Patchwork Cushion

Image of a finished cathedral patchwork cushionCathedral window is a layered patchwork that gives a 3D effect.

Although time consuming, it is relatively easy to do even if you have a minimal amount of sewing experience.

For the best results use a plain coloured background fabric with either a contrasting colour or patterned fabric for the "windows".

This 16" (40 cms) square can be made into a simple or piped cushion using the relevant instructions. Making the piping or frills to match the "windows" will give a very striking effect.

Image refers to the colour code key for the diagrams


  • Plain coloured lightweight fabric, approximately 1metre.
  • Contrasting lightweight fabric, approximately 1/2 metre.
  • Matching threads.

Cutting Out:

  1. Cut out 16 squares of background fabric, each measuring 9" (23 cms).
  2. For the "windows" cut out 32 squares of the contrasting fabric, each measuring 2.25" (6cms).
    1. Place one 9" square of the background fabric on a flat surface, wrong side up. Fold in a single 0.5" (12 mm) hem on all 4 sides, stitch in place using a small running stitch and press.
      Image refers to step 1 of making a patchwork cushion
      Image refers to step 2 of making a patchwork cushion
      Image refers to step 1 Image refers to step 2
    2. To make the first layer of folds, take all 4 corners of the square to the centre and press the folds lightly.
    3. To make the second layer of folds, take all 4 corners of the new square to the centre again. Press the folds lightly.
      Image refers to step 3 of making a patchwork cushion
      Image refers to steps 4 and 5 of making a patchwork cushion
      Image refers to step 3 Image refers to steps 4 and 5
    4. Oversew the corners together through the centre, making a neat cross stitch. This square should measure approximately 4" (10 cms).
    5. Repeat steps 1 to 4 for all of the 9" squares of the background fabric.
    6. Sew the squares together using ladder stitch, making 4 rows of 4 squares.
      Image refers to step 6 of making a patchwork cushion
      Image refers to step 6
    7. Pin a square of the contrasting fabric, right side uppermost, diagonally on top of the seam of the 2 folded squares. Repeat to cover all the seams. For the edges cut the 2.25" (6 cms) squares in half diagonally and pin in the triangles around the edges.
    8. Image refers to steps 7 and 8 of making a patchwork cushionFold the edges of the original squares over the raw edges of the contrasting squares. Hem stitch through the edges of the original square and the contrasting fabric only. Use small indiscreet stitches. Repeat for all the "windows".
  3. Making a Patchwork Cushion Panel:

    Use this front panel to make a cushion of your choice. Extra fabric will be needed for the back of the cushion and the frill or piping, if required.

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