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cathedral windows demystified

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A friend who is a violinist with the St. Louis Symphony is celebrating a significant birthday today, so I thought I’d finish a little project for her as a gift.

I pieced this mini-quilt a few years ago following a Sew Mama Sew tutorial by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Fransson fame. It sounds weird, but you fuse the squares to lightweight fusible interfacing and then fold and sew the rows. For the beginner quilter (me!), it was very satisfying to have the seams of these bitty 2-inch squares match perfectly. At the time, I made several, and over the years I have reached up to my works-in-progress (WIP) shelf and quilted one every so often as a birthday gift for a friend. This process has allowed me to experiment with different quilting designs in a small (14-inch square) venue. “Mistakes” are hard to detect–it helps that I used no solid fabrics. I gained practice and confidence, and the gift recipients were none the wiser (I think!).

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Here are a couple of others I did. The one with the yellow border I quilted with an all-over free-motion curly-que–very brave of me. For the orange-bordered one, I used an Elizabeth Hartman-esque free-motion wonky-box pattern (it’s in her book)–even braver.

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This time around, I had fun with a new technique for me: cathedral windows/orange peel quilting. I have admired it but thought it was beyond my abilities. Then I read a blog entry by Katy of I’m a Ginger Monkey in which she confesses to being a reluctant quilter (I can certainly relate) and then explains how to do this orange peel quilting with a walking foot–cool! I had to try it out, and it worked like a charm. I am pleased to have another quilting technique in my repertoire.

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It looks great with the backing I chose.

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For the borders I used my other favorite walking-foot quilting design (explained here by Faith of Fresh Lemons Quilts). It created a little puzzle-piece pattern in the corners.

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I added a hanging sleeve so it can either be hung on a wall or used as a decorative piece on a table.

Happy Birthday, Wendy!

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2 thoughts on “cathedral windows demystified

  1. I like these quilting ideas. I also recently bought Charlotte War Andersen’s second book on machine quilting. She doesn’t mark either, but uses “inchie tape” to have lines to follow. I am thinking that one inch blue painter’s tape (no residue) would also work and be cheaper. No free motion stuff either. zThanks for the links. Your gift looks super.

  2. I have used blue painter’s tape as a quilting guide to do random intersecting lines (I read about doing this in Elizabeth Hartman’s books). I have done it only on mini-quilts–on a large quilt I think it’d be difficult to keep the lines straight and the tape adhered. I will check out Anderson’s book–thanks for the tip.

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