Lesley Brankin combines sails and pinwheels in this delightful windmill quilt. This quilt was
designed and pieced by Lesley and machine-quilted by Jan Chandler.
All of the fabrics used in this project are from the Kaffe Fassett fabric
collection by Rowan. Some or all of the fabrics can easily be substituted for other makes. FQs of the following:
- Shot Cotton Fabric: SC11 (Orange), SC28 (cream), SC30 (yellow)
- Exotic Check: EC01 (blue/green)
- Exotic Stripe: ES15 (blue/brown)
- Blue and White Stripe: BWS02, BWS01
- Ombre Stripe: OS02 (blue/white)
- Prints: GP06-C (yellow pebble), GP07-C (blue pebble), GP02-C (blue damask)
- Roman Stripe: RS06 (blue on blue), RS07 (yellow), RS03 (dark blue on blue)
- 50cm (or 2 FQs) of 112cm wide print PR-03 (blue pressed rose) for sashing
- 3m of shot cotton SC13 (dark blue) for sashing and backing*
- 35cm of shot cotton SC15 (denim blue) for binding
- 116 x 178cm (46x 70in) Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 (or similar) wadding*
- Greaseproof paper or Stitch’n’Tear for foundation piecing
*Commercial long arm quilting needs extra backing to fix
into the machine and we have allowed sufficient backing
material and wadding for this.
39 1⁄2 x 63 1⁄2in (104 x 161cm)
1⁄4in used except for binding
Inspired by a Delftware plate, Lesley originally intended to make a blue and
white quilt but decided the orange and yellow added a bit of pizazz. It is an
ideal size as a quilt for a child’s bed. Made using a combination of foundation
and quick pieced techniques with the doors and windows appliquéd on after
piecing. All of the fabrics used in this project are from the Kaffe Fassett fabric
collection by Rowan. Some or all of the fabrics can easily be substituted for
Selecting which fabrics to use for the blocks is a matter of personal preference
and as such this project provides an ideal opportunity for experimentation. Care
should be taken with the orientation of striped and patterned fabrics.
Lesley’s instructions trim excess fabric from the the borders and sashing strips
after they are sewn. if you prefer to cut exact strip sizes, adjust the strip
Figure 1: Constructing the windmills
Each block is constructed of five separately pieced units with the
addition of sashing. The fabric codes are as follows:
- a - background
- b - sails
- c - building
- d - balcony
- e - roof
- Using the templates provided on
and a suitable foundation-piecing or hand-piecing technique, construct your six basic
windmill blocks as shown in Figure 1.
Please remember that the finished blocks
will appear to be the reverse of the templates provided.
- Using hand or machine appliqué, add a door and window. The templates are
provided but add seam allowances for hand appliqué.
- For each completed basic block add the following sashing, trimming excess
fabric as you go:
The blocks should measure 10 x 14in
with sashing. To add variety to your
quilt why not try introducing some
mirrored windmills, or vary the
position of the doors and windows?
- Two strips 12 x 1 1⁄2in from background fabric for the sides
- One strip 11 x 1 1⁄2in from background fabric for the top
- One strip 11 x 2 1⁄2in from patterned fabric for the bottom
- From your selection of fabrics cut twenty four 2 3⁄8in squares.
- For each block, randomly select a pair of squares, place RS together and
press. Cut across a single diagonal from corner to corner to create four
triangles (two of each colour).
- Sew together to form a quarter square triangle block (see Figure 2). Make a
total of twelve blocks 2 1⁄2in square.
Figure 2: Sewing the sashing corners
From your selection of fabrics cut:
- forty six 4 1⁄8in squares from striped fabric
- forty six 4 1⁄8in squares from plain/patterned fabric
- Place your squares in two piles. Working from each pile, randomly
select a pair of squares, place RS together and press.
- With a fine pencil or other suitable marker draw both diagonal lines from
corner to corner across the square.
- Using a scant seam allowance sew alongside the diagonals as shown in Figure 3.
- Using a rotary cutter cut along both of the original diagonals. Open and
press the resulting triangles. Stitch triangles together to form a pinwheel
using the quarter square triangle technique. Press. Make forty six
blocks 4 1⁄2in square.
Note: this method of construction ensures that you get identical triangle
pieces and lessens bias stretch.
Figure 3: Sewing the pinwheel blocks
Assembling the top
Work from the centre of the quilt
outwards. From patterned fabric cut:
- six 11 x 2 1⁄2in sashing strips
- nine 15 x 2 1⁄2in sashing strips
- two 52 x 1 1⁄2in strips of blue for first side border
- two 29 x 1 1⁄2in strips of blue for top and bottom borders
- two 62 x 2 1⁄2in strips of blue for second side border
- two 41 x 2 1⁄2in of blue for second top and bottom borders
- Attach strips and quarter square triangles as shown in the photo. Join
blocks and strips into horizontal rows first. Trim excess fabric from the
sashing strips as you proceed.
- Using the dark blue fabric strips sew to the top RS together, trimming
excess fabric as before.
- Take thirteen pinwheel blocks and join together into a strip. Make
another strip in the same way.
- Matching ends and centre points, attach one pinwheel strip to the sides
of the quilt, easing in any fullness.
- Join nine pinwheel blocks to form a strip. Make two strips in total.
- Matching ends and centre points, attach one pinwheel strip to the top
and bottom of the quilt, easing in any fullness of fabric.
- Using dark blue fabric add the second border to your quilt top,
trimming excess fabric as you go. Your quilt top is now complete.
Quilting and Binding
- Cut and join the backing fabric - it should be at least 46 x 70in for
commercial long arm quilting. For quilting at home it needs to be about
2in larger all round than your quilt top.
- Layer the backing, wadding and quilt top together. Baste and quilt as desired.
Lesley’s quilt was long-arm machine quilted by Jan Chandler of Quilting
Solutions. Jan stitched in the ditch around the windmills, sails, doors and
windows and stippled the sky. The foreground was left unquilted to give
an impression of depth within the view. The sashings were cross-hatched whilst
the borders and the sails were quilted with a curve to give an impression of
movement. A navy blue quilting thread was used throughout.
- Cut 2in wide strips from the denim blue fabric (six widths should be
sufficient) to measure 214in (544cm). Join binding strips across the bias.
- Starting in the centre of the bottom edge and with RS together, attach
the single binding to the edge of the quilt, carefully working the bias
corners. Slip stitch in place on the reverse making sure that you cover
any lines of machine stitching at the edge of the quilt. Add your label.
- Kaffe Fassett fabrics are available
from Rowan stockists nationwide.
- Quilting Solutions offers a complete
custom machine quilting service
including basting for hand-quilters;
all-over quilting and customised
quilting which can follow the contours
of a pieced or appliquéd design.
Traditional and contemporary
quilting designs are available.
For further details or a catalogue,
visit the website
First published in Popular Patchwork Volume 10 Number 7 - July 2002