The Roman Pin Wheel Patchwork design

The Roman pin wheel patchwork design uses a different type of construction. Other designs use the nine block patch, like the Ohio Star block but with this design the pieces of fabric are sewn together in strips first and then cut out. This is known as strip-piecing.

There are many other types of block such as the Log Cabin, Dutchman's puzzle, Bow Tie, and the Sail Boat to name a small selection.

There is of course those that you can make yourself with different shapes.

Fabric and the preparation

This patchwork design block uses five different fabrics, one half of the block is the background fabric and the other half is made from strips of the other four fabrics.

Hobbycraft and Homecraft specialise in craft fabric that would suit patchwork as well as other shopping outlets.

Before the blocks can be sewn the half that is made up of four fabrics needs to be made up.

  • From the background fabric you will need two 6+7/8 ins (17.5cms) squares. These then need to be cut across the diagonal so you end up with four triangles. Using one of these triangles you  need to make a paper pattern that can be used to cut triangles out of the strips you will be making using the other four fabrics.
  • cut strips from four of your fabrics one strip needs to be 2 ins (5cms) wide and the other three need to be 1+1/2 ins (4cms) wide.  These need to be very long as all the triangles have to be exactly the same. There will be wastage in the fact that the opposite triangles will not be used. The length could the the full width of the material for example 45 inches (115cms). The length can be made shorter and you will need more of them.
  • Decide on the pattern of your fabric strips and have the widest one at the top. Place right sides together and sew the next strip in place. With the third strip begin sewing (right sides together) at the end where the second strip finished sewing. When strips are sewn together in different or alternate directions the seam is less likely to curve.
  • Press the seams facing the same way.
  • Using the paper triangle template lay this on top of the fabric strip you have just sewn. The triangle point should be at the outer edge of the widest strip.
  • Mark and then cut the triangle out. Repeat this along the strip with the left hand corner starting from where the right hand corner ended so each triangle is cut with the material in exactly the same sequence. In cutting these out another triangle is made giving the opposite fabric sequence which is not used.
  • Repeat until you have four strip pieced triangles.

Sewing the Roman Pin Wheel Together

  • Take one triangle of the background fabric and one strip triangle, place them right sides together then sew across the diagonal. Press and repeat until you have four squares. Trim the corners and press seam away from background fabric.

The image of the Roman pin wheel is that the squares are sewn together in pairs and then two sets of pairs and sewn to form one block. The pattern shows the pin wheel (strip pieced) fabric side moving a quarter of a turn in each square until a complete revolution is made at the fourth square.

  • Placing the squares in the correct pattern sew two squares together and then take the opposite two squares and sew together keeping right sides facing.
  • Press seam. If it doesn't lie flat because of the bulk of the material in the middle you may need to unpick one or two stitches to help.

Hope you have enjoyed making this Roman pin wheel patchwork block. This could be used to make a cushion cover or as part of a patchwork quilt

Return from Roman Pin Wheel to Patchwork Techniques

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