Traditional Tuesday - Block 1

Welcome to the first installment of Traditional Tuesday! I have an urge to make a sampler quilt so I thought I'd make it a Quilt Along for anyone who wants to join me! Yesterday, I posted a Modern interpretation of this traditional block. Today, I'll post the instructions to make the Traditional block.

Before we start, here's some info you might find helpful:

The blocks will finish 6" square. That's a nice size that doesn't require too much fabric per block, making this quilt a perfect scrap-using project. Right now, I plan on making 64 blocks which will make a 69" square quilt with the setting I chose (see below).

I'm using a variety of scraps, mostly blues for my quilt. My goal is to not buy any new fabric, except maybe the sashing and border fabric. I want to highlight my retro collection (60s, 70s and 80s fabrics), so a lot of those will be used, too. Basically I'll use what ever strikes my fancy that day!

The Finished Quilt:
This quilt will be set in a straight set with 1" sashing and two borders - the inner one 1" (same as sashing) and the outer one 5". I plan on waiting until the blocks are done to decide on the sashing/border fabrics.
You will need:

1 1/4 yards for the outer border
2/3 yards for inner border
1 yard for the sashing

About the Instructions:
Each Tuesday, I will give you the cutting instructions and show you how I pieced each block. You may feel free to modify the block, swap out with another block if you don't like this one or just leave it out all together! (And as always, you can make this quilt with me, give away or sell the quilt if you like when you're done, and share the link to this Quilt Along with  your friends, but please don't profit monetarily from these patterns in any way.)

If you find errors, please let me know asap so I can pass along the information! Okay, here we go...

Block 1: Crossroads
You'll need two fabrics for this block. I chose a blue and white print and solid white for the background.

From the blue, cut:
2 - 1 7/8" x 3 3/8" strips.
1 - 1 7/8" x 7 5/8" strip.

From the white*, cut:
2 - 1 7/8" squares. Cut each in half on the diagonal to make 4 corner triangles.
1 - 5 1/4" square. Cut in half on both diagonals to make 4 large triangles.

*I'm from the "make it big and cut it down" school of piecing. That means the white will be much larger than necessary. This is so I can get the points just right when we trim this block up at the end. If I were piecing multiple blocks, I wouldn't do this, but in sampler quilts and other individual blocks, I do it for accuracy.
Lay out the elements as shown. Sew two large triangles to either side of one of the short blue strips. Press to the blue. (It's important to press away from white so the dark print doesn't show through on the top. Also, piece with white thread so it doesn't show through in the seams. Don't ask me how I know this!) Next, add the small triangle to the corner.

Tip: To get the small triangle centered perfectly, pinch it in half as shown to find the center.

Then pinch the blue unit in half to find the center.

See how the two pinched pieces fit together? The small triangle will be perfectly centered once you pin it and sew.

After you sew the small triangle on, trim the dog ears off and press.
Repeat on the other side. (Bad, bad camera!)

Then sew the two sides to the long blue strip. Again, finger press to find the center of both the side unit and the long strip. Add the small triangles to the end in the same way we did above and press.

Trim to 6 1/2". Using a 6 1/2" acrylic ruler makes life so much easier!


  1. I'm in agony, trying to decide if I can fit another ongoing project into my schedule. I've been wanting to make a 6" sampler and your modern & traditional samplers sound perfect. I posted a link to your blog to two quilters groups I belong to (combined membership over 8,000). You may find the traffic to your blog substanitally increased as a result.

  2. Wow, thanks Michele for spreading the word! I appreciate that! And I know what you mean about fitting in one more project. I'm in that situation too. I spent all day yesterday working on potholders of ran exchange, when I should be working on quilts for the next book!I hope you can work in some of the blocks. And don't worry, we're going to be doing this for a long time so you can catch up when you have time.

  3. Hi, I'm going to join you on this fun "quilt along" even though I have a big pile of UFO's to finish!

  4. Block one traditional now completed. See, I told you I could catch up! Thanks to Michele, The Distracted Quilter for letting me know about this....and thank YOU for sharing this idea!


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