HUGE Cross and Plus Quilt
I have seen the Cross and Plus Quilt everywhere thanks to the great tutorial on Amy’s Badskirt Blog. She credits the block design to Nancy Cabot. I loved the block, but would like to make it HUGE. Thanks to EQ7 and a bit of math, it totally worked out.
Each of these quilt blocks finishes at 15″ square. That is a BIG block. With only 30 blocks, the quilt measures 75″ x 90″. Since this quilt uses fat quarters, it will definitely still look scrappy, even though it is mega-giant.
Here’s how I made it:
30 Fat Quarters* (I used Red and Blue. Choose 15 Fat Quarters from one color family and 15 from the other.)
—OR 3-1/4 yards color 1 (red) and 3-1/4 yards color (blue)
3 yards white fabric
*A fat quarter is a precut fabric piece measuring 18″ x 22″.
For this quilt- one fat quarter will be one block’s worth of pieces. If you’d like a 4 block x 6 block quilt, use 24 fat quarters instead of 30.
From each colored fat quarter cut the following:
- Four 6-1/2″ squares
- Two 3-1/2″ squares
- One rectangle 3-1/2″ x 9-1/2″
- Two rectangles 2-1/4″ x width (for binding) NOTE: Only cut binding from nine fat quarters. The rest will be extra/scrap fabric.
Once the 6-1/2″ squares are cut, remove two triangle corners using this template and rotary cutting tools.
(Grab the template pdf here.)
You will need a grand total of:
- 120 squares 6-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ (then cut to fit the template)
- 30 rectangles 3-1/2″ x 9-1/2″
- 60 squares 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″
- 9 pieces cut 2-1/4″ x width of fabric (for binding)
From the white yardage cut:
- 120 squares measuring 3-1/2″ x 3-1/2″
- 120 squares measuring 3-7/8″ x 3-7/8″ !!! Cut these squares in half on the diagonal to yield 240 triangles.
Each block is made up of three basic units:
Two double square blocks which measure 3-1/2″ x 6-1/2″
One long center unit measuring 3-1/2″ x 15-1/2″
Four 6-1/2″ x 6-1/2″ squares
Assemble the Units
Use a 1/4″ seam allowance on all seams for this project.
I worked in a sewing assembly line style and jammed this big double/queen size quilt out in a weekend.
First, I sorted my cut pieces by unit. I started with the double square units.
Using my quarter inch presser foot and my Seamingly Accurate Seam Guide, I stitched all these pieces at once. Line the edge of the fabric up with the 1/4″ mark on the seam guide to keep perfect seam allowances. I kept feeding pairs into the machine, one after another.
Clip the threads between each unit and press towards the darker fabric.
The long rectangle unit is assembled in the same fashion.
Next, I stitched the 6-1/2″ square units. I did not do the popular stitch-and-flip method to sew these blocks. My reasoning: Since the block is so big, the stitch-and-flip method would be a bit wasteful. I’m already saving all the removed colored triangles in a ziploc baggie.
Matching right sides, lay the triangle on the diagonal cut of the colored block. Notice the points of the white triangle are longer than colored block. Let each point extend 1/4″ at the start and stop of that seam.
The Seamingly Accurate Seam Guide will help keep your triangles equidistant and straight. The “V” where the two fabrics are off-set will be inline with the needle line and the edge of the fabric will be at the 1/4″ mark. This is how you’ll know the triangle is positioned correctly.
The off-set is also shown in this Better Binding tutorial on Youtube, if you want to see it in action.
Be careful not to stretch this seam as you stitch; it is a bias cut.
I pieced these in an assembly line, too. Phew. I was a quiltin’ maniac this weekend.
Press the seam allowances towards the white triangles.
Assemble the Block
This is the block I’m aiming for:
One color family would be the X and the other color family would be the + (plus) in each block. I made a test block first to see if my mega-assembly-method would work. 15 red X’s and 15 blue X’s.
Lay the units in their places on my work surface.
Join the double square units to the 6-1/2″ square units on the right and left sides. Press the seam allowances towards the double squares.
Next, join the right and left sides to that long center rectangle. Press seam allowances towards the long rectangle.
Yep. That worked. You know what that means??? Assembly time!
I seriously laid out the remaining block units in stacks, on the work surface just as I did for the first block.
I stitched all of one seam type, pressed, and re-positioned it back onto the work surface. Boom. Next seam. It was really really fast. I was working in 29-seam increments. I made one block, right? So that means each stack pictured above has 29 pieces. Sew 29 seams, press that unit, reposition on the work surface, and sew the next 29 seams. Hum. If you wanted to go math-crazy, it is only 174 seams. =)
Assembling the Top
Since I knew my quilt would be 5 blocks by 6 blocks, alternating blue and red, I didn’t even lay out my design. I took the math approach here, too.
First– Remove three red X blocks and three blue X blocks. Set these aside as they will make up the fifth column at the end.
Second– Grab a red X and blue X, match right sides and sew these two together. Make sure to keep the long center rectangles oriented vertically (Unless that isn’t important- it totally doesn’t have to be important.) Sew 12 pairs. Easy!
Third – Sew the pairs of pairs together, making sure to sew one red to one blue. This will create the six rows.
Fourth– Add in those blocks set aside in the first step. Stitch those dudes to the end of each of the six rows.
Fifth- The homestretch!! All you do now is alternate the rows to join them together. By this, I mean, odd number rows start on red and even number rows start on blue. Join 1 & 2. Join 3 & 4. Join 5 & 6. Now you only have 2 seams to go!
Quilt. This speedy quilt was finished with a meandered star design. Yes, it is hard to see.
Bind. I opted to not use the scrappy binding, but rather use a piece of mottled blue fabric for the entire binding.
Ta’dah! This baby is heading out to a fundraiser event.