Monday, February 13, 2012

5 FAT Quarters Giveaway...twist or chunky pinwheel

It's a Mystery to Me...all the many ways there are to TWIST
How many ways can YOU twist?

This could be a "Valentine's Twist"
Do You know who these two are? (Hint: Viva Las Vegas)

Have you ever played this game?  Yikes...not
a game for an "oldy-moldy" like me!

Some really twist their backs...OUCH!

I'm thinkin' that twisting fabric is easier on mee old bones.
And, I LUV to play with fabric! about we talk
fabric...quilts...and rulers, instead of body-twisting?

Twister / Chunky Pinwheel QUILTS


Did you know that there is more than one way to make one of these fun
twister- chunky pinwheel quilts?  I'd never made one before last Saturday and it's
been a MYSTERY to me for quite sometime just how they were made.  I knew
 about the special ruler called Twister Ruler.  Of course, you know me...I had to
 have one even tho I had no idea how to use it.  O, but it looked cool!  I end up
many rulers and gadgets...just because they LOOK "important"

 To help solve my MYSTERY...A couple of weeks ago I went to a
demonstration using the Twister Ruler by CS Designs

To view a similar demo to the one I watched in person, you can go to
 Heirloom Creations blog (twister ruler).  It just seems to me after watching
the demo at the store...that this method wasted a LOT of fabric. 

This last Saturday, I took a class on how to make a twister/pinwheel quilt at our
local quilt shop Thimbles and Threads.   And, we were taught a SECOND way

...using just a regular quilt ruler that has a 60 degree angle marking.
I used the longer 12x24 because I was doing the 10" squares of fabric.
You can use other rulers with the 60 degree angle, but this one has more
                        pronounced angle lines and was easier for me to figure out where to
 place the ruler to get the proper cuts.  And...we used this pattern

It's by Catherine Timmons
If you would like to purchase this pattern, you can contact
Thimbles and ThreadsAsk for the Chunky Pinwheel pattern.
They will do mail order.  =)

The basic idea to this second method, is that you cut squares, slice the squares at
a 60 degree angle.  Then you "shuffle" one half-slice to the bottom and sew all slices
 back into a square...then, you slice another 60 degree angle, shuffle 2 half-slices
and sew back. Trim all sewn squares to the same size.  Arrange your pinwheels
in rows according to how the pinwheels come together.

My MYSTERY is solved!  But, is yours?
... and I'd like to share/compare the differences between the two methods.
Please, tho...keep in mind what my opinions are worth...
...exactly what you "paid" for, zero, zilch...nada  =)

Twister Ruler method
Pros ~ It is easier...I have to admit, there is very little thinking when using this ruler
        ~ There is a very clear border around your center pinwheel section
            (pics 1, 2, 3 above are made with the Twister Ruler method)
        ~  Placement of pinwheels in the quilt are just as you sewed the  squares
            together in the top before cutting. (very little thinking)
Cons ~ The ruler can only be used for this particular quilt type (that I know of)
         ~ There are only 3 sizes that you can make and for each size you need a diff
              size ruler (10", 5", and a mini)
         ~ As you can see in the YOUtube video link above, you have to sew a
              complete quilt together with border...then you cut square "holes out of
             the middles, where seams come together.  This is where I see lots of waste
Regular Quilt Ruler method
Pros ~ You can use a ruler that can be used for lots of other applications
        ~ A LOT less fabric is wasted when cutting, slicing and trimming up
        ~ Any size square can be cut to make any size pinwheel.  Pinwheels
            end up approx 1" smaller than original square, depending on your
            seem allowances
Cons ~ There is some quite a bit of thinking.  You have to keep things in order
             or it is considerably more difficult to place your pinwheels.
         ~ There isn't the same type of distinction with the pinwheels and the
              border.  This second way...the pinwheels are more random and there
             the edges-spokes of the wheels before the "stop" border are vague.
             You can see the difference on the picture from the pattern vs the
             numbered twister-pinwheel pictures above.

So meee sweeet blogeee friends, to enter to WIN the
Five Fat Quarters (of your choice) just be a follower
and leave a comment about...

Have YOU ever made a Twister/Chunky Pinwheel with the Twister
Ruler and/or with the regular ruler?  Please, tell us what YOU
 think about this type of quilt and YOUR opinions on the methods
to make one.

~~entries closed Saturday February 18th Midnight MT~~


Our winner for last weeks Mystery Monday is
who lives in FRANCE!
you can visit her on her blog...HERE


B Greene said...

I am really interested in using a regular ruler to make a Twister. I have never tried it because I didn't have the specialty ruler! I like multi-purpose tools much better than single-use ones and I am not afraid of a little thinking. Thanks for the inspiration - I might get to play with that idea before long!!

Needled Mom said...

Your pros and cons are very similar to mine. I felt the Twister ruler also wasted a lot of fabric (or rather - added more to my scraps pile). Do you still end up with the bias edges when you use the multipurpose ruler? I would love to give that one a try as I like the idea of selecting your own size blocks.

I, too, am a gadget person and have never met a ruler that I didn't like!!!!

Ruth B said...

I have the little twister and the mini twister and have made small quilts with both. I hate wasting fabric too but this really is a fun way to make a quilt and the borders are done automatically which is fun. They make the twister templates in Superior Wisconsin which is near me so I was lucky enough to buy seconds at the store cheaper than the regular price.

Chiska said...

I've never made a twist quilt, but I think I'd prefer the method that doesn't include the special ruler. I'd rather spend my money on fabric. :)

Richard Healey said...

Just after starting to quilt I saw one of these quilts so I bought a twisty ruler and their it sits in the box. Its my goal this month to at least start if not finish a twisty puzzle quilt.
Stop by for my quilt givaway to guess my babys b-day and weight.

regan said...

My friend made one with the special ruler, and I liked the look, but I didn't get the ruler for all the 'con' reasons you mentioned. I think the regular-ruler-way would be great, and couldn't you make an outside row of all the same fabric to get the border effect from the other way? I'm just guessing..... but I do like that you can do this with a regular ruler and get different sizes. Thanks!

Heartsdesire said...

I bought the Lil' Twister ruler and made a small quilt using some charm squares. I really liked the way it turned out, and the whole thing was made and finished in a day. The next day, I cut the leftover fabric into squares and am using them for leaders and enders. I plan to make a few more for Christmas this year. My daughter suggested using them as place mats, so I think I will.

Patti said...

I have made a twister quilt using the 5 inch. It was a baby quilt and was very fast and easy and oh, so cute (if I do say so myself).

Craig and Liz said...

I made a twisted pinwheel quilt as a gift for an Olympic athlete for the SLC 2002 Olympics. So.. that was over 10 years ago and I can't remember what method I used. How funny that this pattern is popular again.

Gill said...

I don't have the Twister ruler but I've seen lots of great quilts so I want to have a go - they seem quite wasteful of fabric though

Sallie said...

I have used a Lil' Twister ruler to make a baby quilt from charm squares. The quilt ended up about 25% smaller than before I twisted it. However, it's fun and I have also purchased the Twister and the itty bitty twister rulers. I didn't know about the other method you described. Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

I havent made one, but if I did I probably would use the specialty ruler...just because it is easier and I have a hard time following patterns as it is!!!! I love the quilts and I would like to make one...Pretty cool stuff....

Mary said...

I have made quilts using the Lil Twister ruler. When you make the quilt using the 5 inch squares, if you cut carefully, you can use the 2 1/2 inch leftover square to make a smaller, cuter quilt. I love it.

MoeWest said...

I have the L'il Twister and some charm squares, but this project has not perculated to the top of my list yet. The ruler didn't cost much, so I don't mind that.

Benta AtSLIKstitches said...

Hi I loved this post. I did a post showing how to use an ordinary square template to make this top, and I use the bonus squares to made a border, so dont write it off just yet, LOL

Benta AtSLIKstitches said...,
is the I structions, and
shows the bonus squares (stitched end to end, then cut in half long the length) added to the quilt

This is my favourite block

Leah said...

I haven't seen this second method you speak of, it looks interesting. Since I don't need any more fabric added to my scrap bin I have stayed away from the twister ruler. I really do like the look of the quilt though and I really like the look of the twists going into the border, so I am at an impasse... Perhaps one day I will try them both.

And this would be . . . . said...

I have not made one of these as I do not want to spend money on a ruler that I can "only" use one way for one thing. I have not done the other method as I did not know you could.


Kasey said...

I bought myself the little twister ruler with a birthday gift cert last fall- figured since it was single-purpose, I'd treat myself for my bday. I have only used it once, though, because I was dismayed at the amount of waste, and the effort I had to go to in order to recover those scraps (since I use anything above 1/2" when patience is present). I'll probably make another, but only when I know I have the time to save the scraps. I might have to try a twisting block using the ruler method now, though. Thanks for sharing!

Keep Stitchin' said...

I definitely have been wanting to make one of these, but have never gotten around to it. Then about a week ago I picked up an issue of a quilt magazine that had this ruler in it and knew I'd have to get it sometime! It looks like fun!

Sarah Craig said...

I've made a quilt using the Lil Twister and while it's cute as all get out, it seems like a terrible waste of fabric and of time - you basically make a quilt top, then cut it up and sew it back together again! So I'm not sure this is something I'd do a lot, but it is a fun little gadget.

IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

Great review .... thanks for all the information! I've never made one so I have nothing to add other than just a good ole Thanks!

Please don't add me to the drawing...I have fabric up to my ears right now.


Michelle McCray said...

Yes, I have the 5" Twister ruler and agree that there is fabric waste. I made three square table mats that are waiting to be quilted. It wasn't as fun as I had hoped. I didn't realize how many steps it took to achieve the twists :0/

KatieQ said...

My name is KatieQ and I am a ruleraholic. I confess to owning a Little Twister, but have no idea how to use the darn thing and have never had the patience to learn. Now that you have shamed me into it, I'll have to give it a try. I would love it some quilt shop would give a class on how to use all the rulers and gadgets people have in their sewing rooms. I would sign up in a heart beat and I bet other people would too.

Rosa said...

I haven´t made one .The quilts look fabulous.Thanks

Francis Paul said...

I haven't made such a quilt but I do like the pattern a lot! thanks for the chance to win :-)

Stray Stitches (Linda G) said...

I have the Twister tool but haven't used it. I keep telling myself to pull it out of the drawer I stuck it in but other projects keep interfering. Thanks for the opportunity to enter your great giveaway!

Jennie P. said...

I haven't used one, but I've seen the twisty quilts lately and love them. I have read that the ruler makes quicker work of them.

robin said...

I really like the Twister quilts - very interested in making one. But I was wondering about wasting fabric, etc. So THANKS! for writing down the pros & cons! Not sure which method I'll use...

Lee Ann L. said...

Not yet. But, I'm wanting to so badly. I just have other things I must do before I can get to twisting. :-)

Thank you for a chance to win.

Anonymous said...


ThreadCatcher said...

I haven't made a twister quilt yet. I do like the idea of using a ruler I already have, and less waste of fabric. The extra thinking makes me hesitate; as a novice quilter I need simple and straight forward. Thanks for the review and the giveaway.

JustPam said...

I have made a twister quilt with the twister square. I agree with you completely. You don't have to think a lot about making it-easy, but I only made one because of the waste of fabric.

Brenda said...

I like the look of twister quilts, but I didn't like the idea of buying a special ruler or cutting apart a finished quilt. I like the idea of using a regular ruler. thanks for the chance to win.

krisgray said...

I am a happy follower! I own the tiniest twister ruler, for 2.5" squares, but haven't used it yet.

Mom C said...

I made 2 twisters with the 10" ruler.There is quite a bit of cut fabric but I didn't mind because I ended up with a bunch of 4" squares and once I cut the twisters they didn't need any more trimming. They also went together like a charm which was very satisfying to someone who always messes up the pattern and has to unpick and redo. Loved how the quilts turned out.

Kathie said...

I would need the twister ruler and then maybe I'd have a chance to make this quilt.

Becky said...

I just purchased the Twister ruler. It looks easy which is what I need for my next project. Thanks for the great review!

Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts said...

Well I do love gadgets too! I haven't tried the regular ruler/chunky way. I didn't know it existed! Thanks for the info. I have only made two really small wall hangings with the Twister ruler and I didn't use the ruler, a book came before the ruler (oh now I am dating myself!). The book was from martingale and it had a template in it to cut from plastic. That is the one I used. It was ok. A lot of people sew the waste pieces together for borders. Thanks for all the info! I think making it with 10 inch squares would be awesome.

Bri said...

I have been very curious about the twister ruler for a while now. I had no idea it wasted fabric, and that is something I just can't stand. I will have to try the second method. I like a good challenge, and it sounds like keeping it all straight will provide one. Bring it on!

Gwen said...

I've never tried this quilt pattern before, but it *is* very pretty! If I were to make one, I'd probably just use a regular ruler and figure it out that way.. I love doing things like that-- I see it as a challenge.. Also, I guess I wouldn't really like to buy a special ruler unless I thought I would make several quilts that use it-- I'd rather spend the money on fabric! :-) Thank you for the giveaway! :-)

✾Jamie Lee Cooley✾ said...

I have never made one before, but if I did I would make the more planning/less waste version. I have eaten tons of Girl Scout cookies the past few though...

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Wow - lots of replies on this one. I have all the twisters - we use them in our classes simply because it is easier for students. We tried the other method and few could hold the attention to keep things in order. Waste fabric - it's used in another project we have for them - so not wasted. Only con - some rotaries do NOT cut clean around the template and you have to go back and scissor cut. We played with several types rotaries, documented it and sent to the designer, no reply or template change. We had someone make some acrylac templates for us and they are a smidge thinner and work much better.

PJ said...

I've been looking at all of the new twister quilts lately. I think it would be more interesting to use a standard ruler. It doesn't sound that hard.

Janet said...

I love the look of the Twister quilts and would love to make one, but I haven't yet. Thanks for the heads up on a way to make them without the special ruler!

Susan said...

I have never made one, though it's on the list. I thought I would make it with the ruler, but I thought I might experiment with some ideas rolling around in my head for how to do it it, too. Probably about 5 failed experiments, and then I'll just follow the rules. =) The good part is, I wouldn't waste the left over fabric. There's always *something* to be made from scraps!

Sandra Kaye said...

Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I loved my visit in your blog. I like the twister quilts..I need to make one sometime!! Hugs

RandR Serenity said...

Hi there,
I love the look of these. My friend made a bag using one of those rulers.
I am a follower
Thanks for the giveaway.
Happy Valentines Day
Hugs from Australia

Joanie's Trendy Quilts said...

Great message on making twisters. I am more encouraged to make one using the long ruler. If I invest in a tool I want it be useful beyond one quilt idea. I tire easily of the some thing. I love trying new things.
P.S. Thanks for becoming a new follower. Wishing you a Happy Valentines Day!

Kris Meares - Tag Along Teddies said...

Hey Annie! I've seen the twister quilts around the blogosphere and thought they looked pretty groovy. I especially like the one you have shown with the black and solid colours ... looks like licorice allsorts! :0) I have to say ... I'd probably be trying the ordinary ruler way first ... cos I've got one of those and don't need to buy something specially ... I think I'm the opposite to you in that way! :0) But all in all ... it looks like too much measuring and cutting for me, so I'll just admire other people's efforts! :0) Have fun twisting the night away ... Bear Hugs! KRIS

Sis-O said...

I admire the twister quilts but have never made one. I am always game for learning to do something with tools I already have on hand. Thanks for the info and your opinion.

SewBella’s Quilt Cart said...

I have had a blast with the Twister templetes. I have made tablerunners, big quilts, lap quilts,used the smaller size for borders and even border a pillow case with twisters. The possiblities are endless. It's fast and easy and really fun!

Love Of Quilts said...

Never have used either one of these methods.

RitaMarie said...

I have not made a twister and am hesitant to buy another specialty ruler. They had a good tut. about the twister ruler over on "Sew We Quilt" last month that makes it seem easy enough to do. Will have to consider it after weighing the pros/cons you have offered. Thanks for cluing us in.

Darlene said...

I have used the twister ruler and love it. Makes a fun quilt very quickly. The little squares I've used in another project so not much waste for me. I even bought the bigger one and am working on a bigger twister. I found using a smaller rotary cutter was much better. I liked that I didn't have to cut alot of pieces and match seams for the pinwheels. I haven't been quilting very long so this was a quick project for me.

Of course, as with all projects and tools it is a matter of preference. :-)


Barb Neiwert said...

I've always admired this type of quilt but haven't tried it yet, so I'm not much help with ideas. Both methods sound very workable.
Barb at
P.S. Happy Valentines!

Pokey said...

I made a table runner and one practice placemat without a purchase of the ruler, just making a cardboard template. I actually shopped at 4 quilt shops without any luck finding one, or I would have spent the money! I liked the finish, but it does have waste, and ends up being quite a challenge puzzle. I think you almost have to finish it in one day or you would have trouble matching the prints up (unless you have someplace you can lay the project aside)! In the end, the runner was gift to a friend, and I don't know that I'd do another one....
Thank you for the visit, and for your giveaway.

Marcia W. said...

As would make one twister, would skip buying a ruler and go Chunky. I like Chunky and the fabrics of #3. Thanks for the chance to play your mystery game. I am a follower.

quilary said...

I bought the twister ruler from a craft show because I fell in love with a pattern that was on the stand. I haven't used it yet, but I remember she said to use a small rotary cutter and the off cuts could be used for a scrappy project.

Beth said...

Although I think the finished quilt is quite cute, I haven't made one because I can't get past all the wasted fabric.

I know I've seen a herringbone quilt with a very similar finished design but much less waste. I can't remember where I saw it, but when I do I'll drop you a note.

I'm a follower. :)

Diane said...

I just finished a twister quilt ... using the small ruler. I loved making it & used the scraps between to make a pieced border! Looking forward to someday trying it with a regular ruler as I'd like to make a different size twister. thanks for the chance!

hueisei said...

I'm a follower! I never make any twisted quilt before but I think the quilt look lovely and cute. I don't mind using the twister ruler to make the same quilt again and again.....

Michele T said...

I've never made a twister quilt with one of those special rulers or without... but I love the look and would really want to try it. I saw a tutorial to make one without the special ruler and it looked easy enough that I would use that method. Thanks for the chance!

Teresa F. said...

I made a little sampler block a few months ago. I didn't use either the twister or the regular ruler. Instead I made a little acrilic template, I marked the squares with a fabric pen and cut it. It turned out fine.

Mhairi said...

I have never made a Twister Pinwheel but I love the look of them. I love the way it seems to move. I don't think I will ever make one though as I have so many others in a the list ahead of this one. But it will join the list of other/maybe/WOW I love this but don't have the time quilts that I have.
Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts about the ruler etc.

free indeed said...

I've always liked the looks of the twister quilts, but I'm of the mind set that I can do that without buying a specialty ruler! I was thinking of just rigging one of my older 6.5" square rulers to do it. I think my fabric would have to be cut at 7.5"..this is where I haven't experimented yet. The other method seems more complicated and in my opinion doesn't look as nice. No, I'll rig my own ruler or wait till someone buys me one or I win one online :) Thanks

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

i have made quite a few "twister" quilts and love the finished product. The waste is not that big of issue. The mini was great fun.