I’ve long admired the Cathedral Windows quilting technique and was determined to learn how to do it. Well, at last, I’ve done it and I loved the result so much that I’m eager to share the technique here with you. If this is something you haven’t tried yet, I definitely recommend you do. It’s one of those techniques that appears really hard to do but, once you get to grips with it, it’s really not as difficult as it looks. Yes, it is time-consuming but it’s so rewarding.
Sneak peek of a Cathedral Windows panel I’ve made.
I used a cream background fabric with scraps of Liberty prints for the windows, which I just knew would make for a stunning effect (if I could complete it anyway!!). As you can see above, I did complete it and loved every minute of making it. So on with how to do it. There’s a lot of pictures but I felt this technique warrants lots of how-to images.
CATHEDRAL WINDOWS: PART 1
These are the Liberty fabric scraps and plain background fabric I used, along with some prepared squares I did earlier.
To prepare the fabric squares: cut the plain fabric into accurate squares measuring, 10” x 10”. Then cut a piece of thick paper, measuring 9” x 9” – this will be used as a guide, see below, to fold over the raw edges by 1/2”.
Place the paper template onto the wrong side of a fabric square, leaving equal 1/2” gaps at all the edges. Fold over and press each edge of the fabric as shown.
Remove the paper template and fold the square in half, matching up the folded edges, press. Open up and fold in half again, the other way, press. Open back out.
Fold one of the corners to the centre point, press.
Fold the remaining corners into the centre and press. Try to do this as neatly and accurately as possible, ensuring that the folds butt up to each other and don’t overlap. Take your time, you’ll get quicker with a bit of practice.
Repeat the folding process, folding one corner to the centre point and pressing.
Fold and press the remaining corners to the centre point, press. Pin through the layers to hold securely. Fold and press more squares in the same way.
Place two of the squares side by side and unpin the flaps next to each other. Pin them together.
Sew the flaps, along the crease marks, ensuring they’re aligned neatly.
Open back out and unpin the sewn together flaps. Stitch another square onto the panel, in the same manner. Add more squares if you want the row to be longer.
Press the sewn together flaps flat again. Make more rows of squares in the same manner.
To make bigger panels, join two rows of squares together: place side by side, unpin the adjacent flaps and pin together.
Ensuring they are aligned, stitch along the crease mark of the pinned together flaps.
Unpin the sewn together flaps and press them flat again. Add more rows together in the same way, if you want bigger panels.
Hand-stitch together, all four points at the centre of a square, so they stay securely joined at the points only. Repeat with every square. Do the stitches small and as neat as possible. Once you stitched the points together, you can remove all the pins from the panels.
That’s the background panels now completed. I just made one small panel with three squares joined together and another panel with six squares joined together. You can make your panels as big as you want. I just wanted to start off small whilst learning this new technique.
See the next post CATHEDRAL WINDOWS PART 2 for how to add the prints and make the windows.