Easy Quilt Blocks – How to Strip Piece Windmill Blocks

Step by step instructions for using strip piecing techniques to make a whole quilt’s worth of 6½”, 9½”, or 12½” Windmill blocks in a very short time.

The Windmill quilt block is an easy quilt block made from two fabrics, one light, and one dark. It is a good project for quilters just starting out, or for experienced quilters who want to make a quick quilt as a baby gift or charity project.

Windmill Quilt Block Sizes

This article gives instructions for making 12 Windmill blocks in three sizes: 6½”, 9½”, and 12½” (finished size 3”, 6”, or 12”). You can make your blocks larger or smaller by simply cutting wider or narrower fabric strips. Wider strips make a larger block; narrower strips make a smaller block.

Tools and Supplies for Strip Piecing Windmill Quilt Blocks

Here is what you will need to make 12 Windmill blocks:

  • Rotary cutter
  • See-through, no-slip cutting ruler (preferably 6” x 24”)
  • Quilt fabric in two colors, one light and one dark. You will need 3/8 yard of each fabric to make 6½” blocks, 1/2 yard of each fabric for 9½” blocks, or 7/8 yard of each fabric for 12 ½” blocks.
  • Cutting mat
  • All-purpose or 100% cotton quilting thread in a neutral color (grey or beige are good)
  • Sewing machine
  • (Optional) 1/4″ quilting foot for the sewing machine

Choosing Quilting Fabrics for Windmill Quilt Blocks

The Windmill block relies on the contrast between the light and dark fabric to make the block look like windmill blades. The level of contrast between the fabrics you choose will have a huge impact on the look of the finished quilt. To make a more dramatic block, pick fabrics with strong contrast. For a quieter, more peaceful looking block, pick fabrics that are closer to each other in color value.

The “blades” in the windmill can be either dark or light.

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