Saturday, August 1, 2015

Hive 4 August Tutorial

Hi, it's Chiska and I think the hardest part of this bee for me has been picking a block!  After a million changes I've finally settled on a Cathedral Windows block.  I've eyed Cathedral Windows for a long time--I first came across an excellent tutorial by Hyena in Petticoats.She's made her blog private so I can't send you there, but she was my original inspiration.  I've also been inspired by these 3 tutorials: Making Ends Meet and the other at Lovely Little Handmades and finally at So Happy to Sew.  They each do things slightly different, but have some tips or ways of doing things that I found helpful. They're worth look through, but I've consolidated everything here.

Don't panic either--it's not super hard and we're only making one "window" and don't worry about a little wonkiness.  It only took me 50 minutes and I'm really slow.  If you want to you can hand sew the window in feel free.


FABRIC:  You'll need two 10 1/2" squares of a neutral (low volume, text--anything neutral that works for you.  The squares can be two different fabrics) Here's my fabric pull:

 and one square 3 1/8" of a "window" fabric.  I'd like this to pop against whatever neutral you choose.  I love whimsical fabric such as the fabric that Sarah Jane, Aneela Hoey and Heather Ross design, but geometrics and small scale florals will work too--anything really is fine as long as pops against the background.  Keep in mind that it will be side set--you can see I forgot that detail in my window choice the first time.  Here's my fabric pull--I really want you to know that anything goes for this piece.

Fabric Summary:
2 - 10 1/2" Neutral Background
1 - 3 1/8"  Colorful "Window" Fabric


We're going to make two background pieces and one window in our block. Careful cutting and pressing makes a big difference in this block.

Fold in half (top to bottom)

Sew up each side (leaving the top open)

Press the seams open and trim the corners off being careful not to cut your stitches.

Matching up your seams sew the top together leaving a section open  to turn it right side out.

Turn it right side out making sure to push the corners out.   It naturally falls into place.  You don't need to do anything with the section you left un-sewn for turning--it will get covered up eventually.  Press flat.  Repeat with the second square.

Fold the corners into the middle creating a smaller square that should measure 5".
Press. (I also pinned it down)

Line the squares up next to each other and lift one triangle from each square (matching them up).  You're going to sew along the crease.  I marked it so it was easier to see (after I took this picture).  Sew them together along the crease.

I pressed the seam and then lay the triangles back down onto each square.
Sew a temporary stitch either by hand or machine so that all of the triangle flaps are tacked down.
The easiest way to do this is to take 4-5 sitches from one triangle onto the other--making a plus sign. (If you click on the picture in the next section you can see the stitching)

Center your window piece on the middle diamond created once you put those center flaps down.  Some of the tutorials suggest using some kind of adhesive (spray, glue stick) to put the block down.  It does help to hold it in place.  I used a glue stick. (Sorry for the block switch--I forgot to take pictures of these steps)

Now wrap the background fabric around the edges of window so that the middle is a little bigger.

Sew the flaps down sewing as close to the inside edge as possible. (you can do this by hand or machine--whichever is your preference.  I used my machine) 

Tips:  If you're sewing by machine reduce your stitch size to help with the curve. 
 I went from a 2.5 to a 2 on my machine.
Pull the block off the machine rather than pivoting at the corners.  This gives you a chance to make sure the corners are covered--folded over.  I found it easier to manipulate the fabric this way too.  Here's a few pictures:

When you're done the square should be "framed" in.

Closeup of the center

That's it you're done!

Lovely Little Handmades' post is really clear on the window process if I've been confusing.
Thanks so much helping me finally do this.
My question for this month is do you have a go to baby quilt pattern?  If so, what is it?  I don't.   I have a baby niece coming in a couple of months and I'm looking for a fun quilt to make her.  I'm trying to get my nerve up to make make this Bjorn Bear pattern--but even with all the practice we've had this year paper piecing it still is a bit on the intimidating side to me.  Suggestions?


Barb Neiwert said...

Looks like a fun block to make - looking forward to it.

Anna said...

This makes me actually want to try a cathedral window block. Also, since I'm not participating in the bee this go around, I wanted to answer your question. I generally start with a very plain background (squares work nicely), and then either applique an off-center animal onto the quilt or patchwork in something. I could see that bear surrounded by low volume improv, for example.