A pocket composed of Pinwheel blocks elevates a zipper pouch that is roomy enough to hold a small laptop, reader, or notebook and papers. Fabrics are from the Whatnot collection by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Ruby Star Society.
Pinwheel Zipper Pouch
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Inspired by: Cozy Pinwheels from designer Deb Stumbo

Project tester: Diane Tomlinson


Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.

  • 8—3×6" rectangles or 3/8 yard total assorted light prints (blocks)
  • 8—3×6" rectangles or 3/8 yard total assorted dark prints (blocks)
  • 5/8yard pink print (pocket and pouch lining)
  • 1/3 yard yellow print (pouch front and back)
  • 16×30" batting
  • 14" zipper

Finished pouch: 14×10"

Finished blocks: 3-1/2" square

Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

From each assorted light print, cut:

  • 2—2-5/8" squares

From each assorted dark print, cut:

  • 2—2-5/8" squares

From pink print, cut:

  • 2—10-1/2×14-1/2" rectangles
  • 1—7-1/2×14-1/2" rectangle

From yellow print, cut:

  • 2—10-1/2×14-1/2" rectangles

From batting, cut:

  • 2—10-1/2×14-1/2" rectangles
  • 1—7-1/2×14-1/2" rectangle

Assemble Blocks

These measurements include 1/4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Press seams in directions indicated by arrows on diagrams. If no direction is specified, press seam toward darker fabric.

1. Use a pencil to mark a diagonal line on wrong side of each assorted light print 2-5/8" square.

2. Layer a marked light print square atop an assorted dark print 2-5/8" square. Sew together with two seams, stitching  1/4" on each side of drawn line (Diagram 1). Cut pair apart on drawn line. Press open to make two triangle-squares. Each triangle-square should be 2-1/4" square including seam allowances. Repeat to make four matching triangle-squares total.

3. Referring to Diagram 2, sew together triangle-squares in pairs. Join pairs to make a Pinwheel block. The block should be 4" square including seam allowances.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to make eight Pinwheel blocks total.

Assemble Pocket Front

1. Referring to Diagram 3, lay out Pinwheel blocks in two rows. Sew together pieces in rows, pressing seams in opposite directions. Join rows to make pocket front. Press seam in one direction. The pocket front should be 7-1/2×14-1/2" including seam allowances.

2. Layer pocket front and batting 7-1/2×14-1/2" rectangle. Quilt as desired.

3. With right sides together, sew together quilted pocket front and pink print 7-1/2×14-1/2" rectangle along one long edge (Diagram 4). Press seam toward pink print. Fold right side out. Topstitch 1/8" along folded edge (Diagram 5) to make lined pocket front.

Assemble Pouch

1. Layer yellow print 10-1/2 ×14-1/2" rectangle and batting 10-1/2×14-1/2" rectangle. Quilt as desired to make quilted pouch front. Repeat with remaining yellow print and batting 10-1/2×14-1/2" rectangles to make quilted pouch back.

2. Place lined pocket front atop quilted pouch front. Align side and bottom raw edges. Baste 1/8" away from side and bottom edges to create pocket (Diagram 6).

Pinwheel Zipper Pouch diagram 6

3. Lay a pink print 10-1/2×14-1/2" rectangle right side up on a flat surface. Referring to Diagram 7, align zipper with top edge.

Pinwheel Zipper Pouch diagram 7

4. Referring to Diagram 8, layer pouch front right side down on Step 3 unit, align top edges, and pin. Sew together along top edges. Press seam toward pink print. Fold right side out to make lined pouch front; press zipper edge flat (Diagram 9).

Pinwheel Zipper Pouch diagram 8
Pinwheel Zipper Pouch diagram 9

5. Referring to Diagram 10, layer remaining pink print 10-1/2×14-1/2" rectangle right side up, lined pouch front right side up, and quilted pouch back right side down. Align top edges; pin. Sew together along top edges; press seam toward pink print.

Pinwheel Zipper Pouch diagram 10

6. Referring to Diagram 11, open Step 5 unit so lining pieces are right sides together and pouch front and back are right sides together. Sew together outside edges, leaving a 5" opening in a lining edge for turning.

Pinwheel Zipper Pouch diagram 11

7. Turn Step 6 unit right side out through opening in lining seam. Hand- or machine-stitch the opening closed. Push lining into pouch body to complete the pouch.