Whirlpool Quilt Block

Today I’ve got another classic quilt block tutorial for you!! Welcome to my guide on creating the mesmerizing 12″ Whirlpool Quilt Block!

If you’re a quilting enthusiast looking to add a touch of dynamic flair to your projects, you’ve come to the right place!!

In this comprehensive tutorial, I’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of crafting this eye-catching block, from selecting the perfect fabrics to mastering the intricate piecing techniques.

Whether you’re a seasoned quilter or a novice eager to dive into the world of quilting, join me to learn the secrets behind creating this stunning whirlpool design. Let’s dive in!

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Other Names for the Whirlpool Quilt Block

The whirlpool quilt block is also known by a few other names, depending on regional variations and interpretations within the quilting community. Some alternative names for the whirlpool quilt block include:

Pinwheel quilt block

Twister quilt block

Spinwheel quilt block

Hurricane quilt block

Cyclone quilt block

These names often evoke the swirling, dynamic motion that characterizes the design of this captivating quilt block.

Supplies Needed to Make the Whirlpool Quilt Block

To create your own whirlpool quilt block, you’ll need a few essential supplies to get started.

Choosing Fabric for the Whirlpool Quilt Block

First and foremost, gather an assortment of high-quality quilting fabrics in colors and patterns of your choice.

This easy quilt block uses four different colors of fabric.

I chose a light pink and a dark pink tone-on-tone fabric for two of the selections. 

A peachy tone-on-tone fabric coordinated nicely with the pinks.  And a light tan tone-on-tone fabric was my fourth pick. 

I love the way these four fabrics coordinate together. 

Dig in your fabric stash or purchase a few new fat quarters!!

You’ll want a light, medium, and dark colored fabric for the best contrast and I think these fabrics show each other off nicely.  You should pick colors that you love for your whirlpool quilt block!

Other Supplies…

You’ll also need coordinating thread for stitching your pieces together.

To accurately measure and cut your fabric, a rotary cutter, cutting mat, and clear quilting ruler are indispensable tools.

Additionally, don’t forget about a sewing machine equipped with a quarter-inch piecing foot for precise seam allowances.

For pressing your seams and achieving crisp, professional-looking results, an iron and ironing board or wool pressing mat are essential.

I also like to use the wrinkle release spray “Flatter” as I do the final press on my block!  This amazing pressing spray gets the flattest seams I’ve ever seen!!

Finally, make sure to have a seam ripper on hand for any necessary adjustments along the way. With these supplies at your disposal, you’ll be well-equipped to embark on your whirlpool quilt block journey!

Cutting Patches for the Whirlpool Quilt Block

Cut the following pieces for your whirlpool quilt block.

Dark Pink:  Cut 2 – 5 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ squares.

Light Pink:  Cut 1 – 5 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ square.

Peach:  Cut 4 – 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ squares and 1 – 5 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ square.

Tan:  Cut 1 – 5 1/2″ x 5 1/2″ square.

Let’s Get Sewing the Whirlpool Quilt Block

Now that you have all your pieces cut, let’s get going making this beautiful quilt block!

Making Four-at-a-Time Half Square Triangle (HST) Units

Use a dark pink and a light pink 5 1/2″ square together to make one set of four HST units.  A dark pink and a peach 5 1/2″ square make the second set of four HST units.  And a peach and a tan 5 1/2″ square make the third set of four HST units.

Refer to my post for Four-at-a-Time Half-Square Triangle Units which will walk you through the steps of making the 12 HST units for the whirlpool quilt block.

Carefully trim just a little from each HST unit to measure 3 1/2″ square.

Arrange, Sew and Press the Rows

Lay out the various colored HST units and the peach 3 1/2″ squares into four rows, as shown here.

 Sew the HST units and squares into the four rows. 

Press the seams of the first and third row to the right.  Press the seams of the second and fourth row to the left.  This way the seams will nest together when you sew the rows to each other.

Finishing the Block

Sew the first and second row to each other, making sure to nest and pin the seams so the points and seams line up nicely.

Remove pins as you sew the rows together.

Repeat this method as you sew the third row to the second row, and the fourth row onto the third row! 

Press the seams of these rows either upward or downward so the whirlpool quilt block lays flat.


As you wrap up your whirlpool quilt block adventure, remember that quilting is not just about creating beautiful pieces; it’s also about the joy of the creative process and the satisfaction of bringing your vision to life.

Whether you’re a seasoned quilter or just starting out, I hope this tutorial has inspired you to explore new techniques and unleash your creativity.

Embrace the journey, cherish the moments spent stitching, and most importantly, have fun with your quilting endeavors. I can’t wait to see the whirlpool quilt blocks you create! Tag me @lakegirlquilts on Instagram or Facebook so I can see your beautiful whirlpool quilt block!!

Happy quilting!

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