Wednesday 15 August 2012

Chumkie's Cathedral Windows QAL - Introduction

DQ Chumkie, who blogs at My Favourite Things , is leading a Quilt-along (QAL) on Desi Quilters on Cathedral Windows in an attempt to demystify the technique and entice newbies as well as pros to try their hand at this beautiful, beautiful block. She will be showing us the traditional way of doing it as well as modern adaptations of the same. Over to Chumkie...


Get ready for some fun! Starting the third week in July, we will learn:

  • 3 techniques for constructing the Cathedral Windows block:
  1. The applique method.  This is probably the simplest one of all with no fabric wastage.
  2. The dimensional one-seam Flying Geese method.  There's some fabric wastage here.
  3. The dimensional Square-In-A-Square method.  There's less fabric wastage in this one.

  • how to construct Star Windows using the applique method, a variation of technique #1 above.

  • how to Quilt-As-You-Go where the top, batting and backing are layered and sewn in such a way that machine quilting is much easier to do because it's done in columns rather than trying to manage a whole, big quilt at once.

We will be making a cushion cover for each of the techniques described above.

For an easy to understand tutorial on the modern method of putting together a traditional Cathedral Windows quilt viisit

How To Assemble a Cushion Cover

Note: To make your own cushion insert, take a look at Gayathri's tutorial at . She makes it look so easy to do!

Cut a square fabric the same size as the quilt top. Sew this to the quilt top with a 1/8" seam. This is the backing for the quilt top.

For the back of the cushion cover, cut two pieces of fabric each measuring the same width as the quilt top. As to the length of these pieces, one should measure 1/2 the length of the quilt top plus 5" and the other should measure 1/2 the length of the quilt top. On both pieces, fold a ¼” seam and fold again. Sew down these 1/4" seams on each piece, making sure that there is at least a 4" overlap between the two rectangles.
Two back panels

Place the pieced cushion cover, face up, on the work surface.  Place the longer rectangle on the cushion cover, face up, aligning the top edges.  Place the shorter rectangle, face up, on the cushion cover, aligning the bottom edges.
Cushion cover assembly

Pin all around. Sew around the four sides.  Snip the corners. Turn the cover inside out through the overlapping panels and insert the cushion.
Front of cushion 

Back of cushion 

- Chumkie


  1. Hi Chumkie
    This is beautiful. I want to try making it as Tina suggested to all the new entrants! I have a question ... in the first step when you fold in the triangles to give the curve how do you make them such perfect curves? to club

    1. Hi there:
      I assume you're referring to the Orange Peel quilt (QAL #1). To get the perfect curve, use a short stitch length when you're sewing the circle together on your two pieces of material. Leave a space un-sewn so you can turn it right side out. Before turning it right side out, cut 1/4" away from the sewn line and clip at short intervals from the cut line to just outside the sewn line. Turn it inside out, using a flat, long object such as a popsicle stick and follow the curve as closely as you can.
      You should get nice curves.