Angler 2 as I am doing – – to stitch along the diagonal line.  (Here’s a video showing how it works.) I like using the angler because it saves me the “marking with a pencil” step and it helps me to sew a straight line.  If you are like me, I have found that if I try to guess, my line is often crooked.  The lines on The Angler 2 help me to sew a straight line.  Make 4 units.


4. Trim away the corner leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the seams open.


5.  Sew a light/medium square unit to the rectangular unit.  Press the seams towards the squares.  Make 4 units.


6. Arrange the whirligig units so that the dark blades rotate around the block.  Sew the two units together in each row, pressing the seams towards the rectangular unit.  Sew the rows together to complete the block.


Here’s the back.

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