Fabric Scraps Obsession, Studio

Pinwheel Therapy

In my 11/6/16 post Pinwheel Piecing Party, I shared how I started making small pinwheels from a friend’s collection of trimmed triangles, that have otherwise been destined for the trash.

Here was my first load of pinwheels:


For the past week, as a way to escape from all the hate and unhappiness that seems to be seeping out of every corner of my country, I have been focusing on, during any spare moments, making more scrappy pinwheels.

In order to distract myself for awhile, I created a goal that I had to empty out the bag of pieced triangle scraps my friend gave me.

So I was busy at work “chain” sewing, or “chaining” little half square triangle blocks together. I was quite meditative.


As a result, I now have approximately (I counted quickly) – 72 pinwheel blocks, each measuring approximately 2.5 inches x 2.5 inches!


Also have two “oops” blocks, which I guess you might call – pieced “square within a square” blocks. My “pinwheeling” went awry during my piecing of these blocks!


So what am I going to do with 72 (or more) 2.5 inch x 2.5 inch pinwheel blocks? Well your guess is as good as mine!

For now I am going to put them into my new “Parts Department” I created in my stash after seeing a trunk show and presentation by the Australian quilt designer, Jen Kingwell (see my post Revisiting Traditional Piecing). During her trunk show presentation she talked about using blocks from her “Parts Department” (leftover blocks from other projects, etc.).

Another project I worked on this past week was to go through my stash of fabric scraps and pull out all the scrap triangles and scrap small squares. I put them in separate bags to use for future improvisational quilting projects.

What’s next on the horizon for my crafting therapy? I am going to return to work on the traditionally pieced blocks last discussed in my post Revisiting Traditional Piecing: The Blocks Part II.


A dear old friend in NYC, who has also being feeling blue about current events, sent me this photo to cheer me up a little – a photo of her sweet rescued kitty – Chummy – on a quilt I made her.


Kitty cozy on a quilt! It is hard to resist smiling at that!


What timing !  The quilt that inspired me to start scrappy pinwheeling (which provided a therapeutic distraction) is connected to the photo a friend recently sent me to cheer me up!

Maybe the Universe at work, you never know (smile).

25 thoughts on “Pinwheel Therapy”

  1. I just love these little pinwheels! And I fully appreciate your need for some pleasant diversion from the hatred and hatefulness that marked this past week. I kept singing over and over in my head, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin in me.” Back to the itsy-bitsy pinwheels, you showed an extraordinary amount of GRIT to work with these and come out with something that will be charming. Last week I hosted Karen K Stone and fell in love (again) with her foundation pieced patterns and have a good start on the Indian Orange Peel design. BTW, I asked my library to purchase the audio version of Grit and have thoroughly enjoyed and been inspired by it after I didn’t stick with it on my Kindle. I guess that says something about MY level of grit!

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    1. Thank you Martha and thanks so much for your thoughtful comments! Why yes you had some serious GRIT – glad you got the audiobook ordered and enjoyed it! I will have to check out Karen Stone’s work and I look forward to seeing what you do with the Indian Orange Peel design. 🙂


  2. The pinwheels are really super. Always a good idea to make component parts in advance, even if you don’t know what the end project might be!

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  3. Love your pinwheels! And the ‘parts department’ idea. I’ll remember that. My heart is heavy and sad also. I’ve been sewing crumb blocks for therapy. My default setting is to roll up the carpets and shut the gate and further embrace my hermit/recluse/solitary life style. We’ll see…… I’ve been meditating on the words ‘peace and love’ in hopes of healing.

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  4. T: Clearly your concentration skills are greater than mine. I’ve been trying to sew to distract myself as well and everything (for me) comes out uneven, twisted and ugly. Hold your torch up higher, my dear, I need some of that light…

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  5. 72(!) lovely blocks! Each one is so unique and fascinating, too – a little pinwheel world in itself. I can see how sewing these can be relaxing. Wishing you more peaceful and productive craft days ahead. Big hug.

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  6. When our daughter was in grade school, she used to say, “Don’t worry, Mommie. We’ll make it through these hard times together.” That’s true whether it’s a grade school crisis or a national one.

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  7. Love those little blocks! And parts department is my newest term for a portion of my studio. Love it! I’ve been doing same as you – classic blocks with stash. For me it’s 12″ Ohio star blocks with fussy cut fabrics. Therapy!

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