Easy Cathedral Window Quilt Tutorial

Cathedral Window Thumbnail

Easy Cathedral Window Quilt: Simple Quilting Tutorial with Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Co. MSQC’s Jenny shows us how to make a cute cathedral quilt using charm packs.

Get details here: http://land.missouriquiltco.com/easy-cathedral-window


Transcript (Downloadable PDF Here):

Hi I’m Jenny from the MSQC. And I’ve got a fun tutorial for you today. This is the long awaited easy cathedral window. So I can hardly wait to show you how to do this. You guys are going to be amazed, really how easy this is. The cathedral window is one of those old quilt blocks that, I mean I started, oh I don’t know, I was probably 17 or 18 when a lady showed me how to do it. And I still have that baggy of little squares because it was so overwhelming to even think about finishing it that I just didn’t. So I have a little baggy somewhere. But now you can do it quick and easy and I’m going to show you how.


So to make this quilt what you’re going to need is one packet of five inch squares. And we have used this beautiful Essex Linen by Robert Kaufman. And I mean it’s just gorgeous and bright and happy. You’re also one packet of five inch squares of a solid white color and that’s going to be your framing square like this. So let me show you how to put this together because this is a great block. And this is how it’s all going to go together. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to put four squares like this. These are our background squares. Now it doesn’t matter what size square you use but all your squares need to be the same size. We are using five inch squares because it’s going to be the easiest for you to see. We’re then going to take our second set of squares which is the white five inch square. We’re going to iron those in half and we’re going to put them all on each piece like this so it faces the center. Like this. And then what we’re going to do is we’re going to take and we’re going to sew these together just like a four patch. So let’s go ahead and take these over to the sewing machine. We’re going to sew this right here. Make sure these stay nice and lined up. I have one that kind of scooted a little bit. You can put a pin in there if you want. But make sure they stay nice and lined up. We don’t want to, we don’t want to miss a, miss a piece of fabric in there. So again we’re just sewing quarter of an inch. And right now what I’m showing you is how to make this one block and, because once it makes sense to you you’ll be able to go on and make all kinds of things.


So this now what we want to do here is we want to iron this. And we really want to press our seam open because there’s a lot of bulk back here. It used to be that we never pressed our seams open because the batting would beard through. But we have good batting now so we don’t have to worry about that. So we press our seams open like this to reduce the bulk. So then what we’re going to do, I have another one here that’s already sewn together. We’re going to take our pieces like this and we’re going to sew that together as well. And so here’s our full block. And again we’re going to want to press this seam open. Alright here we go. I like to finger press them a little bit so we can get the iron started on there. Be careful of your fingers, we don’t want to burn any fingers. And then what we’re going to do is we’re going to take our single square here. We’re going to put it in the center. And then that’s when the magic happens. We’re going to put a little pin in here to hold it down. But because these framing squares, these white ones are the ones I call the framing squares. Because they are on the diagonal, the bias is going to help them curve. And so now what we want to do is we want to take this over to the sewing machine and we want to sew down right along this edge to make this block.


So what I like to do is I like to come in here and I’m just going to pivot or put my needle down right on the very edge of that. I’m going to keep my curve, let me move this to make sure you can see what’s happening here. I want to keep my curve even. And I’m going to sew right along the edge of that curve. Making sure it covers up all the raw edges of my square. Now when I get to this right here, this end, I come right up to the top all the way and stop and I’m going to pivot. And then I’m just going to roll that second one right back down. And sometimes you have to pull it over a little bit so that it covers your block, which I just did. This is one of those, usually I’m such a fast sewer but I want to make sure it just gets right in the right spot. And so I’m going a little bit slower. And being a little more careful. Up to the end, flip it and curve again. And look at that. Isn’t that beautiful? So we made this little cathedral window. This is going to be great on a pillow, great on a bag. You know great for one square if you wanted to do a runner with three of these, it would be awesome. We’ll press it nice and flat. And this is the easy cathedral window block right here.


So now that I’ve showed you how to make the block and you know how this goes together, let me show you how this works on here. So we’re pulling this in here. This is our corner square right here. And you can tell in order to make this one we need a framing square on here. You know so it will fold over and do that. And so we’re going to have to add some other framing squares to make this work. So let me show you how we put this together. So this is the very end of it on here. And see we have these pieces here, they’re the same here. We’ve added a row. Now these blocks here have two squares on them and so you really do want to lay this out and make sure that you’re getting all your squares in here. So let me show you as this goes together. We want to make these blocks so we’ve got one here, one here, one here. We’re going to fill this one up in here. Let’s see I have another strip here. Here we go. Then we’ve got another one here like this. And then this one comes over here. And it goes like, oh I’m so angley challenged. It goes like this. And this one goes in here like this. This is where it’s important for you to lay it out. So then you’ve got your next row like this that you’re just going to lay them on. And then we’re going to put, this square goes here. This one goes here. This one goes here. And then we’ve got to have four more here, which I have. Let me iron these so we can use them on our block. And I can show you, make sure you’ve got this layout down. So now you can see as we add this last row. And basically you’re just going to set all your charms and you’re going to build these squares. So this one goes in, this one goes in. This one goes this way, just like that. And this one goes this way. So you can see this is the look. And you’ll get the real look as we start putting these blocks down and the squares start showing up. There they are.


So I’ve actually got one ready to go here just like this. Let me show you this. And what’s fun about this is it becomes a quilt as you go project. So take a look at this. We’ve used about ¾ of a yard. I think it’s actually like 24 inches or something like that. Just measure a couple of inches bigger on your, when you get your table topper done like this. You’re going to cut a piece of batting this is also a little bigger. You never want to cut it right to the edge because as you start sewing things down, they shift. And it’s awful to be stuck with, you know, run out of batting because it shifted a little bit.. So we’ve got our top, we’ve got our batting. We’ve got our back and we have safety pinned this down. Now you can use spray glue or you can safety pin it. Either way will work. And then we’ve pinned our squares in the middle here. When you safety pin you want to make sure that pretty much there’s only about a hand’s width in between each pin when you’re quilting, machine, doing the machine quilting on this. So the fun part about this is we are now going to go to the sewing machine and do just what we did on our single block and stitch each one of these down. But when we’re stitching it down it’s going to stitch through all three layers so when we are done stitching these down it’s going to be completely done and quilted. Then we will trim it and we’ll be able to bind it. And we’ll be done in one fell swoop.


So now I just wanted to show you how this, how this works and how we’re able to just sew it together and have a finished runner when we’re done. So here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to start on this side right here. We’re going to make sure that, just peel our, our little window frame back like that. And we’re just going to sew down just like we did on a single block. Only now what we’re doing is we’re sewing through three layers and this is going to be a quilt as you go and done quilting when we’re done. So the fun thing about this is that we’re going to sew off here just like this and stop at the top. And then flip this around and come back down this way. And this is where the pinning is really important, that it hangs on, everything holds on. And then you don’t necessarily have to do the square but you can. But you can also, as it comes here, you can just come to the next block and keep going across there like this. Making sure your little frame is curved in like this. And you can actually just keep quilting and sewing and it will take you, you know if you come out here and you go wrong here, you know you can just keep going on all the directions. And before you know it it will be done in no time. And you’ll be able to just then take your, your rotary cutter and trim this and put your binding on. And you’re going to be done with your project. There we go.


So when you get done with all your stitching like this, it really will be completely quilted. Take a look at the back here. And you can see. You know we’ve just gone around and you know kept going and pretty soon the whole project is finished and it’s adorable. We added a binding on here and it’s ready to go on your table. And it looks great. Now remember I told you that these are all made with the same size square. So let me show you one that we did with 2 ½ inch squares. Now this is all just 2 ½ inch squares. And we used prints for the background and the middle squares. And our little, all of our pieces are again the same size square. Four back ones, four framing ones and one middle one, same size. But these are all 2 ½. Isn’t that amazing? So now cathedral window is fun and easy and quick for you. And we hope you enjoyed this tutorial on the Easy Cathedral Window.

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  • Candi Frost

    Jenny, you are wonderful, I have always wanted to do this. I am wondering, could you do sections of a quilt as you go? and how would you put them together after they are quilted . I would like to make a large bed size quilt in this way.

  • S. Wiuff

    How many mini charms did you use for the small quilt at the end?

  • Cheri

    I have this on my coffee table love it. It was so fun to make.