Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cathedral Windows Quilt tutorial

Cathedral Windows Quilt tutorial...

Although this is a quilt tUtorial...
 I am linking up with
Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday meme of the letter 
...since this is a UFO...not an Unidentified Flying Object
....but a UFO as in UnFinished Object....quilt talk :o)

This tutorial post is one that came about when several asked how I had done my quilt that was shown on this post (Q is for Quilt) 4 weeks ago.

So, thank you to those that have asked and been so patient as I have slowly but surely taken the photos and edited them to share. (It was recommended for me to put "Personalized Sketches" on each, I hope that the words dont bother you as you view them).


Let me again preface this whole tutorial with...I am a novice quilter and please excuse any terminology that may not be "quilt-correct". And if you have any helpful hints, please do leave a comment. Any help will be welcomed.

So, if you've been by my blog before, I have posted about the Cathedral Windows quilt that I am still working on... is the latest photo of it, since I have sewn on two more rows. My hubby suggested I add the additional two rows, so that it would be a 48 inch square size when it was completed.  

(Also have to mention here, that I am making one of these for each of our three children's first babies to be...and that my Handsome hubby is also a part of the process :o) When I sew on this in the car, and he is driving, I hold out the ziplock bag of the 2 inch scrappy squares and he pulls out the square for me to sew on next. :o) So, we can our future grandbabies..."Yes-sir-ree, your Papa (pop, voovoo...not sure what he will be called yet :o)  helped Lola (Lolli, Grammy...not sure what I will be called yet either :o) ...make this quilt for you."

What is so great about making this type of quilt, is that you can add to it...and add...and add...and add! 

Thank you Robyn G. for mentioning previously in a comment that was on my last post that this quilt is what is called a "Progressive quilt".  I love that it can "grow or progress" as much as you would like to add to it.

***My dear friend showed me her Cathedral Window Quilt and explained to me how it was made...this was about 7 or 8 years some of how I did mine was from what I remembered her showing me...

I realized after taking photos for this that I had been adding an extra step when I had not folded it "correctly" I have had double the amount of sewing than what was necessary! But rather than share my mistake and possibly confuse someone, I will just share the following.****

Here are some more helpful points that I did not have on hand until I came across them on google search:
Block: 9.5" squares  (Mine are 8.5 inch squares)
Muslin Fabric:
Crib Size (45"x60"): 9 yards background fabric, cut into 140 squares.
Twin size (60"x96"): 19 yards (cut 308 squares).
Full size (75"x96"): 22 yards (cut 352 squares).
Queen size (80'x100"): 25 yards (cut 396 squares).
King size (100"x100"): 30 yards (cut 484 squares).
For the inner printed fabric: each will be 2.5 inch squares.

Step 1.  Cut your muslin or whatever fabric you choose for your background. I love scrappy quilts and the muslin works to tie them all together. Also, muslin is pretty inexpensive.
I cut mine 8.5 inches.  But they can be cut larger, so that your completed quilt will be made with less squares.

Step 2.  Very important, but it does take I press the 1/4 inch edges in an assembly line fashion...

...continue to press 1/4 inch on all four sides.

Step 3. This step helps to mark the center. Fold square in half and then in half again....and then press. it up and you can see the the center.

Step 4. Fold the corners into the center. (I do not do Step 3. but just bring the corners into the center). all four corners into the center.

This first folded and pressed square should be 5.5 inches by 5.5 inches.

 Step 5. Repeat and press the corners again to the center. (Now your pressed square should be 4 inches by 4 inches).

I like to press as many squares at a time...and if I get tired of doing that, it is alright, cuz, you can always do more later, when you are ready to add on to what you have already completed.
(top row shows 4 squares with the "back" side.
bottom row shows 4 squares with the "top side".)

Step 6. Put two squares together back to back.
(This step can be hand sewn or machine stitched.)
(I had started out hand sewing this step, but then went to sewing this part on the machine).

Step 7. Sew the corner flaps of the two squares...only sew one corner of one to the other.... you can use the crease that you see from ironing as the "line or guide" to sew along.

 Here are 8 squares (or now together in pairs) that I have sewn on the machine... I sew them two by two...again in an assembly line fashion...the threads between them will be cut so that you have 4 separate pairs.

Step 8. Sew more squares to the finished ones, so that you have as long of a "panel" of squares as you feel comfortable working with. 

The top row shows 4 squares sewn side by side and this shows them "top" up.
The second row shows 4 squares sewn and flipped over so you can see the "bottom" view.

Step 9. Here are more squares ready to be sewn together. I just put the pins so that you can see the corners and each square. (When adding squares to be sewn, always be sure that the "bottom" sides of the squares are facing the other "bottom" of the other square.

Step 10. Place your 2 inch square panel...This can be whatever fabric you choose, either all from the same or like I show here...these are "scraps" from all different fabrics.... in the center as shown.
It is helpful to "tack" down the corners first. 
(I don't do this, but I  hand sew them secure as I sew the scrap fabrics in).

Step 11. Fold the muslin surrounding the scrap over the scrap square and sew these down. 
(I do not pin as I sew, but have pinned them to show here. ...but if it helps you to keep it in place, go ahead and pin them.)

 Step 12. Continue sewing each muslin "flap" and your center scrappy square will be secured in a "window". Some quilters slip stitch these "flaps", so their stitches do not go all the way through to the back side.

I sewed it in dark pink so that you could see better.

 I like to sew all the way through the layers, so that you can see the "quilted" stitches.
This is the "back" side.

Here is the "back" side of my quilt. I use an off-white quilting thread.  Use quilting thread, since quilting thread is heavier and stronger.
I use one strand of thread as I hand quilt.
Here is a question for all you experienced quilters: When you hand quilt, do you use one or two strands of thread?

I hope that this tutorial was helpful.

I google searched after putting my post together and found these links that you may be interested in looking at also. I added them here:

This one is another method:

This quilt would be fun and fast to do:


This video slideshow shows some of my UFOs...The first one is my first quilt attempt (back in 1992) that was put away and found years later, when I was re-introduced to quilting by the dear friend that shared her Cathedral Window quilt with me.  That little blue and white staggered bar quilt design, I did by following the directions that was in the Family Circle magazine.

I have patterns and fabric for some Hawaiian quilts that I would also like to do, but have those stored away for now...

Thank you again for your stopping by and commenting!

Here is another recently completed  and shipped art order. Susan, from Permanent Posies, Thank you for thinking of this one in remembrance for your friend's beloved pet.

( last thing...if you haven't already done so, please do take a peek at my facebook art page and I would love if you become a "fan" by liking it. I am still, slowly but surely, adding more past orders into albums there.)

Edited ***I will be having a giveaway soon, please come back and check***

Signature for blog


Unknown said...

Your talent is quite impressive!

Kate said...

I love your blog Maria !! Thank you so much for sharing and giving a tutorial on this beautiful quilt! I remember my great Aunt making a similiar quilt an can't wait to give this a try. Love how Dave is contributing too. =)

Christi S said...

HIIIIII, my friend!!! :) So glad to see you!! I LOVE this!! I think it is wonderful that you are working on this for your future grandchildren!! I miss you, so I'm glad to come by and see how you're doing!! I know we are both busier than we used to be, but did you know your button is still on my blog?! :)
Have a great weekend and stop by my blog when you can!! :)

GratefulPrayerThankfulHeart said...

oops... where did my comment go???

Wow! Your quilt is gorgeous! It is a treasured heirloom in the making! :)Beautiful!

RG said...

Hi Maria, This is a wonderful tutorial! Very clear and easy to understand... such a wonderful quilt..thankyou for sharing it with us and for taking the time to put it together.

Vicki/Jake said...

Did I hear you say you're a novice quilter? HA! That's talent if ever I've seen it Maria. Tons of work and lots of love in the making....
I'll not even attempt this, but how awesome that you show others how. You rock!

Laurie said...

Oh my goodness! This is an excellent tutorial!!! Your quilt is gorgeous!

Jackie said...

Omg that looks so complicated . I like your choice for alphabe thursday even if it does mean Unfinished Object :) I made some pin wheels for cushions once . I want to learn how to knit also . Unfortunately I never understood how :(

Jo said...

gorgeous quilt! and how wonderful that you will make quilts for each of your grandchildren, when they come ... you are going to be one wonderful Grandma!!!

Wanda Metcalf said...

I have always wanted to quilt and this is a pattern I really really love. Oh how I wish I could do that!!

I have my first grandbaby on the way... how awesome it would be to have such a talent!

Unknown said...

I didn't realize how much ironing was involved.

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Good morning Maria...That tutorial is fantastic..really. You explained that process so well. The quilt is beautiful too. All of them are...Your hand quilting is great...and you use one strand of quilting thread are it and can't wait to see more

Anonymous said...

Maria, you never cease to amaze me! I wish I had the patience to make a quilt...I'm too lazy as well. lol ;-)

Judie said...

That first quilt picture is awesome! What a wonderful keepsake!!

yonca said...

this is a wonderful tutorial!Of course to much work but doesn't look like difficult.I must be so much fun doing this:))
Wish you and your lovely family a great weekend!

Unknown said...

wow! so awesome! i'll have to remember this if one day i actually learn how to quilt! gorgeous!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

Absolutely gorgeous! My mother in law made quilts for all of my children and they are well loved remembrances of her and her sweet generosity..

You will make one wonderful grandmother!

Susan Anderson said...

That quilt is a labor of love. Truly.


Pondside said...

What treasures you're making for your future grandchildren. I like the idea of using the muslin - it's lovely.

Bearly Sane said...

Here I am again Maria, doing my Saturday rounds. One doesn't always realise how much work goes into making a beautiful quilt like that till you see a tutorial...and you're making three! Your children must be thrilled.
Warmest Hugs,
Sandi @ Ess D'Ess Bears and Bearly Sane Studio

Andie said...

Your quilt is stunning! I hope to someday have the patience to put that much effort into creating something so beautiful!
Found you on a blog hop, but have gotten lost browsing your page! Thank you for sharing your art! Going to go fan your facebook page now :)

Unknown said...

Wow, looks too technical for me! I am glad there are people out there who still make things from scratch though. I am a new follower from the Saturday Hop. I am following thru GFC and would greatly appreciate a follow back. Thanks!

Mary @

Aimee said...

Very talented! I am your newest follower and congrats on the spotlight- follow back at

Unknown said...

New follower from bloghop...would love to have you follow back:)

Bethe77 said...

I love your blog. I just got lost in it. It is amazing. Im here from the blog hop Saturday Spotlight.
Continued blessings

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

you are more than welcome Maria...your Cathedral Windows Quilt is have inspired me to make one eventually...thank you

Cindy Adkins said...

Oh my gosh--this is amazing! Your talent is unbelievable!! WOW!

Jenny said...

This is beautiful, I love both the origami AND the stained glass quality of this work.

I wonder if you could get a little square embroidered or printed with the story? It would be so charming to have that with both you and your husband signature on it for your Grandchildren someday.

I always enjoy visiting you...this was quite an inspiring post.

AND, I just must ask.

Is there anything at all you cannot do?

Your talent is humbling.


Vivek said...

Hi Maria,

What can I say about you , your work speak for you , you are Genius , brilliant , your designs footprints are stored in mind of viewers.

Amazing stuff.

Keep it up.

All the best , and wish you get a great recognition in this work.

take care.
Keep smiling.

Allie said...

UN Believable!! I am in AwE!! You are super uber talented! Thank you for sharing!

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Just wanted to say, thank you again for your visits and comments. I do try to return your visits, but for some reason there are a couple that I have not been able to return, since when I go to your profile picture, it goes to this message: Profile Not Available
(Yay! I was able to go to Wanda's blog... previously, I could not. Allie, I cannot get to your blog through your profile pic)

So, please leave your link, cuz I would love to come by and say thank you.

Blessings & Aloha!

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Goofy connection!!! I had left my comment and hit it to publish, but it acted like it didnt publish, so I hit it three more times! haha so those three comments were all mine, repeated over and over and over!

Has this happened to any other bloggers?

ayumills said...

It is an amazing tutorial! I am definitely coming back to this! Thank you for taking the time to share this with us!

Splendid Little Stars said...

What a gorgeous quilt. not an easy one to make!

Leslee said...

Hello my friend! Tell me just when do you find time to quilt TOO! You are so blessed with all of your talents! I am very late with blog comments, but am working on catching up!

chellrie said...

Thank you so much for your tutorial!!! I did a lot of searching trying to find correct dimensions and a tutorial with enough instructions to know how much fabric I would need and everything. Thank you! I can't wait to make this quilt. They are so beautiful.

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