Scrapbox Frames ~ A Quilt Block Tutorial

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

Remember earlier this week when I said that my next post would be my finished Picnic Point quilt? Well, I *did* finish the quilt on Wednesday ~ yay! But then I realized it’s way too big for me to take a picture of without my husband’s help. So! We will have to snap those photos this weekend.

Yesterday, I decided I just needed a bit of a sewing cleanse. No pattern, no plan, just tackle some scraps and sew them together. It was quite therapeutic. I ended up with these quilt improvy blocks that I decided to call Scrapbox Frames. I thought I would share my process in case anyone else wanted to make their own.

My scrap baskets are a bit out of control.

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

I decided to make warm (pink, red, yellow, orange) blocks and cool (blue, green, purple) blocks. I grabbed some warm scraps…

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

Stacked them…

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

And stitched them together.

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

Then I used my rotary cutter without a ruler and freehand cut them into columns.

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

I repeated this many times for lots of different scrappy strips. Next I guesstimated the size of a center square, cutting it a bit larger than I thought I needed.

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

I picked a side and stitched the scrappy improv strip to the solid center.

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

I worked my way around the center, trimming the gray and adding to the strips if needed.

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

Voilà! Scrappy little quilt blocks!

Scrapbox Frames Quilt Block Tutorial

These are fun, they all turn out different sizes and are great scrap busters. You could nest one inside another. Lots of possibilities and a chance to sew without a pattern.

Crosses and Losses ~ A Block Tutorial

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Thank you for all the kind words on my finished Crosses and Losses quilt! I have had a few requests for a pattern or tutorial for this vintage block. I thought I’d whip one up and share it with you today.

Crosses and Losses is a quilt block from the late 1800s and was published in the Ladies Art Company quilt pattern booklets.

Crosses and Losses
Quilt Block Tutorial

Finished Size : 8″ x 8″

Notes: All seam allowances are 1/4″; HST = Half Square Triangle

Step 1. Cut your fabric.

Focal/Print Fabric:
Cut (2) 3″ x 3″ squares; then cut diagonally resulting in (4) HSTs
Cut (1) 5″ x 5″ square; then cut diagonally resulting in (2) HSTs

Background Fabric:
Cut (2) 3″ x 3″ squares; then cut diagonally resulting in (4) HSTs
Cut (4) 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ squares
Cut (1) 5″ x 5″ square; then cut diagonally resulting in (2) HSTs

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 2. Pair each of your 3″ print HSTs with a 3″ background HSTs. Stitch together down the diagonal edge of the fabric. Press your seams as desired. I pressed mine open.

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 3. Trim your resulting blocks to 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″.

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 4. Pair each of your 5″ print HSTs with a 5″ background HSTs. Stitch together down the diagonal edge of the fabric. Press your seams as desired. I pressed mine open.

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 5. Trim your resulting blocks to 4-1/2″ x 4-1/2″.

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 6. Lay out your trimmed squares and your (4) 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ background squares, as shown.

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 7. Stitch the 2-1/2″ x 2-1/2″ squares into rows, resulting in 2-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ rectangles as shown. Press your seams towards the background squares.

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 8. Stitch your 2-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ rectangles together, as shown. Press your seams as desired. I pressed mine open.

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 9. Stitch your top (2) block segments together, resulting in (2) large rectangles.

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Step 10. Stitch your (2) large rectangles together.

Crosses and Losses Block Tutorial : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Congratulations! You’ve made your Crosses and Losses block!

Crosses and Losses ~ A Finished Quilt Top

Crosses and Losses : Fresh Lemons Quilts

This frigid weather has given me a perfect excuse to spend some quality time at my sewing machine. Earlier this week I finished my Crosses and Losses quilt top!

Crosses and Losses : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Chain piecing the remaining 24 quilt blocks was a good idea. I think it took me about three days to finish them – much faster than the first 18! These blocks finish at 8″ x 8″. I sort of wish I made 12″ versions for a slightly larger quilt. But since this is for my daughter, I suppose the smaller size is okay.

Crosses and Losses : Fresh Lemons Quilts

There were a lot of points to match up when I sewed the tops together. I took the extra time when I was pinning to make sure everything was aligned properly.

Crosses and Losses : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I braved the 5 degrees to get a few pictures in the snow. I love the pop of the brights against the low volume background (fabric and snow)! I think my daughter wants minky for the backing. That should make this quilt nice and warm for cuddling on the couch with her Nancy Drew.

Crosses and Losses into the New Year

Crosses and Losses Block Construction : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Last time I posted about my Crosses and Losses blocks, I mentioned I wasn’t chain piecing because I was eager to see some finished blocks come together. Well, I’m over that. 🙂 Making a couple of blocks at a time is slow! In fact, the only thing slower is chain UNpiecing (ask me how I know – nothing worse that stitching together a mistake in bulk!)

Crosses and Losses Block Construction : Fresh Lemons Quilts

So yesterday I started chain piecing the bright blocks I had already cut. I now have 18 blocks. I’m planning on cutting out the rest of the brights this morning and then stitching the remaining quilt blocks together all at once.

Crosses and Losses Block Construction : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I’m loving how this quilt is coming together! It’s going to be so bright and happy. And I hope everyone isn’t over the low volume trend, because I still really enjoy how it looks.

Crosses and Losses Block Construction : Fresh Lemons Quilts

And finally…can I plug my awesome city for a minute? Yesterday I took my kids to my absolute favorite part of living here ~ The Art Institute of Chicago. We try to go a couple times throughout the year (but I’m a member now so we’re going to go a lot more!).

The Art Institute of Chicago : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It is so, so, so good! They recently had a huge new donation to the Modern wing, so we stopped there first.

The Art Institute of Chicago : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Yesterday we made an effort of spend time in areas we haven’t seen. We are usually sucked into the 3rd floor of the Modern wing and the Impressionism wing. Not one “new-to-us” room disappointed. Truly one of the best things to see if you ever have the chance to visit Chicago.

The Art Institute of Chicago : Fresh Lemons Quilts

My son still wanted to draw everything he saw. My daughter was more interested in taking pictures this time.

The Art Institute of Chicago : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I hope you get a chance to visit one day!