Sunday, July 22, 2012

Circus Tent: A Finished Cathedral Window Mini Quilt

I've been so quiet in the last week for a few reasons - working, finishing up quilting projects (such as this one), and gearing up for full-blown wedding mode (officially in effect!). This mini quilt is my big item for the Modernista Homemade swap on flickr.
I chose the name "Circus Tent" because they look like big, colorful circus tents. It just came to me and I went with it!

This month's theme is the sewing room - so we had to fill out a survey and tell our secret partners what we wanted as a big and small item. I am still in the process of finishing my partner's small item, but I will post before I send the whole thing off (sticking with the rainbow theme :) ).

My partner doesn't know (of course), but she gave me the chance to try the cathedral windows pattern. For something so traditional, I knew I had to go with bright, modern fabrics (also, because it's a modern swap!). I picked the favorite of my favorites along with some Kona and Bella solids.

I considered hand quilting, too, but I didn't want to make it too busy. I'm enjoying the simple effect of the white with all the colors.

I used a tutorial from Making Ends Meet. I definitely don't think I could do anything more than a mini quilt in this pattern, without making the blocks much bigger first. It also uses a ton of background fabric because you're basically doing fabric origami - but it was so worth it, and the effect was exactly what I hoped for. I sewed the middles together by hand, and attached all the blocks together with a zigzag machine stitch.

Also, if you don't know much about cathedral windows - it's already quilted once you've put the whole thing together! You don't need binding, either! So, I guess you actually do save time overall (or it equals out the same). :) I honestly LOVED making this mini quilt - if you give cathedral windows a try and want some advice, leave a comment or email me!

The usual suspect photo assistant, my little sister Ris

This is yet another mini quilt I am having anxiety about parting with, since it is a color scheme and block that I am very fond of, but I know it will be loved by my secret partner!

Linking up to Manic Monday @ Sew Happy Geek, and Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story.


  1. That is really great Jess!!! I love the name you have chosen for it and I have always loved this sophisticated and unique. You outdid yourself!!

    Try to enjoy every second of the wedding planning so you can reminisce years from now:) Easier said than done I know...but go ahead and try it girl:)

  2. Hi Jess,

    This looks great. The colors do make it pop, a big change from the white version I had last seen:)

  3. Fantastic.
    I love Cathedral Windows and would really love some tips.
    I have made one before, but only one ickle fabric devouring block for a pincushion.
    Your mini is absolutely gorgeous xxxx

  4. It looks great! I love the colors you choose.

  5. My 94 year old Grandmother and I did one of these by hand a few years ago. When she passed away, I didn't have the heart to work on it so I had two large pieces framed for her daughter, my favorite Aunt, and me. I can't wait to try this by machine!

  6. WOW!!! The cathedral windows look so effective (and difficult). A stunning mini quilt!

  7. All-around expert mountain woman, Cat has guided groups backpacking and horse-packing deep into the mountains and wilderness areas around the world for many companies.Camping tent site


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