Cathedral Windows rag quilts are made from individual circle sandwiches. Each sandwich contains a front, a batting and a backing. I've seen rag Cathedral Windows Quilts made by using actual quilt batting as the middle layer, and they're lovely. However, the batting is not placed within the ragged seam allowances, since it wouldn't be stable in an exposed position.
I prefer to use a flannel batting in rag quilts, because it is durable, doesn't need to be quilted and extends into the seam allowance to add depth and a narrow line of color.
We'll cut circles that measure 8-1/2" in diameter -- five circles are possible across the width of fabrics that measure 44" from selvage-to-selvage. Download the Cathedral Windows Template
Other diameters work just as well. Try 10" circles or choose a different size. For a miniature rag quilt, go with 3-1/2" or 4" diameter circles, and try a 1/4" or 3/8" seam allowance rather than the 1/2" seams we'll use for this larger quilt.
If you don't want to bother with making a template, find a sturdy circular object to use instead, like a dinner plate, the lid to a large shortening or coffee can, or something similar. Finished sizes will differ, and so will yardage, but it's easy to add or subtract circles from rows to adjust the dimensions of the quilt. Sew into sandwiches with a 1/2" seam allowance, using your machine to gauge the distance. Mark center squares (later instructions) after sandwiches are sewn.
If you do use a template, construct a window template, which makes it easy to mark both the cutting line and seam line without repositioning the template.
Finished quilt size: About 30" x 30" -- cut extra circles to make a larger quilt
minimum 43" wide not including selvages
1-1/3 yards of three fabrics: a dark, a light and a flannel
Determine yardage for another circle size, larger quilt or narrower fabric by using the method below:
- Measure the width of your fabrics (not counting selvages).
- Divide the width by the size of the circle (for instance, 43 wide / 8.5 circle = 5.05, or 5 cuts across width).
- How many circles do you need, and how much yardage will they require? Example: for 50 (required) by the 5 (circles possible across fabric width), which equals 10 (10 circles along the fabric length and 5 across = 50). Be sure to plug in your own numbers.
- Multiply the number of cuts required along fabric length, (10) times 8.5" per cut = 85".
- Divide the result for your circle size by 36" (the length of a yard). For the circles in the example, that equals 2.36. Round up to compensate for errors and/or shrinkage -- 2.625, or 2-5/8 yards of each fabric.
A Decimal to Fraction Conversion Chart might be of help during yardage calculations.