Hi, my name is Ruth and this is my blog to show & share my quilts that I give to family & friends.
Simple designs that may inspire you to make one too.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Arkansas Crossroads Quilt (#49)

This Arkansas Crossroads quilt is my new go to pattern.  It is made up of two simple blocks - a 16 patch and an "X".  Combined, they create a truly amazing design that looks complicated ... a beautiful final effect.
     Tutorials on how to make this quilt:
Printable instructions with pictures:
                            England Street Quilts - jelly roll friendly
 Two videos from The Missouri Star Quilt Company:
   1) how to sew & cut charm squares for the 16 patch here
        under the headline of "Scrappy 4 Patch"
 2) how to make the 'x' portion and assemble here

I used Kate Spain's Terrain left overs for this quilt and cut my squares with the Accuquilt 2.5" die - but rotary cutting is fine too.  I lay out my blocks with 16 individual squares (helps to balance color and I find it fun) -  but the tutorials above  explain how to sew a 16 patch faster - as well as how to assemble your "X" blocks.

This pattern is perfect if you don't have a design wall.  A few blocks here and there and then it's back into a plastic box until you are ready to lay it out - very easy to keep track of and tidy up.
Keeping true to my minky backed lap blanket size of 60" wide by 72" to 75" long - here are some numbers to help you:

1) Main Blocks:
24  16 patches:
  * using charm packs - that's 96 charm squares  or...
  * cutting fabric from scraps, that's 384  2.5" squares

24  "X's"
  * Cut 96 background pieces  4.5" x 4.5"  plus ...
  * 192  2.5" squares for the "X" blocks - or 48 charm squares

The edges:
 * 56 background pieces 4.5" x 4.5"   plus...
 * 56  2.5"  colored squares  - or 14 charm squares

4   4.5" x 4.5" background squares to fill in the corners
So, for a lap quilt this size (60"x74") you can use 4 charm packs or 1 layer cake for your main color - very cool! 

Estimates for background fabric according to the Quilts from the Bluff tutorial are: 2.5 yards, plus 1 yard for a 4" border. I used my stash so assume they are correct.
2) After sewing together your blocks: 
     Trim the 16 patches to 8" x 8" square
     Time the "X"s block to 8" x 8" square
     Trim the edge blocks to 8" wide so they will 'fit' on top of the 
     patches & "X's"

3)  Size before adding a border will be: 52.5" x 67.5".  I add a 4" border all the way around - cutting the fabric on the lengthwise grain (parallel to the selvage edge so there is less stretch).

4)  For 60" wide minky backing - you only need 2 1/4 yards - but I get 2.5 yards in case it stretches funny when its being cut off the bolt.
 My bad advice is this:  I love steam and starch and that does distort your block - so measure carefully before you go hog wild cutting like I do.  Trimming down is always a good thing - and if there are a few mis-matched seams in this quilt with 632 small squares - no big deal!

Good advice is this: Use a scant 1/4"  and make a practice 16 patch before you start the assembly line no matter what technique you use. This will guide you how much wiggle room you have when you trim.

Lastly, quilting is always easy and fun with Aurifil 50wt. A wavy line grid following the squares with white on top and a lovely cobalt blue thread on the bottom. Go medium slow speed with a walking foot and 3.0 to 3.5 stitch length and this is how pretty it washes up.
(This quilt goes to a young teacher who has spent so much time tutoring my daughter and other students who needed math help. I wanted her to know that her time was appreciated - also, there are lots of squares and "x" motifs - a mathematician's delight!)

Terrain by Kate Spain
Kona white
Dimple dot midnight blue minky Fabric.com
Aurifil 50wt. white & #2470 (dark cobalt)
Accuquilt 2.5" square die
Warm & White batting
Thanks to Quilts from the Bluff, England Street Quilts & Missouri Star Quilt Co. for their tutorials.
Size: 58" x 74"
March 2016

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