Baby Windmills: Teeny Tiny Quilt Blocks and a SWAP!
I’m on a quest to use one simple idea in a few dozen quilt designs. The idea is this very basic little quilt block, the Baby Windmill.
I started making them not long after I began working for Quiltmaker. I was too tired to make creative decisions in the evenings, but I still wanted to sew. I cut scraps into patches 1.5″ x 2.5″ and kept them in a basket next to my machine. I’d make blocks whenever I had a chance. Here’s a tutorial for how to make Baby Windmills that finish at 4″ x 4″.
I signed up for Beth Helfter’s Teal Mini Swap recently to raise funds for ovarian cancer research and it’s time to get started. (This is loads of fun, and so easy, and there’s still time for you to jump in but tomorrow is the last day! Get the details. Better yet, just sign up because we don’t want our daughters and granddaughters to die from ovarian cancer.)
For a long time I’ve wanted to make Baby Windmills smaller than the 4″ x 4″ size. And I wonder if maybe the Teal Mini Swap is the perfect time to get started. Last night I made the block you see in the middle below, which finishes at 3″ x 3″. It’s so cute. The patches are cut 1.25″ x 2″.
This morning after a few cups of coffee it seemed like a good idea to try making them a little smaller, so I created the one on the top that finishes at 2″ x 2″. It’s even cuter. The patches are cut 1″ x 1.5″. It sounds tiny but they handled easily.
Making something much smaller or much larger is a basic design trick that often yields great results. Just below is “Spinster,” a quilt I designed for Quiltmaker’s Jan/Feb ’17 issue. You can see that I made the Baby Windmills much larger and turned them on point. They’re pieced from lots of rectangles to interesting effect. This is a big quilt, almost 80″ x 80″.
Next time you’re stuck, consider making your blocks much larger or much smaller, and see if you don’t get unstuck and on your way to something smashing!