The Turmoil quilt combines a well-known cut twice/sew twice technique and free motion quilting to express movement, speed and – nomen est omen – turmoil.

The windmill shapes created by sewing simple squares together which are then cut apart with the help of a template look much more complicated than they really are to make. It is a very satisfying technique for beginners and will impress your (non-quilting) friends no end when you first present your quilt. The different greys and reds are placed at random to create a dynamic visual effect which invites the eye to roam over the quilt’s surface.

The quilt is free-motion machine quilted using several different motifs: The overall design is dominated by the large flash of lightning.

Flash of Lightning

The lines forming the flash of lightning are partly quilted using a zigzag stitch. This “idea” emerged coincidentally: While quilting, Jutta touched the stitch selection dial on her sewing machine by accident and suddenly the machine produced a zigzag line. After some light swearing and searching for the seam ripper, she decided that the zigzag lines actually complemented the flash of lightning motif quite perfectly, put back the seam ripper into the accessories’ box, and continued, adding much more zigzag to this quilt!

Some of the red windmills are emphasized by quilted spirals.


A large, edgy filler motif invoking storm clouds quilted in a variegated grey thread covers the rest of the quilt centre and is repeated again on a smaller scale in the border of the quilt – here the quilting is mostly black thread on black fabric, but two areas are picked out in bright red to lend some interest to the otherwise rather calm border area.

Angry Clouds

Finished Quilt Size:

Ca. 40” by 40” (ca.1 m by 1 m)

Finished Block Size:

Cut twice – sew twice windmill block: ca. 3” (7.5 cm)


Easy (sewing) to Intermediate (free motion quilting)

Technique and Layout:

The cut twice/sew twice technique is a lot easier than the end product would make you believe. You are only working with squares which are cut, sewn, then cut apart using the enclosed or a shop-bought template and sewn together again. It’s easy – just follow our instructions and you will have a ball making this quilt!

The quilt was quilted entirely by machine.


Read all the instructions carefully including those on quilting and finishing before starting the project. If you are still fairly new to quilting, we also suggest that you read our recommendations on fabric preparation and sewing.

Material needed:

For the quilt top:

Note on the choice of fabric:

There is a total of three different values (light, medium and dark) in the grey fabrics plus a white-grey, while the red fabrics are more or less of the same value (medium to dark-medium). To create interest and variety, we suggest that you choose differently sized patterns and/or fabrics with similar base colours and differently spaced overlaid patterns (see picture above with quilted windmills).

  • Three different red fabrics, ca. 1/2 yd
  • Three different grey fabrics (light, medium, dark), ca. 1/2 yd
  • White-grey fabric, ca. 1/2 yd
  • Black fabric: 1 1/2 yds (1,5 m)

For finishing the quilt

  • A piece of batting, ca. 1 ¼ yds by 1 ¼ yds (1,2 m by 1,2 m)
  • A piece of backing fabric, ca. 1 ¼ yds by 1 ¼ yds (1,2 m by 1,2 m)
  • A few left over black stripes for the binding

Other tools and notions needed:

  • Rotary cutter, cutting mat, ruler
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Sewing machine
  • Sturdy cardboard or plastic template material
  • Optional: A shop-bought cut twice/sew twice windmill template
  • Permanent pen to make markings on cardboard or template
  • Marking tool(s) suitable for your choice of fabric
  • A pair of sharp scissors
  • Pins
  • Safety pins or basting thread
  • Thread for machine quilting


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