My First Cathedral Window

Feb 2023

I'm very honoured to be included in the Tilda Plum Garden Makers Showcase, sponsored by 2GreenZebras.

I feel like this range is a return to some of the original roots of the first Tilda collections with soft, muted colours and tiny florals. I've long been a fan of Tilda, and have a quite a stash full of them all now! This range also sees the introduction of the Tea Towel basics, which are variants on ticking stripes and checks. They have that elegant simplicity which really appeals.

It's always interesting when new fabric crosses my path, especially when you're asked to sew with a style that you haven't considered in a while. I like to let the fabric sit and 'talk' to me, and see what moods and images come to mind. I'm always drawn to some colours over others, and found myself enjoying the graduated effect of the blues with the pops of coral. But there's something exciting about trying new colours, and stretching your comfort zone. Sometimes you might discover a new favourite colour!

Trends always seem to come full circle, but there are some classics that survive the fluctuations of popular opinion. Plum Garden is one such classic with plenty of opportunity to fussy cut these prints. The ducks and floral motifs stand out as being particularly cute.

I found myself drawn to a distant memory of one of my first ever sewing projects...

I was given a Golden Circle patchwork magazine/book for Christmas when I was about 14. I'd dabbled in making clothes, but had never been exposed to the world of quilting and patchwork, and this was a new fun experience for me. I really enjoyed thumbing through the pages, being enthralled by dramatic block names such as 'hovering hawk'. It opened up a completely different idea set...that it was possible to create bespoke textile designs with fabric!

There was one project in particular that I remember very clearly.

It was a 'cathedral window' fragrance sachet. Made in lavender satin, with a tiny floral background, I thought it was truly stunning.

I set about making it, with my usual fearless but naive attitude.

I remember being highly dissatisfied with the result, but it was the beginning of my love affair with this design.

I'm sure you will agree, there's something mesmerising about pattern designs that draw your eye to explore with the clever shapes within shapes.

I immediately pictured the Plum Garden collection used in a cathedral window design.

I hesitated to post this pic however, because I realised too late that I hadn't centred the sofa in front of the background quilt, and it made me twitchy ;).

So if you notice things like that...I feel your pain...

If this is a new design to you, and you're intrigued as to how to make it, you're in for a treat! And if you've always felt intimidated by how difficult these look, let me tell you they really aren't.

I've discovered a quick and easy way to make cathedral windows.

If you've made them the traditional way, you'll know that they actually waste a significant amount of fabric, and that's always bugged me. This method of construction does not, and gives you significantly more design options at the same time!

I'll be sharing a pincushion tutorial next week, so you can share in the fun!

I couldn't help including one of my previous Tilda quilts in the pics, as the pretty blues and mustards matched perfectly. This throw sized quilt was a variation on a design by my friend Samantha of Aqua Paisley a couple of years ago.

The quilt on the wall behind is my 'Cross Multiply' pattern, stitched in Tilda Lazy Days. I'll hopefully be announcing more details regarding that pattern in the next few weeks.

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Meet Ali Phillips

So glad you stopped by for a read! I'm a sewist with a passion for family, creativity, & organisation.