Saturday, January 11, 2014

A semi tutorial on how to do Cathedral Windows

The bucket list is Cathedral windows and I will e doing it this month.  I have a good start but know that I might forget how to do certain steps if I don't write them down.  I decided that I didn't like any one tutorial that I found so I decided to take steps from multiple tutorials.  Some decisions I made were:

Use the 9" block since I found directions for that size.  It wasn't too hard but it took a bit to find what size to use for the inset of the Cathedral Window.  I also found that the block got named Cathedral Window because it reminded people of the church windows when the block/quilt was held up to the light and the sun shone through the block.  I have a stained glass printed material which I thought to use but, of course, I couldn't find it.  One of my pictures that I'll be posting shows a light pink inset but I didn't think it was enough of a contrast so I changed it up to darker blue and like it better now.  So how did I do my block?  It all starts with a 9" block.

In my earlier post I used a muslin which was light and after reading some posts found out that you actually want a little heavier material.  There was this WOW fabric that I really like the pattern but don't like doing hand work on it.  I must have been out of my mind  when I made the decision to use it  because I wasn't thinking that I would have to do hand work.  Oh well...live and learn.  If I make a larger quilt instead of a mini or just a block, I will have to find a happy medium.  One article mentioned that broadcloth was a good choice.

I cut my material into 9" squares.


I really DO like the fabric pattern

Lay the fabric so that the right side is facing down on your table.  Then fold the fabric in half.

Then  you need to fold the fabric in half again.


Easy so far right?

Unfold your square and you'll see the fold lines.  Now take one of the corners and fold it toward the center. Pin it if you wish.  




Fold the other three corners towards the center.  Some people iron each fold as they go along.  I finger pressed mine (yeah, I got lazy).  Do what works for you.  The more accurate you get the more it will pay off down the road.  I discovered that the hard way.





I am now ready to do some stitching.  One tutorial said to just tack the center where all four points come in.  Another tutorial showed doing a zig zag stitch from corner to corner.  I decided to do the zig zag and while it worked pretty good....I had to remember after sewing with a straight line (that will come later) I had to remember to change my zig zag stitch.  I had my machine at 2.5 for the zig zag and forgot to change it one time so stitched at a 1 and it didn't cross over both sides so once I figured out what I did wrong I had to restitch it.  No biggie but hopefully I'll remember it now that I'm writing it down.


Once you stitch down one side turn it around and stitch the other side.  At this point you should have the right side of the fabric showing on both sides of your square.  Once again it is time to do some more folding.  Remember how you folded the corners earlier?  You'll be doing the same thing again and eventually you'll have some squares that look like this.


That looks simple enough right?  Now you need to sew two of the blocks together.  One tutorial said to slip stitch it together.  Another just used the sewing machine.  I used the sewing machine.  This time it's a straight stitch that I used.  you will be opening up one flap from each of the folds and put them together (non folded sides together).  You then sew along the creased line.


Open it back up and then you can lay down your center fabric on the triangle.  I used a square that was just a shade over 2 1/2".  2 1/2" was JUST a little small so I enlarged it by another 1/8".  That worked out a lot better.  Don't be afraid to adjust.  Cut a couple of squares to test it out first and once you have your desired length you can finish cutting out the rest.  The center square is good for using up some left over fabrics and you can do a scrappy quilt.  Experiment and see what you like.


That wasn't a good choice even though I love the fabric.  It was nice greens, pinks and blues with a metallic sheen to it but just wasn't enough of a contrast so I switched over to the dark blue.  I also decided to use some Roxanne's Baste It Glue to hold the fabric in place.  I still needed to attach those two sections and you do that just like you did before.  Open up so that you have a triangle facing another triangle and  (non folded sides together) and sew across the folded lines.



Before you know it, you will have:




Notice how I turned down the corners so that the white frames the blue?  That's your window frame.  Just fold it down.  You might find it easier to see in this next picture.  It's from Hyena in Petticoats page which I found totally helpful.


By the way, if you want to do your Cathedral Window as a quilt as you go, you can put squares cut to the same length as your window insert in before you fold down your "window frame".   If you'd like to check out Hyena in Petticoats Cathedral Window tutorial yourself the link is:


I would like to thank Rose Smith and Hyena in Petticoats for having tutorials which helped me figure out what to do.

So how about some feedback.  Was this helpful? 

PS:  Ready for a chuckle?  I told you that I had problems with stitching with this fabric?  I wasn't kidding.  Here is a picture of what happened to my "straight" needle while I was basting my window frames. 


It's ok to laugh.  I laughed when I saw it too.  :)

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