Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Shorter Cut to Cathedral Windows

The components of a Cathedral Window block are the foundation or background fabric, the frame and the window pane.  Yesterday, I posted what I thought was a very nifty Shortcut to Cathedral Windows.  As I was falling asleep last night, it suddenly occurred to me that it would be even simpler to make this block if I used two Flying Geese blocks, using the 1-seam method, for the foundation and frame components.

It worked!  Here's the finished block.
Cathedral Windows block constructed with
2 Flying Geese blocks, each made with 1 seam.
Compare it to my previous block.
A Shortcut to Cathedral Windows block.
There's no difference between the two blocks except for the placement of the different fabrics and that the first block is much easier to construct.  Let me show you how.

To make a 12" finished block, make two Flying Geese blocks that each finish at 12" x 6".  Here are the fabrics.
Fabrics for Cathedral Windows block are cut and ready to piece
The rust and white squares will form the foundation, the grey rectangles the frame and the blue square will form the window pane.  The measurements for these pieces are:

2 rust squares 6-1/2" x 6-1/2"
2 white squares 6-1/2" x 6-1/2"
2 grey rectangles 6-1/2" x 12-1/2"
1 blue square 8" x 8"

Form two sandwiches as follows:
  1. Place 1 white square, facing up, on the work surface.
  2. Fold 1 grey rectangle in half, wrong sides together, and align the raw edges with the top of the white square.
  3. Place 1 rust square, face down, on top of the grey, folded rectangle.
Sandwich - make 2
Begin sewing from the raw edges all the way down the right side only.  Notice that the  folded edge of the rectangle is closest to you and is 1/4" shorter than the two squares.
Because of how the Flying Geese units will be placed,
the two sandwiches are sewn the same way.
Press both units flat.
Press both units.
Open up the center rectangle, aligning the raw edges with the bottom edge of the unit, making sure the points on the base meet the left and right edges of the unit.  Also make sure that the tip of the Flying Geese is 1/4" from the top edge. Place the base of the two Flying Geese units together and place the center pane in place to preview the block.
Preview the block.  Oops! the blue pane was too small.
Sew the base of the two Flying Geese blocks together and place the center pane over the window.
Place pane on the frame.
The pane should be 1/4-1/2"smaller than the frame.
Pin the bias or dimensional sides of the frame down over the window pane and pin.
Window is folded over pane and pinned.
Sew the frame in place and the Cathedral Windows block is complete.
The block is complete.
I'm so proud of myself to have succeeded in simplifying this block!

Cheers, everyone!


  1. Innovative and inspiring! Thanks for the clear instructions andd pics...great tute!

    1. This is intended to take the mystery and tedium out of making Cathedral Windows, so I hope you will give it a try.

  2. joli travail avec de jolies couleurs
    bises de France

    1. votre appréciation de mon travail signifie beaucoup pour moi. salutations les plus chaleureuses.


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