Saturday, January 8, 2011

Civil War Crossing Quilt Tutorial, Part One

Part One: Cutting the Fabric for the Blocks

Part Two: Preparing the Foundation

Part Three: Sewing the Blocks

Part Four: Putting the Quilt Together

Anyone familiar with my book Miniatures in Minutes knows that I was inspired by the Fold and Sew technique developed by Anita Grossman Solomon.  (Check out her Make it Simpler website – she developed a revolutionary method of paper-piecing that truly does make it much simpler!)  I’ve spent several years now playing around with how her paper-piecing technique can be applied to miniature quilts. 

This last year, Anita came out with a book looking at yet more revolutionary ways to make quilt making simpler: Rotary Cutting Revolution.  (Check out the Google Preview that gives you a great idea of how many different blocks the book covers). 

If you go here, you can see a video of Anita on The Quilt Show demonstrating how she cuts fabric for the Old Italian Block.  I changed the size of the squares, used three fabrics instead of tw0, and once again used my version of her Fold and Sew technique to make a miniature block: it finishes at 2" square.

Let’s begin with cutting the block.  Since I am a gadget loving girl, I recommend this cutting mat.  It is small and revolves in a circle which makes cutting these blocks very easy.  Any little mat, however, that you could spin as you cut will make this easier. 

To begin, choose three fabrics, one dark, one medium, and one light.  Stack them and cut a 4 1/4" square.  Then place your layered squares on the mat so that the corners of the square match the diagonal cross lines on the mat.

Lay the half-inch mark on your ruler along a diagonal line and cut.

Rotate the mat a quarter turn and once again make the same cut.  Rotate the mat two more times so that you make a total of four cuts.  When you move your fabrics apart, you’ll see this:

(Anita Grossman Solomon is a genius!)

Now take your fabrics and mix and match.  You’ll have the pieces for three blocks.

You could either mix and match your blocks for one quilt (four sets of three fabrics would give you 12 blocks) or decide to make up more than one quilt.

If you want more traditional cutting methods that allow you to cut only what you need for one block, then here are those directions.   The measurement for the center square is exact but the crossing strips and triangles are a little larger than you need (they’ll be trimmed to size later).

  • Center Square: cut one 1" square
  • Crossing Strips: cut four 1" by 2"
  • Triangles: cut one 3" square, slice diagonally twice.

Your square will look like this:

Here’s the pieces lined up ready to sew:

Whichever method you choose, you will need a total of twelve blocks for the quilt as shown. 

The link to the foundation will be given in Part Two of this series.

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