Cathedral Window Pincushion

Posted by SusanneK on Friday, February 17th, 2012

Cathedral Window Pincushion Tutorial

by Susanne Klemm

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Welcome to the next round of Riley Blake Designs pincushion club. My name is Susanne and I blog at Quilt it out .

I want to show you how to make this cute pincushion. I got the idea while trying out cathedral window blocks. I shrunk back on making an entire quilt with this technique so I transformed the sample blocks into a pincushion.

What you need:

- (1) 10" piece for the exterior (I used layer cake pieces from Happy Sunny Skies bundle by Bella BLVD for Riley Blake Designs)

- (1) 4 1/2" piece for the centre

- (2) 3 1/2" square for the windows

- (2) 5x3" pieces for the back

- some batting or wadding

- a cute button for the centre

There are several ways to make this block. I chose one where you sew instead of ironing the base form. I think it is more precise, faster and less dangerous (no hot iron on your fingers). Start with your 10" square piece. Fold it in half with right sides together. Sew up both short sides with a 1/4" seam allowance. Press seams open.

Now open the piece and fold the other two sides together (the shape should remind you of a pyramid). Align the two sewn corners against each other.

Now start sewing about 1" away from the centred sewn corners down to the folded edge. Repeat on the other side of the centred corners. Now you have a pyramid with an opening in the roof. Press these second seams open too.

Turn the block right side out through that opening. Gently push out the four corner and press. Ignore the hole in the seam.

Fold in all four corners to the middle and press again. Now you have a square block which measures about 4 5/8". Take the 4 1/2" piece for the centre.  Slightly open the folded edges and place the piece centred in the middle (there should be about 1/8" space around). Close the edges again and hide your piece underneath.

Staple the edges with a few basting hand stitches down (you can remove these later or hide them with a cute button).

Take the 3 1/2" pieces and cut them diagonally in two. Place one of these triangles onto one triangle edge. Leave 1/8" space around the edges. Pin in place. Roll the edge of the window fabric so that it lays over the glass fabric by about 1/4" at the middle of the roll. Now carefully start sewing from one point to the other. Backstitch at the ends. You could do this by hand too. Repeat this with the second edge. Take another triangle piece and place it into the next free folded triangle edge. Repeat the steps above. Repeat for the remaining folded triangles. Lay aside.

Take your 5x3" pieces and sew them together with 1/2" seam allowance. Leaving a 2,5" gap in the centre for turning later. You could also use basting stitches which you will remove later. Press seam open.

Lay the backing piece right side up. Place your cathedral window centred on top (right side down). Pin in place. Sew around the upper block with a 1/4" seam allowance. Trim all excess fabric.

Turn the cushion through the opening on the back. Gently push the edges and stuff with batting or wadding. Close the opening with some blind stitches or ladder stitches. Add the button on the centre with a few hand stitches.

I made such a pincushion for my mother. She carries it around like a talisman rather then using it as a pincushion. I hope you like it and give it a try.

 Have fun! :)


Category: Pincushions


  1. the pincushion pattern looks much better than the one I did today. I'll be sure to try your pattern tomorrow. THANKS
    by Grandma
    March 18th, 2012 at 7:17 p.m.
  2. thanks for this tutorial! I made 2 of these today and they're sooooo pretty!
    by abby
    April 10th, 2012 at 7:17 a.m.
  3. Excelent!!! Congratulations!!!!!!!
    by Bea
    February 24th, 2013 at 9:18 p.m.
  4. muito lindo perfeito!!!
    by lucia
    March 27th, 2013 at 7:50 p.m.
  5. very very beautiful tutorial... many many thanks. annapaola tuscany italy
    by apaolal
    April 11th, 2013 at 10:38 a.m.
  6. Can't wait to try this. I have some great material to do this with. Thanks soo much. You make it look easy.
    by Rose
    May 06th, 2013 at 8:44 a.m.
  7. Great idea! This is a good make it take it project
    by Deborah
    June 24th, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.
  8. Thanks for the great idea! This would make great Christmas gifts for my friends at quilt bee.
    by Cathy
    July 16th, 2013 at 9:43 p.m.
  9. Thanks, I'm teaching this at a class today, and it's good to have some sites for the ladies to look at for different methods.
    by Benta
    February 06th, 2015 at 12:45 a.m.
  10. lovely
    by Faye
    May 02nd, 2015 at 7:20 p.m.
  11. Fantastic easy to follow tutorial :) I'm going to try and make a bag instead of a pin cushion though :)
    by Mariska
    June 13th, 2015 at 3:55 a.m.
  12. I like the cathedral window pattern. thank you
    by jean
    August 03rd, 2015 at 10:28 a.m.

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