The Pisa Cathedral quilt is based on one of the floor tile designs in the cathedral which stands right next to the leaning tower. It is an exquisite building and I could have spent hours wondering around it. I have used the same three colours that I used for the Florence quilt, but I have chosen a more muted red that is a better match for the tiles.
I have simplified the design enormously and used large squares to make it more easy to make. You can see the floor that I was working from in the photo. I have left out the tiny triangles and I have used straight lines (triangles) instead of the semi circles that surround the plain squares in the original.
I love the design because when you look at it you can see stars or small squares or huge squares – more designs the longer you look at it.
The Pisa cathedral quilt measures 46″ square and I have used 1 yard each of red and white, with 3/4 yard of green. As usual you can buy these fabrics at a 10% discount in this week’s special offer.
Cutting requirements for the Pisa cathedral quilt
6.1/2″ squares: sixteen white, five green, four red
7.1/4″ squares: twelve white, six green, six red
Making the Pisa cathedral quilt
Cut all the 7.1/4″ squares across both diagonals to make four triangles from each square. These are known (unsurprisingly) as quarter square triangles. Sew together a cream triangle with either a red or a green one, making sure that the coloured triangle is on the right, the cream triangle on the left.
Sew these pairs of triangles together to make squares. Place them so that the coloured triangles are opposite each other. I find it best to pin the middle of the seam and smooth outwards to be sure that your triangles all meet in the middle of the square when the seam is sewn.
That’s the only block that needs piecing for the Pisa cathedral quilt – the other block is a plain square. The design is formed by rotating the blocks when placing them in rows.
If you wish to make this quilt bigger or smaller, you must keep to an odd number of rows and columns in order for the design to work. I have made this quilt with seven rows of seven, but you could use five rows of five or nine rows of nine if you wanted to make it smaller or bigger.
The first row is made with four plain cream squares alternating with three quarter square triangle squares. I think it will be easiest if I specify where the red triangle is placed: in the first square the red is on the right, in the middle square it is on the left and in the third square it is on the right again. Sew these squares together across the row. Rows one and five are the same as each other, so you need to make two of this row.
The second and sixth rows are also the same as each other. They are made with four quarter square triangle squares alternating with plain red or green squares.
In the first and third squares the red is on the top while in the second and fourth squares the red is on the bottom. The first and third plain squares are green and the middle plain square is red.
The third and seventh rows are the same as each other. Each one is made with four plain cream squares alternating with three quarter square triangle squares. In the first and third quarter squares the red is on the left, while in the middle quarter triangle square it is on the right.
The fourth row is the middle row and you need make only one of this row. This is made with four quarter square triangle squares, two red plain squares and one green plain square.
The red triangles are placed at bottom, top, bottom and then top again. The red plain squares are placed first and third with the green plain square in the middle of the row.
Here you can see the first four rows ready to be sewn together – it might be clearer seeing them all together like this.
For the border I have used 2.1/2″ strips of the red fabric. You’ll need two lengths of 42.1/2″ for the top and bottom of the quilt and two lengths of 46.1/2″ for the sides.
That completes the Pisa cathedral quilt top. It is now ready for layering, quilting and binding. Full details of these steps can be found in the beginner quilting section. Here’s the video:
I put my father’s house on the market this week so this weekend I am planning to catch up with some quilting. I am half way through the Florence quilt and I hope to be able to show it to you next week. I may even have the chance to work with Minnie, my longarm quilting machine, for the first time in quite a while!