Traditional Tuesday - Block 29

City Streets
Crossed Square
Block 29 - Crossed Square and City Streets
I talk about versatility a lot when talking about blocks and quilts. If you can find one block that dramatically changes its look depending on color and fabric choices it makes your quilt not only more visually interesting, but it makes it easier to piece as well! It's much easier to get into a groove piecing one block than multiple, different blocks.

These blocks are a perfect example of how versatile one block can be. I can envision a super-scrappy quilt with every block using different fabrics in different color combinations- just the value placement being the same throughout. It could also be extremely controlled with all the blocks identical or two blocks alternating positive/negative. Shades of gray with a pop of color would be stunning. All prints would make it dizzily vibrant. All solids would make it sleek and contemporary. The combinations are truly endless.

I chose 4 purples in a gradation from super dark to light and added in a yellow for some interest for the City Streets block. For the Crossed Square, I decided it would be okay to not use purple since it's a freebie block! I chose a more contemporary color palate of teal, two prints and a gold solid.

Cutting (below refers to the City Streets block, but cutting is the same for both):
  • From the yellow, cut 4 - 1 1/2" x 3" strips
  • From the darkest purple, cut 1 - 1 1/2" square
  • From the dark purple, cut 4 - 1 1/2" x 3" strips AND 4 - 1 1/2" x 2" strips
  • From the medium purple, cut 4 - 1" x 2" strips AND 4 - 1" x 1 1/2" strips
  • From the light purple, cut 4 - 1 1/2" squares
City Streets
For this block, I chose a monochromatic palette - meaning all one color. After I chose the 4 gradations of purple, I thought it was a little dull, so I added in purple's complement - yellow. It spruced it up a bit.
The block is made of a cross and 4 chevrons. A chevron is a quarter-log cabin and is constructed like a log cabin block. Lay out your pieces as they will be sewn.
First, sew the short 1" strip to the side of the square. Press to the strip.
Add the long 1" strip to the top and press.
Add the short 1 1/2" strip to the side of this unit and press.
Finish the chevron by stitching the last strip to the top and press.
Repeat with the remaining strips and squares to make 4 chevrons. These units will measure 3" square.
Lay out the units as as shown and sew together like a 9-patch block. The block will be 6 1/2".
Crossed Square
I love these colors! You can see that it's simply the primary colors - blue, yellow and red. All are pretty dark, making this a bold block. If you prefer pastels or lighter colors, try it to see what happens. I threw in the Denyse Schmidt print because I love it! Mixing solids and prints usually makes a block seem balanced and looks good. Solids really make your prints stand out and steal the show.
Make your chevrons like we did above and sew together the block. I liked how the center looks like a 9-patch on the block yesterday, so I did that again for this version. Using a different fabric in the center would give you a different look.


  1. Hi, Jenifer,
    I was doing the two traditional blocks 29, and just thought I'd mention that on your cutting directions, you need 4 of each of the strips, not 2. I'm just about caught up--only the squares to do before I post an update.

  2. Thanks for the head's up! I fixed it...


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