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 Free Pattern : A Greek Cross Block

Greek Cross is an interesting variation of the traditional Nine-Patch. Although the main section of the block is quite similar to most Nine-Patches, it includes a strip above and below giving the block a rectangular shape. As a result of its unusual shape, this block works best in specific settings only.

Greek Cross is traditionally constructed from two prints and a solid. For best results, a similar print value should be used, and colors should have the same tonal value.

Greek Cross block

How big do I make it?

This Greek Cross block measures 15 x 9 inches.

Instructions - How do I construct it?

Greek Cross is constructed in very much the same fashion as a Nine-Patch block; assemble component parts before piecing three rows. This block includes an additional step, however; stitching a fabric strip above and below the main block.

Greek Cross includes a square, rectangles and right triangles. These basic shapes work up very quickly with a rotary cutter, but templates may also be used. To build the block, first cut your fabrics using the following steps :

  • Cut a square from a 3 1/2-inch strip of fabric A.
    Square cutting graphic
  • Cut four 3 1/2-inch long rectangles from a 2-inch strip of fabric A.
    Fabric A rectangle cutting graphic
  • Cut four 3 1/2-inch long rectangles from a 2-inch strip of fabric B.
    Fabric B rectangle cutting graphic
  • Cut four right triangles from a 3 7/8-inch strip of fabric B.
    Fabric B triangle cutting graphic
  • Cut four right triangles from a 3 7/8-inch strip of fabric C.
    Fabric C triangle cutting graphic
  • Cut two 9 1/2-inch long rectangles from a 3 1/2-inch strip of fabric D.
    Fabric D strip cutting graphic

To piece the Greek Cross block, component sections are stitched first. In all cases, use a quarter-inch seam allowance.

  • Gather all fabric B and C triangles.
  • Place one fabric B triangle over a fabric C triangle, right sides together, and stitch.
  • Repeat with remaining triangles to build four squares, and press all seams.
  • Place one fabric A rectangle over a fabric B rectangle with the right sides together, stitch and press.
  • Repeat with the remaining rectangles, building a total of four rectangle-pair squares.
  • Triangle-pair assembly

    Rectangle-pair assembly

The final assembly step involves piecing the main three rows and then adding the upper and lower strip. Rows 1 and 3 are the exact same, but in reverse. Before stitching, check your row's orientation to make sure pieces are positioned properly.

  • Rows 1 and 3 : Gather two triangle-pair squares and one rectangle-pair square. Place one triangle-pair square over the rectangle-pair square and stitch. Repeat with the second triangle-pair square on the other side. Press seams.
  • Row 2 : Place one rectangle-pair square over the fabric A square and stitch right sides together. Repeat to stitch a second rectangle-pair square on the other side of the fabric A square. Press seams.
  • Checking the row positioning first, place row 1 over row 2 with right sides together. Stitch and press seam.
  • Place row 3 over row 2, right sides together, stitch and press.
  • Place one fabric D rectangle over row 1 with the right sides together. Stitch and press seams.
  • Repeat the last step, but place a fabric D rectangle over row 3.
  • Press all seams of your completed block.

Row assembly

What can I create with it?

Greek Cross is traditionally pieced with sashing placed vertically on each side. The sashing includes four corner squares typically constructed from a print used in the main block. This layout is a good choice for adding decorative stitching as well.

Greek Cross quilt with sashing

Without vertical sashing, Greek Cross blocks placed in line create a wonderful geometric pattern. The block's upper and lower strips automatically create horizontal sashing which may be used for a running stitched motif.

Greek Cross quilt

More to keep in mind

Although this block does not lend itself to diagonal placement, a little creativity is still possible in your layout. In this variation, the blocks are set horizontally, yet they create a vertical pattern to the eye. Worked up in bold primary colors, this example layout is certainly an engaging version.

alternative Greek Cross placement

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