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Thread: Machine Stitched Cathedral Window Tutorial

  1. #1
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    I've started working on a cathedral window (CW) quilt and was asked to do a tutorial on making it. So, here it is! I love doing CWs, they are fun and you can create a lot of different looks just based on the different materials you use. Previously, I had done a CW pillow in 1930s reproduction prints. For this quilt and tutorial, however, I'm using all batiks, so it will have a very different look.

    I've got 36 steps to post, so be patient while I get them all posted here in this thread. So let's get started!

  2. #2
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    1. Here's a pic showing a row that I have already done to give you an idea of where we're going with this. For manageability, it's easiest to work on short rows, then join those rows to each other to form bigger blocks, then join the blocks together to form the quilt. So let's see how to start making these rows.
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    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    2. The first thing you need to decide is how big you want your blocks to be. Roughly speaking, your finished CW block's side will be about half as big as your material you cut for it. So if you cut an 8" square of material, it will make a finished CW block that is about 4" square. So as you can guess, these do take a lot of fabric. But remember that these are a quilt-as-you-go project, meaning that you do not have to buy the backing material or the batting. The reason you don't need batting is that you are folding these raw squares into 4 layers of fabric plus the window fabric, so it will be plenty warm (and heavy) without the batting. I cut my raw squares in 8.75" squares, simply because that was the most I could get out of 44" wide yardage less the selvedge. So my finished blocks are slightly larger than 4" each. Below is my stack of 8.75" squares, ready to get started.
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    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    3. Begin making the block by taking a square and folding it in half with right sides together. Then sew up both sides of it using a 1/4" seam.
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    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    4. Now, fold the top of the two side together so that they meet. This will remind you of those paper game things we played with as kids, remember those?
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    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    5. Bring those two sewn corners together so that they are square with each other.
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    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    6. Here you can see that the corners are now aligned and square with each other.
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    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    7. We are now going to start sewing about 1" from those corners towards the folded edge, away from the center of the block.
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    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    8. Do the same on the other side so that you end up with a block that looks like this. You will now have a 2" slit in the middle of the block.
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  10. #10
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    9. Turn the block right side out through that 2" opening.
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  11. #11
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    10. This is how it looks when turned right side out. Kind of poofy at this point.
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    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    11. Use a pointy object (but be safe!) to push out the corners to a sharp point. I use a small paint brush handle for this since it has a slightly rounded edge that won't spear through the corner.
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    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    12. Here you can see the 2" slit that we turned the block through. Some people like to hand-stitch this closed, others don't bother since it will be beneath the window fabric and won't be seen. I just leave it as is and don't worry about it.
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  14. #14
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    13. Steam press the blocks flat and try not to stretch them out of square.
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    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    14. Now we need to fold the corners into the middle like this and press the edges. I like to use pins to hold the corner down into the middle while ironing to avoid steam burned fingers!
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    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    15. After pressing, lay the blocks in a stack while you continue pressing. I like to lay them with the points down so that while they cool they will hopefully cool flat rather than with the points sticking up.
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  17. #17
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    16. Now, we're ready to stitch the blocks together. Begin by laying two blocks side by side.
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  18. #18
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    17. Fold the right block under the left block while holding their common sides together.
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    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    18. Stitch across the two blocks to join them, using the visible ironed line as a guide.
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    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    19. All the way across now, so clip the end threads.
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  21. #21
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    20. Open the blocks back up and they are now joined together.
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  22. #22
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    21. Stitch all blocks for the row together like so. I'm using 5 blocks in this row.
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  23. #23
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    22. Now, we need to stitch down the points in the middle of the block. But, we only want to do that for a point that is on the INNER portion of the row, NOT the OUTER portion. Remember, you still have to join this row to other rows and blocks, to those outer points need to remain loose until you do that. So this pic shows me taking down just one point on the end block.
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  24. #24
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    23. On the middle 3 blocks, I'll tack down two points.
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  25. #25
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    24. Row with the inner points all tacked down now. One on each end block, and two on each of the 3 inner blocks.
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