This is a photo of my square dance table topper ready to quilt. I wanted to share the photo BEFORE I quilted it because I've never free-motion quilted and it might not look so good when I get done.
I used the pattern and directions from this book. It is no longer in print but there are still a few out there in quilt shops or on Amazon.com. I decided that this was one of those patterns that I really just needed to sew one to have a handle on how this technique worked. I used an American Primer charm pack for my topper. I used 36 charm squares in random order to make a large square 6 rows by 6 rows. I did try to balance out the 4 red charms and then rotated the rest so they were not near another of similar color. The next step was to add a border around my squares. I used a cream colored star print from Flay Day Farm. This is where I realized my error. While the blocks next to each other have to be different for contrast, so does the border to get the pinwheels to pop.
I decided to continue on with my learning experience. Using the template from the book, I cut out 49 squares of of my large square. Here is a photo from the book that shows that process. (Sorry these aren't actual photos...I started this project a week or so before the blog.) I then repieced my new squares into a 7 x 7 grid to make the pinwheels appear and added my inner and out borders.
I first saw this book and several samples in varying sizes at this quilt store. They were all very striking, but I am anxious to go back with an educated eye to try to figure out the best layout and types of fabric to use... obviously squares that contrast with each other and the first border.
I do think Martha Thompson was just quite clever to think of this whole idea!