Saturday 25 August 2012

Chumkie's Cathedral Windows QAL#2

Chumkie, with her wonderful QAL#1 on making Cathedral Windows using the Orange Peel Method, inspired a lot of us DQs into taking our first hesitant steps into the world of Cathedral Blocks. See the previous post for pics of a few of the completed projects.

Over to Chumkie for the second installment of the Cathedral Windows QAL...

One Seam Flying Geese Method

For the second method in this series for constructing Cathedral Windows, we will be making a 20” cushion or table topper comprising 16 blocks arranged 4 blocks across by 4 blocks down.

16 Cathedral Window blocks

The components of a Cathedral Window block are the foundation/ background fabric, the frame and the window pane.  It is really simple to make this block using two Flying Geese blocks, each made with just 1 seam.

Cathedral Windows block constructed with 2 Flying Geese blocks, each made with 1 seam.

In the picture below, the patterned squares will form the foundations, the white rectangles the frames and a variety of printed squares (not shown) will form the window panes.  For 16 Cathedral Windows blocks that will finish at 5” square, cut

64 patterned squares 2-3/4" (foundations)
32 white rectangles 2-3/4" x 5" (frames)
16 patterned squares 2-3/4" (window panes – not shown)

Fabrics for Cathedral Windows block are cut and ready to piece

Form two sandwiches as follows:
  1. Place 1 patterned square, facing up, on the work surface.
  2. Fold 1 white rectangle in half, wrong sides together, aligned at the raw edges with the top of the patterned square.
  3. Place 1 patterned square, face down, on top of the white, folded rectangle.

Sandwich - make 2

Begin sewing from the raw edges all the way down the right side only.  Make sure that the folded edge of the rectangle is closest to you and notice it is 1/4" shorter than the two squares.

Sew right sides only

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.  Pin at the base, opening the seam on the back.

 Pin the base and press seam open on back

Press the seam open and sew the base of two Flying Geese blocks together.

2 Flying Geese units sewn at base

Press the seam open.

Press all seams open to reduce bulk

Place a window pane square in the center of the frame and pin the bias/dimensional sides of the frame over the window pane.

Frame is folded over pane and pinned.

Sew the frame in place and a Cathedral Windows block is complete.

One block is complete

Here's an arrangement of four blocks.

An arrangement of 4 blocks

Make 16 Cathedral Windows blocks, arrange 4 across by 4 down, sew the blocks together and your project is almost done!

To make a table topper, cut a square of material the same size as the top, place the two pieces facing each other, sew all the way around the four sides leaving a space for turning, turn it inside out, sew up the opening, press the seams and it’s done!

I hope you have as much fun as I did making these Cathedral Windows!
 - Chumkie


  1. I love this block and would love to use your method to make 12" blocks (instead of the 5" ones you have here) how do I calculate my piece sizes for this?

    1. Hi Jennie:
      To make a 12" block, each of your Flying Geese units (you need two) should be composed of 2 squares, each measuring 6.5" square, and 1 rectangle measuring 6.5" x 12.5". The window pane should be a quarter inch smaller than the finished frame after the two flying geese units are sewn together.
      Hope this helps.