Tell Me About Pre-Cuts: Day Four

I remember when Windham asked me to design a quilt (2009) using one of the first sets of 5" strips on the market. They called them "fat rolls." I said to the Marketing Director, Leslie Sonkin: "Are we talking about what's going on around my midriff?" We had a good laugh at that!

Since that time, other fabric companies have marketed their own "Jolly Bar" rolls. These are as long as Jelly Rolls, but are twice the width. That makes them 5" x 42".

Windham Basics was an earth toned collection of browns and burgundies and had some stripes, checks and ginghams thrown in for good measure! I pulled out a tried and true pattern I had published a few times in Quilt Magazine and away we went!

Hexagon Pinwheels Quilt: 44" x 48"

You can see that roll of 5" strips in the photo above. Doesn't resemble my midriff (but it's close!) Let me show you my approach. The pattern includes paper templates, but you can adapt this using your own 60 degree triangle ruler (using the templates as your guide).

Note that we stitch two 5" x wof strips together along BOTH long edges. Now it's a tube. Then we use our template (or your ruler with the template for your guide) to cut apart the strip set. Open up the two-patch unit and you have what's seen in Diagram 4. Stitch these together into the Hexagon Block in Diagram 5.

This does involve a y-seam, but you can always take one of the 2-patch sets apart and make two halves of the Hexagon Block which makes it easier.

I know that other fabric companies came along and trademarked their own sets of 5" strips. Lots of very clever things you can do with these. But, Windham was the first to do it and I was happy to oblige. I even used this for some popular workshops that I taught in 2010-12.

Hexagon Spiderweb from 2012

So, pull out your "Jolly Bar" rolls or cut your own 5" strips and see how easy it is to make these fun - and quick - blocks! The free pattern for Hexagon Pinwheels is found on the Windham Fabrics website.