Penta-Pinwheel Quilt {free tutorial}



Sew a patchwork pinwheel quilt that is different from all the others! My free Penta Pinwheel baby quilt pattern is very easy to sew. You can use yardage, fabric scraps, or a pre-cut called the Jolly Bar.

The Jolly Bar is a new pre-cut fabric bundle available only at Fat Quarter Shop. It’s 5” x 10” and I love how much you can do with it! I’m sure you already know how much I love fabric bundles. Having one or two of every fabric in a collection makes putting a quilt together so easy.



I used a ‘Jolly Bar’ for my Penta Pinwheel Quilt, but if you don’t have one, you can simply cut 18 coordinating pieces of fabric (5” x 10”) from your stash. I used the Daysail Jolly Bar – fabric by Bonnie and Camille for Moda. There are 42 pieces and a free quilt pattern in the package. I have a total fabric crush on this red/navy/turquoise colorway. In fact, I left out as many of the green ones as I could.

So do you want to make a Penta-Pinwheel Quilt? I’m calling it penta-pinwheel because it’s a pinwheel with 5 blades. And it’s way easier than it looks.

Here’s the tutorial:

You will need:

  • 25 pieces of fabric 5” x 10” (the more coordinating fabrics the better – these are the ‘bars’)
  • 1 yard of background fabric

You’ll need another 9 ‘bars’ if you want to make a Jolly Bar binding too.

Choose 9 bars and sew together three sets of three. (I got carried away and made lots more than that). Save at least 16 bars for your border.

From your background fabric, cut:

  • 3 rectangles 10” x 14”

  • 1 rectangle 6 1/2” x 19 3/4”

  • 1 rectangle 12 1/4” x 16 3/4”

Draw a diagonal line through each 10” x 14” rectangle. Pin one to each set of 3 bars.

Sew 1/4” away from the line on both sides. Cut the block apart along the line. Repeat with the other 2 blocks.

Press the seams toward the darker half on all pieces and clip the dog ears at both ends of the seam.

Then choose your 5 favorite pieces and arrange them in a pinwheel. One 1/2 block will be left over.

Sewing these spoke shaped blocks together is easy if you follow 2 simple rules.

  1. Nest the seams down the middle of the blocks, especially at the point.

  2. Stop sewing 1/4” from the center on all seams. This is easy because you will meet a previous line of stitching.

Start by pinning the first two together (see above).


Stitch from the outside of the pinwheel toward the center. As mentioned above, when you come near the center make sure that the previous seams are nested at the point. Stop stitching 1/4” from the end, or when you come to the other line of stitching.

Tip: I backstitch just once here to help it stay.

Press the seam toward the darker fabric.


If you have nested your seams nice an tight, the pinwheel will start to appear.

Continue sewing the spokes to your pinwheel and pressing the seams toward the darker fabric until all 5 are sewn together with one seam left.

Fold the big pentagon in half and pin the last seam just like the others. Stitch it in exactly the same way, stopping 1/4” from the center.

After you press the last seam, smash the center with your thumb and twist to make a flat little star.

Now we just need to add triangles to the pentagon to make a square.


Cut the 2 remaining rectangles in half diagonally.

Turn the penta-pinwheel around until one side looks best on the bottom. The four triangles will be sewn to the pentagon as shown in the diagram above.

Sew the long skinny triangles to the bottom of the pentagon first…

Center the triangle over the straight edge, and then move it a smidge toward the skinny point. That’s to the right in the picture above. Pin and stitch.

Press the seam. Repeat with the other skinny triangle. The pentagon above is upside down with the bottom edge up.

Next sew the larger triangles to the top of the pentagon. It helps to place them in the correct spot (left photo) and then fold down and pin (right photo).

Now it’s time to square up the large block. Trim the bottom first, and then work your away around the square, making straight edges and right angles.

Trim a straight edge 1/4” from the points.

You are ready for a border!

Sew Jolly Bars together into strips to make the border. This is the only border I added so I ended up with a baby quilt approximately 40” square.

To make a Jolly Bar binding, sew 9 (or more) jolly bars in a row. Cut the strip in half lengthwise to make two 2 1/2” strips. Sew those together, and it’s more than enough for a baby quilt.

Have fun and happy Valentine’s Day!

Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂