Windmills at Night- Free Quilt Pattern Series

by Susan Myers on March 13, 2013

My latest quilt pattern is called Windmills at Night.  I designed it specifically for beginning quilters, using pre-cut fabric strips called “jelly rolls”.  The bright red fabrics touch off the black and white fabrics beautifully, and this striking lap quilt will make a fabulous addition to your decor.

free quilt pattern windmills at night

Although it may look complicated, Windmills at Night is a simple pattern.  A beginning quilter can easily tackle this project, and a more experienced quilter can easily finish this 40″ x 52″ lap quilt in a weekend.

quilt pattern windmills at night

Now, you can always select your fabric at your local shop and cut the 2.5″ wide strips to make this project, but I do want to let you know of an alternative.

Just as I did with my previous free quilt pattern series, Summer Jewels, I am teaming up with Patricia from Discount Sewing Supply to present to you a simple quilting tutorial using pre-cut strip fabric called Jelly Rolls. A Jelly Roll consists of carefully selected fabrics in light, medium and dark values-in this case, a 20 strip pack of black and white fabrics, and a 20 strip pack of reds.  Each strip is die cut for pinpoint accuracy, 2.5” x width of the fabric or 42/44” approximate.  This quilt is much larger than Summer Jewels; finished size is 40″ x 52″.

Discount Sewing Supply is offering this amazing set of fabric as a kit.  That includes the fabric, and strips cut specially to make the binding around the edges.  Included in the kit is a set of instructions; 9 pages, full color, and professionally printed, to make this beautiful quilt.  There are optional extras available which include the choice of 10 different quilt backings in black, black/white, or red, and custom cut batting, 45″ x 57″ and a pillow kit. Full details of the optional extras are available in Discount Sewing Supply.

Click HERE to order!

Want to know how to make it? In the next three weeks, I will be posting a series of tutorials that will walk you through the process of creating this quilt.  All you need is the fabric!

Windmills at Night Lap Quilt -LESSON 1

quilt pattern windmills at night detail

Fabric:
• One Jelly Roll pack (20 strips of 2.5” wide fabric) Black and White
various patterned strips
• One Jelly Roll pack (20 strips of 2.5” wide fabric) Reds
• 2” wide black 100% cotton fabric strips for binding

If you decide to cut your own fabric, we would suggest that you get 22 inches of each print (10 prints in black/white and 10 prints in red). 

You will also need:
• Approx 1-1/2 yards of 100% cotton fabric for backing
• Batting
• Rotary Cutter
• Ruler
• Sewing Machine and thread
• Iron

                                                                                                      Illustration 1

In order to prepare to make the blocks in Illustration 1, you will need to cut the following lengths from your Jelly Rolls (if you do not have jelly rolls, simply cut to the measurements below):

  • White (36 ea) 6 ½” x 2 ½”
  • White (32 ea) 4 ½” x 2 ½”
  • Black (36 ea) 6 ½” x 2 ½”
  • Black (32 ea) 4 ½” x 2 ½”
  • Red (24 ea) 6 ½” x 2 ½”
  • Red (32 ea) 4 ½” x 2 ½”

quilting tip

Helpful Tip:


You will be sewing ¼” seams. In order to get even seams, I suggest
that you place a marker on your sewing machine. I used a strip of
paper and taped it down ¼” to the right of the needle. If you follow
this marker as you sew, you should have perfect ¼” seams.

quilt pattern windmills at nightquilt pattern windmills at night

Each 12 ½” block consists of 4 smaller blocks as illustrated above. The windmill design is accomplished by turning the individual blocks when sewing them together.

quilt pattern windmills at nightquilt pattern windmills at night

To begin, select two 4 ½” long pieces of contrasting fabric for the block that you are choosing to start with. Place them right sides together at right angles to each other as shown above. Use a ruler to draw a sewing line diagonally from the top left corner to the bottom right corner. (Use a pencil for light fabrics, a white colored pencil or chalk for dark fabrics).

quilt pattern windmills at nightquilt pattern windmills at night

Sew along the drawn line, and clip off the corner about ¼” from the seam line.

quilt pattern windmills at nightquilt pattern windmills at night

Open it up, and you should now have one 6 ½” x 2 ½” strip in two colors. Press your new strip, then sew a strip on either side, using the colors of your chosen block.

quilt pattern windmills at night

It is a good idea at this point to be sure your block is squared- 6 ½” x 6 ½”.

quilt pattern windmills at nightquilt pattern windmills at night

Create four 6 ½” blocks of the same color scheme and arrange them as shown above. Sew the top two blocks together with ¼” seams, and then the bottom two blocks together. Matching the center, sew the top two blocks to the bottom two, to create your 12 ½” block.

Repeat the instructions above to create (12 ea.) 12 ½” x 12 ½” blocks, using the color chart in illustration 1 for guidance.

Windmills at Night Lesson 2 can be found here!

Windmills at Night Lesson 3 can be found here!

Are you new to the Sitcom?  Be sure to check out my Frequently Asked Questions Page!

My newest quilt Pattern- Sleepy Puppies!

sleepy puppies baby quilt

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*This post contains affiliate links.  Please see my disclosure page for details.

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sue August 29, 2014 at 5:47 am

Hi Susan…My son loved your quilt design which he has chosen online for his 21st present. Unfortunately in New Zealand jelly rolls don’t seem to be available. So just wondering how much fabric of each colouring I will need to make a queen quilt?
He loves the black,white and red combinations.

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2 Sonia July 23, 2014 at 3:28 am

And those cut measurement is include the seams right ? I try to cut it but for
6 1/2′ x 2 1/2′ is seem like too small compere it on your picture ;D

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3 Susan Myers July 23, 2014 at 4:27 am

Hi Sonia!

The measurements are in inches, and yes, 6-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ is the measurement for some of the strips:

White (36 ea) 6 ½” x 2 ½”
White (32 ea) 4 ½” x 2 ½”
Black (36 ea) 6 ½” x 2 ½”
Black (32 ea) 4 ½” x 2 ½”
Red (24 ea) 6 ½” x 2 ½”
Red (32 ea) 4 ½” x 2 ½”

All measurements include 1/4″ seam allowance.

This quilt’s finished size is a lap quilt at 40″ x 52″.

Hope that helps!

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4 Sonia July 23, 2014 at 3:19 am

Hi Susan, All the measurement is in inch right ? sorry I am just a totally beginner :P

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5 Dusty June 16, 2014 at 1:58 pm

I made one and it looks pretty much like yours. Now, I need some hints on how to quilt it with a long arm that I’m new to. It’s loaded and ready to go but no ideas are coming to me. Help!

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6 LMJF May 16, 2014 at 5:29 pm

THINK THIS IS MY FAVORITE QUILT …LOVE THE COLORS !!!

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7 Susan Myers May 18, 2014 at 7:54 pm

Thank you! If you decide to make it, I would love to what you come up with!

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8 Judi Follansbee March 5, 2014 at 8:28 pm

Hi Susan,
Another product that keeps red and dark colors from running onto white is “Shout Color Catcher.” I made red “Hot Dog” pillowcases with a white cuff and I use this product every time I wash them. It really works.
I like your “Windmills at Night” pattern. Thanks.

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9 Susan Myers March 6, 2014 at 9:28 pm

Awesome! Thanks for the tip! I’m always looking for good products to keep colors from running as everything I do seems to be really colorful!

suzy

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10 judy hart July 6, 2013 at 7:35 pm

This would make great quilt of valor in red, white, and blue if sized right.

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11 Susan Myers July 14, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Hi Judy! It certainly would! If you decide to make it, I’d love to see your finished project!

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12 Evi Gelath June 30, 2013 at 6:10 am

Love this quilt . I ordered the black/white and red Jelly rolls yesterday – now I have one question : Usually I prewash my fabrics to prevent different shrinking percentage and bleeding – how do I handle Jelly rolls ? Specially the red may bleed into the white when I first have to wash this quilt some day ….

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13 Susan Myers June 30, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Hi Evi,

Did You order your fabric from my supplier, Discount Sewing Supply? I can only speak for them, as fabrics vary depending upon the manufacturer. I asked them about their processes and this is what they told me:

We do steam press prior to cutting the strips. Some shrinkage does occur at that time. The process uses a large amount of water, and while we cannot guarantee no further shrinkage, we have never ever had complaints about shrinkage from any of our jelly roll products. The binding strips are also treated the same way.

Cotton batting such as the Pellon or Warm & White that we use does shrink up to 3%. That’s why we give a larger cut – 45″ x 57″ Batting always comes with specific instructions from the manufacturer for pre-shrinking, and then for subsequent washing. They should follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter for the batting. Instructions can vary by manufacturer.

We include the instructions with every piece of batting we sell. If you plan to wash the quilt, then we suggest you pre-shrink the batting by itself per manufacturer’s directions before assembling the quilt. (Make sure the batting is thoroughly dry).

Always wash the completed quilt in cold water and we recommend laying flat to dry. A product called “Retayne” is available online and in some quilt stores. It is used to prevent color run. Also “synthropol” is another option if Retayne is not available. It is normally used with hand dyed fabrics to suspend extra dye in the rinse cycle. Both products should be used with COLD water only. (Strictly cold, not even warm).

Any backing fabric we sell is NOT steam pressed or pre-shrunk. I’m not sure if I would pre-wash it – I think I would be more inclined to use a very hot iron with lots and lots of steam, and go over it several times. Then hang the piece over a clothes rack or quilt rack until it is completely dry.

Cheap fabrics will run (red, especially!), and will have a tendency to shrink a lot more than average because they are often a very low thread count. If they are from different manufacturers, you may get uneven shrinkage (each fabric may not shrink as much as another fabric).

Hope that helps! Would love to see your finished quilt!!

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14 mary June 15, 2013 at 11:32 am

I appreciate your posts of how much fabric needed and howmany total squares there are for the large quilts. My question is, how does that transfer to how many of each of the different squares since for the original there are some you make 1 of and some you make 2 of.
Thank you; this is a beautiful quilt!
mary

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15 Susan Myers June 16, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Hi Mary!

Good question! The square themselves are laid out in no particular order. I just moved them around until I found a look that I liked. The only thing to keep in mind is that you want to alternate light background and dark background. (If that makes sense). If I was going to make it larger, I would multiply the original numbers by 3 for a full size quilt. If the pattern calls for (2) of that square, then I’d make (6). There would be six additional squares that I’d have to make in order to get the 42 squares needed for full size. I would just pick my favorites.

This could translate to 4x for Queen, and 5x for King, with a few extra that you would have to make up.

Hope that helps. I try not to go too big with these beginners patterns in order to give those that are new to quilting a project that doesn’t overwhelm.

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16 rogeria June 11, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Acho seus trabalhos incríveis!!!!
Não tenho técnica em costura, mas vou tentar fazê-lo.
Bjs.

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17 Lynette June 1, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Hi, I have just found your site and love the quilt. I would like to make it much bigger. Can this be done easily please. A bit of a novice at this sort of quilt. Mine so far have been embroidered ones. Thankyou for sharing. Lynette

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18 Susan Myers June 3, 2013 at 9:32 am

Hi Lynette!

I would suggest for a first quilt to stay small and make the lap quilt. If you enjoy it, then move onto bigger projects. Quilting is a blast, but it can get frustrating on larger projects. That said, my first quilt was a king size, so I really have no room to talk. Ha!

Anyway- I will give you my calculations for a larger quilt. Let me know if you decide to make it. I would love to see the final project!

Full Size: 76″ x 88″ – 6 blocks wide x 7 blocks tall plus sashing. Approximately 4 black and white jelly rolls and 4 red jelly rolls. (This does not include backing fabric).

Queen Size: 88″ x 100″- 7 blocks wide x 8 blocks tall plus sashing. Approximately 5 black and white jelly rolls and 4 red jelly rolls. (This does not include backing fabric).

King Size: 102″ x 100″ – 8 blocks wide x 8 blocks tall plus sashing. Approximately 6 black and white jelly rolls and 6 red jelly rolls. (This does not include backing fabric).

Regarding backing: width of fabric can vary from 44″ to “56. If you chose a 44″ wide fabric, you would need 5 yards for the Full Size, and 9 yards for the Queen and King size.

Hope that helps!

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19 Sharon Strange May 27, 2013 at 10:39 pm

This quilt caught my eye immediately upon seeing it. I must have the kit in the same colors. Love it, love it, love it.

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20 Chris May 20, 2013 at 12:06 am

I just bought a new jelly roll – mostly floral – main colors are purples, blues and greens – won’t that be pretty – thanks!

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21 Victoria April 10, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Love the Windmill with the black, white & red.

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22 Sarah March 19, 2013 at 12:19 am

I was all ready to buy from the store you’ve linked to and make this gorgeous quilt as my first ever quilt. Sadly, they don’t ship to Australia and I’m a beginner, so have little hope of cutting all that fabric myself. It’s kind of sad that they won’t ship outside the US. Are all Jelly Rolls the same, as in same amount of fabric? Could I buy something similar here, or at another website that values international customers?

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23 Susan Myers March 19, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Hi Sarah,

I am sorry that they do not honor International shipping. As a store owner, I know that the current shipping rates are exhorbitant and are often more than the item itself.

As for your question, yes, you can certainly use pre-cut jelly rolls from any source. There were 20 strips in the black and white jelly roll- 10 of black patterns and 10 of white patterns. These are 2 1/2″ wide strips, about 44″ long. There were 20 strips of red in the other jelly roll of various red pattern. So that is a total of 40 strips of fabric. From that you can get the top and sashing. You will need an addition 2-3 yards of black fabric for the backing and binding.

Let me know if you need any help or have more questions.

suzy

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24 Anonymous March 19, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Thanks for all that, Suzy! I’ll have a hunt about and see what I can come up with.

As for postage, I’m used to it. A lot of the time it works out cheaper to buy loads of things from the US even with the price of shipping. Most products are more expensive here and lots of things we just don’t have access to at all.

I’ll have a look at fabric.com and see if they have something suitable.

Thanks again xx

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25 Debbie April 5, 2013 at 11:13 am

I barely looked at this quilt before falling completely in love with it!!! The colors are perfect. What do you think of pink and purple or orange and turquoise?

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26 Susan Myers April 5, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Hi Debbie!

So glad you like it! I had a lot of fun designing it!

In answer to your question, the quilt is a three color quilt, so if you want to change colors but maintain the design, go for three colors instead of two. Maybe pink, purple and black, or orange, turquoise and white… I think either combo would look great!

Thank you for your kind words!

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27 Becky January 27, 2014 at 11:31 pm

orange and turquoise look great together.

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28 evelinehogan March 18, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Love this quilt..can’t wait to make it..

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29 Daphne Lewis March 15, 2013 at 9:50 pm

I love this pattern and am going to make this one as soon as I finish the one I’m working on now. Thanks so much for sharing this!!

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30 Shelly March 15, 2013 at 11:09 am

I abolutely LOVE this pattern! My hubby fell in love with it when he walked in and saw it (he loves lurking when I’m looking at quilts!). How many “extra” blocks would I have to make to make a queen or king size of this? He really loves this pattern and would like me to make one for our bed!

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31 Susan Myers March 15, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Hi Shelly,

Thank you for your kind words! I’m so glad you and your husband like the pattern!

As for your question, by my calculations, you would need a total of 4 of the black and white jelly rolls and 4 of the red jelly rolls to come up with a queen sized quilt measuring 88″ x 100″. That would be (7 ea.) 12″ blocks across, and (8 ea.) 12″ blocks down, with a 2″ sashing all around. (That is a total of 56 ea. 12″ squares).

If you decide to go even larger, 8 blocks across x 9 blocks down = 72 blocks, or 6 of the black and white jelly rolls and 6 of the red jelly rolls.

suzy

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32 VickiT March 14, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Wow. I absolutely love that quilt.

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33 malia March 14, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Girl you are so multi-talented! Your quilt happens to be my school colors. Love it!

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34 Mary Margaret March 13, 2013 at 6:34 pm

LOVE LOVE LOVE This quilt colors are great and really pop I want to make it soon..
How do I print a copy of the instructions, I work much better with a pattern in my hand.
Thank you for your wonderful tute and your blog.

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35 jet March 13, 2013 at 12:59 pm

wooow this is clearly explained, it looks allways so difficult those special motifes for me.
I like this lesson. th ank you so much for your lesson and the great tute and sharing of it.XD

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36 Camiele March 13, 2013 at 7:41 am

Gosh Suzy, you’re so talented! I wish had one ounce of your creativity, and actually applied it, haha. I haven’t ever made anything, but I most certainly enjoy reading your blog! It not only makes me admire it, but you also make me laugh like no other :-)

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37 Susan Myers March 13, 2013 at 9:26 am

Thank you so much, Camiele! You totally made my day. I’m glad you enjoy reading the Sitcom. That is what it is all about!

suzy

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