Modern Monday - Block 29

Crossed Square
City Streets

Block 29 - Crossed Square and City Streets
This week, we get a two-fer! I was looking through Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns, which I often do when I get bored, and I saw these two blocks side-by-side on page 241. Of course, the ones in the book don't have the wonky corners, but I immediately thought they would look really cool if they did! The construction is identical for each block, but it's just how the corner units are turned that makes them different.

When deciding how to make this block Modern, I looked at a lot of options, but in the end I chose to make the 4 corner chevron units wonky and leave the cross straight. You can experiment to see if making the cross wonky adds any value to your blocks. It might be interesting that way. I decided that if I were piecing this into an actual quilt, I'd like the cross so that it joins with the next block seamlessly and let the chevrons steal the show visually. It also would add a nice design element - the crosses could contrast or blend with the chevron fabric depending on if you want the cross to be dominant or the chevrons. Each block could be different making it quite a scrappy quilt or you could keep it to a few fabrics making it controlled depending on your mood!

For these two blocks, I chose a variety of orange solids, orange prints and gray/white/light blue for these blocks. And actually, my decisions were pretty quick without much thought - and look how great they turned out! That leads me to think that maybe any combination of prints, solids and color will be right for these blocks.

Cutting for one block:
  • For the crosses, cut 4 - 1 1/2" x 3" strips
  • For the cross center, cut 1 - 1 1/2" square
  • For the chevron units, cut wedges no narrower than 1 1/2" on an end of two or three colors. Mine were all about 3 1/2" long. You'll need 2 wedges of each color per chevron, so that's 8 each total and 2 total for the starting squares.
Crossed Square
I chose 4 fabrics for this block - a dark gray for the cross; a solid orange for the cross center and the center of the chevrons; a blue solid for the center strips in the chevron; and a print for the outer strips of the chevron. When I chose these, I didn't realize that the solid orange would make a 9-patch illusion in the center. Happy coincidence! Choose a different color for the cross center if you don't want this illusion.
To make the chevron, lay out your wedges roughly how they will look when finished. For the starting square, I cut one of the wedges in half. Make sure it is a minimum of 1 1/2" square.
A chevron is just a half-log cabin unit, so construction is very similar to a log cabin block. Sew one of the inner wedges to the top of the starting square. Press to the wedge. Add the second wedge to the side. Press. Repeat with the outer wedges. (Don't know why the blue turned white here.) You might need to trim up the edge after sewing each strip so the next strip will go on easily.

Trim the chevron units to 3". Make sure as you are piecing that each unit will be a minimum of 3" or you'll be resewing!
Once your units are done, lay out the block and sew together like a 9-Patch block. It will measure 6 1/2".

 City Streets
For the second block, I used 4 fabrics again, but the placement makes it seem simpler.
By using just two fabrics for the chevrons in this block, you get a completely different look. It's less busy and more controlled. Make your 4 chevrons as we did above.

Layout as shown, making sure to turn your chevrons "out". Sew together like a 9-Patch block to make your 6 1/2" block.
I can't wait to see your blocks with your color choices! Please post them to the Flickr group if you don't post your blocks other places! I think the variety will amaze us all!


  1. Two blocks, twice the fun. I love both of your blocks. so glad I found your blog, it's so much fun seeing your blocks each week. Amazing, just amazing talent you have. Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. I really enjoyed these two. I think a quilt of just the city streets block would be fun.


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