Friday, 14 September 2012

Reverse Cathedral Windows - A Tutorial

Today I have been working on a mash up of a video tutorial I found online for 3d Faux Cathedral Windows by QuiltBugs, but I have made quite a few changes, so to remind myself of the process I thought I would have a go at writing it out.

I have long admired Cathedral Window Quilts and one day I am sure I will tackle my own, with Hyena In Petticoats' tutorial but in the meantime I thought a version of Cathedral Windows using just the diamond section would make a great contrast to my portholes; I plan to use them in a checkerboard arrangement for my Porthole Windows Quilt.

To start,
cut 4 no. 5 1/2" squares (in white, for background)
cut 1 no. 8" square (solid, for frame)
cut 1 no. 4 1/4" square (patterned, for window)

Normally, to figure out these dimensions;
for the background fabric, you would take the desired finished block size, halve it and add 2/4" for the seam allowance.
for the frame fabric, minus a 1/4" seam allowance from the background fabric size and then double it.
for the window fabric, this is the same as a single background piece.
This would give you a block in which the diamond shape extends to each side, (minus seam allowances) thus when multiple blocks are aligned you will get a cathedral window style pattern. Unlike with my dimensions, in which the diamond shape is central and floating within the block.

First, fold the frame fabric in half, with the folded edge away from you, place the first of the background squares behind the frame fabric with the open corners matching (1) - in the original example this gives you 1/4" of the background fabric showing from underneath, but in my example it is much more. Then, place the second background square in line, on top to finished the sandwich (2) sew down the side indicated with a quater inch seam allowance.

Repeat for the other side (3) and press the seams aside. (4)

Next, align the 4 background squares into a 4 patch, with the unfolded frame edge facing up, (5) pin the top opening closed (6) and sew a 1/4 seam allowance to join the 4 squares together (7) be sure to align the frame fabric as closely as possible with the background fabric as you want to sew through all 4 layers at once.

Press the seams to the side (8) and flip over, (9) at this point the diamond will only be attached to the background along the central lines. 

Lay the window fabric on point, centrally, within the frame diamond, (10) fold and pin the edges of the frame around the window fabric; (11) sew these in place for your finished block! (12)

Hopefully, I will have a full set of these to share tomorrow.

J x 


  1. Hmmm looks tricky, but I'm liking the less fabric used!

  2. Ooh, smart trick, and less ironing, bonus!

  3. Good trick and the end result means less fabric used. Thanks for figuring it out. Di x

    1. I can't take the credit for the method- I found it on youtube from QuiltBug but it was such a great trick I had to share!