This started as an idea I saw on Pinterest of a beautiful cross quilt. Someone had tagged me on Facebook and it was so beautiful. It was one of those that I filed into the mental database to eventually make one day. Well when a friend that happens to be religious decided to get married I decided it was time...
So I grab out the graph paper and colored pencils. Now ya'll I hate math and math hates me, we don't get each other so we avoid each other. So I draw it out and keep the math as simple as possible. It's easier to count than to add! I came up with something like this:
I know I didn't want a full quilt & I wanted to try a wall hanging, which is a first for me. So let's get started!
Materials and Supplies:
- Fabric! I started with my scraps. I wanted a mix of batiks and solids, keeping the print only to the cross. I wanted several shades of each color family. I also had a few pre-cuts. Now about those pre-cuts...I had the same manufacturer and both packs said 2 1/2" squares but they weren't. One pack was 2 1/2 from the bottom of the pinking shear cut and the other was 2 1/2" from the top. This can be very confusing & I found out the hard way. Don't trust them, measure & cut just like you would if it wasn't "precut". I also cut more than I had planned for 2 reasons. First being for my blue jean cathedral quilt & second was because I knew once I started making my rows I may want to change things around a bit and I did! It's always better to have extra.
- Normal sewing shit. Sewing Machine, mats, rulers, needles, thread and bobbins, rotary cutter, iron, etc. If you sew then you know what you need...
- Batting, binding and backing material. I used a low loft batting since it was a wall hanging. I also choose my backing and binding after my tops are finished because I like to take then with me when picking it out. Plus since I'm mathematically challenged I never really know the finished size or how much backing material to buy. I know, it's annoying to me too.
- A few weekends, lots of coffee and a deadline so you have to finish it hehe.
Let's Get Ready to Sew!!
I like to cut, design then sew. So I started with cutting out each color family. I starch, iron then stack. This took a day. I cut each square 2 1/2 inches for a finished 2 inch square. I cut 525 squares and used 500 for the quilt. Here's what I had:
- Blue 89
- Green 46
- Yellow 36
- Red 72 (again I cut extra's of each and played around with my design)
- Pink 12
- Orange 20
- Purple 17
- White 112
- Black 50
- Print 42
I had 20 rows across and 25 rows down and used a scant 1/4" seam allowance. This is just what I did. If you don't know how to do a scant 1/4" or a have a 1/4" foot you can change this. Also changing the size of the blocks can make it bigger and adding rows/columns. A design wall would probably help but I have a dining room table that is pretty much just for quilt assemblies since I've been an empty nester. That and my floor lol.
I go one row at a time. Following my drawing I stack them up, sew them then iron. I lay it out on my assembly table as I lay out my next row so I can see how it looks together. Go row by row then sew them together. I nestle my seams and for those that don't know, it helps when sewing the rows together to line up because I'm impatient and don't always pin then. I always iron to the left on odd rows and the right on even numbered rows. That's just my method so if you don't have one borrow mine and tweak it to fit you.
Once it sewn I press it then, make my sandwich then quilt. Maybe one day I'll do blogs on those steps but in the meantime do it your way or google it! I quilted straight lines on the cross, using my walking foot as a guide. For the rays I used variegated thread and marked lines, totally random and not symmetrical, with my pen. I had to use different colors to mark as you''ll see in the photos because of the colors on the quilt. Once it trimmed I simply cut 5 5x8 rectangles, formed tunes, sewed them, turn inside out and ironed them. I then bound it, capturing the tabs, ironed it then washed it a few times. I don't use color saver in the laundry, just cold water and I wash it alone. I also use my homemade wool dryer balls in the dryer. It pounds the shit out them so I know they'll hold under normal people washing lol. Once outta the dryer I repeat at least 3 times, trim anything that needs trimmed and then iron. Since I went quickly here's some pictures because I think it actually explains the process better.
It turned out even more magical than I would have thought! If hung over a window it looks like stained glass which was an unexpected bonus! Most importantly, the bride loved it!!!