Learn how to make cross quilt blocks! This sounds a little like ‘Cross Country’, but is totally unrelated! How about a quilt made up entirely of crosses? It has a modern, minimalist look and sews up really quickly, especially if you use large blocks!
Cross Quilt Blocks
- Sewing Machine.
- Strong cotton thread.
- Sharp Rotary cutter.
- Self healing cutting board.
- Removable marking pen.
- Small sharp scissors.
- Quilting Ruler.
- Iron and ironing board.
- Firm cotton fabric. See cutting lists below.
Swiss Cross Quilt Blocks
The simplest cross quilting block would be a Swiss Cross. This is a cross that resembles the Swiss flag, but of course not necessarily in red and white!
To make a 12”(30cm) finished block, you will need to cut the following:
- Quantity 4: 5 ½ “ (13 cm) squares (A)
- Quantity 4: 3” (7.5cm) squares (B)
- Quantity 1: 8”x 3”(20cmx7.5cm) rectangle (C)
- Quantity 2: 3” (7.5cm) rectangles (D)
Please note that metric measurements are rounded off, so will not be exact.
Your block arrangement will be as follows:
- First sew blocks B and E together. Press seam to darker side
- Join A blocks to either side. Press.
- Sew blocks B on either side of the rectangle C. Press.
- Join another block of E and B. Press.
- Join A blocks on either side.
- Now join all three strips together, as shown in top diagram, and press again.
- Square up your block. It should measure 12 ½ “(31.7cm) square.
You have now made your first Swiss Cross block!
To make an entire quilt of these blocks, you could just join the blocks together, which will create some secondary patterns, or separate the blocks with quilt sashing, which will keep them looking like crosses. Or you could alternate cross blocks with plain blocks in the background color.
You could make all the crosses the same color with different backgrounds, or the same backgrounds with different color crosses. Or just keep it minimalist with the same color crosses and background throughout!
A very pretty valentine quilt could be made with red crosses on white background, placed on the point to make ‘kisses’. Then add a few heart-shaped blocks in between.
Greek Cross Quilt Blocks
A slightly different type of cross is the Greek Cross Block. It is equally simple and uses the ever-popular half-square triangle in its construction, plus rectangles and squares.
To make a 12” finished square block, you will need to cut:
Color 1: (blue)
- 4x rectangles 4 ½” x 2 ½ ”(11.4 cm x 6.3 cm)
- 2 x squares 4 ⅞ “ (12cm)
- 1x square 4 ½ “ (11.4 cm) for center of block
Color 2: (cream)
- 4x rectangles 4 ½ ”x 2 ½ ” (11.4cm x 6.3 cm)
- 2 squares 4 ⅞ “ (12cm)
Use the cream and blue squares to create your half square triangles.
- Place contrasting colors, right sides together, on top of each other.
- Draw a diagonal line across the top square with a removable marker.
- Draw seam lines ¼”(6mm) on either side of the first diagonal line.
- Stitch the outside drawn lines (don't stitch the center)
- Now cut along the central diagonal line with your rotary cutter.
- Open out and press.
- Make 4 of these half square triangles.
- Press all seams before you construct the next bit!
- Now stitch together the contrasting rectangles to make two tone squares.
- Make 4.
- Place in rows with centre blue square in the middle.
- Then sew the rows together , and you will have completed a Greek Cross block!
- Press the seams and square up your block.
- It should measure 12 ½ ”which includes seam allowance for a 12” finished block.
This block also looks very effective with a contrasting, different-colored central block. But it may lose its cross-like appearance if you choose to do that.
Log Cabin Cross Quilt Blocks
Another way to make a cross-shaped block is to use a log cabin quilt block construction.
See the full tutorial on how to make a log cabin quilt block for further photos.
To do this, you need to have light and dark contrasting fabrics.
- Pre cut 2 ½ ” strips from a jelly roll are ideal for this, but of course, you can always measure and cut your own strips.
- Start with a light central 2 ½ “ square.
- Sew strip 2 onto this square. This one must be dark. Press your seams after every seam you sew!
- Now add another dark strip.
- Next comes a light strip again.
- And another light strip at the bottom.
- You must add strips in a circular way, always working around that initial centre square.
- So the following strip will be dark, next to that first dark square.
And so on, around you go. Be sure that your final strip creates a perfect square around the central block. You can add as many layers as you like to alter the size of your cross. It is most effective if you graduate the shades of your chosen colors from lightest in the center, to the darkest at the edges.
You will need to make 4 blocks like this. Once all four are constructed, arrange them so that the darkest sides are all in the center.
Stitch together the top two blocks, then the bottom two blocks, then finally stitch both units together. Then arrange those units in the way which you find most pleasing.
Cross Quilt Blocks - In Conclusion
So now you have three different ways to create cross blocks in quilting. It may be fun to experiment with each method in your chosen colors, and then decide which one you like the most. You could make a vertical row of crosses as a wall hanging, a group of four crosses arranged in a square as a table topper, or, of course, a lovely full quilt, whatever size bed you wish to cover, from a baby’s crib to a king-sized bed. You could use your single crosses which you have experimented with as potholders or hot pads.
When putting together all the layers of your quilt, the cross design lends itself to quilting in the ditch, around the cross shape, outline quilting around the cross shape, or to simple diagonal grid lines across the whole quilt.
Whichever block pattern you are using to make your quilt, keep in mind that if you are making a quilt as a bed cover, you can also make a ‘Summer Quilt’, which doesn’t have any batting inside it. This makes an ideal decorative bed cover that is lighter and is suitable for warmer climates. Enjoy working with these cross quilt blocks, I do hope you will make a really attractive quilt using them!