Block 3 - Timeless With a Twist! The Windmill Block

Block 3- Windmill - Michelle's Fabric Selection 1
Woohoo!  Block 3! I hope you are all loving this as much as I am!

Block 3 is a Windmill Block.  The Windmill block, in its simplest form, is thought to date back to mid-1700s. The Windmill block probably has over a hundred variations.  In just my grandmother’s clippings and my reference materials, I found over 25 variations.  I selected this variation due to its uniqueness.   This clipping is referenced as Grandmother’s Patchwork Quilt Design, Book 20, 1931.  Which I love, because I had a Windmill block quilt growing up, I always thought it was a Pinwheel block, but it wasn't.  Maybe in a few weeks we will discuss the differences.

We will be using our Studio 180 Design Tucker Trimmer again, to make these units.  Aren't you loving all the things you can do with this one tool!  Just wait!

For my Fabric Selection 1, I went with a Triadic color plan based of my Turquoise (9), placing it with a Magenta (17) and Yellow (1).  I love it!  Just a reminder these color tab numbers are from the Color Wheel.

Block 3- Windmill - Michelle's Fabric Selection 2
 Several of you, on the group Facebook page, this past week have made a few remarks about your blocks not relating to each other, and I know how you feel.   I feel the same with my Fabric Selection 2.  It happens as we are trying to add additional colors into the mix. You will remember, from last week, this is the Fabric Selection I'm struggling with, as I'm limiting myself to fabrics within 2 fat quarter bundles.  You know me the more fabrics the better!  However, I'm giving myself the same advice as I'm giving all of you.  Let it be (yes, like the Beatles' song), we have a lot more blocks to make, it will find its partner.

For Fabric Selection 2, I went with a Split Complementary color plan, working off of the Cerulean (10) and pairing it with the Golden Yellow (24) and Yellow-Orange (22).  I feel like those colors were a little close, but it creates a different effect, which is what I'm trying to demonstrate.

The hardest part of this week's block is going to be staying organized; keeping track of which fabrics go where, and which way the blocks go in the block.  Since you are making two sets combination units, with different sets of fabric, this could get tricky in the organization department.  Therefore this week, I wanted to cover some organization tips.  My best tip, for staying organized is very cost efficient.  Paper plates!  Yes, the cheapest paper plates you can find.

Now, some may think the process I'm going to describe is overkill, I will tell you it has worked for me for years.  I use to use baggies, but I found them to slip all over, including off the table, and I was constantly trying to locate them.

I most often use paper plates when I'm cutting out fabric for a quilt, then throughout the quilt, but I think you will find this technique useful for this pattern series too.

When working full time and trying to get quilting completed in little bursts of an hour here and there, I found that I could write the "needed" information from a pattern on the plate, and then quickly refer to it and get re-engaged in quilting, by just referring to the information on the plate.  It also helped put the quilt into easy "bites", I felt I could work on one plate a night, and was surprised what I was able to complete in just an hour here and there.

Here is how it works:

  1. Create a paper plate for each units.  You will note in my patterns and in the quilt block series that I always provide a unit summary.  
    • Write down the fabric/placement in the unit
    • Brief cutting instructions 
  2. Then I usually draw the unit
  3. You may want to write down the tool you are going to use to make the unit.
  4. Write down the trim down size and how many units you are making.
This way, I was able to cut when I had time, stack the plates, place them in one of my See Your Stuff Bag . The paper plates stay stacked nicely in the bag, the units stay neatly on the plate, they don't get dusty, and I can easily see what project is in the bag.   Plus, great for taking to retreats! The medium size bags are great for a throw-twin, the large size for larger projects, the small size for smaller projects.
See Your Stuff Medium Bag, with fabric for a Throw Size Quilt

Sew Your Stuff Bags - Medium
When I was ready to sew, I would just pull out a paper plate, focus only on that paper plate's unit.  After I stitched the unit, I put it back on the plate and just shuffled to the next plate.

I didn't lose anything, I was never overwhelmed, and I was able to get a lot accomplished in 30-60 minutes.  Plus, I got my nightly sewing therapy.  Try it!  I use it for every project.

Even though we are only making a block a week, some of you 2 a week (brave souls).  The plates will help you, especially if you find yourself cutting one night and sewing another night.

In this quilt it will help a tremendous amount, since you will need to keep the sets of Combination Units straight and which mirror image to use when, etc.

So, my biggest tip on the construction of this week's block, stay organized!
  • Try the paper plates (get the cheapest ones out there - non coated).
  • Take photos of your fabric groupings, refer to those photos when you are doubting yourself.
  • Play close attention to the illustrations.  It is very helpful to take a photo of your block laid out and look at it in a photo, compare the photo to the illustration.  
  • Make sure you are using the Quilter's Magic Wand to draw your lines.  I love using the Sewline Chalk Pencils, to get nice and tight lines next to the Wand.  I can see the lines, but I know that chalk is going to flake off and not live in my quilt. 
  • Once you have your units completed, they will be sewn together into rows and then a block.  All of those seams are pressed open!  Use your Seam Stick, you will love how easy it is to press the seams open and how flat they are!
I have a special surprise for you all.  I know many of you have created a notebook to keep your weekly patterns organized, so I have an additional download today, a Binder Cover!
If you haven't already, get yourself a nice binder (mine is green - no surprise!) and a box of page protectors and keep yourself organized so you don't misplace your instructions.  You can only download them for a week!

I think that is all I have today.  Make sure you download the instructions before Thursday, January 25th.  Next week, I will hosting my Cabin Fever Retreat, but I will still get the new block up on Friday!  Not sure of the time.  Speaking of retreats, be sure to check out my Retreat schedule and join me for a few days of fun!  Also, if you are loving my instructions (thank you for all the great feedback), make sure you check out my other patterns.  Be sure to ask for them at your local quilt shop.  Your favorite shops can purchase my patterns through my Wholesale page or United Notions.  

Don't forget to download the block! Click HERE!  And share your finished block in the private Timeless with a Twist Facebook Group.
Happy Stitching,


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