intersection block – a tutorial

Thanks for all the love on my latest quilt top. I’m glad you like it and I’m happy that I thought ahead and snapped a few photos so I could share this quick, albeit wordy tutorial!


This quilt looks more difficult than it is — in reality it’s pretty quick to put together and gives you lots of opportunities to put together fun fabric pairings. (In fact, it may take you longer to decide on fabric groupings than it does to sew the blocks together!) Make it in a wide variety of prints like the one shown, or decide on a more limited color palette. It would also look great in all solids.

You may want to take a read through the tutorial prior to starting, as there are a few notes throughout.

Intersection block:

11 1/2″ block
seam allowance is 1/4″ throughout

A few measurements…


Note: If you want all your corners and rings to line up, just select one of these sets of measurements and use the same for all your blocks. Alternatively, you could select to have all your corners line up and the plus sign widths vary by using the same center measurement and the variety of measurements for the rings. Or you could construct it as I did for the sample quilt top where I used a mix of all these measurements and didn’t worry about the corners or rings lining up.

The first ring requires a strip measuring about 34″ – 40″ in length (depending on the center square measurement) – 1 strip x WOF if cutting from yardage, or 2 strips cut from a FQ.
The second ring requires a strip measuring about 40″ – 52″ in length (depending on the center square measurement and first ring width) – 1-2 strips x WOF if cutting from yardage, or 3-4 strips if cutting from a FQ.

 [due to the nature of this free tutorial, I will not be providing additional fabric requirements or specific cutting instructions. I hope you understand!]

Ready? Let’s get to making blocks!


Cut a center square according to the measurements above. Decide on the width for the first ring (again, following the measurements provided above, or adjusting them to suit your needs) and cut two strips that measure at least as long as your center square.


Sew each strip to opposite sides of the center square, iron seams open, and trim edges.


Repeat to sew two additional strips to the remaining sides to finish the ring.


Trim edges so block is square (as you can see, the blocks may be different sizes depending on which measurements you’re using).


Cut strips of fabric for the second ring, and follow steps above to sew one strip to either side of the block. Iron, trim and repeat for remaining two strips.


Trim block to 12″ square.

Note: if you find your blocks aren’t quite the right size, just add 1/8″-1/4″ to the measurement for the second ring, then trim block down to size once the rings are sewn. I prefer making my blocks a bit bigger and then trimming down, rather than making sure my seam allowance is spot on.


Cut block in half vertically and then in half horizontally so you have 4 6″ squares.


Rotate the squares as shown so that the outer ring becomes the center plus.


Sew top two squares together and bottom two squares together and iron seams open.


Sew the two halves together and iron seam. Stand back and admire your lovely intersection block!

Repeat these steps to make as many more blocks as you need for your desired quilt size.

A few notes on fabric selection -
*directional prints work best for the center square of this block (directional prints work on the outer rings, just keep in mind that the prints will be sideways in places unless you adjust your cutting to ensure they’re all facing the right way as you sew your rings).
*the outer ring of the block becomes the center plus sign, so I find that a smaller print works better here. You’ll note what happens with a larger print (especially if it’s not straight!) in the block above on the right – and yes, I did end up ripping it out after the block was sewn together because it was driving me nuts!
*it’s also helpful to think about contrast¬† between your fabrics, especially between the fabric in the center square and the fabric in the first ring. This first ring ends up being the outside of the plus sign, and I think it looks best if doesn’t blend too much with the print/colors of the center square.

I hope you’ll have fun making this block and I look forward to seeing them! Be sure to use #filminthefridge or #fitfquilts on Instagram so I can see them.

Fabrics used are all prints from Cotton + Steel. Many are from upcoming lines due in stores in January. If you're shopping for Cotton + Steel prints, be sure to check out my sponsors in the right sidebar - many carry a great selection of the current prints!

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How’s about this for a bright and colorful quilt? I feel a bit like a walking ad for Cotton + Steel, but honestly, I’ve just had such fun sewing with their fabrics lately that I can’t help but exclaim about it (and trust me, they have no idea that I’m so obsessed!).


They say that their collections are meant to be mixed and matched, so I thought I should put that to the test. Before I left for Quilt Market, I had pulled out a number of prints and paired them in groups of threes, but held off on cutting anything, hoping I’d be able to get my hands on a bit of the new collections.


The design is one I’ve been wanting to try out for a while (you know I love me a plus quilt!) – I’d been thinking about it since I made this quilt (and accompanying tutorial) way back in 2009! — thinking it would be fun to cut the blocks apart and rotate them rather than mixing them up. Then I recently saw, and became obsessed with, this cross quilt in Roderick Kiracofe’s book, Unconventional & Unexpected (a hugely inspiring book, by the way!).


I must be craving color during these gray Vermont days, because I’m in love with how bright and vibrant this one is! I usually am one to need a solid or two (or nine!) to give the eyes a place to rest, but I’m kind of loving how this one is just a whole bunch of prints all sewn together into one fun, and hopefully grown up!, version of an eye spy quilt! Max and Hazel have already been having quite fun pointing out all the various horses, butterflies, kitties and bunnies (so maybe not so grown up?) Ah, doesn’t matter….I love it!

Want to make one? I have a tutorial ready to share in the next day or two. It’s a simple one to replicate for sure, but thought some of you might appreciate a photo tutorial and a few measurements!


(book link is an Amazon affiliate link, fyi)


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If this quilt looks familiar, it may be because it’s a variation of the Cotton + Steel quilt I showed last week. While trying to come up with a design idea for Sarah Watts’ upcoming Tokyo Trainride line, I kept wanting to see the blocks set on point.


It didn’t end up working out for that particular design, but I couldn’t get it out of my head, so once those quilts were done, I took the opportunity to make a variation on point with the leftover fabrics.


I used a large square of each of Sarah’s prints for the center, and surrounded each with coordinating Cotton + Steel basics.


I made a crazy pieced backing with the leftover pieces


along with a bit of the selvage, which I think is fun to include when I’ve made a quilt out of one line.


I quilted it with largish loops – it’s a quilting design I’ve always liked the looks of but had never tried. Turns out it’s a fun one! I marked horizontal lines to keep the loop height about even.


I think I may have to make this one again featuring another fun fabric line!


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