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Friday, May 27, 2016

Crosscut Blocks


After I did what I did to create blocks for my bee-mates in the Bee Sewcial Swap, some folks asked for a tutorial, so I made a new piece and took the time to take process photos. The result is a very informal tutorial, straight from the cutting table.

With a variety of low-volume fabrics, cut a 9.5" square from each. Nothing needs to be exact at this point, and obviously nothing needs to be pressed either. We'll neaten and trim in a later step. [For my original piece, I used 6 - 9.5" squares to get 14-15 - 5" squares. This time, I used 9 - 9.5" squares to get 16-6.5" squares.  So you can make adjustments accordingly for your desired size.]


Stack several low-volume squares and cut all on a diagonal. Repeat for the remaining background squares.


Also cut a bunch of 1" colored accent strips. They can be various lengths, and scraps are perfect for this. Piece strips end to end as you go, if needed to get the lengths you need, or just to add some interest.


Now make your initial cross blocks. Sew one accent strip along the diagonal of one background square and press.


Add the corresponding half of the square, or mix them up if you like. I lay the second triangle down along the accent piece, approximately centered on the first triangle. Sew the seam and press your block open.


Cut your new block in half diagonally, opposite of your first cut.


Sew in another accent strip. If matching up the 'arms' of the strip is important to you, pin where you think the arms will match up....


Then lift the top triangle to see how close you are. Adjust as you wish. Then sew that seam, removing the pin as you come to it.


Now it's time to trim up your block to your desired size, mine being 9.5". I aim to have a corner of my ruler along each 'arm' of the cross, but not perfectly so. Repeat for all your pieced cross blocks.


Arrange your blocks, sew them all together, and press well, using pressing spray if you have it.


Now is where it gets especially fun! Take a smaller ruler (mine is 6.5" square) and cut blocks from your piece of made fabric. 


Arrange your ruler as you go to get accent arrangements that are pleasing to you.


Just keep cutting, to get as many small blocks as you like.


One look is to just piece the small blocks back together in the order you cut them from your made fabric.


I chose to shuffle my blocks a bit, mostly to mix up those low-volume prints.


At this point, I was on a mission to just get on with it and quilt this baby up! I chose an organic zig-zag design, very similar to what I'd used on my Emphasis table runner last year. Marking every 6" or so with my hera marker did the trick, then just winging it in between. For thread, I started out with a gorgeous variegated Aurifil 50wt #4660 (Pink Taffy) and debated briefly whether to continue on and quilt the entirety in pink, or keep it as an accent. In the end I chose to finish with #2000 (Light Sand) and daresay, I like it alot.


I'm not sure what brought to mind that I should quilt the binding to get more of that pink thread in, but once I thought of it, there was no other option. If you've never seen that before, check out Stephanie/Spontaneous Threads' post for another example.


Basically this was one of those projects that wasn't even in my mind's eye 4 days ago, but there you go. Honestly, when a project just sort of strikes like that....well it's some of my favorite kind of sewing.


If you try the tutorial, feel free to use the hashtag #crosscutblocks

38 comments:

  1. absolutely love this & pinned it to share with my bee mates. I agree, when I project strikes like that it's so much fun to just hop to it & get it done! nice job.

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  2. This is a lovely tutorial and would be a really fun way to use up scraps, too! I can definitely see this in a color fade. Hmm...

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  3. A great tutorial and a lovely quilt! I'll have to try my own version...

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  4. This is fantastic and I love the touch of quilting in the binding. I would love to make one when I get the time!

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  5. I would never have thought of cutting blocks out of a made up quilt, and it totally works. Thank you for sharing the process, the quilt is great.

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  6. What a great idea ! I'd love to make one. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. I seriously love the finished project - this is definitely the kind of quilt that sparks my creativity! Thanks for sharing a tutorial with us!

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  8. Thank you for taking the time to make and photo this. Seeing it makes the process clear and relatively simple, but the results are wonderful.

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  9. Thank you for the tutorial! I just love this quilt and I have so many scraps to choose from. I do need to get some low volume fabric though!

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  10. Thank you for sharing I love the neat idea to make your own fabric and then cut it up again and sew it together love it.

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  11. I just love this concept Debbie. Very cool.

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  12. Very very clever.... I want to play with this soon! Thanks so much for the tutorial.

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  13. Love this - you are so kind to go back and make another JUST to share the technique!! This looks so fun and like something even I could handle to make something so GREAT looking! Thanks Debbie.

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  14. Great tutorial, thank you for sharing your process!

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  15. I.am.in.love. This is so lovely!

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  16. My heart stopped for a second when you cut your first round of blocks! Perfect tutorial. I am so going to do this!!

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  17. Hi Debbie! Wow this is even more fun than from the first look! Very cool idea and great tutorial! This quilt is so beautiful and inspiring! x Teje

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  18. I like a bit more color in my quilts, so I could see this done in say purples or blues using black or white for the tiny strips. Any color way could work for that matter.

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  19. I love this and hopefully when I get my sew-jo back I can make one :)

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  20. Debbie, you are a wonder, and so generous with your tutorials. Thank you!

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  21. Thanks for sharing your tutorial. I have been given low-volume fabrics as birthday gifts from my sewing friends and I have to make a quilt with them and have it ready for show & tell at our Christmas dinner. I think your Crosscut blocks might be just the ticket!

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  22. Thank you for this tutorial! I love this quilt - what a clever idea! I can see this in lots of different color ways. Now I want to make one too!

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  23. Brilliant! I love the effect and will definitely be having a go!

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  24. Oh my, I'm not sure I could get myself to cut again after getting to the fabulous x block part. I think I'd cry!! Lol. This is a wonderfully unique and modern look. Great tutorial.

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  25. Thanks so much for the tutorial! I love the little bit of color moving in an unexpected way throughout the quilt!

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  26. What are "low-volume squares"?

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  27. This is such a beautiful finish. I love the quilting and never thought of quilting the binding before. But it really does add to the sweetness. Thanks so much for sharing the tutorial!

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  28. Yay! Thanks soooo much for this! It just what I love to do!

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  29. thank you for this great tutorial--I love how yours turned out--hugs, Julierose

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  30. Hello, have just found your tutorial. Thank you! It's brilliant! I guess the finished size of this quilt is about 24" by 24 ". Is that correct?

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    1. Got your reply, thanks. So 24" by 24" it is.

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  31. Danke - das ist einfach toll!!! :-)))
    Musste ihn einfach nähen!
    LG Jutta

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  32. just found your blogspot and love this tutorial...I will definitely be making this soon....so much fun..

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  33. I tried this tutorial over the weekend and tweaked it to work with the vision I had!
    It was easy to follow and gave me the results I envisioned!
    Brilliant! Very satisfied with the results!
    I will post pics as soon as the reveal happens!

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