Friday, April 15, 2016

Cathedral the round?

A number of years ago, I saw a finished quilt that was a two sided appeared to be done using a modified version of a Cathedral Windows block...unfortunately, I never did learn the maker of the quilt or what the technique was called.....but.....back then, I did set out to figure out how it had been created, I posted my experimental resulting blocks  here
Over the years, I have received many requests for a tutorial on this technique. is my attempt to show you what I did ....Warning! this is a long and photo laden post.

Like most quilts, it starts with templates and or patterns.....In this post, I will walk you through the general steps to creating the separate blocks and for those who want to give it a go, you will find a link to a PDF containing printable templates here
You will be cutting a variety of bits and pieces and circles to assemble into blocks....the more you make, the more variety you make, the more patterns you will be able to create with them when you stitch them all together.  This is a "quilt as you go" type of project.....AND while there is some machine work, the bulk of it is done by hand.

you will start by making a set of templates (thin cereal box cardboard works great for the "pressing" templates)

If you want to try a few different looks, cut several 6" circles, 2" squares, 3.5" squares as well as some 2" x 3.5" pieces (I also include a pattern to create that "split"circle)

in the photo above, you see the cut pieces ready to assemble (seam allowances are included in the pattern) and in the photo below....the machine piecing is done, the bits pressed flat

The goal is to end up with a variety of 3.5" squares and 6" circles (pieced and solid)
then we can begin the pressing, folding and stitching process

take one of the circles, (wrong side facing) knot the thread and then do a running stitch just in from the edge, once you get all the way around and back to the knot you are ready for the next step

 Place the cardboard template (5.5" circle) from the needle end, gently tug on the thread to pull in the circle...evenly distributing the fullness

It is time to go to the this well and remove the cardboard should look like this

now you want to press those rounded edges in toward the center to give you a place for your 3.5" square (remember, to make this cardboard pressing template 3.75" square as the pattern file shows you)

Once again we head to the iron

can you see where you are headed? remove the cardboard template and in this cavity, place a 3.5" square of thin batting (I actually used flannel instead, it is that solid white you are seeing under the 4 patch) so you have 3 layers happening...the folded circle, a piece of batt or flannel and a 3.5" square (solid or pieced)

those "flaps" will be hand stitched in place. I chose to use small applique stitches, but you could just as easily use big Sashiko stitching or possibly a blanket stitch for an even more interesting look.

here is another combination of circle - square layering (this time using a split circle)

Every time you change the circle - square combination, you will have a "different" looking block....the combination of different blocks will create a large variety of larger patterns.

below, is a close up look at my stitching, when you have made a number of blocks and determined a layout you want to make into a quilt, simply place the blocks right sides together and ladder or whip stitch just as one would with English Paper Pieced Hexagons

so....that is the you can see below, there is quite the variety you can make with just a few pattern pieces, let your imagination roam free and see what you can come up with.

keep in mind that the whole thing is reversible too.....depending on which way you assemble the completed blocks you will have two different looking quilts, front and back.

If you are like me, you need to get the fabric in your hands and manipulate it to fully understand the process......hopefully I have shown and explained it well enough to get you started.  I would LOVE to see what you create!

the nice weather is finally arriving, this would make a great project to have on hand for sitting and stitching out on the porch or perhaps for on those shop hop road trips  :-)


Robbie said...

What a fun technique or take off on cathedral windows? Nicely done, as always, and clear instructions!

carrie said...

The basic technique is called Japanese Folded Patchwork in the UK. I have seen it done with the colours/fussy cut prints in the middle or plainer middles and the colour in the circles. But you have taken this to a whole new level. It is looking wonderful. :)

Caroline, Hampshire, UK

The Inside Stori said...

Your attention to detail and high skill level are always so impressive……as is your generosity….thank you for sharing!

Quilt Rat said...

oh Carrie, THANK YOU so much for this information, I am so glad to finally know what the technique is called. Now those who want to learn more about it will have a way to "search" for it.

Createology said...

How could I have missed this very informative post of yours. I LOVE your blocks made with Cathedral Windows. The variety you have achieved is amazing and enviable. Thank you sew very much for explaining every step and style so clearly. Now where is that bank that loans out extra daily hours???

Dawn Hendrix said...

Love this!!!! So many ideas swirling in my brain now!

lmartinez4171 said...

Just found your tut on cathedral windows in the round and I am so happy. Thank you very much for sharing your talent and time.

Cyn said...

Another name for it is Atarashi, and the varieties are almost endless! Thanks so much for this tutorial!

Ruthie's Place said...

Oh my goodness! Cathedral Windows are my absolute favorite pattern to piece but you have shown me a whole new adventure. Thank you so much.
Warm hugs,

alcira said...

que gran hallazgo, me encanta la tecnica de la catedral de windowws, pero no me hubiera imaginado tantas posibilidades, que entretenimiento tan hermoso, bueno soy mujer de colores ahora biene la concentracion, que colores? MMMMM . Gracias vengo desde Pinteres, gran tutorial. un abrazo desde Colombia.

Mrs. D said...

Hello Jill,

Your tutorial and photos are stunning! I've never tried Cathedral Windows before--as it always looked complicated. Well, you sure changed my mind, and perfected the technique with your words and photos. Thank you for all the work that went into teaching us. An excellent post! So happy to run across your tutorial via Pinterest. I'm such a fan of your work. Everything you do is a hallmark of excellence.

Unknown said...

fantastico grazie ... spiegato molto bene e presto ti farò vedere... il mio grazie infinite...

eloidastitches said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial AND the templates to get started!! Your work is beautiful.

alcira said...

preciosos, me encanta esta tecnica muchas gracias.

alcira said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sílvia Franco said...

Maravilhoso tutorial. Agradeço muito!

alcira said...


CalicoGirl said...

I just wanted to write and say thank you for this tutorial. I have just taken part in a mini quilt swap in the UK quiters United group and used the technique to produce my swapee quilt it looks great and was well received by the recipient

feedestiroirs said...

génial ! il me tarde d'essayer :-)

Patchda vóedi said...

Tudo que eu gostaria de falar já foi dito,entãoo meu agradecimento por compartilhar teus conhecimentos. Espetacular teu trabalho em artes,parabéns!

Copyright Jill Buckley