How I Started Stained Glass Quilting

How I Started Stained Glass Quilting

Posted by Allie Aller on Mar 17th 2017

Back in the mid 1990s, one of my brothers asked if I would make a stained glass–style quilt for his church's meeting room. I said, "Sure!" I was game to try a new genre in quilting.

Then he said, "It needs to be 12' x 17'." (Yes, feet.)

I agreed anyways, and that was my introduction to stained glass quilting.

Here is the quilt in place. It was made to cover some acoustical tile because the meeting room was too echo-y.

Luckily, the floor in our basement was large enough so that I could lay out on the quilt on the floor. As you can imagine, I learned a LOT.

Then my other brother asked if I could make an angel quilt for his office. He is a general surgeon in a small town and thought it would be a nice thing for his patients in his consulting room.

Little did he know that it would be 60" x 68"! (I was used to working big by then.) But he has said over the years that some of his patients have taken great comfort from this quilt, which makes me very happy.

Then crazy quilting burst into my life. I spent fifteen years immersed in crazy quilting and wrote two books on the subject for C&T: Allie Aller's Crazy Quilting and Quilting…Just a Little Bit Crazy (this one with my co-author, Valerie Bothell).

But I always knew I would return to stained glass quilting and longed to discover more techniques and innovative ways to interpret it. The result is my new book, Allie Aller's Stained Glass Quilts Reimagined: Fresh Techniques and Design .

How I loved creating the quilts for this book and sharing the many simple and yet highly versatile techniques I have developed along the way. I also include in-depth information on sourcing, developing, sizing, and transferring your own designs for stained glass quilting. My hope is that the book will be a useful reference for all quilters.

The book has a gallery that illustrates the techniques in several quilts, and six projects that readers can make to apply what they've learned in their own work. Some of the projects are decorative, but even more of them are functional.

This detail from the gallery quilt The Parish Farm shows a traditional take on stained glass quilting.

The quilt below, Leaf Vine , is one of the projects that is for a twin-sized bed. It has a much more modern feel.

I really loved making this one, inspired as I was by the treetop view out my sewing room window.

The cover quilt, Tiffany's Peacock, has a full-sized pull-out pattern included with the book, which I am very proud of, so peacock lovers will find it very convenient to make this project.

Recently, all the quilts from the book were on display at Road to California in Ontario, CA.

I was so happy to share these quilts with conference attendees. But for those who missed it, The Quilt Show made a very nice two-minute video showing each quilt individually. They posted it on their blog for everyone to see. Thanks TQS!

Have a look! And I hope you will give these simple yet versatile techniques a try.

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