Windblown Square

Windblown Square

The first block in the American Impressions Block of the Month series is called Windblown Square. The block was first mentioned in 1931, but we think it has been around for longer than that. Our version consists of half-square triangles, quarter-square triangles and a square. You can also make this block entirely out of half-square triangles which results in a lot more seams.

Finished block size:

12" (ca. 30cm)

For this version of the block, we used Civil War reproduction fabrics in red, light blue and dark blue contrasted with an off-white solid cotton fabric as background.

Windblown Square

Fabric requirements:

  • Background fabric: a rectangle ca. 8 ½” x 25” (ca. 22 cm x 63 cm). You will have some fabric scraps left over. Keep these for the other blocks!
  • Red fabric: a square ca. 8 ½” (ca. 22 cm)
  • Light blue fabric: a rectangle ca. 4 ½” x 9” (ca. 12 x 23 cm)
  • Dark blue fabric: a rectangle ca. 4 ½” x 9” (ca. 12 x 23 cm)

Note:

As for all template-free blocks or projects on Quilt around the World, seam allowances of ¼” for imperial or 0.75 cm for metric are included in the cutting and sewing instructions.

Cutting

For one block:

Windblown Square - Diagram

  • Triangle A: From background fabric, cut one 7 ¼ " (18.5 cm) square. Cut the square twice diagonally into four quarter square triangles.
  • Triangle B: From background fabric, cut two 3 7/8“ (10 cm) squares. Cut the squares once diagonally into four half square triangles
  • Square C: From background fabric, cut one 4 ¾” (12 cm) square.

Greetings from the Quilt Police:

Some quilters will tell you that you need to cut square C in this block with a template so that the straight of grain of your fabric runs diagonally through the square from one corner to the opposite corner. In other words: The shape of the square should be cut on-point just as it is placed within the block.

From our experience, on-point squares work just as well if you cut them like any other square that is placed in a horizontal block layout. The rotary cutting measurements above are based on our simplified method of working with on-point squares.

  • Triangle D: From red fabric, cut one 7 ¼” (18.5 cm) square. Cut the square twice diagonally into four quarter square triangles.
  • Triangle E: From dark blue fabric, cut two 3 7/8 “ (10 cm) squares. Cut the squares once diagonally into four half square triangles.
  • Triangle F: From light blue fabric, cut two 3 7/8 “ (10 cm) squares. Cut the squares once diagonally into four half square triangles

Note: 

First cut off the selvages. Make a cut exactly on the cross-grain to create a 'clean' starting point for cutting. If you want to cut squares for more than one block, cut strips of the appropriate width across the width of the fabric.

Sewing

1 block

  • Join two E triangles to opposite sides of square C.
  • Join two F triangles to the remaining sides of square C.

Step 1

  • Join 1 F triangle to 1 B triangle to make one FB unit. Make sure that you follow exactly the placement as shown below.

Step 2

  • Repeat and make another FB unit.
  • Repeat twice making two EB units. Again observe the correct placement of triangles E and triangle B.  
  • Join FB units to the centre square as shown in the picture below:

Step 3

  • Make sure that the seam intersections join right where you sew and not at the outward edges of the units:

Step 4

  • Repeat for EB units as shown.

Step 5

  • Join one A triangle and one D triangle to form an AD unit as shown.

Step 6

  • Repeat three times. You now have 4 AD units.
  • Join AD units to the corners of the centre square.

Step 7

  • Your Windblown Square is now finished.

Design Options

Here is our suggestion for a wall-hanging that uses one Windblown Square block in an on-point medallion setting with three borders with corner blocks:

Option 1

Here (as suggested in the comment area) a few colour variations:

Amish ...a slightly Amish colour version!

Blue-yellow-green ...another blue windblown square.

Red-Orange-Yellow ...lemons and oranges?

 grey-black-purple...quite the drama queen!

green-yellow-purple... looking forward to spring.

The Windblown Square can be used to make a wonderful one block quilt too (see picture below). Try alternating the blocks with a different colour combination say red blue instead of blue red. Use squared paper and some coloured pencils to experiment and when the quilt is finished send us a photo with your version.

Option 2


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