Here we are, up to block 8 of my 2022 BOW series. This has gone fast! All the patterns from block 1 through today are still free for you to download. These are easy to piece 6 1/2″ blocks. When we have all 9 blocks done, I will share how I piece them together to make a wall hanging and will share those directions. However, you can put the blocks together however you like! To get the previous patterns, click on the week shown here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6 and Week 7. OK… let’s get started!
2022 BOW Block 8 – Windmill
The instructions to make this block are found here: 2022 BOW Block 8. This block will require you to use an accurate 1/4″ seam allowance. I will cover the importance of the 1/4″ seam allowance as part of my top ten tips I like to share for quilters, beginners and advanced!
The earliest appearance I found for this block was in the LAC in 1897. A variation of it was called Turnstiles in a 1928 LAC publication. There are also many other variations of this block also entitled “Windmill” throughout the early 1900’s. Some of them I found were ones that could probably be easily made now as a paper-pieced block. Other names found for this block were: Modern Envelope, Old Windmill, Pinwheel, The Whirligig and Whirlwind.
Top Ten Quilting Tips
Here are my top ten quilting tips that I like to share for beginners and advance quilters alike. If you follow these tips, my hope is that it helps you to have a more relaxed quilting experience. Now, these are the tips I think are the most useful. Others may have tips they feel are the most important. Feel free to pick and choose!
3. Cutting. Whether you have a dedicated sewing room or you sew on the dining room table, make sure your cutting area is clear of items that can get in your way while you are cutting our your pieces. Also have your rulers close at hand.
LOL! Confession time… I had to clean up my cutting table to take this picture, so maybe I should practice what I preach!
Related to cutting, be sure you have a sharp rotary blade to cut your pieces correctly and avoid injury. How will you notice if your blade has become dull? If you have to press down hard or you feel your blade skipping as you cut it’s time to change the blade. Usually after cutting out several large projects, you will need to replace the blade. This is for safety as well as for preservation of your fabric.
4. Organization. If your quilt has a lot of blocks made up of many pieces, organization is important. I’ve talked about it in other blog posts. My patterns usually have letters, and sometime a combo of letters and numbers, for each piece cut. I like to label a stack of pieces with masking or painters tape marked with the letter. If the piece is cut from several different colors, I keep them separated by color as well. Here’s an example below.
7. Keep tools close. I suggest keeping tools you use frequently close by. I have a small shower soap dish attached to my sewing table where I keep my scissors I use for clipping seams and a small ruler for measuring seams and other items I may need.
10. Quilt layout. Finally, I recommend using a design wall or a large floor space to layout finished blocks. This makes it easier to arrange your blocks the way you want them before stitching them into rows and then into a quilt top. Otherwise, you might get all your rows stitched together and realize you have two blocks next to each other that you wished were not. This will save you a lot of “unsewing” time!
One Last Tip
For this block, you will be joining a half-square triangle square and two triangles. We did something similar for block 3 of the 2021 BOW and I made a mini video to show how to do this type of piecing. View this video to refresh your memory (fast forward to the 3:06 minute mark where I show joining a triangle and a square) and I hope it helps you making this block.
When the stitching together the pieces for the 4 units that make up this block:
Lay the two pieced triangle units right sides together, lining up the 90 degree corners first. I recommend stitching the diagonal seam with a scant 1/4″ seam (slightly under 1/4″), then evenly trim the resulting square to 3 1/2 x 3 1/2″. By doing this with all 4 units for this block, your completed block should measure 6 1/2 x 6 1/2″ when done.
Well, that’s it for this week. Come back next week for block 9 and some more tips and techniques.
Remember, comment or ask questions throughout this series. At the end, I will have a grand prize giveaway. This will include my book, two of my newer patterns, some fat quarters and sewing scissors!