Share this:

Prinfab fabric printers

How to construct Cathedral Window Blocks

Make cathedral windows

This is not so much a 'block' in the traditional sense but is a technique formed from groups of prepared squares to form a 'window' for a contrasting piece of fabric.

Fabric for cathedral window


We made our base squares to finsh at 5 inches so you will need for each square:

Square of base fabric cut to 10.5 inches - make sure these are perfectly square

Centre 'window' squares cut to 3 inches

You can use the same 'base' fabric for each square or you can change it as we have to show the effect. 

Use a 1/4 inch seam for the construction.

I have used fabrics designed by Fiona and printed by Prinfab on their cotton poplin fabric. Prinfab is a British fabric printing company which offers many different types of fabric for you to print your designs on.

Step 1

Making cathedral window squares

 Fold your square in half with right sides facing and stitch down each edge with a 1/4 inch seam. Clip the two corners to reduce bulk.


Step 2

Folding a square

Bring the two seams together and match them in the centre. Pin along this edge and stitch from each end leaving a small gap in the centre. Clip the corners again.


Step 3

Base square for cathedral window

Turn the fabric through to the right side and press well. Poke the corners out carefully with a knitting needle or similar. Don't worry about the centre hole as this will be covered up later.


Step 4
 Folding fabric for cathedral windows

Fold two opposite corners into the centre and press well. Repeat with the other two corners. Your base square should now measure 5 inches. Make a few more base squares so you can then make the Cathedral Windows.


Step 5

Starting to construct cathedral windows

Lay two of your base squares next to each other and then open up the right flap on the left hand square and the left flap on the right hand square as shown. Stitch on the crease between the flaps as shown. You can now repeat this until you have a line of base squares.


Step 6

Adding centre square

Decide where you want to place your 'windows' - for demonstration I have placed this one on the first square but you may want to leave the first square clear. See ideas of how to use your finished squares below.

I secured my window square in place with a little spray adhesive to stop it moving as I sewed. 


Step 7

Stitching a cathedral window

Carefully fold in the edges of the flaps over your window fabric and pin, then stitch in place close to the edge. I set my machine stitch length to 1.5 for this. You can also stitch the flaps in place using hand stitching. 


Close up of stitching

Ideas for using Cathedral Windows

Ideas for cathedral window blocks

By just using two base squares, you can form a centre panel for a cushion or quilt that could then be appliqued onto a base fabric. Add the window squares in the same way as shown on each corner.

Example of using cathedral windows

By using a 9 square grid, Warm in the North have a tutorial for a cushion cover using similar techniques.

Have fun making your own Cathedral Windows!


For other quilt block tutorials please visit our quilt block directory. 

Directory of quilt blocks