Windmill Block – How to Blog #2

Today’s blog will be short and sweet as sewing up your Windmill block it quick and easy. 

We left off with all the wedges, as I call them, of the block finished.  With their short, approx 1 ½” seams they do finished up in little time. 

The next seam is a complex seam.   A complex seam is any seam that includes a roundabout technique that is used to pull together the intersection of 3 or more fabrics.   These intersections are always indicated by the red circles in the written instructions included with all template sets.

Place a set of wedges (of opposite coloring in this example) right sides together, line up the corners of the intersection and pin as shown perpendiculary.   The pin directly on the sewing guideline across the entire length.   

The pins I use for hand piecing are Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Pins, and believe me they are PERFECT for hand piecing.   I never realized the weight of traditional fine pins until I tried these ultra fine pins.   And because they are so slender you can leave them pinned and sew right past them (hovering above the drawn guideline – see part 1 for explanation) if you find that helpful in reminding you to hover above the line vs sew on it.

I use the smaller pins 90% of the time in my piecing.

Begin at the far right edge, just a thread or two above and to the right of the drawn corner point and sew to the left.

The roundabout technique is utilized at the intersection of the previously sewn pieces.   You will be going a round the intersection by moving your needle thru TWO pieces of fabric at a time.  Trying to manuver thru any more then two pieces usually results in warping the corner, so two pieces at a time is recommended for the best results.   You will proceed to do this as close to the corner point with your needle in a clockwise motion around the intersection, the entire intersection, until you return to the point of the two Piece A’s and then continue with your hand piecing of their edges together.

At the end of this segment you will find yourself at another roundabout, proceed as before this time ending when you reach again the portion of the two Piece B’s segment and sew that length to the end/corner, knot off and repeat 3 more times with the remaining wedges.

PLEASE NOTE:  I will be demonstrating the Roundabout Technique in a Facebook Live segment on Wednesday, July 24th.  The actual time is still being determined and will be announced in the next blog posting on Tuesday and on the MDQuilts facebook page. If you miss the LIVE segment you will be able to find the video under the VIDEO tab on the MDQuilts Page in the folder named Windmill.

With all B-A-B segments (think half square triangles) matched and sewing into square what is essentially left to complete this block is to sew it together four patch style.

The two shorter seams.

And the final long seam length down the center.  That middle roundabout is the toughest thing about this block, but go slow and aim your needle point to as close to the center of the corner points with each pass thru 2 fabrics and you will be fine.   Yes it will be bulky.   It is 8 pieces of fabric meeting.   But hand piecing allows you to the ease of being able to control your seam easier and bring them together in a nice crisp point.    Also because seams are NOT sewn absolute edge to edge (remember you end a thread or two beyond the find drawn guideline) your seam allowance is easier to manipulate for a flatter intersection of all 8 fabrics.  

And VIOLA!  Your block is done!

Join me on Tuesday for a blog filled with ideas for coloring and full quilt graphics using the Windmill block.

And if you wish to purchase Windmill templates or Perfect Pins you can find them in my store by clicking on this link or clicking the Store tab at the top of this page.

Enjoy the day,

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