Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cathedral Window Tutorial

Many have asked for it, so here it is - the Cathedral Window Tutorial. I hope the instructions make sense, and that you enjoy making this blanket as much as I did. My advice...start small. Try a doll quilt or baby quilt before you get yourself in too deep. I would also say that as you increase the size of the quilt, increase the size of your squares.

This quilt requires quite a bit of background fabric, however, what you spend on extra fabric, you will save on batting since none is needed.

First cut your background fabric into squares. The finished square will be just under half the size that you cut your fabric. I cut my fabric into 10 inch squares – which gave me a 4 ½ inch finished square.With right sides together, fold the square in half and sew ¼ inch seem along each end.
Iron each seam allowance open.Matching the center seams, pin the fabric RS together. Sew together leaving a small opening for turning. In the picture below, I would sew from the corner to the first pin, skip the space between that pin and the next, then finish sewing to the end of the fabric.Turn the square through the opening, making sure the get all of the corners pointed, then iron flat. You don’t need to worry about the opening that you just used to turn your fabric. It will be covered up in the next step.

Now you are ready for a little origami. Fold and press each corner to the center of the square. The opening that you left for turning will be face up and the folds should cover it.
Use your machine to tack down the corners. When doing this, you should pay more attention to the center corners than the out side corner. They will be the ones that show. You don’t want a lot of stitching here, just run 3-4 stitches across two of the corners, then the other two. The stitching will look like a little plus sign.This is the finished block. Once you have all of your blocks done, place them next to each other (not overlapping) and run a zigzag stitch along the center to connect them. Continue until you have all of the blocks together.The fun part – measure the square between the blocks. Cut your center pieces about ¼ inch smaller than the measurement. My squares were about 3 ¼ inches, so I cut my featured fabric at 3 inches. Place the fabric over the square. Fold down and pin one side. It will naturally fold into a curve. Sew along that curve with a blanket stitch, a small zigzag or just a straight stitch close to the edge. Repeat for each edge, folding down then sewing one edge at a time. It is important to wait to sew the featured fabric down after all of the blocks have been put together. In the sample I only sewed two together to better illustrate where to place the fabric. On the edges of the blanket, you will fold down and sew the edges of the blank squares. When you turn over your blanket, you will notice that it is already quilted.

21 comments:

  1. You've almost talked me into trying this. I was taken in by its beauty and now your showing me it isn't that difficult. I think maybe there is a seamstress way down deep inside me that is trying to break free!

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  2. What a gorgeous quilt! After seeing that picture up at the top I really want to make one of these! I have so many projects that I need to finish that I really shouldn't, but I will certainly be dreaming about it until I can finally make one! Great tutorial!

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  3. this is beautiful! this will go on my to do list. thanks for sharing!

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  4. I've got to bookmark this page. I've been wanting to find a good tutorial for a cathedral window quilt, and yours is perfect! Thanks for sharing!

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  5. I love making this quilt. My grandmother started me on this quilt when I was 10 years old. (I'm 53 now). Well as you all know, 10 y/r olds don't have the patience for this kind of thing, but i finished over half of a double bed size by the time i went to college. In the meantime, i had forgotten about this quilt and never thought of it again. My grandmother had finished it for me and gave it to me when i had my first child at 26. i was so shocked- i just couldn't say anything. To this day, that quilt sits on a rocking chair that my grandmother had when i was growing up. Such wonderful memories!

    Sherri, Indianapolis, Indiana

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  6. I love the design, and really look forward to trying it using your tutorial. Thanks for sharing such a lovely project.

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  7. Thanks for this tutorial. I'm going to try a cathedral window pin cushion this weekend, so this tutorial has been really helpful!

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  8. I'm so inspired. Thanks for making such a clear tutorial.

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  9. help! if you sew all your blocks together before you sew down the "window" piece, how will you be able to get to the inner squares for quilting?

    I'm a novice and I just have a regular sewing machine, not a long arm machine or anything like that. Would it be possible to sew the blocks together in strips, then do the windows & then sew the strips together?

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  10. I showcased your beautiful cathedral quilt block on my blog :)
    http://thereisafineline.blogspot.com/2009/10/stick-with-me-here.html

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  11. My grandmother made 15 of these by hand. Mine is on my little one's bed. I had photos up on Flickr but I deleted my Flickr account.

    Anyway, she taught me how to do them. I like the idea of doing it all by hand!

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  12. I have made a number of these and do love them. I am going to make my first one using the machine. As I have limited time for this one need it done by Octber of this year 2010. I am also making it King size so I have ajusted the square size to a finished 6 inches.

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  13. Wow i just finished one of these quilts. Then find this pattern is so much easier than the 1 i did. Im gonna make another one useing this pattern.

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  14. I made a diaper changing pad using a cathedral window pattern. Your technique looks so much easier. Thank you for taking the time to do this tutorial for us.
    Deb

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  15. Thanks for the great photos of the process - I'm just starting on a cushion and while the whole folding of the squares and sewing them together made sense, I couldn't for the life of me get how they folded over the coloured blocks no matter how many tutorials I've looked at! Yours shows it perfectly and I had a lovely light-bulb moment when the concept clicked.

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  16. You can sew ALL the background squares together with a sewing machine before tacking corners into the center and inserting contrast squares. Just hold two background squares back sides together and stitch from the inside along the fold line on the long side of one triangle flap before tacking down the four corners. Repeat for remaining three sides and continue to add blocks in this manner until you reach desired size of your quilt. The seam will not be visible because it is stitched from the inside :) Continue to finish off blocks by inserting contrasts and sewing flaps over. The tiny flaps too can be machine stitched if you are feeling agile ;)

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  17. Pretty! This has been a really wonderful article.
    Thanks for supplying this info.
    Also see my website :: French Mature Double Penetrated

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  18. Thank you so much for posting this. I am currently in the middle of my first Cathedral quilt. The tutorial I am going off of wasn't as simply as yours and is taking me a LOT more time and effort to complete. Unfortunately I am making a large quilt for my first one lol, and I'm locked into sticking it out with the way I started it. Next quilt I will definitely be doing the way you show and will save myself SO MUCH time and effort with the same beautiful results. :)
    -Sandy L. in North Dakota

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  19. I read this and went to my sewing machine and tried. Wonderful tutorial. LOVE this.

    It really IS "that" easy! Thank you!

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  20. Sempre quis tentar essa técnica, mas achava que não conseguiria. Você a fez parecer mais fácil, agora vou tentar. Obrigada por compartilhar.

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