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Cathedral Window practice

February 7th, 2011

I’m always encouraging people to try something new or something they’ve never done.  Just practice.  Make a small version of something to test-drive it out.  So I’m practicing what I’m preaching.  I’ve always been obsessed with Cathedral Window Quilts - the crazy how-the-f-did-they-do-that with fabric and stitches wonderment and awe, and the tactile feeling of it.  Touch.  Touch.  Touch.  I just want to touch every Cathedral Window quilt I see.
Cathedral Windows

So knowing I could not be entertained by the Super Bowl commercials alone… I knew I had to have a hand project to work on to sustain me during those 3+ long boring hours (and keeping me from snacking).  I found two tutorials I that looked right up my alley - one at Hyena In Petticoats  and the other from Christina at The Sometimes Crafter.  Both different, but both the same result. And both were easy for my brain to grasp!
Cathedral Windows

I used Sandy Klop’s Snippets and Kona Snow, and on the sides I folded a square of Snippets in half diagonally to fill those “windows”.   Each window of Snow I cut at 5″, and each Snippets piece I cut at 1⅜”.  One thing I learned was the importance of good pressing and folding when making the windows.  That is key… and my lack of good pressing and folding is evident in my practice quilt. But hey - I made a Cathedral Window quilt…
Cathedral Windows
even if it’s only 5″ square!

Edited in:
Wow, wow, WOW! Check out:
Heather’s part 1 & part 2
Kristen’s part 1 & part 2

Posted in Quilty n Crafty |

44 Responses

  1. The fabulous Mare allegedly said:

    oh my gosh, it’s great! it looks like citrus punch!

  2. The fabulous gale allegedly said:

    wow that is tiny!! And so cute. I think I did my big squares something like 14″ and my small were…maybe 4″ or 4.5. Can’t remember.

  3. The fabulous Gigi allegedly said:

    Love the colors! So warm and cheery. I found a great tutorial at the blog, alamodefabric, under her tutorials. And it worked great. Although I realized my pressing was not too hot either. Buttons at the intersections to the rescue. And they added a nice extra touch. I don’t think anyone else knows I used them to cover up my less than perfectness.

  4. The fabulous Megan allegedly said:

    I used Hyenas in Petticoat tutorial to start mine. Start, mind you. Not finish. I’m doing some hand sewing, so I expect it will take…well…forever. :D

  5. The fabulous MichelleB allegedly said:

    It is yummy! I still haven’t started one. Maybe one of these days!

  6. The fabulous Leslie Schmidt allegedly said:

    You’re not the only one who has been fascinated with Cathedral Windows. Even before I started quilting I had a love affair going with that and flying geese. Love your colors. I’m glad you sewed down the curves by hand. Was it hard to make them even? It looks as though you didn’t have any trouble.
    Oh, and Yea Packers! (a former Wisconsinite, a forever Packer fan!)

  7. The fabulous Ricki allegedly said:

    My grandmother made a beautiful queen-sized cathedral window quilt…all completely by hand! It’s a technique I’ve always admired and wanted to master. I decided to try my hand at it by making a pillow for her last year as a Christmas gift. It was so tiny compared to the quilts she makes and I made the squares on the machine, but my goodness it still took me forever to finish! The woman must have the patience of a saint! ha! At least I can cross that off of my quilty to-do list, right? And she loved it, so that’s really all that matters. :)

    I love your version. Those are really cute fabrics!

  8. The fabulous Natalie VV allegedly said:

    I have tried these!
    Beautiful results, but quite the challenge. Yours are lovely!

  9. The fabulous Sherri allegedly said:

    I think it looks beautiful…this is one technique I really want to learn one day!

  10. The fabulous Shannon Margaret allegedly said:

    OMG…girl…you have more of a patience then I could…..I think what you did is AWESOME….so don’t put that first try down….OUTSTANDING job….. and its worthy of two birds on a screen…I would even go as far to say its a 5 bird also…

  11. The fabulous badlands quilts allegedly said:

    Super cute!

  12. The fabulous Jill C. allegedly said:

    This is gorgeous! I also love the look if cathedral windows, I’m still afraid to try it though. Thanks for the links, that will help! I love the colors you chose, so fresh and summery…

  13. The fabulous Lemon Tree Tami allegedly said:

    Fantastic! I’ve been wanting to make a cathedral windows quilt for my living room for 2 years now. I bought a book and the fabrics. I only need to devote a bit of time cutting out the squares. Your little windows makes me want to pull out the fabrics and give it a go. :-)

  14. The fabulous Megan allegedly said:

    Cathedral Windows have been on my “to try” list since forever. This looks great! Maybe it’s the kick in the pants I need to get going and try one myself!

  15. The fabulous Ursula allegedly said:

    You could never tell it’s your first. It’s sooo cute. And I love your choice of colours.

  16. The fabulous Jennifer O. allegedly said:

    I have always loved cathedral windows! I have been told that they are extremely tough to do. I love how yours turned out and I love the fabric choise as well.

  17. The fabulous Kristen allegedly said:

    Nice!! I love the Kona Snow for this too. I am making one cathedral “window” every day on my blog! Oh and I am using some of my Holiday Happy in a quilt if you care to peek. I agree that it definitely keeps you from snacking! LOL

  18. The fabulous Sally allegedly said:

    Bee-you-tea-full! I love the fabric choices, and I can understand the fascination with cathedral windows.

    And wasn’t the Darth Vader/Volkswagon commercial cute?!

  19. The fabulous Mary Ann allegedly said:

    Impressive, its still on someday list. My cousin has the most gorgeous one her other Grandmother made…she doesn’t use it and keeps it in the closet..I keep trying to talk her out it!

  20. The fabulous Jansie allegedly said:

    Well done! You did a fabulous job. And thank you for linking those tutorials. I will definitely have to try this out.

  21. The fabulous Christina allegedly said:

    Have you noticed how terrible I am about leaving comments?? :) I love the fabric you chose for this, so bright and cheery! Hyena’s tutorial on this is one of my favorites! I wish I was a more patient person when it came to this block. I really need to give it a go again!

  22. The fabulous Lori allegedly said:

    I’m so glad you gave this a try and posted about it. It was on my 2010 list, and has since been rolled over into the 2011 list. This was a good shot in the arm.

  23. The fabulous Betty @ She's Sew Pretty allegedly said:

    I’ve always wanted to try making one of those too. They really intimidate me. I think your trial size turned out great!

  24. The fabulous Julie allegedly said:


    I’ve been wanting to try that for a long time! And the colors are perfect for a PNW February. Eye candy :D


  25. The fabulous Meghan allegedly said:

    Wow, so tiny! You did a great job. I used those same tutorials recently to make my own cathedral window block (Jan. 13 entry in my blog, if you’d like to check it out), but mine is about 9″ square, I think. The fabric for the windows is 3.5″ squares. I chose to hand-stitch my frames down, too. Such a lovely look! Did you stitch yours through to the back, or just through the top layer?

  26. The fabulous Jenny allegedly said:

    I am clapping and clapping and clapping. And i am also never doing that ever never ever never ever never. But, I am very proud of you. And I am hoping to see you at Market this May so I can give you a hug and tell you how much I miss you.

  27. The fabulous Gail allegedly said:

    So pretty!! It turned out SO good for your first try at it

  28. The fabulous wendy allegedly said:

    I know what you mean about Cathedral windows, they are stunning. And yours looks amazing! The fabric is perfect with the white and it looks super-professional to me

  29. The fabulous Thimbleanna allegedly said:

    Oooh, that’s VERY cool SW1! I’ve been wanting to try them for years…time…just need more time!!!

  30. The fabulous DianeP allegedly said:

    Beautiful job Monica!

    My Mother made Cathedral Window pillows many years ago — I have a red one on my sofa right now. So glad you’re reintroducing them to us for more inspiration. Thank you!

  31. The fabulous Sue allegedly said:

    I have always loved cathedral windows quilts too, but am still too chicken to try them.
    I would say that yours turned out just lovely! And it was a great way to spend your time watching the Superbowl:D

    Thank you also for sharing the sites with the tutorials.

  32. The fabulous Jessie allegedly said:

    Your cathedral window is beautiful! I have been looking at Heather’s tutorial for a couple weeks now and I think I am going to try it very soon!

  33. The fabulous Brittany allegedly said:

    Well done. It turned out fantastically! I have always loved that pattern too. Keep thinking that I want to do it with black and bright pink fabrics.

  34. The fabulous Chelsea allegedly said:

    Wow, I don’t think I’d ever have the cajones to tackle a cathedral windows quilt. Love yours, though! That colour palette is yummy.

  35. The fabulous capello allegedly said:

    this has long been on my list of things to make - but the tutorial i have had on hand MAKES ME WANT TO CRY. woe.

    yours look AWESOME.

  36. The fabulous Melissa allegedly said:

    Yours is SO bright and happy!
    I’ve been wanting to try the Cathedral Windows pattern for a while, too. Touch, touch, touch. :) When I looked at the tutorials, it seemed like I could actually do it! Maybe I’ll just start with a pillow, though.

  37. The fabulous Cindy allegedly said:

    Thanks. Yeah. Thank A LOT! I am trying to clean out the basement. I have 2 quilts that I have to make by the end of the month that haven’t even started, one quilt “just for fun” sitting on the table (sitting, cuz I’m WORKING in the basement), and now you add a SUPER COOL FUN new project. Dang. It’s a good thing I love you so much, otherwise I might have to come out there and smack ya. :) heehee I will get to this soon, AFTER the other 3 projects that I KNOW of. :) Please, stop surfing the internet for new fun projects for about a week, k?

  38. The fabulous blop allegedly said:

    That is so dang cute! It is something that I have never done, either, so maybe I should give it a whirl!! Good MG project, huh??xo

  39. The fabulous pam allegedly said:

    I saw this technique a million years ago when I first started working at the quilt shop in Pleasanton, might have even been on an early episode of Simply quilts. LOVE IT.. but never tried it. MIght have to now! You’re inspiring me.

  40. The fabulous AnyoneCanQuilt allegedly said:

    ooooooooooohhhhhhh this is gorgeous! Something I’ve always wanted to try too. Can you imagine making an entire quilt?! It would be a once in a lifetime quilt fo sho! xo

  41. The fabulous Johanna allegedly said:

    Thank you for the inspiration! Your project looks amazing. I visited the tutorials and need to try one, too! Cathedral Windows have been on my to-do list as well - the links are appreciated!!

  42. The fabulous glenn allegedly said:

    I want to try one. I don’t think I’m emotionally ready.. however.

  43. The fabulous Renee allegedly said:

    This is awesome! Something I’m too scared to try, too nervous to even think about..
    trying to entertain myself in front of the SB…

    your blog is like reading the journal I never wrote… YAY!

    I SUCK/HATE at practicing. Be good at first attempt or throw away.

    Thanks for making me reconsider!

  44. The fabulous denise allegedly said:

    i’ve been googling tutorials for this and came across alamode’s as well and I love it. I’m feeling rather ambitious and plan on attempting a table runner (well, a trunk cover..same idea? ish). We’ll see how I feel after I make one block, lol

Farting around with needle & thread and then blogging about it.

Monica Solorio-Snow
Happy Zombie

Pacific Wonderland
Astoria, Oregon

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