A few years ago, well, more than a few, my sister asked me to make her a cathedral windows quilt. I was a young, naive quilter, and I thought, how hard can it be? Turns out that it’s not really hard, just really boring and monotonous. But, I got it done! It took like 200 hours of sewing, which is a crazy insane amount. A typical queen size quilt will take me 40-50 hours.
I started by making individual panels. I did lots of math and figured how many squares I’d need across and how many down, and then made the panels in sizes that would fit together to make the completed size that I wanted.
Thing 3 wanted to get in on all the action, and she helped me lay out the coloured windows after I had sewn the background together.
This quilt does not go together like a traditional quilt. There is no batting or backing and once the top is assembled, it’s totally (finally!) done. You press and fold the white background like origami. This means that there is a lot of background used. This quilt, which finished about 60″x80″ used 17 yards of white.
I stitched it on my Juki. Toward the end, I could only work for about an hour at a time. My wrist got extremely sore from the repetitive motion my fingers used to flip the window edges over to stitch them down. And the weight of the quilt, easily as heavy as 3 finished quilts, added to the considerable strain on my shoulders.
But I perservered! I admit, toward the end, I kept going because I didn’t want a 3/4 finished cathedral windows on my conscience. I wanted to work on something else, guilt-free. I love, looooovvvee the quilt now that it’s done, but I am never, ever, ever, ever making another one. Never!
My sister chose the fabrics used in the windows. They are an assortment of various 30s reproductions. They really fit the style of the quilt, I think. She made a very good choice. I would have not chosen the brown myself, but it really makes the finished quilt have more movement.
Again, I’m glad it’s done. Never again. My sister loves it too, which makes me happy, of course. I can cross this off my someday list, and add it to the list of things that I conquered.