This year, my sisters, mom, and I are decorating a tree for the Festival of Trees in honor of my grandma. (I shared Grandma’s spaghetti sauce recipe here.) My grandma’s parents both immigrated from the Netherlands when they were very young. My great-grandparents met at “Dutch Days” at a local amusement park, and the rest, as they say, is history.
My grandma was 100% Dutch, and all that goes with that. She was full of spunk and stubbornness. She also knew how to work hard, and with 8 living children (one died at 10 days), she had a lot of hard work.
As such an amazing woman, we felt she deserved some recognition, and the idea of this tree was born. We decided to stay with her heritage as the theme of the tree. We decked out the white Christmas tree with blue tulips, and a blue-edged lace garland. Delft blue of course. We also placed ceramic windmills and “wooden” shoes on the tree. I’ll post the picture on facebook when it is all decorated and on display.
My contribution to the tree was the creation of the tree skirt and lap quilt (to be displayed at the side of the tree, but donated to the purchaser). We couldn’t find a quilt block that adequately fit the theme, so I rolled up my sleeves and came up with this pattern.
I like the result so much, I’m sharing it with you (not everything I create is share-worthy). One other reason I want to share is the ease of this pattern. It really is a quilt anyone can do, and the results will look anything but amateur.
The amounts of fabric provided is to create the lap quilt pictured here. If you want to make a larger quilt, you will need to multiply accordingly.
I used 4 different fabrics for the windmills and sashing and 2 different fabrics for the borders.
You will need:
White: 1/2 yard
Light Blue (pinwheel & sashing): 2/3 yard
3 Different Blues (windmill body): 1/8 yard of each
White border: 3/4 yard (unless you do the corners like the picture, then 1 yard)
Blue border: 1 1/4 yard (unless corners, then 1 yard)
What to Cut:
White in windmill: Cut 3-2 in strips (length of fabric, usually 42-44 in), Cut 18-3.5 in squares
Light Blue (pinwheel & sashing): Cut 36-3.5 in squares, Cut 4-3.5 x 40 in strips & 12-3.5 x 7 in strips
3 Different Blues (windmill body): Cut 1-2 in strip (length of fabric)
White border: Cut 5- 6 in strips
Blue border: Cut 5-9 in strips (unless you purchased 1 yd to do the white corners, then you can only cut 4-9 in strips)
Create pinwheel blades by folding the light blue (36) 3.5 inch squares in half, matching points, pressing, and folding in half matching the other points, press again. This will create a quarter triangle.
Sew 1-2 in white strip to 1-2 in blue strip using 1/4 in seam, repeat with all blue color strips. Cut strips into 3.5 in squares.
Place raw edge of triangle in between 2 white 3.5 in squares (right sides together), all raw edges on one side, point of triangle towards the middle of the square.
Place raw edges of triangle in between two half-blue/half-white squares, (same color) blues and raw edges of triangle all on one side. Press so the triangles are facing opposite directions.
Place remaining 2 triangles overlapping 1/4 inch in the middle. Both facing the same direction. Sew and then press in opposite directions.
Sew 2 matching half-blue/half-white squares, sew on blue edge. Sew this rectangle to the bottom of the half-blue/half-white rectangle with the triangle.
Arrange the windmills in the order you want. I placed the darkest blue in a diagonal and rotated the other 2 colors from there. Then sew the 3.5 x 7 in rectangles to the top of the windmills, then sew the last three rectangles to the bottom of the bottom 3 windmills. Sew into strips (light blue, windmill, light blue, windmill, light blue, windmill, light blue). Sew the 3.5 x 40 in strips on one side of the windmill strips. Sew the strips together (light blue, windmill strip, light blue, windmill strip, light blue, windmill strip, light blue).
Sew the white border on, starting with top and bottom, then sides. You will need to measure the final length of the light blue border (should be 31 x 40), cut the white strips to the correct length. You may need to sew extra pieces onto the side strips to achieve the required length (I did). Sew the blue border on, starting with top and bottom and then sides (see note for white border).
I sewed 2 pieces of my remaining white together and cut 9 in squares out of these strips to create the corners.
That’s all there is to it, and you have a beautiful quilt top ready to be quilted.
Have you ever tried quilting before? Was it a masterpiece or disaster?