This is Crosses and Losses, a block pattern that dates from before 1895. Some sources say that this block takes its name from a saying of Benjamin Franklin in Poor Richard's Almanack: "After crosses and losses, men grow humbler and wiser." Others say that this block is one of the many that draws its name from the Bible. Wherever the name came from, this versatile little block has several variations and names, including Old Maid's Puzzle, Schoolgirl's Puzzle, Rambler, Bouncing Betty, and Fox and Geese.
Whatever name you want to give it, here are the instructions for a 6-inch block. Cutting instructions for other sizes, including a 12-inch block, are given at the end of the construction directions.
NOTE: This block can be simplified significantly by replacing the pieced triangle unit with a half-square triangle. The resulting block looks very similar, but is less complicated to construct, so if you are wanting something a little quicker and less "piecey," (but just as cute!) this could be a good option for you. Here's what this option would look like:
|Not stitched together, but you get the idea!|
For each 6-inch block, cut 1 3-7/8 inch square plus 3 2-3/8 inch squares from the green. From the background color (shown here in white), cut 5 2-3/8 inch squares and 4 2-inch squares.
(If you are making a simplified block, you will only need 2 2-3/8 inch green squares and 2 2-3/8 inch white squares. You will also need to cut one 3-7/8 inch square each of green and white.)
Start with the 4-patch units. Take 3 of the white 2-3/8 inch squares and mark them to stitch half-square triangles, then pair them with the green 2-3/8 inch squares. Cut the remaining white 2-3/8 inch squares in half once diagonally.
Stitch, cut, and press the white/green pairs to make half-square triangles. You should have 6 2-inch hsts. (If making the simpler block, you should only have 4 hsts.) Take 4 of the hsts and pair them with the 2-inch white squares to make a 4-patch unit. Arrange the hsts so that the points of the green triangles "kiss" in the center of the unit:
Stitch and press. These units should measure 3-1/2 inches square.
(NOTE: If making the simpler block, skip the next steps and instead use the 3-7/8 inch green and white squares to make two half-square triangles that will be 3-1/2 inches square.)
Next is the pieced triangle unit. Take one of the remaining half-square triangles and pair it with a white triangle, arranging them as shown:
Stitch, then press to the white triangle. Don't worry about the little dog ear that forms. You can clip it now or wait until the second triangle is added. (I always wait.)
Add the second triangle to the other side of the hst as shown:
Stitch and press, then trim the dog ears. Make sure that you have a 1/4 inch seam allowance remaining so that the point of the green triangle isn't lost.
Cut the 3-7/8 inch green square in half once diagonally, then match those two halves to the units that were just pieced:
This will give you this unit, which should measure 3-1/2 inches:
All that's left to do is lay out the block units and assemble! Lay out your four units as shown, paying attention to the direction of the triangles in the 4-patch units:
Stitch and press, and enjoy your block!
Ten blocks will make one 60-inch row of the quilt, and six blocks will make a 36-inch row. Or just make a few and mix them up with some others for a lovely sampler-style quilt.
Switch the colors so that green is the background color.
Use a lighter green or a different color for the small hsts in the corner units.
For a 4-inch block, cut 5 1-7/8 inch white squares, 4 1-1/2 inch white squares, and 1 2-7/8 inch green square and 3 1-7/8 inch green squares and assemble as above.
For an 9-inch block, cut 5 3-1/8 inch white squares, 4 2-3/4 inch white squares, 1 5-3/8 inch green square, and 3 3-1/8 inch green squares and assemble as above.
For a 12-inch block, cut 5 3-7/8 inch and 4 3-1/2 inch white squares, and 1 6-7/8 and 3 3-7/8 inch green squares. Assemble as above.
You can also make a 12-inch block using 4 6-inch blocks, which gives you an opportunity for some interesting patterns, like this:
I chose this layout for my 12-inch block:
For my row, I chose to make 6-inch blocks. Here is my row among the green leaves:
Linking to Linky Tuesday and soscrappy for RSC15, and also to Tips and Tutorials Tuesday.