Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cathedral Window Quilt Tutorial

Searching for inspiration, I came across a Cathedral Window or Stained Glass Quilt. Originally, these quilts were made using muslin or cheesecloth creating the sheer "window panes." The quilt is made without a traditional "quilt sandwich" meaning you don't have to add batting, backing fabric, quilt the top, or bind the edges.  Wow! Really?

I was immediately smitten...I MUST MAKE ONE OF THESE... but the pattern looked way too intricate for a total newbie like myself. Of course, I couldn't let a think like the lack of skill or experience stand in my way AND that's when I found this amazing tutorial by Hyena in Petticoats

 I thought I'd share with you my progress via a step-by-step picture tutorial. It is a really simple technique. All you need is time and patience.... oh and a few materials.

A Note About the Materials:
This will all make sense once you've read through the tutorial :-)
(8) eight background squares = 36"
For every (16) sixteen background squares you will have 22 windows.

Use the guide below to determine your fabric needs. I used Kona cotton in white for the background. Scraps and fat quarters from 22 different fabrics for the windows.
                    1 yard of 44" wide fabric yields approx (12) twelve 10" squares 
                    3 1/4" squares for windows (scraps) 
                    2 1/2" squares of batting (scraps) (batting is optional)
                    File folder, mailer, or manila envelope for template (anything that can be ironed)
                    Thread to match background fabric
                    Basting spray or straight pins

 A Note About the Pattern:
Where this pattern skips traditional quilting steps, it makes up for in precision, folding, and ironing.  The more precise you are in making sure everything is absolutely square, lined up, and straight the better your finished quilt will be.
Also, I precut all of my materials before beginning.


Begin by cutting out a 9" square and a 2 1/2" square template

Next cut out 10" squares from pre-washed, ironed, background fabric

Place the template in the center of your 10" square 

Miter all 4 corners by folding as shown below

Now we fold and iron down all 4 sides

Remove Template

Fold your square in half and iron

Fold in half once more and iron

Using the fold lines as a guide, fold the corners toward the center


Fold once again towards the center 


Your finished square will be approx 4 1/2"


Place 2 squares side by side
Pull up one fold (triangle) from each square
Line up your corners and pin (I use basting spray)


Take this to your sewing machine and stitch the two triangles together on the fold line

Next, open up the triangles by pulling them apart and flattening them out.
You have just created your first window.
(optional: pin or spray baste the triangles around the center window)

First Row of 8 Squares


Taking your 3 1/4" squares of "window" fabric,
 2 1/2" square of batting, and your 2 1/2" template

Place the fabric wrong side up. Layer batting and template in the center

Begin by finger pressing the edges around the template and iron down

Remove Template

Place ironed fabric in center of window

Some people pin down the edges over the window fabric... 
I just finger press and hold them down as I sew. As you fold the edges
they will naturally curve into an arch. Sew.

It is important to begin stitching at the very tops of both your beginning and ending corners.  
These corners will all meet and intersect - Keep them as lined up as possible

TIP: Use an old seam ripper to help hold down your corners as you sew

Starting with the second row you will have (2) two seams to sew per square as shown by the straight pins

Continue building your squares until the desired size is achieved....and you're done.
Hold up to the light to see the window pane effect... ENJOY!


Anonymous said...

Ok' you make me sick, I wanna do it too!!
love ya

Jen said...

How beautiful! I want to learn to quilt.
I am a new follower, and I believe I found you on Blog Frog.
Great Blog!

twelvedaysold said...

Wow, this is beautiful! Thanks for the tute!

Paula said...

Just over from BF. And fell in love with your obessions. Now they are MINE. I want to do this quilt and I never ever even have being sewing. I will manage. Might take me a year but I will. Simply wow and thanks that oyu are out there!

Corine Moore said...

Oh my gosh! You're talents are AMAZING!

Unknown said...

I have been nervous about starting this quilt and have looked at the Hyenas in petticoats version for over a year now.....I think I might be ready after looking at yours. It's slightly different and I think it's finally given me the direction I needed. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

My maternal grandmother made quilts for all of her grandchildren when they were born. She did a Little Dutch Girl for the girls and a Little Dutch Boy for the boys until the last two grandchildren were born in the early to mid-1970s when she discovered the Cathedral Window quilt pattern. The last two grandchildren got them instead. She LOVED making this particular quilt pattern and the fact that it "quilted itself" as you went was an added bonus for her. She did all of hers by hand. Yours is just as lovely as I remember hers being! Loved seeing it again.

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Unknown said...

This is beautiful! I'd love to try it! I've been trying to figure out yardage and now my brain is fried.

Is anyone able to help me?? It would be greatly appreciated!

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I need some help figuring out how you add another row to your first row and so forth. I am new to sewing

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this tutorial. It is the easiest instructions on the internet right now. Have been wanting to do one of these for so long and have been collecting fat quarters to do this, can't wait to this. Again thank you so much.

Andria said...

This is a great tutorial! Thanks

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