Monday, September 14, 2009

Cathedral Windows Pillow

Mum loved her birthday present, and now that she's opened the package I can finally post photos of the Cathedral Windows pillow I made for her. Here's the front:

And the back:

The prints are all Amy Butler fabrics. I tried, but failed, to tweak the colors in these photos for greater accuracy. The pale blue is not quite so neon-bright as it appears, and the dark taupe is softer.

Finished size is 18" square, and there's a zip under the right side of the dark taupe strip on the back. I'd show you a close-up, but then you'd see how messy some of my hand-stitching is.

Here's my advice to anyone tempted to try this pattern/method: If you Google "Cathedral Windows tutorial" you will come across some variations in construction. One major difference is whether to simply press in the raw edge on the large foundation block or to sew them up. I fell for the "fold instead of seam" approach (it seemed so much easier) and I can saw with some expertise now that it does not produce as good a result.

It may seem like so much more work to do the tedious seaming and turning and pressing first step on the large square (setting up to fold the corners in a second time to make the "window" frames), but it is worth it.

I had fun making this, as I've wanted to try my hand at Cathedral Windows for a long time, and was curious how it would work with a limited color palette and repeated fabrics, rather than the more traditional "charm" approach using as many different fabrics as possible. It was a good "lap project" to have on hand for TV nights.

I can't remember exactly what size foundation squares I started with (9"?) before all that seaming and folding. If I ever make something like this again, I think I'll start a little smaller (8?), so the windows/charms are smaller as well.

But that's not likely to ever happen. Getting this done really stretched the outer limits of my patience and attention span for doing something so tedious and repetitive. Before pillow, my attitude toward Cathedral Windows was "that's so interesting and different; I'd like to tray making something with that method some day." After pillow, it's: "been there, done that." I still like this pattern/method, but will be happy from now on to admire the efforts of others. How anyone makes it through enough of these fussy little squares to get an entire bed-quilt out of it is a mystery to me.

Speaking of quilts, I started on the lap quilt I'm making for my husband. Will post more about that some day when I've reached a photo-op point.

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