:: Whirlpool Block Pattern (Sampler Quilt Workshop #23):: Our (and your) collection free patterns and workshops for beautiful quilt blocks is growing. Each block gives you an opportunity to learn new quilting techniques and to develop some insight as to which style of block patterns suit your taste. This is 5th block in the sampler quilt we’ll be working on today. It’s called a whirlpool quilt block pattern. Despite its beautiful pattern, it is an easy quilt block pattern suitable for a beginning seamstress. And with this free, illustrated step-by-step tutorial by quilting instructor and industry veteran Janeen van Niekerk, quilting this block will be a breeze and lots of fun!
Janeen van Niekerk’s Tips for Beginners
Sampler Quilt Block Series Lesson #5
The Whirlpool Block
With this block we are at the ‘middle point’ of our construction phase.
Triangles are basic components of many classic and modern quilting blocks. The variations are endless. The “windmill” style blocks are a very old traditional look block and the changes that can be made by just changing the squares and triangles in a different direction are endless.
This Whirlpool block is another old favorite in beginner quilts because it really strengthens the technique of the Half Square Triangles (HST). The highlighted orange triangles makes the block look as if it is moving in an anti-clockwise direction. Feel free to change up the colors or the pattern in your fabric.
The Whirlpool Quilt Block Plan
From the plan you can see that all your segments are A. In each square (4 x 4) there are 2 triangles. This is all made up of half square triangles.
I count how many are yellow and white – 8 squares
How many are orange and white – 4 squares
How many green and white – 4 squares
This makes 16 (4×4) squares.
How to Cut the Fabric for a Whirlpool Quilt Block
We will need to cut a 4” strip in each of the 4 colors.
Each strip Is divided into 4” squares:
Pairing your Quilt Block Fabric Pieces
You need to pair each of the color fabrics with a white square.
Lie them down facing each other.
We now draw a line diagonally down each white square.
How to Sew a Whirlpool Quilt Block
We are not going to sew onto the drawn line but make a ¼” seam on each side of the line. Do this for each of the 16 squares.
Now we cut the squares in half using the line we drew onto the white fabric.
Note: I use a fabric pen for this because it washes out, whereas another pen may leave a mark.
Press each of the HST’s open ( to the darker side fabric).
Using an iron to press them really helps here, because I’ve tried just using my fingers to press them down and I find it still keeps jumping up. We need them really flat.
How to Trim Your Quilt Block Fabric
Each of the HST needs to be trimmed down to 3 x 3” (7.6cm) before they can be sewn together.
Arrange your blocks out in front of you according to the diagram so that you can get a good visual of what you are doing.
Now you need to sew each of the square into rows. Make sure to press the seams to the left in one row and to the right in the following row. This is so that we can ‘nest’ our seams when we sew the rows together.
Once all rows are done – we need to start sewing them together. Use pins to hold the joins in place. You need to nest the seams to get a precise lining up of the blocks.
This is your un-finished block for week 5.
And this is how it is going to fit into the sampler quilt.
See the other free quilting workshops listed below to learn how to make the remaining sampler quilt blocks.
Have fun with this free whirlpool quilt block pattern.
Till next week!
Janeen van Niekerk
Janeen van Niekerk, Quilting Instructor
Quilt Art Design
About Quilting Instructor Janeen van Niekerk
and her unique quilting and paper piecing patterns
Quilt artist Janeen van Niekerk is an avid quilter. In particular, she’s an accomplished paper piecing designer. She does it all with a passion. Our latest news of quilt making instructor Janeen van Niekerk is that she has just launched a brand new paper piecing magazine.
Janeen’s prolific range of hand-made quilts (she takes commissions for personalized, stylish portrait quilts), as well as her unique quilt patterns (think quilts featuring safari animals and trees, or kids toys) are inspired by her environs; she lives in sunny Pretoria in South Africa, with her husband and kids.
How to Sew a Quilt – Quilting Workshops for Beginners
Want to begin sewing quilts with me? Join our free online quilting workshops, which you can take at your leisure, any time you want. Work at your own pace.
Free Quilting Patterns & Tutorials & Classes in this quilting course:
- Class #1: Fussy cutting ~ How to Make a Quilt: Free Quilting Beginners Class.
- Class #2: Quilting Tools – What you’ll need as a beginner.
- Class #3 : How to Choose & Work with Quilting Fabric.
- Class #4: How to Read & Work with a Quilt Pattern.
- Class #5: Creating a Finished Quilt Block .
- Class #6: How to Make Quilt Rows – from finished blocks.
- Class #7: How to add Borders to your quilt.
- Class #8 : How to finish a quilt: add backing, batting and how to bind a quilt.
- Class #9 : How to Make Quilt Blocks more Exciting.
- Class #10 : How to Make a Modern Lap Quilt.
- Class #11 : How to Make a Modern Lap Quilt, the next steps.
- Class #12: How to finish a Quilt :: Modern Lap Quilt.
- Class #13/14: Quilting Glossary with Quilt Sewing Terms for Beginners
- Class #15: Half Square Triangles Quilting Techniques – part 1
- Class #16: Half Square Triangles Quilting Techniques – part 2
- Class #17: Half Square Triangles Quilt Wall Art Project – part 3
- Class #18: Free Sampler Quilt Workshop – intro
- Class #19: First Bock in the Sampler: Striped Frame Quilt Block – block #1
- Class #20: How to Make a Log Cabin Quilt Block – block #2
- Class #21: Greek Square Quilt Block Pattern & Workshop – Free – #3
- Class #22: Free Quilt Workshop + Hour Glass Block – Free Pattern #4
- <Class #23: Whirlpool Block Pattern – block #5 in sampler
Or, … continue your journey with Quilting patterns, tutorials and ideas featured here at FineCraftGuild.com (beyond Janeen’s quilting course).