[Originally published October 4, 2018]

Hi there Guildies and Friends!  Someone gave me the reins for Block of the Month.  Look out! Or, look in! Depends on your perspective.  We’re making windows.  

We’re making simple windows.  Those of your five-year-old self’s vernacular.  A simple box with grills and a frame.  These kind:


But, you know, quilt windows. Here are the elements your window needs to have:

  • Glass
  • Grills, grids, or muntins, whatever you call them. The criss-cross things that go across the window pane.
  • Sashing, which in quilt terms would actually be the grill in this case so let’s call it the frame…I’m talking about the outside part.
  • Background


They can be wonky, they can be precise, they can be square or rectangular, long and skinny or big or tiny. But they need to have four sides and at least one criss cross grill and an outside frame. No single pane, double hung, or sliders. We’re going for that easily recognized symbol of window.

Ideal fabric selection for the window parts will be bright saturated solids or something that reads close to a solid, like this:

Not this:

Background is low volume, like this:

Finished block size is whatever whole number and a half by whatever whole number and a half. Minimum of 5 ½”, Maximum of 24 ½”. This makes it easy for the person who wins to put the blocks together. For example, if you want to put a 9 ½” block next to a 12 ½” block all you need to do is add a 3 ½” low volume strip to the smaller block.

The higher the contrast of the glass to the grill and frame, the better the result. My example window below could probably be more successful if the glass and the frame/grill contrasted a bit more, and if the blue read more as a solid. It was an experiment. What can I say – I ran out of time to make a new sample.

If you’ve got it – glaze on. If you want a little more of a formula for fenestration, read on:

Take a squarish piece of a brightly colored fabric, slice it in half. Sew a grill piece in between.

Cut your newly sewn piece in half. Add another grill piece. Don’t fuss about lining it up perfectly.

Trim and sew the window frame on. Your pieces can be any width you want, and don’t have to be even. I just happen to have a lot of scraps cut down to 1 1/2″ strips.

Add low volume background to all sides. 

Trim to a whole number + 1/2″ on each side. This one is 9 1/2″ by 9 1/2″, but it can also be rectangular.

Make more. Make some with six panes, or nine, or twelve. Make tiny ones, tall ones, you get the idea.

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