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.
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.
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.
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
• 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
• Rotary Cutter
• Sewing Machine and thread
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”
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.
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.
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).
Sew along the drawn line, and clip off the corner about ¼” from the seam line.
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.
It is a good idea at this point to be sure your block is squared- 6 ½” x 6 ½”.
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.
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