String Crossroads Instructions
Approximately 82” x 98” finished
I am only giving instructions for one size; you can make fewer blocks to make it smaller, or more to make it enormous! However, my advice is to keep a string block at each corner (this makes the pattern look more finished to me), so the rows will need to have an odd number of the four-patch blocks. You will also need an odd number of columns to accomplish this. Mine is 9 blocks by 11 blocks.
The blocks are based on 4.5” unfinished units. When completed, the four-patch blocks will measure 8.5” (8” when finished in the quilt).
You can construct this single row by row, but I find it easier to sew the units into four-patches before assembly.
For purposes of these instructions, I will refer to the light fabric used in the quilt as background fabric. This can be a constant fabric, or you can use light neutral scraps. Try to keep the values fairly equal if you use several neutrals; otherwise, the pattern may not be apparent.
EQ7 suggests 5 yards of constant background fabric—you may not need quite that much. If you decide to do a scrappy neutral background, I have no estimate for amounts. I also can’t estimate the yards for the string blocks and the stitch and flip corners of the background blocks—you need lots, but I don’t know how to measure a string.
String Unit (make 200)
2-corner Snowball Unit (make 196)
1-corner Snowball Unit (make 80)
Plain Unit (make 4)
Construct 200 4.5” string units from assorted scraps.
Note that the diagram show only two colors—you will want to use LOTS more!
Many tutorials exist on making string blocks, so I won’t give a detailed account here, I will list some resources for instructions. I used 4.5” squares of telephone book pages as foundation, and I tried not to use strings wider than 1.5” to get lots of variety in the units.
My tutorial on string piecing: http://theeclecticabuela.blogspot.com/2015/04/normal-0-creating-string-quilt-string.html
(Note: You will be using a straight string in the center rather than the kite-shaped one I show, but the method is the same.)
Bonnie Hunter’s instructions on string blocks: http://quiltville.blogspot.com/2005/06/string-quilting-primer.html
(Scroll about halfway down for the information about piecing on paper.)
A video tutorial from Jenny Doan at the Missouri Star Quilt Company: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZ02NM9-USw
Construct 196 4.5” 2-corner snowball units.
I used the stitch and flip method with these. You will need 196 4.5” squares of your background fabric and 392 2.5” squares or assorted scraps. Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of the 2.5” squares. Begin with a 4.5” square of your background fabric. On two opposite corners, you will add 2.5” squares. Again, I will provide resources for the method, if you are unfamiliar with it.
(Note: the stitch and flip instructions are at the very beginning of the post.)
Bonnie Hunter’s method: http://www.ctpub.com/blog/finetuning-the-stitch-flip-with-bonnie-hunter/
(There is very good detail in these instructions.)
Construct 80 4.5” 1-corner snowball units.
These are done just as the 2-corner units. You will need 80 4.5” squares of your background fabric and 80 2.5” squares of assorted scraps.
You will need an additional 4 plain 4.5" squares of background fabric for the corners.
Assembling the top:
Create 4-patches of string blocks. Be sure the angles of your units create an X:
You will have 50 of these string blocks.
Create four-patches of your 2-corner snowball units. Again, be sure the centers form an X:
You will have 49 of these crossroads blocks.
Create two-patches of the 1-corner snowball blocks. Be sure your triangles meet in the center.
You will have 40 of these blocks.
Assemble the quilt as shown in the diagram. I’m not giving detailed instructions on assembly since everyone may do it differently.