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.



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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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31 Responses to intersection block – a tutorial

  1. 1
    Penny G says:

    Thank you for the thoughtful tutorial. I like that you told me why you did things, how to fix them and possible outcomes. Sometimes when something – even very minor- goes wrong I get the mindset that everything is ruined and I can’t fix it. I love this quilt and look forward to making one.

  2. 2
    Ann says:

    Thanks for thing the time to create this great tutorial. After seeing your quilt the other day I set out to try and do the math for the blocks. My numbers were dead on, For one of the blocks. Even though I stared for a long time at your wonderful quilt I hadn’t noticed the variability in sizes. Now it’s all I can see. I love this additional element to the quilt and am thrilled your tutorial has the measurements. I’ll be making this qult for certain. Thanks again Ashley.

  3. 3
    Emily says:

    Love it!
    Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

  4. 4
    Kim says:

    Thank you for sharing so generously. I love checking out your blog!

  5. 5
    Mad says:

    Wow! love this. Thanks so much!

  6. 6
    Sharon T says:

    Thanks so much for writing and sharing your tutorial for this beautiful quilt!

  7. 7
    carol gagne says:


  8. 8
    Karen says:

    When I first saw your fabulous quilt I was wondering how you constructed the blocks. Great technique! Thank so much for sharing the tutorial.

  9. 9
    Patti says:

    Thank you so much for taking the time to give us this fabulous tutorial! I love this quilt and the “simple” way you made it!

  10. 10
    lisa says:

    I cut some fabric back in January, then had to put the project away as real job took control of my creative process. I lost my notes and train of thought. Your pattern and tutorial will work perfectly with the cuts I have made, with some modifications and I love the design. Thank you so much for sharing this. I needed inspiration!

  11. 11
    Beth says:

    Thank you very much for your tutorial. I have to admit I was like, “oh wow, that’s how it’s done!” Very clever and a great way to show off some cool fabríc, like the rabbit/moon one you used. Thank you again! I love it and I feel certain that I will use it!

  12. 12

    Thanks for sharing! I love all the bright colors! I know you said “No” to fabric requirements, but can I ask how much you used to make your quilt?

  13. 13
    Lesley Gilbert says:

    Thanks for taking the time to make this tutorial – I love all the colours you used and it’s going on my ‘to do’ list 🙂

  14. 14
    sophie says:

    I love that! thank you for the tutorial!!!

  15. 15
    Debbie says:

    Jan from Sow and Sew Farm sent me over to say hi. Love the intersection block.

  16. 16
    Ellen Thompson says:

    Very clever! One of those blocks that look hard but are easy.

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  18. 17
    Julierose says:

    I love cross quilts and this is really a great one..beautiful finish hugs, Julierose

  19. 18
    Pat S says:

    Thanks for sharing. I love this quilt and really want to make one.

  20. 19
    Jo says:

    Wow, how wonderful these colors and patterns work together! Your picks and combinations are beautiful and the end result is amazing! Big, big compliment!

  21. 20
    Lesley Gilbert says:

    Nice and easy to follow tutorial – thanks for sharing 🙂

  22. 21
  23. 22
    Judy Moore says:

    Thank you for the tutorial, my quilting group in Queensland, Australia will find this block very useful for our charity quilts.

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  25. 23
    Debbie says:

    HI! Is it ok if I use one photo from your post in my upcoming newsletter round-up on plus quilts? I’d like to your post here of course. Let me know – thanks! Really love this pattern and may need to make it again!

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  27. 24
    Maureen says:

    As a newbie still to the quilting world….I have soaked up more information, put in a laid back way, and you get beautiful results. Thank you so much for you sharing your knowledge and tips.

  28. 25
    Felgall says:

    I simply love this block and your clear and insightful tutorial is excellent. This is definitely a must do block (and quilt!) for me.

  29. 26
    Leanne says:

    Thanks for this fabulous tutorial – just whipped up two of these blocks yesterday and they look awesome – I’ve marked it to make a whole quilt next year !!

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  31. 27
    Mary Jo Schneider says:

    Thanks! I’ve made three of these so far. The first was quite a challenge, as I used several different fabric lines and it was hard to get the color/value balance just right. I set aside several cool colored blocks and made more warm blocks. It finished up great, and then I realized I only needed to make 12 more blocks to add to the set aside blocks to make a second quilt! The third quilt is made from Anna Maria Horner florals for the large and medium scale prints, and Me and You for the smaller scale prints. I couldn’t be happier with how it’s turning out, and this time I only made two extra blocks… On all three quilts I added an extra row at the bottom for a longer length.

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