Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks: V. 15 Blog Tour
Welcome to Stash Bandit, online home of Diane Harris. I was a Quiltmaker editor for 11 years (one of the best jobs ever); now I’m giving energetic trunk shows and inspiring classes to quilt groups. My ideas and how-tos live here on Stash Bandit. I’m glad you’ve chosen to visit during the 100 Blocks Blog Tour.
More than a decade ago, I started making a simple little block I nicknamed a Baby Windmill. I needed something simple to sew after a long day at work, when I was too tired to make any decisions but still wanted to create. I cut a bunch of patches to 1.5″ x 2.5″ in sets of four matching. They lived in a basket next to my machine, and I’d make a few every night.
Pretty soon they added up. The first thing I tried was selecting blocks in mostly greens and blues and sewing them together.
It turned into a great little crib quilt that my daughter eventually gifted to friends with a new baby boy.
Not long after that I used a different color recipe to make this Christmas quilt. It’s a free pattern here on Stash Bandit.
Eventually I realized that the Baby Windmill had endless possibility, and I started designing quilts more deliberately. Scarlet Spin was one of the first.
Soon the idea dawned that I could create a whole trunk show from quilts based on this little block. I’ve started booking the trunk show for quilt groups now, and it’s called Windy Wonders: A Quilt Block Grows Up. If your guild needs a speaker, I hope you’ll give me a buzz!
I have a backlog of design ideas now, and I probably won’t live long enough to make them all—but I’m sure going to try.
My design for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 15 is based on the Baby Windmill. I divided the 12″ block into rows of three different sizes. In each row, there’s a Baby Windmill.
Below is a colorful version with the block repeated over and over. It’s okay but…
…the magic happens when you start to play with the coloring and the orientation. The design below happens just by rotating the blocks and recoloring to emphasize the groups.
Here’s a different color combination. Wouldn’t those large white spaces be a great canvas for gorgeous quilting?
For the design below, I recolored yet again and rotated the blocks differently. Here you can see all the seemlines.
I’ll take away the lines so you can see a little better, below.
I can hardly wait to make this one in gray, pinks and yellows. So much space for gorgeous quilting!
One more idea popped into my head. This is what happened when I colored some of the background patches. Isn’t that cool? The layout below led to another entirely different design, which will be published this summer.
And speaking of summer, I get to see my kids and grandkids before too long, which is a big deal because they live far, far away. This is Us. (Heads up! Road Rally souvenir! Wink, wink.)
Let’s have a giveaway! I have three prize packages for lucky winners. Along with a copy of Volume 15 of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, I have Baby Windmills blocks already made that you can use like “soup starters” to make your own BW quilt. And I have other quilty items that I’ll add in, too, so you’ll get your own little dose of happy mail.
Leave a comment on this post before midnight on Thursday, May 4 and I’ll select three winners. The winners are Andee, Chris and Patti, who have been emailed. Answer this question: Do you belong to any quilt groups? Share the group’s name and location. If you don’t belong to any, tell me one really interesting thing about yourself.
Thanks for being here today on Stash Bandit! Please invite your friends to come, too. If your quilt group needs a speaker, please consider me. Thank you!
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