Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Crosshatching Across Blocks

I love the look of crosshatching behind applique and I really love the look when it flows well throughout the quilt.  I was able to accomplish this on the perfect specimen last week.  Bethany pieced and appliqued a gorgeous Texas themed quilt where crosshatching went perfectly behind the appliques.  The crosshatching needed to flow across the quilt as if there were no sashing at all.  I loaded the quilt onto my big girl "Betty" and a bit of a "stand and stare" later, I figured out how to make that crosshatching flow.  Since I was pretty darn proud of myself for coming up with  the math to make this happen, I thought I'd show you all how I did it.  I'm sure there was a simpler way to do this, but just ask my husband and sons.....math is not my strong suit (and I'm a quilter, right?).   

The crosshatching flows across the quilt with disregard of the sashings
My first thought was that I needed the crosshatching to go from corner to corner on all of the blocks.  so I marked an X making that flow.  This guaranteed that the flow would follow all the way across all blocks.  I used the purple disappearing ink marker to mark on this quilt.

After making the X on two squares next to each other, I measured the size of the on point box I had just created between the two.   This box measured to be 9.25".   

I halved the 9.25" measurement I just got which ended up being 4.625 which in my mind is pretty darn close to 4.5 so that is the measurement I kept.  Then I halved 4.5 in order to get the distance between every line, 2.25"  

In the end, I would mark the X from corner to corner in each block and then measure and mark 2.25" flowing throughout the block.  I made sure that I was lining up with the previous block as well to get that flow I wanted.  No crooked lines allowed in crosshatching.  

The results were great.  I changed my thread color to match each background and this gave me an invisible thread look.  I love how this turned out.
The crosshatching flows across all blocks as if the sashing is not there.

Sashing and border quilting done in black.
My method to the quilting was as follows:

- Mark one block at a time with the purple disappearing marker. In Houston, the humidity really helps take those marks away pretty quick. I always mark what I can finish within the next 15 minutes (or they will have disappeared and I have to remark....no fun).  

- I stitched around the applique first, starting at a crosshatched line that would end up at a corner of the block. Once I ended going around the applique, I stitched up to a corner (using a straight ruler template). 

- I then stitched around the block using my straight ruler template for the stitch in the ditch.

- After returning back to the corner I started at for the SID, I would then stitch all the crosshatching lines using the straight ruler template.  Yes, I would stitch back over the SID and around the applique stitches to get to my next crosshatch line.  I do this so I will not have so many start/stops in the block. Thread buildup was not a problem as the spaces were not that big and I found ways to only go over the stitching once.  If this were a competition quilt, I would have made a start/stop at each end of line and then bury all my thread tails.  (Not one of my favorite things to do). 

Viola.....crosshatched blocks flowing across the quilt top.  


  1. Thank you Kim for this information. The quilt looks great. I love doing ruler work.

  2. Love it, my DD & I were talking about how we would attempt a crosshatch on one of our practice quilts. Thanks for the insight. We just got our INNOVA (Ronnie) last month.

  3. This information is so helpful. It's nice to see all the beautiful quilting out there, but it's even better when the technique is explained, so we can appreciate all the work involved.