Easy Cathedral Window Quilt Tutorial

Easy Cathedral Window Quilt Tutorial

Cathedral Windows Quilt : Easy Steps To Sew Like A Pro. Free sewing tutorial

Easy Cathedral Window Quilt Tutorial

In thought it would be a bit silly not to show you all just how easy they are! Now let me be completely clear... in no way did I make up this strategy, pattern or am I an expert... I'm just showing you how I roll with it ;)

And my most helpful friend Lisa was very clever in her cathedral Window block starting measurements to allow for various pillows sizes... {Per Lisa - I went with 9" squares... my pillow was probably a 16 x 16. For a perfect 20" pillow, you need 13.5 squares to start with. (The final square size is about 1/3 of the starting square.) 9 of those will get you an 18" pillow.} Yes... a very clever duck she is... indeed! So here we go... I wanted a 20 X 20 inch pillow for my partner, so my template (made from poster board) is a 13.5 inch square

Then I cut my Kona (coal) into 15 X 15" squares about 3/4 inch past my template (for my overage to wrap around my template... BTW - I cut them into strips { 15 x 44 inches when working with yardage } so, I can make more squares at one time :)

Then I stacked the strips ( 15 x 44 inch ) together, placed my template on top and cut squares (again with about 3/4 inch overage, so each side will have the same amount of overage) or you can simply cut 15" cuts, but remember when wanting your ending squares a different size... you're going to want the 3/4" overage...

This left squares... see... super easy so far (wink, wink) Now... no worries that it's a bit wrinkly... just give it a quick iron job ;)

Okay, next place your template on top of your Kona (with your sides even of overage or as even as your cut will allow... if it's off a bit it's still okay) and iron your corners down over the template... this will hold your template in place!

Then fold over the sides of the overage on each side & iron them

Then take out your template

Fold it in half & iron it

And in half again & iron it... see.. still easy!

Here comes the fun part... now, open it back up! Does this remind you of those fortune tellers in grade school??? LOL

Fold one corner inwards toward your square & iron it

Repeat that step all the way around until you have a smaller square

Then do it again!... always ironing your folds

You're left with this... a perfect little folded square (not really perfect, but it won't make a huge difference, so don't worry if the corners are not mitered perfectly) 

Now you just need 8 more of these for the front of your 20 X 20 inch pillow! See... this pattern is more origami than anything else! I'm off to go buy some more Coal colored Kona! This is the first stage of the Cathedral Pattern... 

Here's my stack of the nine folded blocks  needed to make the front of my pillow... 

This may be a silly tip, but... you should use thread that matches the base fabric ( as you'll see it )!

I also took a quick shot of my machine settings incase you were interested in my stitch position or length... it's just centered and at a 3.0 in length.... very normal... no tricks! ( ooOohhh... yeah and if you have been following my blog, then you have noticed that I have went back to a Janome from my Phaff... unfortunately the Phaff was unable to make rag quilts... TONS of shattered needles... so... no good for biz! ) 

Okay... to the sewing! Take two of your prepared blocks and align them side by side. Put together one folded triangle from each square back to back ( or wrong side to wrong side ). 

Then, carefully sew those two back to back triangles together following your ironed lines as a guide. I am a creature of habit, so... I always back stitch in the beginning and end of my stitch. 

Just keep adding your blocks together until you have 3 rows of 3 squares... 

Then... your going to add your rows together... again by putting one folded triangle from each square back to back ( or wrong side to wrong side ).

In adding the rows together ( opposed to just squares ) I thought it was easier to place them wrong side to wrong side... then positioned the first folded triangles from each ajoined squares back to back... then start sewing... ( while back stitching ) :) 

I just simply pulled out the next set of triangles and kept sewing! Easy Peasy!!

Always... back stitching!! No room for holes in this baby!! LOL

After you finish your first two rows... just add on the last one to make the front of your pillow! 

As you can see... I take a quick measurement of my windows... and they look to be about 5 inches... so I'm going to cut my insert fabrics to 4 inches and start placing them into my windows :)

I could stop here and leave the outside windows without an insert.... or 

Easy Cathedral Window Quilt Tutorial

or.... I can add them in ( which I did ) for more drama! Please note that the needles holding the insert fabric in place... have no other purpose then just that... until I get to that window... they just remain there keeping my insert fabric design in place. 

Easy Cathedral Window Quilt Tutorial

Once I'm ready to start sewing my windows... I remove my needle that was holding down my insert fabric... then I center the insert fabric, so there is about 1/4 of inch difference between the window fabric and the insert fabric.

Then I just roll over the window fabric ( Kona Coal )... with the thickest part of the roll in the middle and secure it with the needle I used to hold my fabric in place earlier.

I position my my sewing machine needle at the top of the windows curve and either... ( use my quilters knot for security or back stitch a couple stitches )...

Then I simply start sewing... following the curve of the window!

Easy Cathedral Window Quilt Tutorial

This is just another angle of my beginning stitch and how you'll be following the curve... 

Easy Cathedral Window Quilt Tutorial

Always... remember to backstitch at the end and then presto... one side sewn! 

Easy Cathedral Window Quilt Tutorial

Simply... remove your needle and start the procedure again on the next side of your current window ;)

And... yes, you may find that your ending part of the window's curve may pop up while you are sewing the side down... just hold it in place with your finger... no biggie!

Soon... you'll be done with your first window and moving on to the next! It doesn't matter which window you start on... however, I do and would suggest moving onto another window that is connected... instead of hopping all over the place! LOL

Easy Cathedral Window Quilt Tutorial

Another little tip... don't freak out by the lack of half a window on the outer edges... they sew just like the other windows, but only two sides! 

Easy Cathedral Window Quilt Tutorial

I do use two needles in those ones... just to tell them who's boss! And always be wary of your window corners!! make sure your rolling your base fabric over enough to cover your insert square... or it will look weird. ;) 

Easy Cathedral Window Quilt Tutorial

Pretty soon... you'll end up with this... a completed cathedral window pillow front! Now wasn't that simple??? They do take some time... but they are a very dramatic result!!

If you're wanting a quilt... just keep going...

if you're wanting a pillow... simply trim off your extra insert fabric on the sides of the pillow's front and attach the back as you would on any of your other pillows!! Easy Peasy!!

Easy Cathedral Window Quilt Tutorial

I hope you find this a helpful tool and good luck to you on all your pillow or quilt adventures!!

Easy Cathedral Window Quilt Tutorial

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  1. This is gorgeous, and such useful instructions. Its probably beyond my sewing skills but maybe i'll try one little window! thanks!

  2. Beautiful! You have inspired me to cover two pillows I have at home a la cathedral (as long as I don't lose my nerve!).