I’m teaching how to make Cathedral Window quilts this Sunday!

old cathedral window

postcard cathedral window

Three Ways to Make a Cathedral Window Quilt

Sun, Mar 24

Mar 24, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Hello Stitch Studio, 1708 University Ave, Berkeley www.hellostitchstudio.com

[510] 982-6549 | hello@hellostitchstudio.com


Cathedral Window is a beautifully intricate quilt block pattern. Traditionally it is done entirely by hand, however, I will demonstrate three ways to make these blocks: completely hand sewn, completely machine sewn, as well as a combination of both. The background fabric is folded in origami fashion and the contrasting center fabrics are sewn into each pocket like a small jewel. This is a dimensional, multi-layer quilt block that doesn’t require quilting and is perfect for using scraps of fabric.

This is a process class. Once you learn how to make the blocks you can turn them into a quilt, wall hanging or pillow, but those projects won’t be covered in class. These blocks look complicated, but once you learn the process, it isn’t that hard to do.

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Last quilt finished in 2018

Sujata inspiredThis quilt, titled Inspired By Sujata, was the last quilt I finished in 2018. I just realized I never posted a photo of it. I started it in Sujata Shah’s EBHQ class. I started laying it out on a design wall in Maria Shell’s EBHQ class. I think it was called kitchen sink quilting. The idea was to take a bunch of blocks and make a quilt out of them- kind of like what Gwen Marston and Freddie Moran do with their parts department quilts.

Here are two details of the quilting;

Sujata detail 1

Sujata detail 2.1



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Baby quilt finished at the last minute!

Buzz Baby Quilt

I stayed up until the early hours of the morning two nights in a row to finish this baby quilt. Then I took BART to San Francisco to hand it to the grandma who commissioned it for her new grandson in Israel. She was getting on a plane later that day and didn’t have time to come to Berkeley to pick it up. We stood there in the Powell St station, while I showed her the quilt, and sent it on its way. This is my first quilt finished in 2019!

The yellow bicycle fabric is left over from the quilt I made two years ago for her first grandchild. I hear that the grandkids’ parents are avid cyclists. Here is the back of the quilt:

back of buzz baby quiltI have had this fabric in my stash for a long time, and I don’t remember buying it. I think it probably came from my mother’s stash, which I inherited. Here’s a detail of the quilting. I used a zigzag on my machine that had 3 stitches for every zig, and a curvy line. I used my walking foot for all the quilting.

detail Buzz quilting

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When your quilt isn’t working…keep working on it.


This was the hot mess on my design wall, a few weeks ago. My artist friend Lila Wahrhaftig looked through the photos on my phone. She liked the one with negative space, which was just slices separated by an inch or two on the cutting board. That gave me the idea to add a strip of slashing between each slice.


Here it is with the sashing:


But there was too much light blue fabric for the composition. (It stuck out like a sore thumb). I cut it diagonally where the ruler is.


I added another blue sashing strip, but I didn’t like the X it made across the quilt. So I sewed a different slice above the sashing.



It’s late at night, so the color isn’t accurate, but this is what it looks like now.



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Photos from my wonky log cabin class


Here are wonky log cabin blocks by my students on Sunday, at HelloStitch. I had 5 students, but can only find 4 photos on my phone. My apologies to the one I left out.


image image image image Continue reading

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Printing and painting on fabric

Last Monday I took Deborah Boschert’s EBHQ workshop on printing, stamping, and stenciling on fabric. Below are some of my experiments:


This one is handwritten with a Micron pen, and a stamp I made from “fun foam” attached to a piece of styrofoam as a handle.













I made a stamp with “fun foam” and stamped it in gold acrylic paint. I made the heart stamp the same way.

The yellow and red print was made with a children’s building block called K’nex, which is also in the photo.

Here’s another K’nex unit, below.


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Serging with silk

I gave up ironing the silk. I took it to HelloStitch and used their serger to hem it. The serger is a fancy sewing machine that cuts off the edge and sews sort of a blanket stitch around the edge. This is frequently used for sewing t-shirts or jersey cloth.

In other news, I’m teaching a Wonky Log Cabin class this Sunday, Feb. 3, at HelloStitch from 10 AM- 1 PM. There are 2 spots left in the class.


Whether or not you know how to make a traditional log cabin block, come join Claire and learn how to make a wonky/improvisational one! Learn a little about improvisational quilt design as we look at our log cabin blocks. It’s amazing what you can make with left over strips of fabric. This is a great way to use your scraps. The class is a process class. However, Claire will discuss how to turn these sample log cabin blocks into a quilt. This class is appropriate for beginners on up.

log 3

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Sewing with silk!

talit fabric

I’m attempting to hem this piece of silk, to make a tallit/prayer shawl for my Bat Mitzvah student, Hannah. She picked this sheer silk fabric. I got a suggestion from Taree to take it to HelloStitch, and use their serger. That’s what I’m going to do, because it’s very difficult to even iron it. I’m using a piece of parchment paper between the iron and the fabric, because the vines get sticky if the iron touches them directly.

Next month I’m taking Sue Fox’s silk class with EBHQ, but the talit will be finished and the Bat Mitzvah will be history by then.

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Strata for baby quilt

strataHere is the first set of strata sewn together for the baby quilt I’m working on. I would have made a wider piece, but I was limited by the bicycle fabric. I only have short lengths of it left, from a baby quilt for the older sibling of this baby.

I varied the widths of the layers, trying not to repeat myself. The light blue is the widest, at 10″. The narrowest is the yellow, which is only 1″ wide, i.e. half an inch, when sewn.

luna.2Here is a quilt with the same technique. I took the strata, and cut slices at various angles, and sewed them back together. I shifted the strips around before I sewed them back together.

Elayne baby quilt, finishedHere is the baby quilt I made previously, using the bicycle fabric. Each time I cut a strip of it, I had to cut through the bicycles above and below it, so that there would be a little yellow margin above and below it. That’s why there isn’t much left of this fabric.

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Baby quilt with stars and bicycles, WIP

stars bicycles

I have a commission to do a baby quilt. Here are the fabrics that will go into it. I might add some light blue solid fabric as well. I’m planning to construct this quilt in strips of different widths, sew them together, then make diagonal slices through the strata, and sew them back together in an offset arrangement. I learned this technique from Pat Pauly when she taught for EBHQ. Pat calls this technique “slash and burn,” but the way I’ve adapted this technique is different from how she uses it.

Below is the fabric for the back of this quilt:

stars bicycles back

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