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...


Jill said...

Fantastic!! I just might have to give this a try!

Sewing Mom said...

Oh, it looks lovely...I will have to try it!

Kindred Quilts said...

I'm at work now but I can't wait to get home to print the instructions to make this... so cute! And I love the bright fabrics you used! Thank you!

Dresden Quilter said...

Thanks for the great tutorial.

Barb Neiwert said...

That method looks like it would be so fast and relatively easy! I have always admired those pin cushions. Guess what's on my To Do List? Thanks!

Lynette said...

Very cool! Thank you so much for taking the time to work this up. :)

Rosa said...

spectacular.Sure I`m going to try it.Thanks you for the fantasatic tutorial!!

Jennie said...

Brilliant - thank you so much!

Amy DeCesare said...'ve just changed my life!!! I have a new pattern by Cotton Way that does something like this, and I wondered how to make a pincushion from it. Voila, and thank you!

regan said...

Awesome tutorial! I'm going to try this! Thanks!

Sinta Renee said...

Great tutorial! It is a very sweet pincushion! Thanks for sharing this!

MaryLiz said...

THANK YOU. I am going to make one of these tomorrow!

Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts said...

Very cute pincushion! So let me make sure I have this right~ to make a pillow (like your colorful one), I follow the same directions to make the gray 4-patch units, but I sew them all together before I put the colored squares down? I think I may have just answered my own question! LOL Thanks for the tutorial!

Cindy said...

Monica, thank you so much . I have never made a Cathedral Window - intimidated I guess, and honestly scared. Your tutorial is wonderful, makes it "simpler" for me. I will definitely give this a whirl SOON!!!

I appreciate you taking the time to make this wonderful tutorial. HUGS

Leah said...

Superb Tutorial! I love all the colors in this. Thanks so much for sharing your idea and the how to. Just perfect!

Bernadine Fowlere said...

I'm so impressed with your tutorial, I've decided to try it. I love a challenge! Thanks for sharing

Unknown said...

I love this!! I linked to your tutorial for my guild group blog. We are making ornaments for this Christmas. I hope it is ok.. thank you!

Kay said...

Thank you so much for this, I love that it is not not costly on fabric too.

quiltmom anna said...

I haven't made cathedral window for a very long time- This is a wonderful tutorial- thanks for sharing and creating such a terrific photo essay of instructions for it.

KittyAnn said...

I love this method, so easy! Thank you for the great photos, I know this takes a lot of your time but please know it is so appreciated out here on the 'net! Have already got one under way, these will make nice small gifts for my sewing buddies. =0)

Marleen said...

Monica, I love this. I just looked the cathedral window up in one of my books to start a project. This is fun and I think I'm going to use it. I'll put you in my bloglist so I can follow you( found this link on pinterest)

greetings Marleem

Ebeth said...

Thank you so much for sharing this! I think I could actually do it! :)

FIONA said...

Gorgeous Monica - I love it!!! I will have to get all my bright fabrics out and make one!! x

Allison Sews said...

This is great, thank you! I can't wait to try it. Have you had any trouble with the corners fraying on the fabric inside the windows?

Esther Dew said...

You are so smart! I have tried to find a simpler way to make these and failed, but you did it. Your instrutions are so lear I am sure everyone an follow them and have great suess with it. Thanks so much.

Your Creative Friends at the Calico House said...

Just adorable

Mikaela said...

BEAUTIFUL! Very compliments and thanks for your Tutorial!

Cyn said...

Thanks ! Been wanting to try this like FOREVER ! This cute little pincushion is a great way to get started. This rainy day will keep me out of the yard and into my sewing room :)

Рыкова Ирина said...

Как красиво!!! Огромное спасибо за подробный мастер-класс!!!

Karens Quilts, Crows and Cardinals said...

Hopped over from Mark Lipinski's Fan page on FB. Love this tutorial Monica. Thanks for sharing.

Kelly @ Blue Bird Sews said...

Hello! Your tutorial and pin cushion are so cute! May I have your permission to use this as part of a blog post I am putting together for Portland Modern Quilt Guild? We are hosting a pin cushion swap for our members and want to show some examples! Thanks for considering it!

Vivi Martínez said...

Amazing tutorial!
It is the first time I found a CW tutorial that makes me feel like I can give this a try!
Thank you!!!!

SewMisadventurous said...

I made the pin cushion today, Thanks for the step by step, it was really helpful. Can you just clarify something about the large cushion for me. I get that you cut the front panel of the cushion across on the diagonal, but, did you have to use tape to bind the edges or do you have to roll the edge over twice to enclose the raw edge of the cotton? I love Cathedral Windows but I do object to the amount of fabric they use so your method is a real bonus. Thank You.

Alexandra G.D. said...

Thank you, just made it today and it works great. Thank you again.

Estefanía said...

Lovely tutorial… You make it so easy… I'll definitely do it.
Thank you!

Rebecca said...

Thanks so much for the tutorial. I have never done a cathedral window. You makes it look so easy. I will put this on my 'to-try' list. Love the colors you chose, so bright and cheerful. I'm not sure I quite understand what you mean by turn a ¼ turn and it will create the diamond shape but I will give it a go at it when I start this. Thanks again.