Alongside the very unusual, and equally complicated BOW KNOTS, Jinny Beyer includes this version of FOUR WINDMILLS (#409-13) in the "continuous" patterns section of her QUILTER'S ALBUM. (That is, it must be tiled in order to properly complete its geometric configuration.) Continuous designs can sometimes produce a tedious repetition, but not always, and not in this case. Here we have a set of windmills characterized by what Nancy Cabot, in her comments in the Chicago Tribune (June, 1936) refers to as "unequal arms" — a credit to the original quilter's non-conformity and imagination. |
It is said, symbolically, when a crosspiece stretches upward it seeks the heights of wisdom, when it stretches from side to side, it is reminiscent of inclusion, or compassion. Since a coverlet can be viewed from any angle, it's up to one's preference. Maggie Malone's 5,500 QUILT BLOCK DESIGNS utilizes a diamond set, and situates the longer reach as a vertical (p.415). The square block could easily be pieced in strips, see ANIMATION. Compare with PUDDING AND PIE and ARABIC LATTICE.
But where are the FOUR windmills? They are distinguished in the illustration upper left by color — pink, charcoal, blue and light grey, the grey seeming like an empty background, and therefore discounted at first. But see the tiling pattern, how the neutral space effectively doubles as its own repeat of the single motif. A magnificently integrated tessellation!!
See the book list for some interesting reading on quilts and these type tessellations. Or just add the word tessellation to the search box above. For another beautiful windmill design, compare at this site with DELFT MILL.