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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.
     Tutorial 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.

UPDATE 11/2021 - to see other quilts in this pattern - go to the right sidebar and click on "Arkansas Crossroads".  In a 2020 blog post I show in more detail why I trim my blocks a certain size, even though they might not line up as perfectly as others who make this same quilt.

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 England Street Quilts & Missouri Star Quilt Co. for their tutorials.
Size: 58" x 74"
March 2016


  1. Ruth, what a beautiful quilt!!!!! Your colors & fabric patterns look so nice together. The quilt looks so much more complicated than I think it actually is after seeing the 2 blocks side-by-side. I am wanting to start piecing a quilt for my oldest grandson’s high school graduation in May. Do you have access to the pattern or do you know where I can get a copy? I have not done enough piecing to be able to figure out measurements on my own so I’d need a pattern. Thanks for your help. Sincerely, Carlotta Lee

    1. Dear Carlotta - thank you for the sweet words. I found that Missouri Star Quilt Co. has a digital pattern for $3.95 and also a paper pattern too. Their name for this exact pattern is: Goodnight, Irene. I am having trouble putting the link here for you - but going to their web site or YouTube channel should do it. If you need any help making this speical quilt for you grandson (congrats to him by the way) - send me an email at: thefabrichog@gmail.com
      It's a lovely pattern and looks good with any fabrics - I have made them a few times and they never disappoint. Ruth :)

  2. I just saw this on Pinterest today - late to the party , I know! - an I'm SO making this.
    It looks fantastic.

    1. Thanks - I have no doubt you got this. Went on your blog and WOW - you have some mad skills in so many areas. Enjoyed hopping from topic to topic of what you do - inspiring :)