<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> Pinwheels with windmill centers
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Windmill blocks

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Each of these blocks has a windmill shape in the middle. Click on a left-column block to see a whole-quilt mockup. To google the whole site, click on the block in the upper-left corner of the page.

Windmill, etc.

Windmill
The Broken Wheel/Corn Design/Crow's Foot/Fan Mill/Fly/Four Leaf Clover/Kathy's Ramble/Mill Wheel/Sugar Bowl/Old Crow/Water Mill/Water Wheel/Windmills

A block this basic is bound to have a lot of names, and it does. Barbara Brackman credits Ohio Farmer for the earliest cite: Windmill, 1898. Most of the other names came from the books by Ruth Finley (1929) and Carrie Hall (1935). The Make It! icon links to designer Jinny Beyer's site; she calls it Crow's Foot.

Old Windmill
Old Windmill
Windmill

For the name Old Windmill, Yvonne Khin cites Progressive Farmer, a magazine that dates back to 1886 and is still being published. In the mid-1930s, quilt researcher Carrie Hall called it Windmill (Havig). Nancy Cabot included it as Windmill in her Chicago Tribune column in 1933.

Nowadays, the block also goes by Turnstile, but we haven't found an original source for that name. In the whole-quilt mockup (click on the graphic), it's up to you whether you see a carpet of turnstile shapes or a carpet of windmills.

Mosaic No. 9
Mosaic No. 9
Double Windmill/Milly's Favorite/Pinwheel/Pinwheels & Squares/Windmill

The LAC's #337 is simply four Windmill blocks put together, perhaps to suggest that quilters see the block's possibilities as a whole quilt. All the other names above are from the Chicago Tribune (1934-1937) except Pinwheel (1931), which is from a quilt-pattern booklet.

The block would make a terrific scrap quilt. The LAC hoped that quilters would buy patterns (15 cents) or diagrams (5 cents). Or customers could order ready-made blocks: Mosaic No. 9 blocks, in 1928, went for 40 cents each or $4.50 a dozen, buyer's choice of colors.

Humming Bird
Humming Bird
Rosebud/Crow's Foot/Bright Star/Budding Roses/Rose Bud/Maple Leaf

Although it often goes by Rosebud, Clara Stone's Practical Needlework introduced this block as Humming Bird in 1906 (#74). The other names followed: Rosebud (LAC #517, 1928); Crow's Foot (Old Fashioned Quilts, ca. 1931), Bright Star (Nancy Cabot, 1934), Budding Roses (Nancy Page, 1939), Rose Bud (Hall, 1935), and Maple Leaf (Nancy Cabot, 1936).

Arrowhead Puzzle
Arrowhead Puzzle

This block is from Aunt Martha booklet 3614, according to Barbara Brackman, who included it in her Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Blocks. Note that there is also a turnstile pattern in the middle; we've ignored it for the purpose of categorizing this block, which is distinctive because of the pinwheel rotation of its 4 quarters.

Double Quartet


Why "double?"
Why "X?"

Double Quartet
Flying X Quilt/The X Quartette

The contributor who sent this block to the Kansas City Star, which published it as The X Quartette in 1939, may not have realized that her block had already been published twice—in a 1932 Grandmother Clark booklet as Double Quartet, and once in the Star, the year before, as the Flying X Quilt. A different Star reader had sent it in.

The third name combines the first two, so someone at the Star must have realized it was a recent reprint. Why didn't they replace the block with something new? Was it too close to deadline? Why "double?" Why "X?"

"Double Quartet" makes sense if you see the star as a set of bowtie blocks wheeling within the square. If you see bowties as X shapes, the other names make sense too.


Rhubarb Twist
Rhubarb Twist

This block was used in a whole-quilt pattern of the same name by designer Terri Atkinson.

Its predecessors, Whirligig and Wheels (not yet on the site) both have designs turned on-point compared to this one—the triangles' points touch the blocks' edges. Whirligig is from "Prize Winning Designs," (1931), according to Beyer's Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns (2009), and Wheels is from Progressive Farmer (1976), according to Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns (1993).