Stitching with Swampy

Hello and welcome again to Stitching with Swampy! Swampy here (of course)! I heard you needed a block to alternate with your Greek Cross blocks and Robyn was busy with unicorn nonsense, so I whipped up this tutorial. Let’s get started.

Alternating Blocks Mockup

For this alternating block layout to work, we’ve decided to make our Greek crosses using dark cool colours (green, blue, purple) for the centre, medium to light cool colours for the “background,” and white or light neutrals for the corners. We’ll stick with this colour scheme for our alternating blocks.  I’m using mismatched prints from the scrap bin, but if you like, each lettered fabric (A, B, C) could be cut from a single print or solid.

Cut your fabrics!

Fabrics A and B cutting
Fabric A (dark cool colours)

  • 4 squares 2 1/2″

Fabric B (medium to light cool colours)

  • 1 square 5 1/4″
  • 1 square 6 1/8″

Fabric C cutting

Fabric C (white or other light neutral)

  • 8 squares 2 1/2″
  • 4 squares 2 7/8″
  • 2 squares 5 1/4″

Part 1: Flying Geese

This method makes all four flying geese at the same time without wasting fabric.

Part 1 Step 1

1. On the wrong side of each of your four fabric C 2 7/8″ squares, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner.

Part 1 Steps 2, 3, 4

2. Place your fabric B 5 1/4″ square on your work surface right side up.

3. Place two of your fabric C 2 7/8″ squares right side down on the 5 1/4″ square at opposite diagonal corners, matching up drawn lines.  The squares will overlap slightly in the centre.  Pin along drawn lines.

4. Stitch 1/4″ away from drawn lines on both sides.

5. Cut along drawn line and press seams toward small triangles on each unit.  (If the fabric B is visible through fabric C, trim the fabric B seam allowance slightly to accommodate.)

Part 1 Steps 6, 7, 8

6. On one unit, place fabric C 2 7/8″ square on corner of fabric B triangle with drawn line pointing towards the small triangles and overhanging the edge slightly.  Pin along drawn line.

7. Stitch 1/4″ away from drawn line on both sides.

8. Cut along drawn line and press seams towards small triangle.

9. Repeat steps 6-8 on second unit.

Part 2: Square-in-Square

Be extra careful to sew exact 1/4″ seams when sewing your square-in-square to ensure you end up with proper size square.

Part 2 Steps 1, 2

1. Cut your two fabric C 5 1/4″ squares in half along the diagonal to create four half square triangles.  Avoid over-handling these triangles as they are cut on the bias and will stretch!

2. Fold your fabric B 6 1/8″ square in half with right sides together and press.  Unfold and gently press again so the square is mostly flat but you can still see the crease from folding.

Part 2 Step 3, 4, 5

3. Place the 6 1/8″ square on your work surface right side up.

4. Place one triangle on top of the square with the right side down, lining up the long edge with the edge of the square, and the point with the crease created in step 2.

5. Pin and stitch, being careful not to stretch the triangle.  Use as many pins as you need!  Press seam towards triangle.

Part 2 Step 6

6. Repeat steps 3-5 with second triangle on the opposite side of the square.

Part 2 Step 7, 8

7. Fold square/triangle piece in half the opposite direction as in step 2 and press.  Unfold and gently press again maintaining crease.

8. Repeat steps 3-6 using new crease as a guide.

Part 2 Step 9

9. Trim square-in-square to 8 1/2″ by 8 1/2″, being mindful of seam allowances at the points.

Part 3: Assembly

Part 3

1. Using flying geese and previously cut fabric C 2 1/2″ squares, sew together strips according to diagram.  Press seams open.

2. Sew two shorter strips to either side of square-in-square, matching points.  Press seams open.

3. Sew longer strips top and bottom of block, matching seams and points of geese/square.  Press seams open.

All done!  Go take a nap or enjoy a nice avocado on toast.

Completed Alternate Block with Greek Cross

4 comments on “Guest Post: Cross Alternate Block Tutorial”

  1. JudyB says:

    That Swampy is a busy pukeko.

  2. Jayne says:

    Thanks Swampy – you give very clear directions :-)

  3. Louise Saunders says:

    Nice destructions Swampy, thanks!

  4. Jayne says:

    Almost finished.

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