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The windmill quilt block is a traditional quilt block pattern that is made up of four units that form a larger square. It is a versatile pattern that can be used in a variety of quilt designs, and it is a great block for beginners to learn.
To make a windmill quilt block, you will need:
- Fabric in two contrasting colors
- Rotary cutter
- Cutting mat
- Quilting ruler
- Sewing machine
Cut four 4 1/2 inch squares from one color of fabric and four 4 1/2 inch squares from the other color of fabric.
Take two squares of each color and place them right sides together. Use a quilting ruler and rotary cutter to cut the squares in half diagonally, creating eight triangles.
Take two triangles of the same color and place them right sides together. Sew them together along one of the long edges using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Repeat with the remaining triangles, making four units.
Press the seams open on each unit.
Take two units and place them right sides together, making sure the seams are nested. Sew them together along one of the long edges using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Repeat with the remaining units, making two halves.
Press the seams open on each half.
Take the two halves and place them right sides together, making sure the seams are nested. Sew them together along one of the long edges using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
Press the seam open on the final square. Your windmill quilt block is complete!
Repeat these steps to make additional windmill quilt blocks as needed for your project.
This is a great technique for making half square triangles that eliminates the need to directly manipulate the stretchy bias of the triangle. It utilizes two easy to cut squares producing two half square triangles.
On the back of the lighter fabric, draw a pencil line, diagonally from corner to corner.
Stack a pair of light and dark squares, right sides together. Sew a 1/4 inch seam allowance on each side of the line.
You will end up with something like this.
Now cut along the diagonal line.
Press the seam together to set the seam. Then press towards the darkest fabric.
To trim the block to the exact size line up the diagonal 45°angle with the ruler on your seam.
And then carefully trim your block with a rotary cutter.
How to Resize Quilt Blocks:
The first step in modifying any quilt block is to decide on the size of your finished quilt block. You can come to a decision based on a number of factors: doubling a pattern, cutting your pattern in half, or choosing the size based on your available fabric.
NOTE: When working from a pattern’s cutting instructions, make sure you remove the seam allowance before doubling or tripling the size. For instance, if your pattern calls for 3-1/2″ squares, first you’ll subtract the sum of the seam allowances (1/2″), double the finished block size (from 3″ to 6″), and add the seam allowance back in (1/2″). So, when all is said and done, you will cut a 6-1/2″ piece of fabric.
Resizing Square Blocks:
Square blocks are the easiest to resize. Simply add to your finished block measurement. For example, if you’d like your finished block to be a 4″ square, you’ll need to cut a 4-1/2″ square of fabric.
Resizing Rectangular Blocks:
Similarly to the square, for rectangle blocks, you’ll add to the length and width measurements of your finished block. If you’re doubling block that measures 3″ x 4″ in your quilt, you’ll cut a 6-1/2″ x 8-1/2″ rectangle of fabric.
Resizing Half-Square Triangle Blocks:
When you want to change the size of a Half-Square Triangle block, add 7/8″ to the desired finished block size. To make a 4″ finished block, you’d cut 4-7/8″ squares.
Resizing Quarter Square Triangle:
Since there are two cut lines and two seam lines in a Quarter-Square Triangle block you’ll need to add 1-1/4″ to the desired finished block size. For a finished block that’s 4″, you’d cut your squares 5-1/4″.