Thrilled to be here today on So Sew Easy! My name is Laura and I blog over at Crafty Hour, mostly my handmades for my two boys, 7 & 5, and my girlie, 3, and more recently wardrobe sewing for myself. Very occasionally I’ve come up with something for my husband, but it has to be very unique or geeky for him to love!
Sewing is my creative outlet since I’ve been staying home with my littles – I’ve learned so much in the past few years from all the wonderful creative blogs out there! Now it’s my turn to share! This Cathedral Window cushion is perfect for a classy addition to any living area. I like quilting and piecing but sometimes patchwork seems a bit less formal, so this cushion fits the ticket.
So – want to try a Cathedral Window? A cushion is the perfect size to learn this classic block – much easier than my first try, which was a teeny pincushion.
To make this 16″x16″ cushion, you will need:
- 16″x16″ pillow form
- 1/2 yd background fabric: cotton muslin or quilting cotton
- 16″x16″ piece of cardstock
- coordinating feature fabrics, at least 5.5″ squares (I used a FQ set with five different fabrics)
- 2 17″x17″ squares of coordinating quilting cotton for pillow back and front
- 14″ zipper
- spray starch (optional)
- glue stick (optional)
How to sew a Cathedral Window Cushion Cover
TIP: I used cotton muslin to cut down on bulk in the folding process, as it’s a little lighter weight than regular quilting cotton. Before cutting, I applied spray starch to help the softer muslin keep its folds when pressed.
To begin with, you will need to cut your background fabric. For this cushion I want my squares to be 8″x8″, so I cut my background fabric at about 18″ square (2 x 8 = 16, plus 2″ for folding raw edges under). Centre your 16″x16″ cardstock square over your background fabric. Fold the raw edges over the cardstock template and press.
TIP: A gluestick comes in handy here! Apply a bit of regular washable glue stick to the corner and fold up to secure before pressing.
Now repeat the folding and pressing for all four sides. You should have a 16″x16″ square with all the raw edges pressed in. Remove the template and repeat for a second background square.
Fold your tidy square in half and press a crease, then open up, fold in half the other way and press a second crease.
Open out again – you should have two centre creases, one running horizontal and one vertical.
Now you will bring one corner up to the centre and press:
TIP: It’s most important here that the outer corners (circled above) are precise. If you find that the fabric bubbles a little there, preventing a crisp corner, use a pin to fold against.
Repeat with the other corners, keeping the new outside corners as sharp as possible. Now you have a smaller square.
Take one of the new corners and fold toward the centre again. Press. This time both inside and outside corners matter, so try to be precise and use the pin folding tip (see above).
Phew! All the pressing is done! Well, as soon as you’ve repeated for the second one, that is… Your completed base square should be 8″.
Take your two squares and lay them side by side. Open up the two triangles adjacent to each other and match them together.
Pin the two triangles together, being careful to match the creases together.
Sew along the crease, backstitching at the beginning and end. Open out and press again. This completed base piece should now measure 8″x16″.
Lay out the cushion front square, which should be 17″ square to include 1/2″ seam allowances (I only used 1/4″ and it was a bit tricky). Lay the completed base unit on top, centering it top to bottom and side to side.
Measure and cut your feature fabrics into triangles and one square to fit into the cathedral window. My centre dark blue square is close to 5.5″ square. The triangles need to have at least 1/4″ seam allowance beyond the base. These feature pieces need to be just a little smaller than the folds under them.
Remove the centre square and the two end triangles. Open all the base triangles except the centre two, being careful to keep the feature fabric triangles straight. Tuck the outer raw edge of each triangle piece under the base unit at the top and bottom.
Pin the opened base unit to the cushion front and sew through the creases at the outer edges, as indicated. You will be catching the raw outer edges of the triangles at the top and bottom in this stitching line.
Fold the triangles back in toward the centres. Press the triangles flat and add in the two outer triangles and the centre square again.
Sew down the tips of the square and triangles where they meet with just a few stitches, being sure to backstitch.
Now comes the real fun! You’re going to be folding the creases of the base fabric over the raw edges of the square and triangles. It will fold naturally in a curve because of the bias grain. Be sure the raw edges are covered by the fold and if necessary, snip any threads or edges that extend. Press and pin.
Stitch! Use a medium stitch length (3 on my machine) and stay as close to the folded edge as possible. (see my post at Crafty Hour for topstitching tips & tricks)
See the windows?
Next step: Zipper! Get your cushion backing, completed cathedral window front, and zipper ready.
Sew the bottom edge of the cushion backing and front together, right sides facing, with 1/2″ seam allowance. Backstitch, then stitch for about 1.5″ total and backstitch again. Then continue with a longer basting stitch, and repeat the 1.5″ backstitched section at the end of the seam. Press this seam open.
Centre the zipper over this seam, right side down. To keep it from shifting, you can glue-baste the zipper tapes to the seam allowance. Baste the zipper in place.
Once the zipper is basted in, remove the first set of basting threads, being careful not to take out the 1.5″ sections at the end.
Now remove your basting stitches and topstitch the zipper in place, matching thread if your backing is contrasting like mine is.
Be sure to open the zipper a few inches before this next step (ask me how I figured this out!!). Refold the cushion cover so the right sides are facing and pin the remaining three open edges together. Stitch on your 1/2″ seam allowance.
Trim the corners and any extra raw edges. If you’re going to be removing this cushion cover with any frequency, it’s best to serge or zigzag finish the seam all around.
Reach in through the (hopefully slightly open) zipper and turn the cushion cover right side out. Stuff the pillow form inside and zip up your pretty zipper – you’re done!!
Your completed Cathedral Window cushion and a work of art!