Cathedral Window Block

May is my hosting month for the Modern Stash Quilting Bee! I have been thinking about my block all year. I initially wanted to do a Cathedral Window block, but wavered on it. Now that it’s my turn, I decided to stick to my first choice.

The quilt that results from the accumulative blocks will be a gift for someone expecting twin boys later this summer. 🙂

I used the tutorials for the block from Melissa at Lilac Lane. I want to say that I read through about 4 or 5 different tutorials on cathedral windows. This is the one that I felt most comfortable with. Melissa’s instructions are wonderful and very clear, and are accompanied by some great photos for each step. The tutorial is in several parts, but don’t be frightened by that fact, as she was using this tutorial for her sew along. Here you can find part 1 and part 2 and part 3. Her tutorial is for a pillow, but since mine is a quilt block I did it slightly different. The assembly is the same, I just changed a few minor details.

Firstly, I started with four 12.5″ squares of Kona white and four 3.75″ squares of printed fabrics (this quilt is going to be a gift for twin baby boys, so I decided to designate everyone to use fabric prints featuring bright green and bright blue fabrics). I did not use the optional batting.

I was really intimidated about all the ironing, as I am not an exact sewer, and I thought that if I didn’t sew/press the squares exactly, that it would turn out all wrong. I am glad to say that this isn’t the case…mine weren’t exact, but I was still successful.

The ‘Danish-pastry shape’ with the 2″ opening at the top for turning.

The instructions tell you to sew the corners into a sort of Danish-pastry shape, with a small opening left for turning the fabric right side out. You can either slip-stitch or topstitch that opening closed (part 2, the first step), and I opted for the topstitching (’cause I hate hand sewing so much). It really looks fine with the topstitching. Instead of having 3 rows by 3 columns (9 white squares to start), I have 2 rows by 2 columns (4 white squares to start).

Using a glue stick to adhere the printed fabrics before sewing them down.

I used a glue stick to temporarily adhere the printed squares to the white, and it worked wonderfully. Another minor thing that I changed is, in the instructions, Melissa tells you to sew each of the four edges of the printed squares down, independently of the background, so they stick out (like wings). I did this at first, and I’m sure it looks great on a pillow, but I didn’t like all those edges sticking out, so when I stitched the four edges of the printed squares down, I stitched them through the back (so you can see the stitching when you turn the block around). I left the remaining edges unsewn, so that when I receive the other blocks I can put them all together.

Back of the block…so pretty seeing the stitches through!

This block did not take me a terribly long time to make…I know it looks very intricate, but it probably took me 2 hours total (cutting, puzzling over the instructions, etc.). If I made more blocks, I could probably do one in an hour or less, if I had my fabrics cut out and ready to go.

Block finished! I left the white corners unsewn so I will be able to attach everyone’s blocks together.

I hope everyone in the bee enjoys working on this block and doesn’t get too stressed out about it. I have to say, this is my new favorite block. It is just so beautiful, and looks like it took so much time and effort, but once you have it down, it really isn’t very bad at all. And the best part?? You don’t have to quilt it when you’re done assembling the blocks. Yep, that’s right. Once your blocks are all assembled, you’re completely done with the quilt.

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