If you always wanted to make a cathedral window quilt, asking yourself how could achieve the characteristic and elegant forms of this technique this post is for you! From traditional techniques to the most daring developments, you can explore and learn the bases to face any project with confidence.
Introduction: the best books to make a cathedral window quilt
I worked with cathedral window technique since 2014 and I found there were several ways to do it. So, I study and practice the different methods to make a cathedral window quilt and, sometimes I make my way.
The books of Lynne Edwards were the best beginning! She explains the traditional way to make a cathedral window quilt. She uses the traditional technique that folds the fabric to make the “envelope square unit” and teaches how to make rectangular and triangular units. Lynne Edwards also proposes unusual kinds of fabrics to make the projects. She inspires and delights us with her beautiful quilts. (Through the Window & Beyond: New Designs for Cathedral Window, 1995. Cathedral Window Quilts: The Classic Folded Technique and a Wealth of Variations, 2008).
All by machine
The books of Shelly Swanland allow us to make a cathedral window quilt completely by machine. Her quilts are wonderful! (Machine-Stitched Cathedral Windows: Updating an Old Favorite-1999; Machine-
Stitched Cathedral Stars-2001). There are many variations of her technique: the “10 minutes block” by Suzanne Mc Neil. Or the beautiful work of Vendulka Battais. (Cathedral Windows NEW VIEWS).
Fold and sew
There is another method, that Jenny Doan of Missouri Star Quilt Company popularized that is easy and fun. In my work, I explore this method in deep, most of all its variations.
Some techniques are more challenging than others, sometimes we feel overwhelmed by a new thing to learn. Sometimes we are so busy that we cannot concentrate on the time required to learn. And we left projects undone or on our “to make” list. Usually, I feel this way, so I try to make things step by step trying to finish each part of the project and not all the projects at one time. I make the tutorials having this in mind so you can achieve your goals.
Together, all these ways to make a cathedral window quilt offer us a variety of designs that I want to explore and share with you so you can try them.
And ENJOY doing it!!
The three basic methods to make a cathedral window quilt
Fold and press
This is the traditional method to make a cathedral window quilt. Cut a square of fabric and press the seam allowance to the center. Fold and press the corners to the center and sew. Fold the new corners to the center, press, and sew. Two units make a window frame.
You can make rectangular and triangular units to make a cathedral window quilt with different window shapes.
This cathedral window pattern includes four video tutorials, templates, and step-by-step instructions to make square, rectangular and triangular units as well.
All machine sewn
Usually known as “3D cathedral window” or “10 minutes block”. Make a grid of fabric squares, then insert the fabric frame between the squares. Sew. Make the same with the other side. You can apply the windows by machine and quilt.
Although I don’t use this method often, the best I can do is recommend the videos of the “10-minute block” of Suzanne McNeill. I get in trouble every time I try to sew the squares!
Fold and sew units
This is the easy one! To make one side of the window frame we work with three pieces of fabric: the base and two folded pieces that form the side of a frame. Sew all the units and apply the windows by machine or by hand. You can quilt at the same time you apply the windows.
You can make square and rectangular units in a breeze and achieve this ombre effect with no effort! Because you can control the color of each part of the window. Go to the complete tutorial to make a cathedral window quilt like this! https://thewindowway.com/cathedral-window-tutorial-fold-and-sew-squares-block/
I explore a variety of window shapes with this great method. You will find a cathedral window Dresden plate inspired block, a cathedral window flying Geese block and a cathedral window hexagon block in this post: https://thewindowway.com/cathedral-window-tutorial-hexies-dresden-flyinggeese-blocks/
Also, I create three more blocks making stars, crosses, and many different window shapes! Check it out here: https://thewindowway.com/cathedral-window-tutorial-hexies-dresden-flyinggeese-blocks/
Which one is the best way to make a cathedral window quilt?
Mostly I use the first and the third method because they’re more simple and effective. But when I want a wide area of my work quilted, I prefer to use the second method.
The best you can do is try all of them because for some cathedral window projects you will work more comfortably with one method than another. Is good to know the three, then you could choose accordingly with your goals.
For all of you who want to keep learning all these techniques, I prepared a Free Course and a Workbook to make it easy to find all the information, tips, and inspiration! And I’d really love to look at your creations. Feel free to ask and share!
How to make a cathedral window quilt easy and fun.
Free Course, tutorials, video, and patterns.
Thanks for spending your time on my blog!! Time and attention are very precious gifts.
God bless you!