Friday, March 26, 2010


I'm obsessed with fabulous projects. I'm certain of it. And I browse blogs. Mostly quilting blogs. Don't you think that is a dangerous combination? I'm beginning to think so.

*Note, follow the links I'm providing. They'll take you to exactly what I'm talking about and illustrate my point. Trust me. You have to see this.

Two weeks ago exactly, I came upon the most scrumptious pillow over at Twin Fibers. Jessica had just received it from her Pillow Talk Swap partner and I was amazed at how creative, colorful and cheerful this pillow is. So, I hopped on over to Little Miss Shabby to see how Corey had done it (photo courtesy of Corey -- thank you!). It looked like a faux curved piecing technique I had done in a quilt, but couldn't figure out how these particular blocks went together. Little Miss Shabby used a tutorial over at Hyenia in Petticoats to do what is called Cathedral Windows. I absolutely loved the technique (quilt as you go, everything gets finished, self-contained, all-in-one) and decided that this would be a great project to get to sometime to use up all the scraps. This is good, right? Two new blogs to follow, new projects to look forward to AND an idea for what to do with those accumulating scraps. 'Sometime,' I thought, 'I'll make a lap quilt using this technique.' It's all good.

Here's were the trouble starts. A few days later on my daily blog rounds, I came across another Cathedral windows pillow on Quilt Dad. John had just received his Pillow Talk Swap pillow and his uses Kona Cotton in Coal and Flora & Fauna by Michael Miller. The result is absolutely stunning (photo courtesy of Heather -- thank you!). So, I hopped on over to A La Mode Fabric (another fun blog to follow!) to see how Heather has done her Cathedral Windows. She followed the same tutorial as Little Miss Shabby, only she tweaked it a bit. She wrote out her own tutorial, giving her experience with the pattern and roughly what you need to do to enlarge or reduce the blocks. Her tutorial is divided into part one and part two, if you want to check it out. The nebulous, sometime-in-the-future-use-up-the-scraps project in my head started to take a shape.

Cut to last week and I'm at JoAnn's Fabrics. I don't even remember why I was there. It was something important I'm sure. Fate intervened and wiped everything about that trip from my memory except the amazing treasure I found among the bolts of fabric there. Kona Cotton Solids . . . and they even had it in Coal. I stopped and petted the bolts (you all do it too, you know you do) and admired the colors. Especially the Coal.

The minute I walked in the door from my shopping trip, I uncovered the latest JoAnn's add from under some sewing to look for coupons. Sure enough, I had a 50% off coupon good for this weekend. So, earlier today, I headed to JoAnn's, coupon in hand. I pulled out the bolt of Coal and started measuring width and figuring out how much fabric I would need for a lap quilt (roughly 45" x 54"), based on a few things that Heather had mentioned in her tutorial. As I calculated what I'd need right there at the fabric counter, I came up with a total of 19 yards. Even at 50% off, that is a chunk of change all in one piece of fabric. I knew there wasn't possibly that much on the bolt and I lost my nerve. I put the fabric back. I have to pause to say here, that I did get a few other pretty fabrics for pillowcases and aprons while I was there. But sadly I left the Kona Cotton in Coal, which was the whole purpose of my shopping trip, behind.

I came home and looked morosely at the pretty pictures of the amazing Cathedral windows pillows again. I knew that was the closest I was going to get to something that amazing. I followed the link that John provided for the Flora & Fauna fabrics that Heather used in his Kona Cotton in Coal Cathedral Windows Pillow (say that fast three times, lol). When I discovered that the coordinates come in not only Turquoise and Mustard, but Raspberry and Stone, I decided that even if I really did need 19 yards, I was going to get my Kona Cotton. After all, I had a coupon for 50% off.

I needed to go back to JoAnn's anyway, because as I looked over my receipt from earlier, one of my items didn't get the coupon added to it, and I love my coupons. I decided that before I left, I'd better double-check my figures for the Cathedral blocks, just to make sure. I pulled out some scratch paper and made a model of the largest block size that the width of the fabric would accommodate without waste. As it turns out, the calculations I was using for the block size, based on what I thought I remembered reading in Heather's tutorial were for the windows size, not the foundation block size. I only need 9 yards (taking into account shrinkage, I'm a die-hard pre-washer) to make a lap quilt that will come out at 44" x 57". I was in the car in within minutes of this discovery. They had 8 yards on the bolt (after a moment of panic when I couldn't find it again!) and happily took my 50% off coupon. I got my Kona Cotton in Coal for $2.99 a yard. If only I could get off that easy with the Flora & Fauna in Raspberry and Stone.

For those of you without a coupon and who now have a serious case of fabric envy, Kona Cotton Solids will be on sale at 40% off next week at JoAnn's fabrics. I wonder which color I need next?


Elizabeth said...

Thanks a lot. Now I have another project that I want to make : )

Unknown said...

now that is ( keeping it real! )... how many times do we all waver going back and fourth... trying to figure out if a project is worth the money & time before we just pull the trigger! haha...

I am more than excited my Pillow for John pushed you over the Cathedral Window dark side... cause once you're there... it's really not that scary... but crazy gorgeous!!

great post!!

xo, Heather