BCQuilter's Weblog

Cathedral Window Block

Posted on: 23 March 2008

Our local guild held a workshop on Cathedral Windows on March 20th.

We were told to bring 4 – 9½” squares for background and 4 – 2½” squares of focus fabric, hand sewing supplies, and thread to match.

I must admit… my hand sewing skills are not up to snuff. We were also told a few sewing machines would be helpful, but not everyone would need one. There was one sewing machine for about 8 of us. I decided I would hand stitch the seams… just for practice, as well as not to hold the class up.

We were taught the traditional way, which is all hand-sewing (except the initial seams… these can be done by machine if desired.

We started with 2 of the 9½” squares. Folded them in half, right sides together… stitched the short edges. Opened up the long edge, match the seams and sew along the top leaving about 1″ space for turning. Turn the fabric. Press the fabric. This will create a square of double fabric with a stitched seams making an X. The corners are now brought to the centre of the stitched seams and tacked down. Pressing before stitching the corners down, aids in holding them in place. Repeat the steps to make using the second large square. Now it is time to stitch these two patches together. Right sides together (which is the folded edges), whip stitches one side to join the two patches together. Open up.

Centre one 2½” square in the centre of the rectangle created by the two square patches. The focus fabric can be cut on point, or fussy cut on point, depending on what look you want to achieve. Pin down the focus fabric… you want to align each of the corners of the focus fabric with the corners created by stitching the two background patches together. Bring the folded edge of the background fabric over the focus fabric, you will notice it will create a curved edge, with the points covering the corners of the focus fabric. Pin each fold. Using a blind stitch, stitch down the curved edge. Be careful you do not go through the backing of the patches. Your finger can go behind the folded pieces… it looks like little pockets.

Stitch the next two larger background fabric pieces as above. Whip stitch this rectangle to the the rectangle created earlier with the focus patch. Add three more focus fabrics following the step above.

To finish off the block… the remainder of the folds can be turned back and stitched. If you will be making more blocks for a quilt, do not stitch back, until all blocks are stitched together.

One 9″ Cathedral Window block completed. You could use this as is, or create more blocks to make a quilt.

Cathedral window quilts are not quilted in the traditional way, as all the layers of fabric make this quite warm.

This is my block. Cathedral Window


2 Responses to "Cathedral Window Block"

This guild of yours sounds very enthusiastic – I’m very envious! My stitching group meets on Tuesday nights but all they do is sew and gossip, which is fine if that’s all you want to do. I think I need more structure and less gossip!

There is a good local group but they meet on the first Saturday of the month, so for me that’s no good as I’m usually on the Island!!

I’d love to see a photo of your daughters blocks too.

Jen 🙂

Hi Jen,

Enthusiastic… LOL.

The Guild usually has one demonstration (Thursday night) and one workhop/class on a Saturday per month.

In March or April an “out-of-town” instructor is invited (paid) to come and teach.

It is a great way to learn techniques and skills. As soon as my daughter gets her block done, I’ll post it, she is only 9… and her attention span wanes. LOL… she still has not completed her applique from January.


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