Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Classic stitches--Brown

Hello everyone, and welcome to another exciting episode of the Classic Stitches quilt! This month's color is brown, and I've chosen a lovely block that will let you show off all of those lovely brown scraps but not have so much brown that it brings down the quilt. Since October can be a stressful month, what with all those leaves to rake and such, how about a nice, easy block that uses only squares and rectangles but still looks spectacular?

This is the Pennsylvania block, a traditional pattern that dates before 1895 and is #2023 in Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia. (I swear I chose this before we moved to Pennsylvania!) When set with sashings and cornerstones it resembles a single Irish chain, and can also be known as Criss Cross or Simple Cross.  This block is very easily pieced and would look wonderful done up as a whole quilt.

But we're only making a row! Here we go--6-inch blocks are shown. Instructions for 3-inch,  9-inch, and 12-inch blocks are given at the end.


For each 6-inch block, you will need brown scraps plus scraps of a background color.  Cut one 2-1/2 inch square and 8 1-1/2 inch squares from brown, plus 4 1-1/2 by 2-1/2 rectangles and 4 1-1/2 by 4-1/2 inch rectangles from the background fabric.

That's it for the cutting!


[There are a lot of ways to make these blocks, but I found them easiest to make using this method, mostly because of the sizes of my scraps.  If a different way is easier for you, such as making 4-patches instead of using strips, use that method.]

First, take the 1-1/2 inch brown squares and 2 each of the 1-1/2 inch rectangles.  Stitch a brown square to both ends of the rectangles:

Next, stitch the remaining 1-1/2 by 2-1/2 inch rectangles to two sides of the 2-1/2 inch brown square:

Add the shorter square and rectangle units to the top and bottom, making an uneven 9-patch:

Almost there!  Next, add the remaining 1-1/2 inch rectangles to opposite sides of the 9-patch unit:

Finally, add the remaining square and rectangle units to the top and bottom.  Press and you have a completed block!


Fussy cut the center squares, or use an embroidered square.

Replace the center square with another color. Green would be a nice choice.

Reverse the colors, using brown as the background with light-colored squares.

For a 9-inch block, cut a 2-1/2 inch brown center square and 8 2-inch brown squares, plus 4 2 by 3-1/2 inch white rectangles and 3 2 by 6-1/2 inch rectangles. Piece as above. Six 9-inch blocks with spacers between them will make a 60 inch row. Four 9-inch blocks without spacers make a 36-inch row.

For a 12-inch block, cut a 4-1/2 inch brown center square, plus 8 2-1/2 inch brown squares, 4 2-1/2 by 4-1/2 inch white rectangles and 4 2-1/2 by 8-1/2 inch white rectangles. Piece as above.  Five 12-inch blocks make a 60-inch row, or three make a 36-inch row.

For a more interesting 12-inch block, make 4 6-inch blocks and join them together to make one larger block. This is how I constructed my 12-inch block:

I swear that these all look aligned in person!

For my row, I chose to make 3-inch blocks.  For this option, cut a 1-1/2 inch square of brown, plus 8 1-inch squares of brown.  From the white, cut 4 1-inch by 1-1/2 inch rectangles and 4 1 inch by 2-1/2 inch rectangles. Construct as above.  I found it easiest to strip piece the units for these blocks instead of using tiny squares. I thought it went faster and were more accurate.

The three-inch blocks are somewhat fiddly, but are very cute and make a nice row.

Hope that this row is very non-stressful! Our last row is coming up in November, so this is a good time to check and be sure all of the rows measure 60-1/2 inches long and adjust if necessary.  Be sure to come back for the last row on Tuesday, November 3.

Linking to Linky Tuesday, Let's Bee SocialWIP Wednesday, and at soscrappy for RSC15.


Bernie Kringel said...

I have been meaning to check in with you to see the October block for a couple of days now. Yahoo for a simple block. No HST's. I am thinking I will use strip piecing to piece baby blocks. It will be cute to have a tiny row, plus I don't think I have an abundance of brown in the scrap bins. Win-win. Thank you Mari for the tutorial!

Soma @ inkTorrents.com said...

The colours of this block makes me want to go outside :)


scraphappy said...

Love the three inch version. Everything tiny is so very cute. Even in brown.

Kate said...

Fun blocks!

Cathy said...

What a great block. That is contrast at its best!

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

Beautiful block and perfect for fall!

Deb A said...

Lovely block you selected. Looks so nice in brown.

LA Paylor said...

you know, brown and white look great together. Rich but not harsh. LeeAnna

PaulaB quilts said...

thanks for the tutorial. I love the rich mocha color, too. Keep up the good work!

Edith said...

Very nice, I like your pictures of the blocks on the tree trunk. Lovely choice of brown in these blocks.

Sheila said...

This is my kind of block! No HSTs! Thank you for the tutorial : )

Kathy S. said...

The three inch version is sooooo cute! LOVE your pics of your blocks on the tree. Nature makes everything even more beautiful.

Laura Chaney said...

I love simple blocks like this! Thanks for the tutorial!