Sunday, January 1, 2012


In the first installment of this demonstration of a new twist on the cathedral windows block, we prepared our fabrics, cutting and ironing them to specific shapes and sizes.  Then we made leaf units (40) for this particular project.

Now that we have made our leaf units, we need to put four of them together to make a cathedral window block (CW).  Sew one leaf unit to another, raw edge to raw edge along one side, so that the folded edges make a "V".   Do the same thing with another pair of leaf units, but turn them upside down when finished so that the "V" mirrors that from the first two units.  Sew these two sections together.

You now have one cathedral window (CW) block.  The folded edges make an "X" across the block, as above.  Make 9 of these.  You will need to join two of the CW blocks to make one CW rectangle.  Make 4 rectangles, leaving one square CW block for the center of the tabletopper.

Now we need to work on the corner squares.  Sew one leaf unit to one 3 1/2" background square so that the leaf unit's folded edges are tilted up from left to right as above.

Next sew a 3 1/2" x 6 1/2" background rectangles to the duo above, keeping the folded edges of the original leaf unit going in the right direction as seen here.  You now have a corner block (CB).  Make four of these.

To make the center, take the left over square CW block and add a 3 1/2" x 6 1/2" background rectangle to either side.  Press to the background fabric.  Then sew a 3 1/2" x 12 1/2" background rectangle to the top and another to the bottom of this.  You now have a square measuring 12 1/2" with the CW in the center.

So, what do we do with all this?

Assemble the first row of the tabletopper by sewing a corner block to a CW rectangle (2 CW's) and then add another corner block.  Keep in mind that we want these corner blocks to mirror each other.  You can place your corner blocks so that they look like mine, above, with the leaf units in the inner corners, or you can turn them so that the leaf units are in the outer corners.  Try them both ways to see what appeals to you.  Make 2 of these long rectangle units, one for the first row and one for the last row of your tabletopper.

Next sew one CW rectangle (2 CW's) to each side of the center block you created earlier.  Press towards the background fabric.  Then sew your first row to the top of this center unit and sew the last row to the bottom.  Make sure that you have a mirror image between top and bottom.  You can now see the subtle secondary pattern starting to emerge.

We aren't quite finished yet.  We still have to tack back those folded edges to create the cathedral windows appearance we all love.  This is just one 24" block, but several would make a stunning quilt.  You could also play with the placement of your basic units to make long table runners, zig zag paths for the CW's, smaller ones for candle mats, elongated ones for placemats, sew them into a purse or pillow, alternate rows of CW's with rows of background fabric, or place the CW's on point -- so many creative ways to use this simplified approach to the cathedral window look.

In the next few days, I will show you the folded edges all tacked back and perhaps even begin to experiment a little more with this pattern, trying it in reverse, or combining the units in some other fashion.  Try it for yourself!  Let your imagination go wild! 

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