Tilting Windmills: A Visit with Diane Harris | McCall’s Quilting Blog

Welcome guest blogger, quilt designer, and teacher Diane Harris! Diane‘s new twin size quilt pattern, Tilting Windmills, is in the February/March 2017 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts magazine.

Today I’m happy to share with you my Tilting Windmills design. Let’s start with some background.

I was an editor for Quiltmaker, one of Quick Quilt’s sister publications, for 11 years. Now I’m launching a small business where the main thrust will be to expand the speaking and teaching I do for quilt groups.

Tilting Windmills is destined to become part of a new program I am building called “One Little Block, So Many Possibilities.” It’s a trunk show of quilts based on this humble little block that I call a Baby Windmill.

block Tilting Windmills: A Visit with Diane Harris
The Baby Windmills story started in the early 2000′s when I wanted to sew in the evenings, but was too tired to make creative decisions. I cut a bunch of 1.5″ x 2.5″ patches in sets of four and left them beside my machine. Whenever possible, I’d make a few blocks.

sewspaceBWs Tilting Windmills: A Visit with Diane HarrisSoon I had hundreds. I started joining them into quilt tops, first just randomly, then coordinating by color.

bluegreenplay Tilting Windmills: A Visit with Diane HarrisEach little quilt was a new adventure.

xmasBWs Tilting Windmills: A Visit with Diane HarrisBefore long I discovered there was more I could do. This “fake border” was one of my first ideas.

fakeborder Tilting Windmills: A Visit with Diane HarrisI wondered what would happen if I created diagonal lines with half-square triangles.

conceptHSTs Tilting Windmills: A Visit with Diane Harris

HSTsdiagonal Tilting Windmills: A Visit with Diane Harris

I tried limiting my palette to just one color.

redwhiteBWs Tilting Windmills: A Visit with Diane HarrisThat’s how Scarlet Spin was born. It appeared in Quiltmaker’s Jan/Feb ‘14 issue.

scarletsampler Tilting Windmills: A Visit with Diane Harris

For the color option, we made this variation. The windmill patches are light prints, and each block’s background is a different color that reads as a solid.

coloroption Tilting Windmills: A Visit with Diane Harris

My big idea with Tilting Windmills was to enlarge the block drastically for a quilt that would come together quickly.

tiltingwindmills flat 500px Tilting Windmills: A Visit with Diane Harris

Tilting Windmills finishes at 72″ x 96″.

A couple of things to notice about the completed design:

• The large patches show off large scale prints nicely.

• If the dark fabrics are dark enough, you can get away with active prints for the backgrounds.

backgrounds1 Tilting Windmills: A Visit with Diane Harrisbackgrounds2 Tilting Windmills: A Visit with Diane Harris• Be sure there is plenty of contrast between the windmill fabrics and the background fabrics.

• Large patches make a lovely canvas for gorgeous quilting.

I think you’d enjoy making Tilting Windmills. It’s fast and it’s easy!

My website will launch soon but in the meantime, I can be reached at the Quick Quilts email: quickquilts@fwmedia.com. I have three programs available and am building several more. I’d love to come and entertain your quilt group! Please contact me—I promise you a fun-filled event and quilts, quilts, quilts.

In Stitches,
Diane Harris


QQ10217 Tilting Windmills: A Visit with Diane Harris
Thanks, Diane! If you’d like to make your own version of Diane’s
Tilting Windmills quilt and don’t yet have a copy of the February/March 2017 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts, you can purchase print and digital copies of the magazine or download the Tilting Windmills digital quilt pattern separately from our online shop.

 

 

 

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