Friday, January 24, 2014

Civil War Quilt--Block Five

This block is called Crowned Cross.  It had A LOT of HST (half-square triangles)!  Not very fun to sew.  I do really like blocks that use them; I just wish I didn't have to make them. No pain, no gain?  I like the bottom one the best.


I've mentioned that this project has been hanging around in my stash for quite a while, and as I am trying to work through the blocks, I know why. There are no cutting measurements given.  There are photocopied drawings of templates and it's up to you to figure out the sizes if you don't want to do things old school.  I had some trial and error on getting the right size triangles cut for this block.  I kept thinking, "What's the finished size of this unit supposed to be?"

I taught myself to quilt around 20 years ago using a Leisure Arts book called something like Teach Yourself To Quilt or something equally obvious.  It did a really good job of teaching the basics (obviously), and it was all done with templates!  Trace the shapes from the book using template plastic, trace around the templates on your fabric, cut.  I had bought a rotary cutter and mat for my first quilt project and then barely used it unless I was cutting rectangles or strips.  Strip piecing was pretty rare.  

Thankfully, piecing and cutting methods have evolved quite a bit since then.  In the quilt guild I joined as a newlywed, there was debate on whether a machine-quilted quilt was even a real quilt.  Now it's really rare to see a hand-quilted one.  

As I work through these blocks, I can't help but think of how quilts were made during the Civil War.  Just think, the majority of them were done entirely by hand (and probably with templates too).

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