Greek Cross Quilt Block ~ Week #3 Spring Block of the Week

Greek Cross Quilt Block

Learn how to sew a Greek Cross Quilt Block during week 3 of our Spring Block of the Week!  This easy block is perfect for a beginning quilter!! 

Also learn a technique for making squares out of strips of fabric within this week’s block!!

During Week 1 of this Spring Block of the Week series I discussed planning the colors for your quilt blocks.  If you aren’t sure what color to make your Greek Cross Quilt Block take a peek at that previous post!

Greek Cross Quilt Block Week 3 Block of the Week Pin

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Week 3 – Greek Cross Quilt Block

This quilt block has a cute little cross in the middle!  Webster’s definition of a Greek cross is one has an upright and a transverse shaft equal in length and intersecting at their middles.  I’m sure that’s how this block got it’s name! 

Greek Cross on flag and church

I love how the cross in the middle of this block pops!!

Greek Cross quilt block

The Greek Cross Quilt Block also has different names!  Some of the other names for this block are Churn Dash, Double Monkey Wrench, or Grecian Square.  These blocks are all made up of the same square, strip blocks, and half square triangles.  But depending on where the contrast of color is, the name is different!!

The finished block will measure 12 ½” x 12 ½” square.

Sew using a ¼” seam allowance throughout.

Cut the fabric for the block…

Cut one 4 ½” square of dark-colored fabric for the middle of the cross. 

Cut two 5 ¼” squares of light-colored fabric.  This fabric will make up half of each of the half square triangles.

Cut another two 5 ¼” squares of medium-colored fabric.  This fabric will be used to make the other half of each of the half square triangles!

Cut one 2 ½” x 18 ½” strip of either the same dark-colored fabric used for the 4 ½”middle square or another darker-colored fabric.  I used the same dark-colored fabric, but you can make your square a little scrappier and add in another dark-colored fabric if you’d like.

Also cut one 2 ½” x 18 ½” strip of the same medium-colored fabric that you used for two of the 5 ¼” squares.

cut fabric for the Greek Cross quilt block

If you’d like a light-colored cross rather than a dark cross just flip flop the color-specific directions above!!

Also, if you’re new to quilting or cutting squares for quilts, you can take a peek at my post on using a rotary cutter or the post on basic quilt supplies!

Half Square Triangles…

In the Week 2 Shoofly Quilt Block post I described how to make half square triangles.  You can take a peek at that post if you need to learn how to make half square triangles!!    

Use the four 5 ¼” squares to make four half square triangle blocks.  These half square triangles should measure 4 ½” square when trimmed! 

four half square triangles

Making the “Striped” Squares…

Placing the right sides together, pin along one long edge.  Sew along the pinned edge to join the two strips together.

sewing the pinned strips of fabric together

Open up the sewn “striped” strip that now measures 4 ½” x 18 ½”.  Press the seam open toward the dark fabric.

Use your ruler to square up one side of the strip.  Then use this squared side to measure and cut four 4 ½” squares. 

cutting four and a half inch squares out of the sewn strips of fabric

There will be a little of the fabric left over at the end, ¼” to ½” or so. 

four cut squares out of the sewn strips of fabric with a little left over fabric strip

Technically…the long strip only needed to be cut to 18”.  But I like to allow for a little wiggle room in case the strips stretch a little wonky when I sew them together.  I’d rather throw away a little extra fabric at the end of cutting the four 4 ½” squares than not have enough fabric left to cut my fourth square from.  Live and learn!!    

Plan the block layout…

Replicate the image below to plan the layout of the half square triangles, the striped squares, and the 4 ½” middle square.

planned block layout

Sometimes I take a picture of the planned-out blocks so I don’t mess up when I start sewing them together.  Then I can refer to the picture to help me get all the blocks in the right order!! 

Sew together the squares of each row…

Begin sewing the squares together row by row. 

Starting with row one, place the first two squares right sides together.  Place a pin in the middle and on the end.

Using a ¼” seam allowance, stitch the two squares together.  Don’t sew over the pins, remove them as you come up to them. Repeat for rows two and three.

Line the stitched squares up in their correct row placement again.  Place the last block right sides together to each of the middle squares and pin.  Stitch the last block onto each row . 

Pressing the seams…

Press the seams of the squares of row in opposite directions toward the outside edges.  Press the seams of row two toward the middle square.  And press the seams of row three in opposite directions toward the outside edges again.  This way the seams will “nest” together nicely when you sew the rows to each other!

rows pressed in opposite directions from the center

Sewing the rows together…

With rows one and two right sides together, “nest” the seams together and place a pin in these lined up seams.  I also like to place a pin at the end of the rows, and a couple in the middle.

nesting the seams together

Sew the rows to each other, removing the pins as you come up to them.  Be careful not to let the seam from the bottom row fold over the wrong way as you come up to it!  This happens sometimes.   

Press the seams of each row all in the same direction, either toward the top or toward the bottom.  This way your block will lay nice and flat.

Nicely pressed seams look so pretty!!!  And they help to create smooth quilting patterns later!

Finishing the block…

Using the measurements for the individuals squares that make up this block, the final quilt block should end up measure 12 ½” x 12 ½”.  Once you’ve pressed it, lay it out on your cutting mat and square the block to make sure it’s 12 ½” square.

I have a 12 ½” square Omnigrip plastic “ruler” that works great for squaring up large quilt blocks!

The first three blocks in this Spring Block of the Week project look so cute together, don’t you think??  I’m loving how the colors are starting to blend together, and can’t wait to add the Week 4 block to this project!!

three quilt blocks from week 1 week 2 and week 3

Have fun making this Greek Cross Quilt Block, and have a great week!!


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