Thursday, March 8, 2012

The longest finish in the history of man: Cathedral Window Blocks

Guess what I finally finished? The super colourful Cathedral Windows I was sewing!

Cathedral7

They came away to the snow with us this year (where I finished it). They came away with us to the snow last year. This bloody thing came away with me to my sister's house when she used to live in the US. It's has taken me over 18 months to finish this %$*@$ thing.

Cathedral11

I like it. I don't love it. I hope the love will return as my memory of it's construction continues to fade. A bit like childbirth.

Hand sewing those flaps back was not for me. It was made even more difficult when I stumbled across this awesome tutorial on the Moda Bake Shop on machine-sewing Cathedral Windows. If I'd found this before I'd started, I thought, I'd be done by now. So demoralising.

But I'd already past that point. The point where you've done so much work that even though you want to give it up, you can't. Too much energy invested so an end product must be achieved. Stubborn, stubborn, stubborn.

Cathedral8

I'm not crazy about how my flower centres look, due in part to my hand sewing and in part to the underlying coloured corners meeting here.

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By choosing to have a different colour in each petal (rather than the same for all four as in the Moda Bake Shop example) I created a bit of a nightmare where the points met. Ah well, I still had to give it a go.

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I started out with Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks line:

Cathedral1

Somehow managed to fuse it to my ironing board (good excuse to buy a new cover):

Cathedral2

Finally fused the colours down where they were supposed to go:

Cathedral4

Then trimmed my squares for the top windows (slightly concave on each edge for less bulk):

Cathedral6

Test drove my colours for the top windows:

Cathedral3

Then decided to hand sew. Sob.

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I just couldn't get into it. Didn't enjoy doing it. Was annoyed at how those meeting points were turning out.

Cathedral12

Never mind, it's finished now and looks good when viewed as a whole. I don't do myself any favours picking it to pieces with a zoom lens.

Now, what to do with it? It won't last as a pillow, at least not in my house. I'm thinking I might hang it on the wall, what do you think?

Cathedral7

(I am so glad it's over)


ETA: It's only 16 by 16 inches (40 x 40 cms).

47 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness! As soon as I saw this, I thought about one that I made (for a pillow) many years ago. I was (and still am) bowing down to your abilities and precision. This one is a bear to make to keep it perfect with all that hand turning and sewing... on a CURVE no less! Bravo to you!

    I am proud that you finished and it does look fabulous. I would definitely hang it on a wall, and I am so glad for you that it's over!

    Bises,
    Genie

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  2. Your quilt is fabulous! What an accomplishment! I follow your blog and so enjoy your pics.

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  3. I am in love. Wow!! I haven't taken that plunge yet but maybe one day I will be brave enough. It turned out great.

    Here is a suggestion if you want to help "disquise" the meeting points of your "petals". Sew clear buttons where they meet. You can see the color through the buttons but the meeting point is hidden by where you sew on the buttons. However, I like it as is and think you deserve a prize for this.

    Thank you for showing it.

    Wanda
    http://wandas-quilts-crafts.blogspot.com/

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  4. It's beautiful and I think it would make an amazing wall hanging. Good job to stick with it to the end. My stepmother actually made a QUEEN SIZE Cathedral Window quilt by had for my niece last year. Unbelievable patience in my opinion. I think I'll try one your size but probably by machine :)

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    1. Queen size? My brain is melting just thinking about it. Amazing. Give her a big kiss for me. x

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  5. Oh I am so pleased that you finished it!! It's the most beautiful little quilt ever. Truely I LOVE it. The colours are perfect too. Here's an idea for you since you are not happy with the intersections; you could make some covered buttons to cover the intersections in the same fabrics which would look really good. If it's for hanging on a wall, which I think is just where it will look it's best, the buttons will be fine. I know in time you will love it when you are less critical of it because really it's quite a work of art. Good on you Kirsty! P.S. I want one now too! Must go and google.

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  6. What a labour of love...with stunning results! Congrats on a great finish.

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  7. Two words. You're nuts! It is absolutely fabulous Kirsty. Take a step back and look at it. It's phenomenal in it's awesomeness.
    You can always give it to me, my birthday is in July, lol. That would save me from ever having to make one. There is no way I would ever have the patience to produce that.

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  8. I love it! Tiny white seed buttons at the intersections might calm your unease for the corners. It would look great hanging on a wall! Very striking!

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  9. Wow! Perseverance PLUS! Even an old hand like me hasn't attempted one of those..... and now I cant...... as the eyesight is questionable.... so.... one day when you get OLD you wont even see those fluffy points ...you'll just think how amazing you WERE in your youth :)
    Get yourself some divine ribbon, and a medal from a sports supplier... get it engraved and make up a showy "Award" for yourself....attach it permanently.... stand back.... and pour yourself a Champagne. Clever girl.

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  10. Oh my, it's beautiful, really beautiful!

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  11. I think you have done a beautiful job - it would look great as a wall hanging - like a stained glass panel. Good on you for persevering with it - can't wait too see what you do with it.

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  12. Oh it looks absolutely fab, well done for persevering! You're a far better woman than I, I've only machined them...

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  13. Yes, hang it on the wall. It is so freaking beautiful! I ADORE it!!!

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  14. I would put it in the center of a table too, as a table topper. Gosh, it's delightful!

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  15. I can so relate. I am working on a sampler which is taking forever. I have worked on it so long I don't like it anymore! Your finished project is beautiful--I would make a wall hanging.

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  16. It is a delight to look at. You could use it as a wall hanging for the time being, maybe later you will decide to incorporate it in a bigger quilt (different pattern!) using it as a 'window'.
    I like the idea of using buttons on the intersections, but I would rather use different coloured ones, vintage or not.
    I enjoyed to see how you made it.

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  17. I think it's lovely, Kirsty! Would make a fabulous wallhanging. Such pretty fabrics and a testament to your determination. I'm sure you'll come to love it as the memory of the labour involved fades. ;o)

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  18. Yes, hang it on the wall... it is beautiful! BEAUTIFUL! So bright and cheery.
    Your talent never ceases to amaze me, you are one crafty chick! x

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  19. It's beautiful!!! And I agree, it definitely deserves a spot on the wall! :-) Kudos for persevering, drawn out projects really can be annoying and zip your crafting energy! I am sure that after a couple of days you are as in love with it as we all are!

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  20. Holy Smokes, Kirsty! Don't be so hard on yourself...or this little piece of wonder. I can't see the meeting points...all I see is something incredibly cool. Traditional and modern at the same time. I love your fabric choices. Stop it! I don't have many more notches for you to keep climbing to.

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  21. Sorry to agree with everyone but it's stunning and any wall would be proud to have it. 18 months? Poof! I've recently found some squares that I started at least, well it has to be, 12 years ago. I also found some blocked strips from the same era but I turned those into a headboard for the guest room.

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  22. Okay, 12 years trumps mine. But you were smart enough to put it away - I left mine out on the craft table to torment me. Made 18 months seem like 12 yrs!

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  23. C'est Super Joli!
    Manifique Travaille!
    Love it, really!
    And dont be too hard on yourself, what matters most is to have done it, to have finished it! Some poeple dont even try!! (like myself, been saying for months now that I am going to join my local quilting blub to make a bed cover)...And only the artist see's the errors nobody else! Trust me!
    Hand it, and dont ever forget all the work you put into it!

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    Replies
    1. Merci Sarah. I agree with you - we always see the errors in our own work, more than anyone else. It's so annoying!

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  24. Amazing! Frame it definitely - it's beautiful - I'm sure you will be loving it before long.

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  25. I tried to post last night and couldn't for some reason. So glad I can today. Wow! Is all I can say. It is beautiful. I turned the iPad to Paul' so he could see it last night and he was duly impressed too. He doubly complimented you by loving the photographs of the Stunnung quilt just as much as the quilt itself!

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  26. But it turned out so awsome! Your choices of fabrics are unbelievable and your craftmanship is so good. Toutes mes felicitations pour un travail si beau et si bien fait! You don't really need to disguise anything, but the covered button suggestion is one I really like as it would add just another touch of sophistication to a beautiful quilt.
    This year I am in charge of the Block of the Month at my guild here in Texas. I have chosen to show techniques with folded fabrics and the cathedral window will be part of it, but I will base it on the 3 dimensional bowtie block. I hope this will be fun.
    Thanks for showing us this great piece,
    Annick

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  27. Oh, they are gorgeous! Wow, wow, wow!

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  28. I think such a piece of art deserves to be hanged on the wall! Really amazing!

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  29. I'd never been a huge fan of cathederal windows ... until now! The funkiness of the fabrics against the white is wonderful. If only I didn't have so many unfinished projects in plain view - many of which have also 'travelled extensively' during their creation :-). I think you deserve some sort of reward Kirsty.

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  30. I just changed my desktop background from Zenyatta's new colt, to THIS! It is beautiful, and I will look at it ALL day :)

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  31. This is absolutely gorgeous! I've been wanting to try this for years. My mom made a cathedral queen-size quilt years ago, but it literally took her years to complete. I may try one the size you made and frame it for the wall.

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  32. Wow, it's beautiful! Do put it up on your wall, please - that's where it belongs, in a place where everyone can see it!
    And thank you for sharing the process, I think I finally understand how a Cathedral Window quilt is constructed, but I doubt I'm brave enough to start one...

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  33. Wow! Nice!
    I think it's amazing you finished this project!!
    I would have chuckedit in a corner after 2 or 3 months.

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  34. *ack* beautiful! impressed with your perseverance!! love the colours & fabric choices!

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  35. Yes...hang it on the wall. I think it's stunning!!!

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  36. Made with some of my most favorite fabrics. This quilt is brilliant, bold, and beautiful! Well worth your 18 months of hard labor :) Phenominal!!!

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  37. Love your quilt Kirsty.
    I started one just like it when my children were very young they are now in their 40's!!
    It got to be about 16 X 36 and I got tired of sewing it. It became a wall hanging in my sewing room. I still love it but not enough to keep stitching.lol
    Carmen

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    1. Thanks Carmen. Like you I'm sure, I'm amazed at folks who make queen sized quilts out of this block. What incredible patience and very tough fingers they have!

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  38. This is so amazing - I LOVE LOVE your colors. I would go with a wall hanging.

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  39. You did a fabulous job on this! LOve it. You might consider framing it in a shade box type frame. I love it!

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Hi there, I love getting comments, so let her rip! I do my very best to reply (by email) so please make sure your account is set up to show email, so that I can get back to you. Cheers, Kirsty

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