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!

Four

Crosses and Losses Quilt Blocks

And then there were four. I spent more time yesterday cutting out background pieces for my Crosses and Losses blocks. Slow going to be sure! Usually I’m a huge planner and would do all my cutting, then all my piecing of segments (in this case, half square triangles), all my trimming, then all my final block assembly. I guess I’m feeling a bit antsy to see immediate progress because I have decided to focus my efforts on making a handful of blocks at a time.

Crosses and Losses Quilt Blocks

I cut my next twelve bright fabrics and started chain piecing those. I promise it’s more than it looks in this pile. Because these blocks finish up at 8″, some of the HSTs are on the smaller side. I hope to get some time between errands today to get these trimmed up and pieced into more Crosses and Losses quilt blocks. Stay tuned!

Crosses and Losses

December is such a busy time here, but for some reason that reality hasn’t stopped me from making piles and piles of “future quilt” fabric stacks around my sewing space. Yesterday I spent the morning cutting into a variety of bright prints and making a sample Crosses and Losses quilt block.


Crosses and Losses is from the late 1800’s and was published in the Ladies Art Company quilt pattern booklets. I find vintage blocks so fun to make, thinking about quilters using them for over a hundred years.

For this quilt, I’m planning 8″ finished blocks and a scrappy, low volume background. (That will probably take me forever to cut out.) I think the bright colors will bring some cheer into my home during the long winter.

A “New” Friend Joins the Party ~ Singer Featherweight 221

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I have a bit of a confession. A “new” friend came to live with me last week. Meet Betty Bee. She is a Singer Featherweight 221, born in 1950. Sharing her this week is sort of timely, as yesterday was the anniversary of Isaac Singer’s patent of the sewing machine.

A few weeks ago, during my weekend in Wisconsin, I spent some time eyeing Jeni and Holly’s featherweights. Such great machines, and wow, just amazing that something with that many moving parts 60, 70, even 80 years old can still work perfectly!

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I decided that a Singer Featherweight would be a perfect travel sewing machine…and even a “kitchen table” sewing machine. My house is tall and narrow, so my sewing studio is up on a third floor. I love the idea of having a permanent, lightweight machine that I can stitch on in the kitchen when the kids are home, and then store away on a book shelf when not in use. I know a lot of these machines are listed on eBay, so I started there. I was pretty overwhelmed and honestly, I am not an eBay person. Just tell me the price and end the games! 🙂 But after looking over listings and finding one that appeared to be in good shape, I did some bidding and actually won! Meet Betty Bee – named by my 8 year old daughter.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Betty Bee had one owner before me, and previously lived very nearby in Wisconsin. In fact, so close that she took less than 24 hours to arrive at my house. The original owner’s name was on a piece of paper in the case (that also included the name of her former employer), so I Googled her and was able to print out a little history to store with the machine.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

She is in great condition. As with any machine, learning to thread it and get started can be a process. (Yes, it took me some time to realize I had the needle in wrong!)

I joined a Singer Featherweight 221/222 group on Facebook, which has awesome information in the Files area related to the machine. I also followed some online videos to help me clean her, switch the bulb to an LED, and replace the felt drip pad. (I bought the bulb, felt and a couple other maintenance items at April 1930’s Featherweight Specialty Shop.) She came with the original manual so I used that to make sure she was oiled and lubed in all the right spots.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Besides apparently being addicted to sewing machines, I also have a weakness for Lululemon. I managed to get a bag there that fits Betty Bee and some supplies perfectly.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

Here it is, next to the original case.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

I am sure you will see more glimpses of Betty Bee popping up here and there. She came with a bunch of presser feet, some look more like torture devices. But I’m guessing I will mostly piece with her.

Singer Featherweight 221 : Fresh Lemons Quilts

She will be much cared for and used in her new home, and my daughter has already claimed her for once I die. Ha! A long, long time from now. 😉