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I’m so excited to officially introduce you to the North Cross Quilt!
I’d love to tell you about how the North Cross design came to be! For a while now, I’ve had a goal to make a pattern that is reminiscent of my earlier TBS designs that are large scale, overall designs - ones like Pine Falls, Cross Lake and Riding Mountain. They all have a design that scales with the quilt size, rather than a repeating block.
When I was growing up, my mom made a lot of traditional tumbling block quilts. I thought it would be cool to take the essence of a tumbling block, but give it a new and modern spin!
Traditional tumbling blocks normally all line up in the same direction, but I decided to use just four blocks and then rotate them. After playing around with the design for a while, I came up with North Cross and felt really happy with it. In my excitement, I wanted to push the design even further and ended up with a repeatable block pattern - which is how North Cross’s best buddy South Cross was born!
The tunnels connect several lakes including “North Cross Lake” and “South Cross Lake”. We've boated, kayaked and canoed through these tunnels many times over the years and the beauty truly never gets old!
As you can see below, North Cross Lake’s tunnel has a triangular shape. When the water is really clear, you can see reflections of the trees above the tunnel in the lake, with the triangular tunnel in the middle. The North Cross Quilt pattern has a similar mirror-like design, so the name felt perfect!
I intentionally designed the North Cross Quilt and the South Cross Quilt to have their own distinctive look, knowing that everyone has a unique style when it comes to quilts. At the same time, I also wanted them to complement each other as a set - without being too matchy-matchy!Both patterns are available in the shop individually, as well as a set of two with a special bundle price!
- Pillow - 18” x 18”
- Baby - 40” x 40”
- Throw - 72” x 72”
- Bed - 90” x 90”
It also includes instructions to make a two-colour, five-colour and multi-colour quilt! There really is something for everyone.
Here are the fabric requirements:
North Cross Cover Quilt
Early on in the design process, I was playing around with different mockups and pulling colour inspiration from Pinterest. I was showing the mockups to my husband, Chris, and he immediately fell in love with the colour combination below. He was so passionate about it being the cover quilt that I just couldn’t say no!
I normally lean more towards brighter and bolder colours (especially lately), whereas Chris is more on the muted side of the colour spectrum. But I was pleasantly surprised at how much I also love this combination! Here are the Kona Cotton colours I used:
I chose Perfectly Imperfect from the Luna and Laurel collection by Art Gallery Fabrics as the backing. I wanted this quilt to have a bit of curvy softness to balance out the geometric "boxiness" of the pattern design. I used Sarah Golden’s Whiskers and Dash for Andover Fabrics in Haze for the binding.
I machine quilted straight lines to create an almost pinstripe look using Aurifil’s Natural White (2021) on the back and Aurifil’s Moonshine (6724) on the front. This Moonshine colour is a weird (and wonderful) combination of warm and cool, depending on what fabrics you pair it with. It truly blends with almost everything! It’s especially perfect for quilts that have a lot of different colours because it creates a really soft look and complements whatever you’re working with. It’s very similar to this Gutermann thread colour, which I used to use on literally everything when I first started quilting because it’s what my local shop had at the time!
I know that a lot of people LOVE Aurifil’s Dove (2600) as their medium grey blender thread, but I personally find it to be a tad too blue. I love that Moonshine is an in between of Dove and the more yellow ones like Chalk (2000), but still has a really nice warmness to it.
North Cross Multi-Colour
This quilt is a perfect example of my love for bolder colour combos! I have wanted to play around with this colour combo for some time now, and I’m so glad I went for it. I love it so much!
Deciding on colours is one of my absolute favourite parts of the quilt making process! Often I find myself going back to favourite combinations, but then switching things up with different tones or shades to reach the vibe I’m going for. Check out this video to learn more about how I go about choosing quilt colours!
If you saw the interior of my house, you would know that my favourite colours are green and orange. I have been wanting to use them together in a quilt for a very long time, but it’s just never felt quite right! Which maybe explains why I often end up doing all green quilts!
Looking back at my work over the past five years, you can see I definitely started out with more subtle colour combos, often to play it safe. Over time, I have found a confidence within my own voice and was definitely feeling ready to step into the boldness of orange with this quilt! The middle of winter with early sunsets and -40 degree celsius weather made me want to do something fun and lively!
Here are the Kona Cotton colours I used:
I love colour, and especially these colours so much. So, I challenged myself to use a similar palette as the starting point for the South Cross cover quilt. However, if you go take a peek, you will see how different the final look is with some small changes to tone and value!
I chose this Pink Squiggle fabric from Darlings 2 by Ruby Star Society as the backing and Spruce Kona Cotton for the binding. When I make quilts with borders, I often like using the same colour as the background for the binding to let the overall design speak for itself.
I can’t stop marvelling over the scrumptious quilting on this one by Shelly of Ma Tante Quilting using pale peach thread! I spent too many hours agonizing over which pantograph to choose…until I came across the Compass Panto designed by Jess of Threaded Quilting Studio for the Longarm League!
I felt like this quilt had the perfect amount of dark negative space that could handle a bold pop with the quilting.
Photos by Shelly of Ma Tante Quilting
Not only does the name feel like a match made in heaven, but the design even subtly mirrors the quilt design… what more could I have asked for?! It’s not common for me to choose something so bold, but I love it so much.
Photos by Shelly of Ma Tante Quilting
North Cross Two-Colour
If you’ve been around TBS for a while, you’ll know that I have an undying love for two-colour quilts. It’s true and I don’t care who knows it! So, naturally…I had to make one for North Cross!
Here are the fabrics I used:
I chose Wilderly from the Dear Isla collection by Hope Johnson for Cotton & Steel in Early Sunset as both the backing and the binding. I knew I needed to use it because it’s almost an exact colour match to the Essex Homespun fabric!
I machine quilted this one with Aurifil’s Natural White (2021) thread in a rainbow/arch shape. I started with a semicircle in the corner and radiated out using the previous stitched line as my guide. Because this quilt was for a sweet, new babe, I wanted it to stay really soft and drapey. That's why I used 2" spacing between the quilting lines.
This quilt was gifted to one of Chris’s co-workers. They had their first baby after experiencing a miscarriage, which is why I chose the rainbow-style of quilting. I wanted a subtle way to honour their journey without using over-the-top rainbow colours etc. I also hand sewed on a TBS label, printed by Grain Deep.
North Cross Fabric Bundles
Have questions about this pattern or any other ones in the shop? Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you out!