Black & White Quilt Along- Block 1

Whether you are a beginning sewer or a beginning quilter I have a fun new challenge for you! Before you close this window… relax…. I’m going to walk you through everything step-by-step.  I will include written instructions and even a video tutorial if anyone needs it.
If you have always wondered how people actually make quilts this is your chance to stop wondering and start sewing!

Join me for the first ever Crafty Gemini quilt along!  We will be working on 5 different blocks (12″ x 12″ finished) I have designed using ONLY black and white fabrics.  Using only black & white fabrics will keep the color selection/matching part of quilting (that is often overwhelming) nice and simple. However, feel free to participate and follow along with the color combination of your choice.

I designed these blocks using the EQ6 quilting software I purchased from one of our sponsors, Quilting Lodge.  It is fabulous, user-friendly software for even the most beginning quilter to design blocks and quilts.  It allows me to make the blocks whatever size I want, and audition fabrics before I cut anything!

Simply put this quilt along is like 5 FREE quilting lessons where I will walk you through everything.  All you need to do is whip out your sewing machine, some fabric, and accept this challenge!  Trust me… you can do this! So, put away all your excuses about not having time…and let’s get to work…..let’s make a quilt!

 Black & White Block #1:
(Will turn out 12.5″ x 12.5″ but will measure 12″ x 12″ when sewn in a quilt )
 The block I designed contains sample fabrics. You don’t have to use these exact fabrics…simply stick to the overall design.  For example, notice that the lightest fabric makes the windmill part of the block.  This allows the windmill to pop since it is next to a dark fabric.
Here’s how you make it:
 Decide on your 3 fabrics.  2 should be dark and one should be light.
Cut FOUR, 4 7/8″ x  4 7/8″ squares of one of your dark fabrics and your light fabric.
Cut ONE 4 1/2″ x  4 1/2″ square of your other dark fabric.
Place one dark square and one light square on top of each other with pretty sides touching.
Pin one corner to keep the fabric from moving.
Take your ruler and measure diagonally across the square.
Mark this line with a pencil.
Use a 1/4″ foot to stitch 1/4″ to the left AND to the right of that pencil line.
(Repeat these steps for all the other dark and light squares.)
Place your ruler back on the pencil line you made earlier and slice your square right down that pencil line.
Do this to all your other block units so you should end up with 8 total half square triangle units.
Open your blocks and press the seam towards the darker color.
Trim your dog ears, please!
The picture on the left shows the dog ears circled.
The picture on the right is what your half square triangle block should look like with no dog ears.
Use this picture to arrange your blocks in the correct orientation.
Sew all the pieces together and you get a super cute windmill block!
Come back soon… for Block #2!
Happy Quilting!

16 replies on “Black & White Quilt Along- Block 1

  • isa & marta

    Gracias por compartir, es bello, tambien la combinacion de dos colores contrastantes.Estaré siguiendo tu edredón y me pondré a coser en cuanto tenga las telas.

  • Liat

    My Mom would have had a field day had she lived to enjoy the wonders of the internet.
    I miss her so much whenever I see something about quilting.
    Thank you for sharing.


  • Anonymous

    Hi Vanessa,
    I’m expecting a baby girl and would love to make her a quilt. I’m just not sure how to put it all together or what other supplies I’ll need. so far I can keep up with the 5 different black and white blocks.
    Any ideas?
    Thank you so much :)…oh!! Hope you enjoy your visit to DR

  • Anonymous

    Hi there I have just discovered your site and I love it!! You are so clever and very good at making everything very clear in your videos. I have already made an eye pillow, I just wondered about sewing all the blocks together do you do that like you sew the strips together on the eye pillow? I would love to make a patchwork quilt any more tips you may I’ve would be super appreciated! 🙂 x

  • Crafty Gemini

    Yes, you would add it in that same way. Line them up in the order you want them to be and one by one lay the pretty sides together sew using a 1/4″ seam and continue until you have the quilt top you want. Enjoy!

  • Jmreynolds89

    Thank you I have now made 3 windmill blocks and my friends keep commenting on how lovely they are! And I keep telling them it’s all down to you! I love sewing and doing things with my hands and your videos have realt helped give me ideas and shown me how to do things I wasn’t sure of before!! Congratulations on winning the next up competition aswell!!

  • [email protected]

    Last weekend I came across your site. I watched some of your tutorials and enjoyed the way you were demonstrating. You are doing a great job, you make it all look so easy. I think I will dig out my sewing machine and try making a block or two. Wish me luck 🙂

  • Amritha

    Hi Vanessa, I have been following ur blog for about an year now, but this is the first time I am leaving a comment, u have awesome quality stuff here, am very intersted in quilting but have never done that before. I am new to sewing, and ur detailed tutorials help a lot. Thank you very much for all the effort that u put in, and all the best for everything.

  • Adashraf

    hi Vanessa,im a great fan of yours coz i think u have excellent teaching a beginner and have learnt a lot from ur tutorials..u r doing a great job.keep it up!by the way can u tell me which janome sewing machine model is suitable for a beginner who wants to stitch on hosiery material?

  • sigsbee00

    Hi. When I cut my squares do I need to worry about cutting with the grain of the cotton? I read about this somewhere but I am confused since there are 4 aides that would need to be cut. Thanks!


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