Cathedral Star Block

Cathedral Star Block {Old School BOM}

Hello and welcome to the 9th month of the Old School Block of the Month hosted by by Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams. If we haven’t met before, I’m Yvonne Fuchs of Quilting Jetgirl. I’m a former aerospace engineer turned modern quilter, quilt designer, quilt instructor, and technical editor.

In addition, I have over 90(!!) free tutorials that you may want to look through. In fact, I know a few of you have been starting to think about how to bring all of the Old School BOM blocks together into a quilt top, and one option you might want to bookmark for later is my 12 Block Circle Setting tutorial. With 3 yards of additional background fabric and (12) 12½ʺ (unfinished) blocks, the tutorial walks you through piecing a 72½ʺ square quilt top.

Cathedral Star Block

Note: The Cathedral Star Block was offered as a free PDF from September 12 – October 12 and is now available for purchase.

Cathedral Star Quilt Block

Cathedral Star Quilt Block

Kim’s vision for the Old School BOM was for each contributing block designer to bring things back to basics and teach a technique. Last year, I got bitten by the curved piecing bug, and with the Cathedral Star block I am giving you lots of great options and tips to piece beautiful curves. I’ve packed a lot of information into the Cathedral Star Digital Block Pattern, so before you purchase the PDF and get started, I wanted to use my blog post to talk about all of the options you will find in the PDF.

Templates and Template Preparation

I work with acrylic templates when I am piecing curves, but I know that not all templates are the same and not everyone has templates. When cutting the concave and convex shapes, you may use templates included at the end of the PDF on page 27, standard 5ʺ finished / 5½ʺ unfinished Drunkard’s Path acrylic templates (I personally use templates from Jen Carlton-Bailly), or the Classic Curves ruler. The pattern illustrates using Drunkard’s Path acrylic templates (which match the printed templates on page 27) and the Classic Curves ruler. Note: If you have your own set of Drunkard’s Path acrylic templates, I recommend printing out the templates from page 27 and verifying that your templates match the concave and convex shapes suggested for the pattern.

When you print and cut out the templates from page 27, make sure that the scaling is set to 100% or Actual Size before you print. Measure the 1ʺ square on the template page with one of your quilting rulers to make sure that the templates are printed to the correct size. You may use the printed templates and a fabric marking device of your choice or using template material, trace the paper templates onto the material to create your own templates.

Piecing Options & Fabric Requirements

The Cathedral Star Digital Block Pattern offers two different piecing options for the Cathedral Star Block.

Cathedral Star Block - Option 1

Cathedral Star Block – Option 1

Option 1 is a traditional orange peel piecing method. As you can see in the photo above, 4 orange peel blocks are made and then the blocks are sewn together to complete the block. If you opt for this method, you will want to focus on pages 2-11 in the Cathedral Star Digital Block Pattern.

Option 1 Fabric Requirements

  • Background Fabric (4) 6¾ʺ squares
  • Orange Peel Fabric (4) 5½ʺ squares
  • Center Fabric (4) 5¾ʺ squares
Cathedral Star Block - Option 2

Cathedral Star Block – Option 2

Option 2 creates the Cathedral Star Block using only 5 curve seams! It is a perfect choice for featuring a fun print as the center fabric; because the center star is a single cut of fabric, the center fabric can really shine. If you opt for this method, you will want to focus on pages 12-27 in the Cathedral Star Digital Block Pattern.

Option 2 Fabric Requirements

  • Background Fabric (1) 13½ʺ square
  • Orange Peel Fabric (4) 5¾ʺ squares
  • Center Fabric (1) 10½ʺ square

Additional Supplies

  • I find a smaller 28mm rotary cutter ideal for cutting curves in combination with acrylic rulers. This is totally optional. A 45mm rotary cutter will also work very well.
  • 6½ʺ square ruler or larger for Option 1
  • 12½ʺ square ruler or larger and the fabric marking device of your choice (I used a pencil) for Option 2

Purchase the Cathedral Star Digital Block Pattern

Cathedral Star Block

Cathedral Star Block

Click here to purchase the Cathedral Star Digital Block Pattern

I cannot wait to see your version of the Cathedral Star Block, whether via the Old School BOM Facebook group or Instagram! Be sure to share using the hashtag #CathedralStarBlock if you share via Instagram.

Other Places to Connect with Yvonne

13 thoughts on “Cathedral Star Block {Old School BOM}

  1. mjcloke2 says:

    The Cathedral Star Block will be interesting for me. I have never sewn curved pieces before. Thanks for the challenge.

  2. joansigna says:

    Wow! You always so freely share. This tutorial is amazing….thank you so much!

  3. DJ Harstad says:

    Thanks for offering the two versions.

  4. Robin RK says:

    I’m surprised that when making an “OLD SCHOOL” block I am learning 2 NEW ways to make this block. In the late 70’s-early 80’s I learned a completly different way folding over circles to make the 4 corners. Thanks for the detailed info on making this block a new way to me.

  5. Interesting! Thanks for the great tutorial and options. I enjoy curve piecing and look forward to trying the 2nd option for a different technique.

  6. Pam says:

    Beautiful block!!!!

  7. Downloaded! I’ve really wanted to try your idea (option 2) since you first did it, as it reminds me of a technique I learned ahem, a long while ago where you had four edges of a square on the bias and folded them into a curve and topstitched them down…. nvm I know what I mean! Thank you for the PDF.

  8. Anja @ Anja Quilts says:

    This is a very generous tutorial/pattern you have provided. Thanks so much!! (P.S. You never show up in my Bloglovin feed anymore.)

  9. Barbara says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. I’d love to try this block. I didn’t realize that Bloglovin is no longer showing your posts! Second blog this week I’ve had to subscribe to through email instead of Bloglovin.

  10. dlmanowske says:

    Thanks for the great tutorials! I also want to give your circle quilt block setting tutorial a try!

  11. Oh my goodness, Yvonne! This is such a treasure trove of information. Thank you for the detailed (such an understatement cause it is 22 pages) tutorial. It must have taken you a long time to get this together.

  12. beemerbunny says:

    Thanks, Yvonne for a great technique on a lovely block. I used the templates you provided. I’ve sewn curves before and get good results by only pinning the center and moving the bottom fabric with my right hand while simultaneously moving the top fabric with my left, bringing then together under the needle and sewing very slowly. Ave a great day!

  13. Joan Hinchcliff says:

    What a fabulous tutorial, thanks so much!

I really appreciate the time and thought you take to comment, and I look forward to conversing with you. :)