Red Cross Quilt Block

From our Free Quilt Block Pattern Library

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The Red Cross quilt block is constructed with basic quilting techniques. A sweet design for a beginning quilter.

Simple. Quick.

Just squares and rectangles to stitch. No bias to mess around with!

In this tutorial you'll find:

It's time to cut up and sew!

General Instructions

If you need help printing this page, CLICK HERE.

Several abbreviations are used on this page. They are:

  • SA - seam allowance
  • RST - right sides together
  • BAC - background fabric, it can be any value

1/4" SA are used through this tutorial. 

Pressing instructions are highlighted in yellow throughout this tutorial to make them easy to find.

When instructed to press, first press the patches in the closed position just as they came off your sewing machine. This sets the seam, melding the fiber in the threads into the fiber of the fabric.

Then press the SA to the dark unless otherwise noted.

New fabric to drool over!

Click any of the images below to see the full collection with bigger pictures and find pricing/ordering information.

To see ALL the current fabric lines displayed on this site in one place, click here.

Step 1: Cut patches for a Red Cross block

Red Cross designRed Cross block design

Sample Block Size: 7-1/2" finished / 8" unfinished

Grid: 5x5

Attribution:Nancy Page

Design Type: Uneven 9-patch, large center

Please label your patches. We refer to their numbers throughout this tutorial.

To print a copy of just the block design and the cutting chart (below) to use at your cutting table, click here.

NOTE: I've starched all my fabrics before cutting with a 50/50 mix of Sta Flo concentrated liquid starch and water.

Learn how to starch your fabrics here.

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Cutting Chart for a
Red Cross Quilt Block

~ Traditional Piecing ~

PatchFabricQtyFinished Block Size
5'' 7 1/2'' 10'' 15''
1 BAC 4 1½'' x 1½'' 2'' x 2'' 2½'' x 2½'' 3½'' x 3½''
2 A 6 1½'' x 1½'' 2'' x 2'' 2½'' x 2½'' 3½'' x 3½''
3 A 1 1½'' x 3½'' 2'' x 5'' 2½'' x 6½'' 3½'' x 9½''
4 BAC 4 1½'' x 3½'' 2'' x 5'' 2½'' x 6½'' 3½'' x 9½''
Unfinished Block Size 5 1/2'' 8'' 10 1/2'' 15 1/2''
Grid Size 1'' 1 1/2'' 2'' 3''

These are some of my favorite tools and supplies for preparing and cutting fabric.

Step 2: Assemble the units for a Red Cross

Red Cross center unit

Center

Make 1

With RST, stitch a #1 to two opposite sides of a #2.

Patches for the center arranged and ready to stitch.

Seam allowances can be pressed open or towards the dark, the choice is up to you. None of the seams in this center unit nest with any other.

Sweet and simple!

For this sample block I've chosen to press towards the darker 'A' fabric (#2 patch).

After sewing the #1's to each #2

With RST stitch a #1/#2/#1 unit to each long side of the center #3.

Press towards the #3 patch to reduce any bulk.

The finished center

Your center is complete.

Block Measurement at this Point

Finished Block SizeEdge-to-Edge Measurement
5"3-1/2" x 3-1/2"
7-1/2"5" x 5"
10"6-1/2" x 6-1/2"
15"9-1/2" x 9-1/2"

Sides

Make 2

Red Cross pieced side units

Construct just 2 of this unit.

With RST sew a #2 to both short sides of a #4. 

#2/#4/#2 border unitMake 2

Press SAs toward #4 to help the seams nest as the units are added to the center.

Step 3: Assemble the Red Cross block

Arrange the center, sides and remaining two #4's to create the Red Cross design.

Add a #4 rectangle to two opposite sides of the center. Stitch.

Press the SA toward #4 to reduce bulk.

Add the #2/#4/#2 pieced sides as shown below. The SA nest at the corners.

Press this last pair of seams away from the center.

Our Red Cross quilt block is complete!Our Red Cross is complete!

Using the Red Cross block in a quilt

A simple block. 

So what do Red Cross blocks look like set into a quilt?

To separate the blocks, a simple sashing strip in white and a red cornerstone are added. (The center of the 9-patch that's formed is the cornerstone.) The only thing to match in the construction of this quilt are at the corners of the sashing.

The blocks are laid out in a straight set, 5 across and 7 down.

Red Cross blocks used in quiltI've removed the block outlines from this drawing so that you can better see the quilt design.

What will you make with your Red Cross blocks?

Return to the Free Quilt Block Pattern Library for more blocks to make.

Share your work to inspire other Quilters!

If you use our tutorials to make your blocks and quilts, there are some easy ways to share your creations so other quilters (including me!) can enjoy the fruits of your labor:

  • On Instagram please tag your blocks and quilts with the hashtag #GenerationsQuiltPatterns.
  • Visit our Show n'Tell page on the website. Click here to share photos and tell your own story, just start typing at 'The name of your quilt is...'. If you'd prefer to submit more photos than the form allows, simply email them to me at julie@generations-quilt-patterns.com.

I love seeing your work!

Our readers do, too!

For even more blocks to make...

Click here to learn about my favorite quilt book resources that inspire my patchwork designs.

For you, are quilt block patterns like potato chips...

...you can't have just one?!!

Check the amazing resources I rely on for the majority of the quilt block designs you see on this website. 

To see if they're worthy of spot in YOUR quilting library, read about them HERE.

NOTE: All the attribution and alternate names shared in the Free Quilt Block Patterns Library came from these four resources.

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