mini-stained glass window - UK

Stained Glass Quilts
and Applique

A "stained glass" quilt can be made in several different styles and techniques. While it is possible to piece a stained glass quilt (especially if the shapes in the quilt are straight-edged) the more common technique is to use applique. 

Designing your own stained glass quilt can start with actual photos of real windows or from many patterns available in books and on the Web for making real stained glass. The same patterns can be used for making quilts. There are quilt books specifically for making stained glass quilts, too. The dark lines around the shapes in the quilt replace the "leading" (actually strips of lead or copper) which are found in real stained glass.

A Victorian period stained glass window






A section of Victorian 
stained glass, 
originally from England

Applique techniques can be of several types: 

 = a traditionally cut and sewn applique style, hand or machine stitched around each section to fasten it to a background, and then a dark bias tube is appliqued around each piece to form the "leading" lines.
 = a reverse applique technique of layering fabrics and cutting through to show the shapes with outlines as is done with San Blas' Cuna Indian Molas.
 = a quicker cut-and-fuse technique with contrasting bias leading lines stitched or also fused with a recently available "fusible binding tape".
 = a quick technique of placing the applique shapes (whether fused or sewn) onto a background of black or other dark color with a constant space between all the shapes so that the look of leading is actually seeing the background showing between the pieces.

A portion of stained glass from Chartres Cathedral, France

A portion of stained glass
 window from Chartres 
Cathedral, France

Pieced techniques could be: 

 = a traditional pieced style with black bias binding appliqued after piecing separating the sections.
 = a quick "crazy piecing" technique done by cutting pieces of fabric with a rotary cutter and attaching black cut strips, then attaching the cut-away section back to build up the look of glass and leading.
 = a paper pieced approach using foundation piecing patterns

Web sites with How-to free patterns:

Web sites with patterns,  kits or books for sale:

Stained glass from an old door

A piece of stained glass 
from an old door

Web sites for real stained glass patterns also useful for quilters:


A section of window from Sainte Chappelle in ParisGallery of Stained Glass Quilts on the Web:



PLUS - see the Gallery here, too (and if you have a stained glass quilt to add, please send a digital attachment and comments to  post with your photo.)
Email to quilting -at-

Sew Precise Collection 4 - with Stained Glass patterns 
A CD from Electric Quilt in the Sew Precise! series has stained glass patterns

Susan Druding, 

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