Friday, 21 August 2015

Block of the month August 2015 - Easy-peasy cathedral window block

I have looked at cathedral window blocks again and again and I either don't like them because they are too fussy or the use fabrics that make them look old fashioned and fusty.

The second consideration is not valid - we can use whichever fabrics we choose and what one quilter loves will send another screaming from the room so feel free to ignore that bit. It is just that the fabrics have put me off the block somehow and I have consigned them to the not-for-me basket.

The 'proper' way of doing them still feels very fussy though. I am going to stand by that. A bit.

Well, I was looking around online the other day and I realised that there are a few easier ways to do them and quite a few faux methods around too.

So, as we quilters do, I have taken bits and pieces from all over the place and inspiration from a few and come up with something that is, to my mind at least, a little more user friendly. Here is my pared down submission...


It is going to get the job done with less fuss. And here is how I did it.

You will need four base squares of any size. I am using 12cm x 12cm because that is a nice working size and it is not too small and, well, fussy. Cut another 12cm x 12cm square from a third colour batik and put it aside for now.


Next, cut four contrast squares the same size as before. I am using batiks and a text print. I love text print and because this was supposed to be glass, the batik sort of jumped out.


Fold the contrast squares in half diagonally and then sit them on the first lot of squares with the open bits in the centre.


What we are going to do next is to fold the orange lot onto the turquoise one to the left of it with all of the layers trapped very neatly and the points aligned in the centre.


This is the unfolded example. When you come to sew, it will look like this...


The pin will help to keep all of the layers together because they do have to be quite accurate.

Open the seam and press it.


I know, I know, we don't open seams! Well actually we do when there is a lot of bulk involved. To press to the side is becoming a bit of an outdated notion left over from hand sewing and batting which wasn't ideal and just looking to creep out of any gap it could find. I love opening the seams because it makes the quilt top lay flatter and look better.

Open the two pieces out and you will have this...


It will be open on the bottom. Do the same to the remaining two pieces and then sew them together down the centre (it is actually a glorified four patch!).

Open the whole lot out, press the seams open and here is what we have now...



Now grab that extra batik square which you cut and put aside. place it over the middle of the squares...


The sides of the text print triangles is folded and also the bias edge. This means that it will curve nicely and sit flat when you fold it over the edge of the purple square. Fold the text print over and sew on the very edge, enclosing the purple square as you go.


And there it is in all its glory! As you can see, the glassy/watery look of the batik seems to say 'glass' and the text print gives a slightly more modern vibe. Grey would look good too for the 'leading'.

You need to do nothing more than to make this block as many times as you need and then simply sew them all together matching the points up as you go. That bit is actually important and it won't look great if they are off so take your time there.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope that you have enjoyed this tutorial. Don't forget  that my August Fat Quarter Giveaway is still on. Either scroll down to the backpack post or click here for the link and leave a comment at the bottom in the comments section to be in the draw. The winner will be announced at the end of August. Good luck!

Love and hugs
Debbie xxx