Friday, March 13, 2020

Cross Stitch Quilt Block & Pillow Tutorials

Cross-Stitch Quilt Block Pillow Tutorial by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

I have a million memories from my childhood of watching my mother with a piece of cross stitch in her hands. Her handmade pictures were all over our house, and I remember sitting at the breakfast table when I was a little girl, studying them thoughtfully while I ate my cereal in the mornings. Those same pictures are now hanging in our breakfast nook where my daughters start the day, such a wonderful way to carry on that legacy.

For a long time now, I've been wanting to do a cross stitch quilt block, and when I was working on my book proposal last year, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it. The quilt blocks in this pillow look like a row of patchwork cross stitches to me, and I love that they remind me of my mother every time I see them. 

Incidentally, I've decided that all the projects and information that I share with you here on the blog that would have gone into that next book are going to be tagged under the label "Carnival of Patchwork." Hopefully that will help you find it in the search box on the left if you're looking for anything from this series!

Cross-Stitch Quilt Block Pillow Tutorial by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

This little block is so much fun to sew, and I love that it looks great in every project where I've used it. My first pattern was the patchwork pillow at the top of this post which I hand quilted. I love this one so much that it sits in a place of honor on my bed where I can look at it every day.


Cross-Stitch Quilt Block Tutorial by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

My next attempt was a zipper pouch that I made in shades of pink, yellow, aqua, and white. It's interesting to me how the look of the block changes without the sashing strips in between. I honestly can't decide which style I like better at this point.

Cross-Stitch Quilt Block Tutorial by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

And just to show that I could make something using only one block, I turned this one into a little pincushion. I didn't actually plan for the H to land at the top, but I think it was meant to be!


Cross-Stitch Quilt Block Tutorial by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

Those numbers running along the lower edge are so much fun. I added 1" borders to the block and then finished it using the directions for my Tagalong Pincushion pattern in Patchwork USA. Feel free to do the same!

I wanted to share the tutorial with you so that you can play with this block in any number of projects that you can dream up. Here's how you make one...

Cross-Stitch Quilt Block
Finished size: 2" x 2"

From a 5" square of a colored print, cut:
(1) rectangle, 1 1/4" x 3 3/4" (A)
(2) rectangles, 1 1/4" x 1 3/4" (B)

From a 5" square of low volume print, cut:
(4) squares, 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" (C)

Cross-Stitch Quilt Block Pillow Tutorial by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

1. Arrange the pieces for a single block as shown. Sew the C squares to either side of the B rectangles (the B rectangle will extend slightly beyond the C squares). Press seams open.

2. Center a B/C unit on one long side of the A rectangle and sew in place (the A rectangle will extend slightly beyond the B/C unit). Repeat on the other side of the A rectangle with the other B/C unit. Press seams open.

3. Using a ruler and rotary cutter, rotate the block so that it forms an X shape. Centering the block, carefully trim to a 2 1/2” x 2 1/2” square.

I know that some of you can take those directions and run with them all over the place, but if you're looking for set of directions for a finished project, here are the instructions for the Cross Stitch Patchwork Pillow.


Cross-Stitch Patchwork Pillow
Finished size: 12" x 16"

From (24) 5’’ squares of colored prints, cut from each print:
- (1) rectangle, 1 1/4” x 3 3/4’’ (A) 
- (2) rectangles, 1 1/4” x 1 3/4’’ (B)

From (24) 5’’ squares of low volume prints, cut from each print:
- (4) squares, 1 1/2’’ x 1 1/2’’ (C)

From 1/3 yard white solid, cut…
- (16) rectangles, 1’’ x 2 1/2’’ (D)
- (3) rectangles, 12 1/2’’ x 1’’ (E)
- (2) rectangles, 2 1/2’’ x 10’’ (F)
- (2) rectangles, 16 1/2’’ x 1 3/4’’ (G)

From 1/2 yard batting, cut:
- (1) rectangle, 18’’ x 15’’ (H)

From 1/2 yard muslin, cut:
- (1) rectangle, 18’’ x 15’’ (I)

From 1/2 yard red gingham, cut 2 rectangles, 13’’ x 12 1/2’’ (J)

Additional Supplies: matching thread, binding clips, chopstick/turning tool

1. Sort the pieces for each block into 24 stacks. Each stack should include 1 A rectangle and 2 B rectangles from a single colored print and 4 C squares from a single low volume print.

2. Arrange the pieces for a single block as shown in the quilt block diagram above. Sew the C squares to either side of the B rectangles (the B rectangle will extend slightly beyond the C squares). Press seams open.

3. Center a B/C unit on one long side of the A rectangle and sew in place (the A rectangle will extend slightly beyond the B/C unit). Repeat on the other side of the A rectangle with the other B/C unit. Press seams open.

4. Using a ruler and rotary cutter, rotate the block so that it forms an X shape. Centering the block, carefully trim to a 2 1/2” x 2 1/2” square.

5. Repeat steps 2-4 with the pieces for the remaining 23 blocks. 

Cross-Stitch Quilt Block Pillow Tutorial by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

6. Arrange the quilt blocks, D rectangles, and E rectangles as shown above. Sew the blocks and D pieces together in rows. Then sew the rows and E pieces together to form the pillow top.

7. Sew the F rectangles to the right and left edges of the pillow top. Sew the G rectangles to the upper and lower edges. 

8. Stack in this order from bottom to top: I rectangle, H rectangle, pillow top (right side up). Use adhesive basting spray to fuse them together and quilt as desired.

9. Fold a 12 1/2’’ end of an J piece under (toward the wrong side) approximately 3/8’’ twice. Topstitch 1/4’’ from the fold. Repeat with the other J piece.

Cross-Stitch Quilt Block Pillow Tutorial by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

10. Finish the pillow by placing the each of the backing pieces from step 9 right sides together with the pillow top. The hemmed edges should point toward the center, overlapping each other, and the opposite raw edges should line up with the shorter right and left sides of the pillow top. (See the directions for the Road Trip Pillow on page 44 in my book Patchwork USA if you need to see diagrams that explain this more thoroughly.) Hold them together with binding clips, and then sew all around the outside edge. Trim the corners, turn the pillow cover right side out, gently push out the corners with a chopstick, and press.

Cross-Stitch Quilt Block Tutorial by Heidi Staples of Fabric Mutt

If you make one of these, be sure to tag it #fabricmuttcrossstitchblock or #crossstitchpatchworkpillow and tag me @fabricmutt. I'm hoping at some point to start on a quilt with this pattern -- maybe making the blocks twice as big so it won't take me quite as long to finish. We'll see...

Have fun!

23 comments:

  1. Super cute. I do love an 'X' block! Especially love your X Pillow!

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  2. Thank you for the pattern. I'm going to make the pillow tomorrow then the bag.

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  3. As soon as I finish quilting my latest quilt, I’m making some of these blocks! Thanks for sharing the tutorial Heidi!

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  4. Thank you for sharing this. as we are home of most of the time now it will be good to have some new projects to work on. x

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  5. Love this block! I am going to pull some charm squares today to try it out! Thanks Heidi!

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  6. I’ve always thought cross stitch x’s were little kisses/little marks of love. Your homage to your mother’s talent via the medium of fabric and quilting that you love is perfect. I’m looking forward to making a few of these blocks. Thanks for the tutorial.

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  7. I love your patterns. Such happy fabric too. I quilt and cross stitch. I think it's so touching that you are honoring your Mother with this pattern.

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  8. I love your cross stitch pillow! such fun and fresh colors, and all those little x's create such a fun pattern! I've been cross stitching lately, so this looks especially intriguing to me! :-) Hugs, H

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  9. Thank you so much Heidi-for the tutorial. It is a beautiful block! I just listened to the podcast interview you did, it was so wonderful to hear how well you are doing going forward. I know there are still moments where you grieve what you have left behind now and then (been there)-but it gets better-I think mostly because how could it not-we remind ourselves instantly of our precious children and family for whom we chose this-and in my book, family always wins! But, I will be honest with you, my heart sunk when you announced your retirement, just for myself on a personal level. I do love your creativity! But, then as you said on the podcast, you are actually blogging still-which felt reassuring. It’s weird-I don’t know you, but your blog has been a part of my life for so long, I felt like I was losing a friend! But, in actuality, I’m getting my ‘real’ friend back😀 Thank you for still sharing your world with us!

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    1. Kristen, this means so much to me! Thank you!!!

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  10. Adorable! The ideas are endless! I’m definitely going to make something cute with these cute squares 😊

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  11. Thanks again for one of my favorite posts. I am printing off the pattern for the pillow right now. Love your blog. Keep of the good work. Blessing

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  12. Really like how you used this pattern in so many cute ways. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. I love this! Thank you so much for the tutorial. The pillow is definitely going on my list of things to make in 2020!

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  14. Can't wait to have a chance to use this cute idea on a quilt!

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  15. Thank you so much for this tutorial Heidi. It's an absolutely cute pattern and I must keep it in mind for the next time I want to sew cushions or make anything else.Thanks so much for sharing!

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  16. I love everything😄! Thank you so much for the tutorial!

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  17. Thank you so much for this tutorial Heidi. It's an absolutely cute pattern and I must keep it in mind for the next time I want to sew cushions or make anything else.Thanks so much for sharing!
    farmhouse pillow set of 4
    christmas ornament kits for adults

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  18. Thank you for the pattern. I'm going to make the pillow tomorrow then the bag.

    floral throw pillow
    baby blue accent pillow
    baby accent pillows

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  19. These are so precious! Thanks so much for the tutorial.

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Aren't you the sweetest!! Thanks for making my day by leaving a comment!

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