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!

Picnic Point ~ A Finished Quilt

Picnic Point Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Finally, I have photos of my finished Picnic Point quilt! You have to dig pretty far back into my blog to find the beginnings of this one. Back when there were actually flowers in my yard! I pieced all the blocks when I was in New Glarus for a selfish sewing weekend. I love those.

Picnic Point Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It’s always a fun challenge to take half square triangles and play with color, layout, and negative space. (Notice I did not say it is fun to trim the actual HST units.) This quilt also uses blocks placed on point, which is another one of my favorite things to do when designing.

Picnic Point Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I didn’t want to buy fabric just for the back, so I pieced together several prints from my stash. It was a bit like Tetris, finding pieces large enough and making them fit. Of course when it came time to photograph the back, it was super windy here in Chicago! My poor husband.

Picnic Point Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Our local Arboretum is really pretty though, isn’t it?

Picnic Point Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I ended up getting a less attractive, but more informational, photo on my back deck. The finished quilt measures about 67″ x 84″. It’s a bit larger than I usually make but was definitely quilt-able on my home machine. I quilted it on my BERNINA 750QE using the Bernina Stitch Regulator and a meandering free motion design. It took about 2 mornings to complete. I really just can’t sit happily quilting longer than that ~ sore shoulders!

Picnic Point Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

The binding is a scrappy assortment. Some of it actually comes from the extra backing I trimmed off the sides after quilting. Others from my stash. I think it’s a fun addition!

Picnic Point Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

It feels good to check this UFO off my list – and to have the quilt ready for snuggling. I am putting the finishing touches up on the pattern and will update the blog when it is in the shop! This pattern is now available in the shop!

Quilting Away

Picnic Point Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Bonus points for anyone that remembers my poor, neglected Picnic Point quilt. What can I say? I have QCD ~ Quilt Completion Disorder. I actually love this quilt! I finished the top last August and basted it last November. I have no idea why I didn’t quilt it right away. Well, I have some idea – holidays, travel, and other distractions.

Picnic Point Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Forgotten no more! This week is dedicated to finishing up this lovely. I had a question recently about how I “fit” the quilt in the space to the right of the needle while I’m quilting. I thought I’d show just how great it fits in there, when you roll it up nicely from the end. Now, my BERNINA 750QE does have quite a bit of space to work with there (10″ right of the needle and great height). But using this method I’d quilted up to a large Full Sized quilt on my BERNINA 440QE (8″ right of the needle and less height than the 750). It did take patience, but I did it and the results looked wonderful.

Picnic Point Quilt : Fresh Lemons Quilts

My goal is to finish quilting today, bind tomorrow, and take pictures Thursday. So hopefully the next post you see here will be a completed Picnic Point quilt in all it’s glory.

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!