I have always loved the look of a Cathedral Windows quilt, so when I saw this great tutorial from the Hyena in Petticoats blog, I knew I had to do one.
This is not a quilt for those who want a weekend project or who need to finish a task quickly. The folding and ironing of the background squares take nearly as much time as the hand sewing of each square! I work on the quilt at night while watching TV, and can generally get four to five squares done in three hours, not including the initial preparation of the background squares.
I am doing this as a scrap quilt, since the cathedral squares are just 3 inches square. I do not pre-cut my squares (though you certainly could), but instead quickly cut each square as I go. I do not pre-cut my batting squares, but have a small piece of batting scrap at hand to quickly cut out a small square of batting.
Besides loving the look of the finished quilt (I am all about traditional, symmetrical quilts), I love the fact that I am actually "quilting as you go" -- which means the top, batting and backing will all be together at the time I finish piecing the top.
I haven't hand sewn or appliqued in awhile, and it was good to find how much I truly enjoy doing this type of precision sewing by hand. It's so easy to piece with the machine, but I find the mental demands of hand sewing to be very soothing.
I believe it will take me at least a year to finish this quilt, but it's the perfect cool weather quilt to work on, and makes sitting in front of the television at night a bit more productive. When I do finish it (and I will!), I know this will be a quilt meant to stay in my family for generations to come.... which we quilters call an Heirloom Quilt.