Cathedral Windows Quilt Squares

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Introduction: Cathedral Windows Quilt Squares

About: My name's Abby, and I make things. Lots of things. Sewing is my favorite activity, and any project that involves fabric is like a drug to me. I make lots of pretty things, you should check out my online shop! …

I am a total fabric junky (some would say hoarder), and I particularly LOVE to collect little bits of bright cotton. There tends to be a bit of a problem trying to justify having SO much tiny little bits of fabric, and cathedral window squares give me a great excuse!!!

Cathedral windows is a stunning pattern, that really looks great with all sorts of a variety of scraps. It is done entirely by hand, so it does take a certain amount of patience, but it's worth it! Personally, I find hand sewing to be very relaxing, so I'll work on it a bit here and there, when I need a break from other projects.

Step 1: Supplies

Here are the materials you will need:
  • Solid cotton material (which will vary depending on the size and scope of your project... keep in mind that a 7" square of this fabric will amount to about 3" of quilt)
  • A variety of 2" squares
  • Ruler
  • Fabric shears
  • Hand sewing thread
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Pins
  • Iron

Step 2: Cut Your Squares


This part is super easy.

With your solid fabric, (in my case, muslin) cut a square that is 7". How many squares you cut is entirely up to you and the size project you are working on. I tend to cut a handful at a time, since it'd all come from the same bolt of muslin anyway, and since I'm not entirely sure what these blocks will turn into eventually.

Also cut 2" squares of your bright prints, in a variety. Use scraps from other projects and mix it up a bit! Or better yet, this would look lovely as a memory quilt, using old cut up clothing!


Step 3: Press Over Edges


With each 7" square, you need to turn over each edge 1/4" and press neatly. Do your best to make it an even 1/4", since this step could effect the final size of each square.

Step 4: Stitch It in Half

Now, you are going to want to fold your square in half, with the ironed down edges facing out.

Stitch up the short sides, with just a whip stitch over the sides. Do your best to keep these even and neat!

When you get both short sides stitched, turn your piece right-side out.

Step 5: Stitch the Center

Now, bring both seams of your rectangle together, line up the edges, and whip stitch across the top edge. Once again... keep it neat!

When you have finished this seam, flatten your piece into a square, with your seams forming an X in the center of the square. Press it flat.

Step 6: Fold Up & Stitch Corners

Now, fold each corner in to the center, forming a smaller square. You'll want to cover the seams that X across the squares with these corners. Fold and press each corner down, doing your best to do it as evenly as possible.

Once you have your corners pressed down, stitch the just the tip of each corner in place. You'll want to go through all layers of fabric here, and make sure each corner is very firmly attached, since there will be a bit of pull on these stitches in a future step.

Step 7: Stitch Your Squares Together!

Once you have a few of these squares made, you need to start stitching them together.

To do this, place them with folded edges together, and whip stitch down one edge. Lay it flat and press.

I like to do only a few of these together at a time, because I have an easier time doing the next step if it's a smaller piece.

Step 8: And Now, Finally....


The pretty part! Tired of looking at all of the boring beige? I know I am!

When you look at your joined together squares, you'll notice the diamond shape where the two pieces are seamed together. This is where you add your pretty bright fabric!

I usually trim the edges and corners of the 2" patterned squares just a little bit, to make it easier to fold into the edges. But that's just me, you don't necessarily have to do that.

Now, fold the folded edge of the diamond over the edge of the patterned fabric, hiding the cut edge. Hold it in place with just your finger or a pin, and stitch this edge down. You'll want to use as invisible of a stitch as you can! Don't go through all of the layers of your fabric, just the top few. There should be a pocket formed underneath the diamond.


Step 9: And Now, Go Crazy!

That is basically all you need to know!! You can just keep adding to get the size you want! Turn it into a full sized quilt, pillow case, purse, whatever you want!

Keep in mind that these blocks aren't usually quilted in the traditional add batting/backing fabric way, these stand alone as is.

Interested in other ways to use up little scraps? Check out my crazy quilt block instructable.

Happy sewing!!!

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    43 Discussions

    0
    colesgrammy
    colesgrammy

    Question 7 months ago

    Hi, Abby. My question concerns partially completed Cathedral Windows queen quilt. that my late mother-in-law, Jean, started for my husband and me more than 30 years ago. We have 3 grown daughters and I would like to finish it to make 3 throws. Jean used the same technique as you describe. I would LOVE to include part of what she finished in each throw. For the life of me, I cannot come up with a non-invasive way to divide it. The seams in the muslin run under the colored fabric squares. I could use all of what she has done in one throw, but that was never my intention. Any guidance would be met with wild applause on my end. Many thanks! Beth

    0
    Froglily
    Froglily

    Answer 4 months ago

    Every bright color has a seam under it. It is where two Muslim blocks come together. So divide it by removing a row of bright colors to expose the seam and then remove it. You will be able to divide it then. Good idea by the way.

    0
    barbkwhite
    barbkwhite

    9 months ago

    how do you add the slim pieces of color to the blocks?

    0
    foodsimple
    foodsimple

    Question 10 months ago on Step 9

    I have been working on the quilt forever. It is now getting hard to handle because of the size. My question is do you add the pattern pieces on a row of squares and then sew the whole row to your quilt? I I have been adding a full row of squares to the quilt and then adding the pattern pieces which is why it is becoming difficult to manage. Thanks for any suggestions you can give me. After all this work I don't want to give up on it.

    0
    Red Wing
    Red Wing

    Question 1 year ago on Step 9

    I am trying to download and print the instructables for,Cathedral Window quilt, but I cannot figure out how. Thanks, Bethany

    1
    BarbieGee
    BarbieGee

    1 year ago on Step 9

    Thank you so much. I started mine soooo many years ago. It only made it to 10X15 in colors that I don’t use anymore. I just took a class to see what a machine quilted piece would be like. I thought it would be a brilliant idea to combine the two methods. Ehh.
    Its turning into a “SAMPLER”...

    0
    bettyf32
    bettyf32

    Question 2 years ago

    how can i add this to computer

    0
    ConnieH83
    ConnieH83

    Question 2 years ago on Introduction

    How much of the white Muslim material do you need to make a full quilt

    0
    vanessa54321
    vanessa54321

    3 years ago

    hi there

    why can i not download this?

    0
    desert031moon
    desert031moon

    Reply 3 years ago

    Hey, everybody... when I click on Acrobat Pdf "download" button... it says, that's a Premium feature, do you want to upgrade to premium? The "Download" button to the upper left of this box...

    0
    PatriciaB216
    PatriciaB216

    Reply 3 years ago

    Are you clicking the green "download" button on the right? Or the "download" button at the top of this tutorial? If you click the green download button, it takes you to a commercial product to download their stuff. Just an FYI

    0
    liviaspargo
    liviaspargo

    3 years ago

    Mssouri Star has a great tutrial on u tube

    0
    Nancys Nest
    Nancys Nest

    4 years ago

    Moda Muslim is a best quality fabric and will hold up over the years. Any brand, Moda, Kaufman, Timeless Treasures, etc. you get in a quilt shop will be the best for the pretty squares. It may cost a little more, but when you put this much time and effort in a Cathedral Window quilt you want something that will last longer than a few washes. Happy stitching.

    0
    leah.yamazaki

    I'd like to know what the thickness is of your muslin fabric... As I'd like to search for something just as light weight in a solid color....

    And would I be looking for cotton or what for this large squares?

    0
    Tousey
    Tousey

    Reply 4 years ago

    I am wondering which muslin would be best also. I made one a long time ago but wasn't knowledgeable about thread count, dye lots, etc

    0
    Tousey
    Tousey

    4 years ago

    cathedral window quilt muslin

    0
    Stellatoni
    Stellatoni

    4 years ago

    Looking forward to trying this.

    0
    Jollymolly51
    Jollymolly51

    4 years ago

    I've wanted to make a Cathedral Window quilt for YEARS! Your instructions are so clear and well illustrated I am inspired to start. It's a project that will travel well, and I can work on it anywhere. Thanks for taking the time to post these instructions.