Sunday, April 15, 2012

IMQG April Challenge - A Shortcut to Cathedral Windows

The rules for April's challenge are to
1) use the colours of the IMQG logo to make a quilt block that reflects what modern quilting means to you, and 2) plan an interesting composition that represents your own unique voice.

Take a look at the IMQG logo in the bar to the right of this post. The colours are blue, grey, rust and white. And here is the Cathedral Windows block I've made.

Cathedral Windows block
I picked out the fabrics and cut 

2 grey squares 6-1/2" x 6-1/2",
2 blue squares 6-1/2" x 6-1/2",
1 rust square 6-1/4",
4 white squares 5-1/2" x 5-1/2".

This will make a 12-1/2" finished block.

Fabrics are cut and ready to go!
Notice the white squares have been folded on the diagonal and pressed.

White squares are pressed on the diagonal.
It was now time to preview the block.  The grey and blue squares form the foundation, the white triangles the frame and the rust square forms the window pane of this Cathedral Windows block.

A preview of the block.
I need to make two sandwiches:

1st sandwich -
   1 grey square, face up
   2 white triangles with raw edges lined up with the bottom right corner
   1 blue square face down

2nd sandwich - 
   1 blue square, face up
   2 white triangles with raw edges lined up with the top right corner
   1 grey square face down.

The two sandwiches were chain-pieced on the right side and the seams were pressed towards the grey or darker fabrics. Then the seams were nestled together, and pinned.  The top and bottom units were sewn together and the sewn seam was pressed to one side.

Four units sewn and pressed.
The foundation and frame have been constructed.  Now it's time to insert the window pane.  The four dimensional or bias sides of the center square are folded down over the rust square and pinned in place.

Frame and window pane are pinned in place.
The frame is sewn to the window pane and the Cathedral Windows block is ready!

I love the Cathedral Windows block.
Having satisfied the first rule of the challenge, let me tell you what modern quilting and this guild (IMQG) means to me.

I now consider myself a modern quilter. I'm open to setting aside the tried and true, and traditional ways of constructing a quilt.  Modern quilting has opened up endless possibilities and encouraged me to 'step out of the box'.  That is so very liberating! 

This is what this guild means to me.

I stands for India, Innovation, Imagination and Inspiration.
M stands for Modern Members who are Marvelous and Merry.
Q stands for Quilt, Quality and Quantity.
G stands for a Guild that is Generous, Gregarious and downright Glorious!

How does this block represent my unique voice?

The technique that is used to construct any quilt block is what intrigues me the most.  I made a Cathedral Windows quilt (36" x 36") for the IMQG January challenge, using the tried and true, traditional method.  It's beautiful and I love it, but towards the end of the construction, I was very exhausted and my enthusiasm to make another Cathedral Windows quilt was somewhat dampened.  

Then I came across an Innovative way to make a Flying Geese block using just one seam on the internet  and decided to apply this Imaginative technique to the construction of a Cathedral Windows block.  It worked like a charm and that makes me feel Marvelous and Merry!  I'm also feeling Generous enough to share this technique with the other Modern Members of this Quilt Guild and hope the tutorial I've provided above meets the standards of Quality that so Inspires me every time I see the Glorious quilted projects that our Gregarious guild members have made and displayed on our Facebook group page.  

Cheers, everyone!   


  1. Lovely block Chumkie....and very generous of you to share the technique...thanks :) Have always been intimidated by cathedral windows, but this is something I'm definitely going to try now...thanx again!!!
    Love your take on the IMQG too!

    1. Thanks, Aliya, but wait another day and I'll share with you 'An Even Shorter Cut to Cathedral Windows' !)

  2. Hi Chumkie, You are always inspirational. Love your block. Cathedral blocks are on my to do list.

    1. Thank you, Rashida! This is so easy to should definitely give it a try.


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