Oct 13, 2009

Time to start a "TV Project" - Cathedral Window Quilt

I decided I need a project to work on in the evenings while watching TV. I always think of TV time as such a waste of time, but there are shows that I love (Survivor, Amazing Race, So You Think You Can Dance, Project Runway, Top Chef, The Next Iron Chef, and more!) and it's easy to slip into TV-mode now that the colder weather is here. And, it's NASCAR's Chase season, which means 4 to 5 hours in front of the TV on weekends! The only way I can spend that much time in front of the TV is to be accomplishing some other task at the same time. Despite having a sewing machine in my family room (a wonderful old knee-pedal Majestic - my workhorse machine), I decided I want to do some hand piecing. I learned quilting by taking a 12 week class on hand piecing and hand quilting, but I'd gotten into the "faster is better" mode, and haven't done hand work in years. A quilt that's been on my "Want To Do" list for years is a Cathedral Window quilt. It's a wonderful way to use up scraps, plus I love the symmetry of the finished quilt. You can do it on a machine, but traditionally this quilt is done by hand. One block takes me about one hour to complete. It actually starts with a 10 x 10 inch square of muslin, which is folded twice down to a 3.4 inch square, then a center fabric added, and the musline pulled over the center fabric and hand stitche to create the rounded "frame". This is what I got completed over the weekend while watching the NASCAR race and Project Runway: Considering how many total blocks this quilt will take (250? 300? I haven't measured it out yet), I probably won't finish for a year. But that's OK. I'm in no hurry. I'm quite delighted to find out how much I truly enjoy hand piecing. It's the way I started making quilts, and the precision of the hand stitching and the concentration needed really appeals to me. I'm quite sorry I got away from it for as long as I did. Lately I feel like I lost my enthusiasm for quilting -- but could it be that I simply enjoy hand piecing far more than I enjoy the assembly line method of machine sewing? Interesting... Here's a photo of someone else's completed cathedral window quilt (from centralbucks55.com - found with a Google search), so you can an idea of what the finished quilt will look like.


Lisa said...

Beautiful! I love the symmetry as well. The frame around each piece is so pretty.

Karen said...

You are so talented! I'm being inspired to get back into my cross-stitching...which I haven't done all summer.
PS - our trip was awesome.....I'm going to post about it on my blog for the next three or four days. And if you want to meet my Hippie Hubby...come visit us in New England!

The Calico Quilter said...

Oh, I haven't seen one of these in ages! They are a really beautiful design and I'm sure yours will be stunning when it's done. Funny, I was just thinking today about getting an applique project started for the winter. It's so relaxing to have hand applique to work on when you are stuck in the house because of the weather.