Festival of HST ~ Candy Pinwheel

I’m happy to have you visit my blog today as part of the Festival of Half Square Triangles! Today I’m going to share a tutorial for a new quilt block and then talk about some ideas for what you can do with it.

I almost titled this post “When a Square isn’t a Square”. Because those are the words that were constantly in my mind as I was creating this quilt block and the quilt that will follow it on Friday. When I’m designing quilts, I think I tend to fall into the mindset that I have to make blocks that are square. But when I sit down and really think about quilts that catch my eye, a lot of the time they are quilts don’t use basic squares – whether it be stars or hexies or any number of things.

So today’s block is a rectangular hexagon. This block can be used on it’s own – I actually think it would make an adorable pillow. I could see a bunch of them in different colors all over my daughter’s bed. Or it can be combined with many more blocks to make a quilt. I will share tips for making it into a quilt at the end of the block tutorial.

Let’s get started on the single block tutorial!

Candy Pinwheel Quilt Block Tutorial

All seam allowances are 1/4″

Step 1. Cut your fabric.

Color/Print 1 Cut 3 5″ x 5″
Color/Print 2 Cut 3 5″ x 5″

Step 2. Cut all 6 squares along the diagonal, resulting in 12 half square triangles (HST).

Step 3. Pair 8 of your HSTs together as shown. Sew together along the diagonal creating 4 squares.

Step 4. Trim your squares to 4.5″ x 4.5″.

Step 5. Sew your 4 squares together to form a pinwheel.

Step 6. Take your 4 remaining HST. Lay out as shown below.

Step 7. Sew together along the short edge, forming a larger triangle as shown below.

Step 8. Place these larger triangles on each side of your pinwheel square. Line up the middle seams and sew together.

Step 9. Using a quilting ruler, trim the sides of the resulting block if necessary, so they line up with the edges of the pinwheel section of the block.

Congratulations! You’ve made a Candy Pinwheel quilt block!

As I mentioned earlier, I think a block like this would make an adorable pillow. But what if you want a quilt? There are a few options. First, let’s talk color and layout. These blocks are staggered to “fit” together.

I followed a few color rules when designing this quilt mockup. Almost all my blocks were made using all warm (pink, red, orange, yellow) or all cool (blue, turquoise, green, purple) colors. I think this gives a bit of order to a quilt that is actually scrappy.

As for quilt top assembly, there are a couple options. First, you could make individual blocks (rectangular hexagons) and sew them together using the Y-Seam method. I’m sure most people just fainted. 🙂

But there is another easier option. If you plan your quilt ahead, you can actually sew your quilt together in rows. Simply lay out your entire quilt top on the floor or design wall, and rather than making one block at a time, you make one row at a time.

You will need some space to make your quilt this way, but I found it to be very easy. I hope that gives you some ideas for making an eye catching half square triangle quilt. I will post my finished Candy Pinwheel quilt on Friday. Here’s a sneak peek!


  1. 5

    Margaret says

    I think this quilt will go on my must do list. It looks awesome and the way you show it looks like it is at my level (confident beginner). Thanks for the tutorial. That is one of the best things about blogs. I am learning so many great techniques and ideas.

  2. 6

    Anna says

    Love it! I think i would definitely try to plan ahead rather than attempt the Y seams! 🙂 Thanks for posting such gorgeous photos

  3. 7


    Love your idea! Interesting to see how different it looks by adding the two pieces on the ends of the pinwheels. Looking forward to seeing your finished quilt 🙂

  4. 9

    Donna Kirkland says

    Are the sides of the quilt going to be triangles or will you ‘square’ it up? Do you have any tips for the hexagon?

    • 10


      I am going to square up the sides (for the most part, I have a little bit of interest I will share.) As far as the blocks go, as long as you take the time to trim them up, everything will line up perfectly!

  5. 16

    Hallie says

    Oh wow! I just love your block and can’t wait to see your finished quilt. Thanks for the inspiration and easy tut to follow!

  6. 23

    VickiT says

    Great looking blocks and the sneak peek of your quilt is beautiful. I can’t wait to see your finished one on Friday. Thank you for another wonderful tutorial. I LOVE your tutorials. They are always so easy to read and understand. Thank you for that too.

  7. 24

    Reena says

    Uh oh! I did not read to the end about assembling the block row by row! Now here I am with like 30+ blocks and I see there is a Y seam involved!!! AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHH! How will I get these suckers together???
    It is totally fun putting them together and I just went into production mode- pedal to the metal zoom zoom zoom.
    Do you have any suggestion for me short of taking them apart & starting over? (Not really an option… hahahaha)

  8. 28

    Laura says

    I love this pattern I have so many dif color dot 4″ squares. This will be awesome doing one this weekend 🙂

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  10. 30

    Diane says

    I love this pattern! Would like to use for a table runner. How would you put the borders on the diagonal ends? Thanks!

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