My Cathedral Window Quilt completed!

So my Cathedral Window Quilt has finally reached its new home.

I have shared the first part of its journey from squares to quilt here.

We ended with the 9X4 window frames ready for the panes. And I was staying at my son’s place with access to no fabric except two jelly rolls in yellow and red, from jellyrollfabrics.com and some brown charm squares! No sewing machine either. So be it! Back to the old school and hand stitching.
I did the centre square in red, before I decided to do the corners.
I cut out some 1.25″ brown squares, folded them in half, placed them on the frame, and folded the edges of the pane on the square. Hemmed over it and voila! We are done with corners.
My camera settings were wonky, so I have a video of the corners, instead of a click. And I am unable to post videos from my iPad, so 😦

I did think the brown squares were a tad smaller than comfortable! But the fabric miser that I am, I decided to stick to 1.25″ for the rest, because I was working with 2.5″ wide jelly rolls and 5″ squares, and did not want to waste any fabric:-)

But, I got some washable fabric glue and put a drop on the frame before putting the pane on it! Made life that much simpler.

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I did the edging in brown, and a kind of three window pattern in red!
I love it already, and want to stop right here! 20120725-203134.jpg
And I think I have arthritis developing in my right thumb. Can you get arthritis in a single joint? Not sure, so google google! It could be carpel tunnel syndrome, or osteoarthritis! Doctor son thinks it is nothing so fancy, all I have is iPaditis or Facebook-itis! Dear Husband thinks that the whites look shabby with all the seam joints showing.
It is meant as a gift for his sister, after all.

I go back to my design board ( that sounds fancier than the carpet) and try out different colour combinations on my windows – here are some of those:

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But all of these were vetoed by the Husband and the Son as “too loud”,
And I finally decided to make something more ‘sober(?)’
While I was doing the panes, I saw some of the window corners had this pretty little four cornered flower where the folded corners meet. Where the rows and columns meet was an ugly mess, with even a pinhole! So I went ahead and sewed a tiny stitch around each joint, just so!

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After several hours of sewing, interspersed with tending to a progressively sorer thumb, my Cathedral Window quilt is finally ready:-)

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Would I do it again? YES! Though, I would probably use a faster, simpler method now, like my fellow quilter Chumkie Mukherjee’s quilt along on our quilt forum desi-quilters.blogspot.com!
Here is another look at my little quilt before I sign off for today. I shall come back to this topic to share my learnings from this!

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…and a final look as the quilt finds its final home, on my sister-in-law’s sideboard:-)

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Dancing Square Mug Rugs

I saw this mug rug at http://nofightingnobiting.blogspot.in/2012/04/quilted-mug-rugs.html, while browsing the net for a little gift that could be made in a day!

I was not sure if I could understand the instructions given by Katherine. I knew there was another way of making this ‘dancing square’ block – joining all the quilt squares first, and cutting with a template. But I was not sure if I could get my pinwheel centres to match with that method!

I had also made a full size quilt about three years ago, using a stack and whack method very kindly shared with me by Cathey McClure. But I could not remember how that worked! Other than that it went stack, whack, stitch! And stack, whack, stitch again! L

So I used this (more roundabout?) method and surprise, surprise! my little quilt tops came up in no time at all!

I am giving the instructions for 4 mug rugs 8″ X8″ (not arbitrary – but because it works that way!). Through chain piecing, these can be cut and stitched up in an afternoon (other than the quilting).

You will need

Background squares (Blue- B) Twenty 4″ X4″

For the Pinwheel- Four Squares
each
of 4 contrasting coloured squares (yellow –Y, Pink –P, Red –R and Green G)

(For each little quilt you need – 5 B, 1Y, 1P, 1R, 1G)

For the backing – 9″ squares of background fabric (or any backing of your choice)X 4

Binding – Four strips 9″X 2″ of each of the pinwheel colours.

8.5″ square of batting

I like to mark a light square with a pencil on each corner of the wrong side of my solid squares – so that i don’t have to strain my eyes later trying to decide which is the right side!

Making the Template

I make my template with graph paper. Only centimetre graph paper is available in India. So I used a print out of inch graph paper available for free download online.( Free Multi-color Graph Paper from http://incompetech.com/graphpaper/multicolor/)

Of course, you could draw the square on plain paper, but graph paper gives it the accuracy I like in a small quilt!

If you have template plastic, great! It is not available here. (For my full-size quilt I had used plastic sheet cut from a plastic folder and marked with a permanent marker. You can use that for your template). I find that the graph paper template I use here works equally well.

  1. On the graph paper, draw a 4″ square . From each corner mark a point ¾” to the left (or right) and join the diagonally opposite points.
  2. Quick way of checking if you have it right – the diagonals meet at the centre point (2″ in this case)
  3. Stick your graph paper square to a thin, stiff card sheet, and cut out the shape.

    Cut across one diagonal – this is your basic template.

    Marking and cutting the fabric

    1. Stack up the squares colourwise carefully, matching all edges – make sure the wrong side is up in ALL of them. ( Or you will end up with a few anti-clockwise blades, which you will have to set aside for another project! Ask me! ) The background squares can also be in stacks of 4.
    2. Place the template on the top square and cut the stack. Do this for all stacks. For the sake of convenience I am going to call these pieces Half Squares or HS.

    3. Now comes the part which appears tedious, but makes life much simpler! On each half square, draw the crossing diagonal by placing the template perpendicularly– but DO NOT CUT. You can see in the pic below how your half square will appear.

      (No way I would do this for a larger quilt. But quite doable in a small quiltJ)

      Put the pieces back in stacks colourwise. Makes it easier to chain stitch. Remember to keep the wrong side up in all the pieces!

      Making the Block

      (You can skip reading this part and go on to the next part – it is an explanation of the process, more as a reminder to myself how I worked it out…)

      This project is basically a nine patch.

      The centre square has 4 pieces – YPGR

      The corner squares have 3 pieces –

      1. ½ B piece
      2. ¼ background piece b
      3. ¼ coloured piece( 4 corners each different)

      The outer centre squares have –

      1 ½ background piece B

      2. ¼ coloured piece

      3 ¼ adjacent coloured piece

      We begin by deciding what colours would be adjacent to each other. I decided on this scheme.

      1. Begin from the centre. Join 1 pink HS to 1 adjacent green HS, matching the pencil marked diagonal of the two pieces carefully. Join 3 more Pink HS to 3 green HS.
      2. Similarly join 1 Red HS to 1 adjacent yellow HS. Make 3 more red-yellow squares.
      3. Now join 1 red HS to a green HS. Similarly make 1 more Red-Green Square.
      4. Now make 2 Pink Yellow squares.
      5. You are now left with two HS of each colour (total 8). Join these to the background BHS .

        You will have ( besides 32 background halfs – which will not be cut)

        4 RY squares

        4 PG squares

        2 RG squares

        2 YP squares

        2 BY squares

        2 BP squares

        2 BG squares

        2 BR squares

      6. This is what your squares will look like. Cut all these squares across the marked diagonal! Now you know why we marked the line. You could also stack them and cut across the diagonal – this was a small project – so I preferred to cut each individually.
      7. Press open the units, seams to one side. It does not matter which.

        Putting it together

        1. Centre Square. Put together the 4 coloured squares. Make 4 such units. (rg-yp )

        2. Corner Squares Take a br HS and join to a B-HS. Match the seam of the brHS to the diagonal of the BHS while joining.

        1. Similarly join all other double coloured HS to BHS. You shall have 4 sets of

        Bbg, Bbp, Bby, Bbr

      8. Outer Centre Squares. Join the remaining double-colourHS units to the backgroundHS. You shall have 4 sets of Bpg, Bpy,Bry, Brg.

        1. Now press these seams towards the background fabric.

        Squaring Up

        Personally, I find this the most tedious part. I trimmed the squares to 3″. The centres are already available where the seams meet – so it was really not so much of a problem.

        Positioning

        Position each of the 4 sets in 3 rows of 3 patches, and join. Be careful while joining them – I had to rip seams thrice, because I joined the `wrong’ edges!

        So here it comes together magically!

Only one thing remains before you quilt it. Flip it over – and set the seams at the pinwheel centres into whirls!

Just so…

Quilt as you like. I added a binding overlapping the ¼” seam allowance – hence my little quilts were 8″ each.

This is what I did on the reverse on one mat.

I’ve decided to do a different colour binding on each of the 4 little quilts.

Two of my reversible mug rugs are quilted and ready. I just echoed the pinwheel outer edge in the quilting. I also did an outline quilting on the pinwheel, but didn’t like it. You can still see where I ripped it!

My finished mug rugs.

You could, of course, join the four blocks with/ without a sashing, add a border and and make a runner.

Do let me know if you make these!

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Quilt for a little girl

I designed and made this little quilt for my little grand niece.

It is a number / counting quilt – also a land, sea, air quilt – made with silks and satins and oodles of love. Anyone is free to copy it in any which way they like.

Patchwork of my life…sew many colours

I discovered patchwork while in college. The college  bookstore had a fascinating book called “All about patchwork” and I saved money to buy that. It was a princely amount of Rs.15 in an era when an orange bar was 25 paise and a choc bar was Rs.1.25. ( i still have the book – it needs a lot of patchwork, though – and some pages are missing) Scraps were not much of a problem as most of us stitched our own clothes.

I immediately launched on a grandmother’s flower garden hexagon quilt, cutting up paper hexagons, tacking them on to the patches, whip-stitching them together. I had about 20 double rosettes ready in two years and then I got impatient! so I joined them together – and made a bedspread.