Vintage Crosses Sew Along ! Week Two

April 10, 2020 1 Comment

Vintage Crosses Sew Along | Sharon Keightley Quilts

It's a beautiful Autumn day here today, the sun is shining and although we are in LockDown it is so nice to spend time at home together as a family. I hope everyone is well and happy catching up on those small jobs around the home.
Today I wanted to chat about the Cross Blocks for the Vintage Crosses Sew Along.
Sewing tips: Firstly check that you have your 1/4 inch seam correct, personally I sew a 1/4 inch seam allowance NOT a scant 1/4. That way I know exactly where to sew.
Pressing: I press with a dry iron, if I need to I use a little water spritzer or a product called Flatter to make my seams stay in position. But mostly a HOT dry iron works for me. I have tried steam and although I do like it I find if you are not used to using it, you can distort your blocks easily. When I use steam I do not move my iron around at all. I iron the seam in the correct direction with the iron on the dry setting then when my iron and seams are in the position I use the shot of steam button to give the seam a little extra. A wool mat is helpful too, but not a necessary requirement. A hard flat surface is a must. At times I finger press when I  am at the sewing machine, especially if there are bias edges, which there are in this block. This works for me! 
Thread: This is a hot topic and you really need to try it for yourself, I like to use a very fine thread, this way there is not too much build up in my seam allowances. I use polyester 60 weight at the moment, but I find you need to do a small backstitch beginning and end as polyester tends to unravel at the edges easily. This can be a problem at times when you want to twirl your seam allowances so that being said I am going to try a 60 weight cotton no the top, and my 60 weight polyester on the bottom. I will let you know how that goes when I have had a chance to give it a try.
Firstly I think it is important to talk about choosing colors, I have a fairly random approach to choosing the background fabrics for each of the cross blocks, once I decided on the fabrics I had chosen, I then cut them into triangles and the playtime begins. There are three possible ways you could select your fabrics for the cross blocks. 
1. You could choose to make all the background fabrics the same for all the cross blocks.

Vintage Crosses Sew Along | Sharon Keightley Quilts

2. You could choose to use only two fabrics for the cross blocks.

Vintage Crosses Sew Along | Sharon Keightley Quilts

3. You could use several fabrics, I like to do this and use a very random selection. My process is very loose, meaning I don't really have any rules for doing this other than playing with the fabrics I love choosing combinations of fabrics that I like the look of together. I try to have at least three of the triangles similar in colour and print, with one triangle having a little bit of a difference. I also like to have a contrast between my Cross fabric and the background fabrics, although there are exceptions to that rule, it is nice to have a few that blend a bit closer without so much contrast, this gives the quilt a bit more interest.

Vintage Crosses Sew Along | Sharon Keightley Quilts

So let's get started...
I like to cut a large selection of different background triangles to start with.

Vintage Crosses Sew Along | Sharon Keightley Quilts

This way when it comes to laying out my blocks I have lots of choices to play with.

Vintage Crosses Sew Along | Sharon Keightley Quilts

I also have all my strips cut from the cross fabrics so I can chain sew each block. I usually work on one block at a time, trimming each section from behind the presser foot as I sew. I start the next block, so I can continue to chain sew without having to cut the thread,

Layout your block pieces and select the background fabrics you like.
Sew each triangle to cross strips.

Vintage Crosses Sew Along | Sharon Keightley Quilts

Sew center squares to cross strips.

Vintage Crosses Sew Along | Sharon Keightley Quilts

Sew the three rows together.

Vintage Crosses Sew Along | Sharon Keightley Quilts

Vintage Crosses Sew Along | Sharon Keightley Quilts

Press towards the cross fabrics, my reason for pressing in this direction is so that when you quilt the quilt, the crosses will stand up a little more when stitched in the ditch. Also, it makes it easier to stitch in the ditch and you can use a neutral thread colour throughout.
Sew the rows together to complete the blocks and press.

Vintage Crosses Sew Along | Sharon Keightley Quilts

Vintage Crosses Sew Along | Sharon Keightley Quilts

Vintage Crosses Sew Along | Sharon Keightley Quilts

For a final press, I sometimes use this product called flatter, it does not leave a residue and will not attract bugs. I love how it keeps my seams in order. I use a dry iron throughout the whole process.

Vintage Crosses Sew Along | Sharon Keightley Quilts

 Trim the block to the final measurement. To do this I use a creative grids square ruler the same size as the finished block, it has great squaring up lines with a circle target in the middle so you can place the ruler exactly where it needs to be. A rotary cutting mat is a great tool to use to do this or a small mat that you can turn easily so you do not need to move the mat or the ruler at any stage of the squaring up process.

Vintage Crosses Sew Along | Sharon Keightley Quilts

 Cutting Tip: When using scraps sometimes the scrap is not big enough to cut a square, but big enough for a triangle. I sometimes use a quarter square ruler, with 2-inch strips to make the triangles. (I have scraps that are only big enough for one or two triangles, but worth the extra trouble to cut them to size and add them to the quilt.) or you may have your scraps organized into strips, this is a good way of getting a varied selection of fabrics for the triangles.

Well, I think this is all the information I have on making these cute little blocks. I hope you enjoy making them. I am so looking forward to seeing all your blocks. Fun Fun Fun.....

Keep Well and Happy Stitching

Sharon

Please share this post with your quilting friends, the more the merrier as they say.

Keep up with all the posts via the Sharon Keightley Facebook page and group page. Instagram #vintagecrossesquilt and the Newsletter will give updates of all blog posts.

There is a lot of information to cover, I will be re-making the entire quilt. I will be doing tutorial based blog posts for each part of the quilt top.

You will need to purchase a copy of the Vintage Crosses pattern, there are already many of you with this pattern, but if you do not here are a couple of places you can find it. 

Le Patchwork d'Emma in France has printed patterns and on my website, you can purchase downloadable PDF patterns

All Vintage Crosses blog posts for the Sew Along are here

 

Sharon Keightley Quitls  Autumn Bouquet Book | Sharon Keightley Quilts

You can find more of my Quilty Ramblings blog posts on all things quilting here

Browse through my downloadable PDF patterns available here

See more of my video tutorials here

To keep up with my blog posts on the Quilty Ramblings blog, sign up to the newsletter below to have my blog post drop straight into your email.

Sharon Keightley Quilts

 

 

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1 Response

Kathy McBride
Kathy McBride

April 12, 2020

Very excited

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