In 1833, Nancy Cabot introduced the Windblown Star in the Chicago Tribune, giving very little historical background, but she did say it could be traced to a ‘quaint seaside town in Maine’. A very faded example from 1778 was found there, made from blue fabrics. The design depicts spinning shapes, reflecting leaves or water.

A block known as Windblown Square, made from half-square triangles and a square within a square. The whole block can be made from half-square triangles if you wish. 



Finished size:16in (40.5cm) square

Designed and made by Jemima Schlee





  • 10in (25.5cm) square of dark red fabric
  • 14 x 5in (36 x 13cm) of medium red and pink fabrics
  • 91/2 x 23in (24 x 58.5cm) of white fabric
  • Fabric pencil and ruler 



Where to buy

I have used fabrics from the Linea and Spectrum ranges from Makower UK, however, this block only uses small pieces of fabric you might find something suitable in your stash.





Before starting


Wash and press all fabrics, and read through all the instructions.


All measurements include 1/4in seam allowance




Cutting instructions


1. From the white fabric, cut one 81⁄2in square and six 4 7/8in squares

2. From the dark red fabric cut four 4 7/8in squares.

3. From the medium red fabric cut two 41⁄2in squares and one 4 7/8in square.

4. From the pink fabric cut two 41⁄2in squares and one 4 7/8in square.


Making the centre of the block

1. Take two of your medium red 41/2in squares and on the wrong side of each, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. Place the on top of the 8 1/2in white square, right sides together, with the drawn lines facing away from the centre of the white square. Pin and stitch along both diagonal lines.

2. Trim the seam allowance 1/4in away from the drawn line. Flip to corners open and press using a hot iron, with the seam facing towards the ‘new’ corner.

3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 on the remaining two corners, using two of the 4 1/2in pink squares.

4. If needed, trim your edges carefully to leave yourself with a neat 6 1/2in square. This forms the centre of the block.


Making the half-square triangles

1. Lay a 4 7/8in square of white fabric down in front of you, right side up. Place a pink 41/2in square on top, right side down, and align all the edges. Draw a diagonal line from the bottom right to the top left-hand corner. Sew a scant 1⁄4in either side of this line.

2. Cut along the central drawn line with sharp scissors and give your work a good press. You now have two units of half square triangles.

3. Press the seam allowance towards the white fabric.

4. Trim off tail ends of seam allowance to create straight edges all the way around, leaving you two 4 1/2in squares.

5. Repeat Steps 1 to 4, sewing the fabric in the following pairs:
Two sets of dark red and white
One set of medium red and white

Assembling the block

1. Take one pink and one medium red half-square triangle and, placing them right sides together, join them with a 1/4in seam. Press this seam to one side and trim off tail ends. Stitch to the side of the square in a square centre unit, ensuring that the pink triangle lies adjacent to the pink corner of the central unit

2. Repeat Step 2 to stitch two half-square triangles to the opposite side of the block. 

3. Sew the remaining half-square triangles into two rows. Finally, sew these to the central unit and press your block.

If you enjoyed making this block, why not make a Windblown Square quilt? The design above is made from twenty identical blocks. 



The fun doesn’t end here…

Each month designer Jemima Schlee will be introducing you to a different block, with easy to follow instructions. 

This is the fifth of nine 16in square blocks for you to make, with the final design appearing in our March 2018 

issue. As you make the nine blocks, we would like you to come up with your own quilt design. You can add more blocks or borders, experiment with colour ways and fabrics, and make the finished quilt as large or as small as you like. Anything that takes your fancy! The only rule is that it must include all nine of the blocks from the magazine.

There are great prizes to be won, including a fabulous 

sewing machine, courtesy of Bernina, for the winning design. Full details of how to enter will be given in the March 2018 issue, so watch this space and don’t forget to keep us posted on your progress.


The previous blocks are:

July Old Tippecanoe/Crossed Canoes

August Pinwheel Cross

September Dutchman's Puzzle
October Spools



If you have missed an issue, click here to order a copy.