29 January 2014

Quilting attempts

I have never completed a quilt.  Ever.

I have a friend who quilts beautifully, entirely by hand. No machines. She has given me tea cozies, pot-holders, and table mats using the most beautiful materials and with the tiniest and most even stitches I have ever seen.  The mice in The Tailor of Gloucester couldn't produce smaller stitches if they tried.

My own foray into quilting involved starting a Cathedral Quilt.  It is easily one of the prettiest (and fussiest) of quilt patterns.

[Abby Holverson has very clear step by step instructions on her blog]

You begin by making folded squares of muslin and stitching them together in batches of two or four.  Then you lie small squares of patterned material over the seam where the muslin squares meet, and you turn back the muslin from the sides and stitch it down around the colored cloth.

The finished product should loook like lancets or panels in a stained glass window. Hence the pattern's name: Cathedral.

It's common for people to use scraps from previous sewing projects, and depending on the origins of the material, the quilt can become a memory quilt.  My mother made a crib quilt for my child using fabric left over from my maternity clothes, and one for my brothers using cloth from her own maternity clothes.

As you work, you keep adding sections of muslin squares in batches of two or four. As I said, pretty but fussy.

Sadly, my attempt didn't go very far.

I always imagine that one day I will finish it.
A full-sized quilt? Unlikely.
A table runner, or a small hanging for the kitchen wall? Perhaps.

Until then it hangs behind a small glass frame.
A reminder of my good intentions and inherently lazy ways.


  1. Labor intensive! I have dabbled too and done baby quilts. I have the greatest respet for hand made quilts! Thanks so much for the good word and wishes for my new space! I'm having fun with it. You are so prolific! Many of your words I have not read yet. I'll be back!

    1. Very labor intensive, Jacqueline! And you have to be in the mood. But that's how it is with many domestic crafts, at least for me! I'm glad you're enjoying your new space. Good luck on opening day! Thanks, as always, for your kind words and for stopping by.

  2. Love this story and the little Beatrix Potter mice. I started a cathedral window quilt years ago, and worked on it diligently until I had children. Then it sat unfinished for 20 years! My mom finished it for me. Love your blog.

    1. Thank you, Deborah! Children, work, and other (wonderful!) things sometimes interrupt our domestic creativity. How lovely that your mom did that for you! Here's hoping I get to work on mine again one day. Thank you so much for coming by.