From our Free Quilt Block Patterns Library
Skill Level: Beginner
The Crossword Puzzle quilt block is a quick and easy to stitch which makes it an ideal block for a spur of the moment baby quilt.
A bit of strip piecing. The twirling of a few seam allowance. This asymmetrical block is as easy to set into a top as it is to put together.
Let's solve the riddle of assembling this Crossword Puzzle!
Seam allowances (SA) are 1/4" and are pressed to the dark unless otherwise instructed.
The cutting chart below is for a two fabric patchwork design.
Strips are cut an inch longer than needed so that you have room enough to straighten an edge before subcutting a stripset into units.
Cutting Chart for a~ Traditional Piecing ~
|Patch||Fabric||Qty||Finished Block Size|
|1||Background||1||1-1/2” x 10”||2” x 13”||2-1/2” x 16”|
|2||A||2||1-1/2” x 10”||2” x 13”||2-1/2” x 16”|
|3||Background||2||1-1/2” x 4”||2” x 5”||2-1/2” x 6”|
|4||A||1||1-1/2” x 4”||2” x 5”||2-1/2” x 6”|
|5||A||4||1-1/2” x 3-1/2”||2” x 5”||2-1/2” x 6-1/2”|
|6||Background||4||1-1/2” x 3-1/2”||2” x 5”||2-1/2” x 6-1/2”|
|7||A||1||1-1/2” x 7”||2” x 9”||2-1/2” x 11”|
|8||Background||1||3-1/2” x 7”||5” x 9”||6-1/2” x 11”|
|Unfinished Block Size||8-1/2”||12-1/2”||16-1/2”|
My go-to thread for all my piecing is...
Our Crossword Puzzle block is made from three different units: a nine patch, an 'O', and sashing.
With right sides together (RST), stitch a #1 to a #2.
Add the second #2 in the same manner, pressing afterwards.
Repeat for the #3/#4/#3 strips.
Straighten a short side of both by aligning a line on your ruler with one of the seams (see arrow) and trim off just enough to straighten the edge.
Repeat for the #2/#1/#2 set.
Next subcut each #2/#1/#2 into 6 units; #3/#4/#3 into 2. Use the chart below to find the cut width.
|StripSet Subcutting Chart|
|Width of Sewn|
Arrange the cuts as shown below. (Two #2/#1/#2 are set aside for the O's that come next.)
Arrange two #5s and one #2/#1/#2 for each O as shown below.
Yep! When I photographed the block during construction, I accidentally rotated the patches a quarter turn.
The longer #5 patches run across the top and bottom of the "O" units and not on the left and right sides. My bad!!!
Press, SA towards the #5 strips.
With RST, stitch #7 to #8 on the long edge.
Cut #7/#8 into four SUs using the chart below to determine the width.
|Sashing Subcutting Chart|
| Width of Pieced|
After cutting, this is what you've got.
With RST, sew a #6 to the righthand side of all the 9 patches and O's. SA are pressed away from #6.
With RST, sew a SU to the bottom of each.
Typically these blocks are set edge-to-edge in a patchwork design. To make joining them as easy as possible, we're going to twirl the SA of this last seam.
You may need to loosen a few stitches to do so. This is what it looks like from the backside.
It helps to fingerpress the SA before using the iron. As you look at the backs, the SA are pressed in a clockwise fashion.
Arrange the sashed patches into rows and stitch them the pairs in each row together. (An 'O' is in the upper lefthand corner of the block.)
With RST, sew the rows together. The only place you need to worry about matching is at the corners of the #7's.
To complete the Crossword Puzzle, we'll again twirl the SA in the very center of our block.
The advantage of all this fiddling with SA is when you put blocks together edge-to-edge, those SA nest—making matching easier and reducing bulk all at the same time.
Now give it one last, good press and your Crossword Puzzle quilt block is finished.
As designed, the Crossword Puzzle quilt block is an asymmetrical block. To complete the design, you need to add additional SUs (sashing units) to the blocks on the left and top edges of your quilt.
And don't forget the one last cornerstone square in the upper left corner (cut from your A fabric.)
These are my go-to resources for quilt block ideas.
Can you tell?
It's in color.
It's got a ton of blocks.
What's not to love?
Next on my 'must-have' list is Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
Unlike the Maggie Malone book, the blocks in this volume are hand-drawn and in black and white—no color—personally, I prefer colored drawings to work with.
This book is no longer in print.
If you can come by a copy expect it to be wickedly expensive. Once in awhile you can find it here on Amazon.com.
UPDATE: Electric Quilt, in cooperation with Barbara Brackman has announced they plan to republish the Encyclopedia sometime in 2020.
However, all is not lost if you can't find a hard copy.
BlockBase is the computerized version of the Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.
It contains designs for over 4300 blocks—pretty much every block published from the 1830's through the 1970's.
It can be used with Electric Quilt and is a Windows based program.
In fact, there are instructions included so that you can pull up the digital patterns within Electric Quilt (PC version for now) without having to open up BB program.
UPDATE: Electric Quilt has announced that they will be rereleasing the standalone BlockBase software for BOTH PC and MAC in 2020.
This is terrific news.
Finally there's The Quilter's Album of Patchwork Patterns by Jinny Beyer.
Lots of detail and in color, it is a beautiful volume. That said, I check it out of my local library on a regular basis instead of purchasing it—can you see the library sticker on it's spine. Yep, it's from the Plainfield Public Library.
Simply because I own the previous three references and find this the least user-friendly of the group.
And it does make a fabulous coffee table book!