This is my first block for Quiltmaker Magazine’s 100 Blocks series. No doubt members of my Thrifty Quilters group on Facebook will recognize this block, and it may also be familiar to regular readers of Quiltmaker’s “Quilty Pleasures” blog.
Bailey’s Cross was a block I came up with while I was playing with the Corner Beam Ruler, designed by Deb Tucker of Studio 180 Designs. I used this handy tool to make the green star points in the block. In 100 Blocks, the editors included paper-piecing instructions.
In the Thrifty Quilters group, we sometimes post photos with interesting color combinations, to inspire members to play with their scrap fabrics and try combinations they might not otherwise use. It’s only one block, and they’re only scraps, after all. I made and posted this block in response to a photo of Irish Coffee. Then Diane Harris, Quiltmaker’s online editor, and a member of the Thrifty Quilters group, shared it to Quiltmaker’s Facebook Page. From there it went viral, picking up hundreds of “Likes” and “Shares” within hours.
Since then, I have had fun with this block. I designed a tablerunner and placemats set that appears in the Designers’ Gallery section of 100 Quilts, Vol. 8. Two block testers used it in the quilts they made for the Block Testers’ Gallery. Shannon Braze Ownby showed her quilt on her blog “Fabric N Quilts”.
When I found out “Bailey’s Cross” would be included in this issue, and that I would be on the blog tour, I wanted to show you a couple of other ideas for using the block.
This autumn tablerunner is made with four Bailey’s Cross blocks, surrounded by a 1″ (finished) border of green and then a 3″ border of the same autumn leaves print I used in the center of the blocks. The binding will be brown, and I will make a couple of placemats to go with it…as soon as I find some more of that brown.
One of my BQB’s (that’s “Best Quilting Buddy”) is Annette Freeland. She is always game to test a new pattern for me. For Bailey’s Cross, I came up with a quilt that used 16 blocks. When I stopped in to see how she was making out with the pattern, the first thing she said was, “Did you know there are 61 pieces in each block?” I didn’t. I tend to think in terms of units per block, and I knew there were 8 Corner Beam units in each block, 8 half-square triangles, 4 flying geese units, 8 two-inch squares, and 1 four-inch square. If I had thought about the number of pieces, I’m not sure I would have made that first block!
And this is Annette’s Quilt…sixteen Bailey’s Cross Blocks set in four rows of four blocks in a field of dark purple. Then she added narrow white and green accent borders with a wide border of lilies-of-the-valley print on a lilac colored background. this should be a full to queen-size quilt.
Another design concept I’ve been playing with is to use just one vertical row of blocks in a quilt. I think it might be more successful with a larger print in the field, but I spotted this latte tan print and it has the mint green, plum and a darker teal blue in the print. The photo really doesn’t do the fabric justice.
This quilt is crib size- just 42″ x 54″. I think a 5-block version could be made into a nice lap-size quilt.
All of these projects will soon be added to my catalog of workshops, located at my website
Meanwhile, I hope you will give Bailey’s Cross a try, and be sure to email me a photo of your block and/or project. My email is: email@example.com.
How would you like to win a copy of 100 Blocks Vol.8? Just leave a comment below.
Tell me what colors you would use for your Bailey’s Cross block and I’ll draw one winner at random.
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Enjoy the rest of the Blog Tour!