Union Square in Progress and Pattern Shop

Union Square Quilt Block Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I’ve spent a bit of time this week working on my Union Square quilt blocks. I really like this metallic linen I’m using for the background. I’m kicking myself for only buying a yard. When I got it, I figured I would use it on a bag, not a quilt. Oh well – I’m sure there are plenty of other awesome metallic linens out there, right?

Union Square Quilt Block Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I was in my happy place, chain paper piecing the corner segments for these blocks.

Union Square Quilt Block Progress : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Now to assemble them. When sewing the corner components to the nine patch, I will admit it is a bit tricky getting everything lined up just right. I’m going to cut myself some slack and not worry if it’s a millimeter off.

I also wanted to let everyone know that my Picnic Point quilt pattern (PDF) is now in the shop! (It’s also available on Etsy and Craftsy.) I know a few of you have found it already. 🙂 Thank you!

Union Square

Union Square Quilt Block : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I spent a bit of time over the last few days researching, sketching up, and testing design ideas. I found a quilt block that I thought would be pretty with my blue fabric stack. This is a vintage pattern called Union Square, designed in 1937 by Nancy Cabot.

If you are a regular visitor around here, you probably know I’m a big fan of many of Nancy Cabot’s block designs. Nancy Cabot is actually a pen name for Loretta Leitner Rising. She wrote a column in the Chicago Tribune in the 1930’s with quilt block patterns. Recently, I discovered you could search the Chicago Tribune archives online – and find Nancy’s blocks in their original newsprint format! Sometimes technology is just great, right?


Image from Chicago Tribune Archives

(Side note: These archives are also fun to check out with kids. My daughter and I searched famous dates in history – or the day after – and she was able to see news stories of events as they happened. She also loved seeing different advertisements from 70+ years ago.)

Union Square Quilt Block : Fresh Lemons Quilts

For my background, I pulled out a yard of a special Nani Iro fabric I’ve been saving for a while. This is Pierre Pocho canvas in silver. It is described as a cotton, linen, canvas (a bit of everything in there). It seems like an accurate description. It’s a bit heavy (but not like home dec). It is a bit stretchy too, like linen. The whiteish spots you see are really a silver metallic design on the fabric. It’s pretty special and I love it with the blue fabrics. I only have a yard, so that will definitely limit the size of this quilt. One block down, 11 to go!

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!