Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Faux Cathedral Windows Pincushion Tutorial

Well here it is...a tutorial for one of my favorite techniques...Faux Cathedral Windows. 
This method is very different from the traditional method.  It is done from beginning to end by machine and uses a fraction of the fabric needed when doing the traditional method. 
I also think that when done in the way I'm about to show you, the end product comes out more polished looking in a fraction of the time it would take to do this using the traditional method. 
It is a great method for beginners as it is a simple straightforward process
yet engaging enough for the long quilter too.  
For this tutorial I'm going to show you how to make a pincushion like the one shown above. 
(8) 2 1/2" squares in various prints for "foundations and windows"
(8) 2 1/2" squares for "frames"
Roxanne's Glue Baste-It
(1) 4 1/2" square for pincushion back
(2) 4 1/2" squares of fusible fleece (not pictured)
Polyester Fiberfill
(2) buttons (not pictured)
Press your eight "frame" squares in half on the diagonal and press and
then select four squares from the print pile for your "foundations" (Pic 1).
Pic 1
Using your Roxanne's Glue Baste-It, apply small dots of glue to one foundation as shown in Pic 2.

Pic 2
Place one pressed "frame" onto the foundation matching corners and press into place (Pic 3).  Pay special attention to make sure all corners and points meet squarely. 
Pic 3
Repeat with the other half with another "frame" so that your unit now looks like Pic 4.

Pic 4
Repeat this step with the remaining three "frames" and  "foundations". 
Next sew 1/8" seam around all four glue basted units as shown in Pic 5. 

Pic 5
Arrange your four units as shown in Pic 6 and sew into a four-patch (Pic 7) and press. 

Pic 6
Pic 7
NOTE:  To reduce bulk in the center of your four-patch, it is important to spin the seams (Pic 8).
Pic 8

Apply dots of glue to three corners of each of the four remaining print squares (Pic 9). 
These will become your "windows".

Pic 9
Next, place the "windows" atop each side of your four-patch unit, making sure their edges are 1/8" inch from the folded edge of the "frames"(Pic 10). Press each "window" in place.
Pic 10

Trim away the fabric hanging off the edge (Pic 11).  

Pic 11
Then apply a few glue dots to the trimmed edge (Pic 12) and press.
Pic 12
Apply several glue dots to the edge of the left "frame" of one "window" (Pic 13). 

Pic 13
Turn over the edge and press in place so that the outer end of the curve
starts/stops 1/4" from the outer edge of your four-patch unit (Pic 14). 
Pic 14
The inner end of the curve should just meet the center of the four-patch unit (Pic 15).

Pic 15
 Repeat this process for the other three "windows".  It should now look like Pic 15.
Repeat the process from Step Eight for the right side of each "window".  Make sure to overlap the left curve when pressing down the right curve so that it leave no raw edge exposed (Pic 16).
Pic 16

Using the thread color of your choice (matching or not), straight stitch down the edge of each frame as shown in Pic 17.  Be sure to sew to the ends of each point to permanently secure them.

Pic 17
It should now look like this (Pic 18).

Pic 18


 Next, iron the two 4 1/2" fusible fleece squares to the wrong side of the
4 1/2" backing square and the finished Cathedral Window unit.
Pic 19

With right sides together sew a 1/4" seam all the way around leave a 2" opening on one side and trim the corners (Pic 20).  Turn right side out.

Pic 20
NOTE:  Be sure to backstitch and the beginning and end of this seam.
Lastly, stuff your pincushion and sew it closed (Pic 21). 

Pic 21
Add buttons if desired and you're done!
 Front and back views

 As you can see this is a quick and easy method for doing Cathedral Windows.  The windows are easily adjustable to any size...just like my large Cathedral Window Pillows which used 8 1/2" squares to make a 16" pillow.
One thing to note about how I made these pillows.  Instead of using 8 1/2" squares in the windows and having a bunch of waste trimmed off, I cut one 16 1/2" square (the measurement of one side of the Cathedral Window unit) and then cut it on the diagonal twice to create the four windows.  This rule would hold true with a unit size.
I encourage you to play around with  your color placements to. 
Be it coordinated or scrappy it doesn't matter.  Go wild!
Last thing to note about this technique, for a symmetrical finish you need to work in multiples of Cathedral Window units (aka four-patch units).  Otherwise you'll have one edge of your project looking one way and the other looking completeley different.  You can put those four-patch units together creating the "X" like I showed you or you can turn them one quarter turn and create a diamond with the lines created by the folds.  Either way works.  And don't forget to continue spinning your seams throughout.
I hope y'all have found this tutorial useful.  If something is unclear or you need further
clarification, feel free to send me an email with your questions and I'll answer
your back and tweak the tutorial post if needed.
Till next time...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Busy Busy Busy

This morning I completed my newest Cathedral Window pillow!  Isn't it awesome?! 
I absolutely love it.  It doesn't match a thing in my house but I really don't care.
Here's a view of the backing I chose for it.  I wanted something with a warm
 and bright feeling and I think this fabric fits the bill pretty good.
Next on my agenda today was to start making a runner for my son. 
He recently moved into a new place and asked if I would make a table runner for the
top of an old hope chest I had given him.  How could I refuse? 
For a while I racked my brain, unable to decide what fabrics to use.  So much of what's in my stash is pretty girly, flowery...not very masculine at all.  Then I had my light bulb moment...SOLIDS.  I settled on solids because they are gender neutral. 
When he came home for a visit this weekend I asked him to pick five fabrics from the solids
I've been hoarding collecting in every color of the rainbow.  And this is what he chose...ACK.
 I was like "Seriously dude?  Are you tryin' to give me a brain aneurysm?" 
Never in my life would I have chosen those colors to go together...never in a million years.  But I gotta tell you.  The more I looked at this color combination, the more I kinda liked it.  After thinking for a while about what to make, I settled on another braid project and came up with this. 

Don't you just love it?!  I do.  I don't know why but those colors really do work well together. 
After I've quilted the runner this coming week, I plan to start on a lap quilt
for my son's couch using the same colors.
Well that's all for now but stay tuned because in the next day or so I'm going
to post a tutorial on the technique I used to make this pillow.
Till next time...

Friday, January 11, 2013

Another project to add...

to my ongoing Cathedral Window addiction

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sometimes it pays to piddle around...

...and see what happens.
Piddlin' Brades
I'm amazed what piddlin' around with a charm pack
and a bit of background turned into. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013