Wednesday, March 6, 2013

March Wind Quilt Block

This 12" March Wind quilt block is the 22nd block of my Starwood Sampler Quilt, created to tell the story of my home and community. I made it as a block of the month with my quilting group, the Persian Pickles.  Because I wanted to make a king-sized quilt, I added some blocks to the ones we all made together.  This is one of the extra ones.  I found the pattern in 200 Patterns: Best of Blocks from Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, published in 1988 by Leman Publications.  My mother passed this publication on to me some time ago.  Doesn't this block look just like wind to you? 

I used mostly fabric from my stash for my blocks.  Alternate blocks in my quilt are set straight and on point. This block is set on point with the dark blue fabric as sashing.

Who Has Seen the Wind?

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.
                                          by Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)

I live where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains.  This means that we have Chinook winds or Chinooks.  Chinook winds are the warm, dry winds that blow down the east side of the Rockies during the winter and early spring, causing the rapid thawing of snow.

I found three fun Chinook wind folk tales at that illustrate the effect of these winds (with some slight exaggeration, of course!):

"A man rode his horse to church, only to find just the steeple sticking out of the snow. So, he tied his horse to the steeple with the other horses, and went down the snow tunnel to attend services. When everybody emerged from the church, they found a Chinook had melted all of the snow, and their horses were now all dangling from the church steeple."

"A man was riding his sleigh to town when a Chinook overcame him. He kept pace with the wind, and while the horses were running belly-deep in snow, the sleigh rails were running in mud up to the buckboard. The cow tied behind was kicking up dust."

"A man and his wife were out during a Chinook. The wife was heavily dressed and the man was wearing summer clothes. When the couple had returned home, the man had frostbite, and the woman had heatstroke."

You might also enjoy reading my previous blog post:


  1. It looks more like a twister than a March wind, but I like the movement in that block. The poem and the first tale are familiar to me.

    1. I agree that it does look like a twister! I love that poem, but I wasn't familiar with any of the tales. I have felt the effects of a chinook wind, though not to the extent found in those tall tales!

  2. I've never seen the "March wind" block before, but I like it very much!

    1. Thank you, June. I think it's an interesting pattern.

  3. I love reading your blog. I had never heard of Chinook winds! I learn so much from you. Thank you for sharing yourself with us.

  4. Absolutely fabulous quilt block! I love it.

  5. I had to look at the block very carefully to figure out how it is put together. Most unusual.

  6. Where can I find the pattern for March Winds?
    Fun stories about Chinook winds.


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