Sunday, 1 December 2013

Mini Church Quilt Tutorial

This tutorial is for a miniature version of the Church Quilt I made here. I started calling it a church quilt because I didn't know the name for this pattern and I took the original pictures in front of a church; however, I think the name really fits, because it's ALMOST like a cathedral window, except not as elaborate and doesn't take years to complete.

This miniature version finishes at 32" x 32" so it would be really perfect for a wall-hanging or table topper. 

To make this quilt I used a Quick Curve Ruler (QCR) that I purchased here. You will also need
13 - 8 1/2" squares of your print fabric
52 - 2" x 8 1/2" white rectangles
4 - 8 1/2" white squares 
2 - 6 1/4" white squares

To make the center diamonds, take one of your print 8 1/2" squares and lay your QCR across the bottom, lining it up with the 2 1/2" mark on the ruler. The left side should be on the 1 3/4" mark on the ruler (the top of the ruler) and the right should be on the 10 1/4" mark. The corners of your square should fall directly onto the arc cut-out on the ruler. 

Next, take your rotary blade and slowly follow the line of the arc all the way around until the end. Make sure to keep your ruler firmly held down or you could end up with a wonky diamond.

Once you have finished one side, rotate it around and line it up again with the bottom on the 2 1/2" mark, the left on the 1 3/4", and the right on the 10 1/4" and repeat again...

...until all four sides are done. Easy right?

Now we are going to cut out the frames for the diamond. Place a 2" x 8 1/2" white rectangle under the ruler and line the bottom up with the 3" horizontal line on the ruler. The left side should line up with the 1 3/4" mark and the right should line up with the 10 1/4" mark.

Cut along the arc again and now you have your first piece of the frame. Repeat until you have 4 (for one block). If you are comfortable with this, and you have a sharp blade on your rotary cutter you could cut 2 - 4 at a time. 

To sew them on your diamond, line the curve of the frame piece up with the concave curve of the diamond. Line it up at the corner, leaving a 1/4"of the diamond showing. You only need to worry about this point right now. 

Put it under your foot and slowly start to sew it with a 1/4" seam allowance while slowly pulling the two pieces together as they start to approach the foot. 

Continue slowly while you bring the pieces together. Jenny Pedigo has a great video tutorial here of how she sews the curves. 

Once that is done, sew another one on the opposite side.

Next you want to press the seams. When I made the original quilt I ironed them toward the color fabric, but for this tutorial I pressed them toward the frame so that the diamond appeared to be "beneath" the frame when you looked at the front. However, sewing towards the frame does create more bulk on the seams I noticed, and made it more difficult to pin later. So try it both ways, if you'd like, and see which way works for you.

After you have pressed the two sides, sew on the other two pieces of the frame to the opposite sides. 
Line the frame piece up a the corner of the curve leaving a 1/4" tip of the color fabric showing.

Again, sew slowly as you pull the pieces together as they approach the foot. Do this for the remaining two sides of your block.

Now that those pieces are all on, you need to square up your block to an 8" square.

I have a 8 1/2" ruler that I used for this, but any ruler would work that has at least one 8" side and you could use your cutting mat to help if you have inches on it. 

Lay the block under the ruler and align the point of the top right and lower right corners of the color fabric as close as possible to the 1/2" mark on the ruler as shown by the arrows in the picture below (but still make sure it meets the 8" mark all the way around). Sometimes it doesn't always work out perfectly but get as close as you can :) I had a few blocks that I had to throw away because occasionally it was still too far off to even make a 8" square so I cut a few extras as back-up. 

Repeat for all four sides.

And now you've completed your first block!

Now make 12 more, and you'll have a baker's dozen of the prettiest little church window blocks.

Lay them out how you want them arranged with 3 blocks on the 1st, 3rd and 5th rows, and 2 on the 2nd and 4th rows.

Now we're going to fill it in with edges. 

Cut all your 6 1/4" and 8 1/2" blocks diagonally.

Lay out the 4 - 6 1/4" half-square triangles for the four corners and use the 8 - 8 1/2" half-square triangles to fill in the sides. 

We are going to sew them into diagonal rows so take a picture to remember your arrangement if you can't sew them together right away. 

We're going to start with the diagonal row that is circled in the pic below.

First grab and sew right sides together the two blocks indicated by the arrows below. 

Line up the straight sides and leave the ends hanging over the end when you sew them together.

Next sew on the other half-square triangle in the row to the other side. 

After that row is together, press seams open trim the tips that are showing.

And while we are talking about the overhang, I was generous with the measurements on the triangles to leave room for error, but don't worry, we're going to square it all up in the end. 

Now, sew the corner onto the diagonal row you just completed...

...lining it up with center block and leaving at least a 1/4" overhang from the corner triangle over the diagonal row. 

Press open and trim the ends again.

Repeat for all the diagonal rows.

Then start sewing them all together, matching and pinning at the seams.

(I wish I had taken a picture of it when it was all together before squaring it up but I guess I didn't, but if you're still with me then're almost done!)

Once they are all together, and it's all nice and pressed you can start squaring it up.

What you want to do is lay your ruler along one side and align the 1/4" mark on your ruler with the intersecting seam of the blocks as shown two pics below.

Measure 1/4" from the intersection indicated by the blue arrow, keeping your ruler inline with the same point on two blocks (depending on the size of your ruler) and trim off excess. I hope this part is clear...please let me know if you need further clarification :)

Repeat for all four sides. After this, lay your ruler on the corners (lining up with top and the sides) to make sure it's a 90 degree angle. Make adjustments as necessary.

And now you're all done!!

Mine is going in my "things that need to be quilted pile" but I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and finish yours up. If you discover any problems with the instructions or have any further questions please let me know. I'm happy to help : )


  1. I think your inspiring me.... yikes! I dont think my Moms old sewing machine can do this... may need to get it serviced first.


  2. Um yeah I have that ruler and I need to make your church block now lol Just finished and posted about my Metro Rings quilt by Jenny Pedigo's pattern!

  3. Love it! Pinned it! Will try it in the new year :)

  4. Thanks for the great tutorial. Oh, and tell Asta’ hello…from Marcia! We quilted together in Okinawa, Japan ;)

    Reply ↓

  5. Great tutorial. Looks intimidating at first, but I think with your instructions, I'd be willing to try it. Thanks for sharing. Stopping over from Quilt Story.

    Stacy @

  6. This is great! I have never done curved piecing yet. You give me encouragement to try! Hoping it's ok to pin your quilts, it's the only way I can keep all my ideas straight!

  7. CRISTINA! I love this!!!! I want to make this....Right now! How am I just now seeing this??


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XOXO Cristina