Antique Queen Cross Double T Quilt Block
Hello Dear Friends and Readers,
Don’t ask me why a particular type of quilt block brings appeal? Who knows what inspires us at times. The fabrics, the design and the setting can influence how we see it. I was researching antique quilt designs as I often do, and I came across a quilt which really caught my attention. It was named as an Antique Queen Cross Quilt. It looked old. It has also a fair bit of damage on one side of the quilt. In the blurb, it said late 1800’s to early 1900s. The name definitely got my attention. I have tried to find evidence of this block naming but I have struggled. You can see it here.
I really like the name. According to Barbara Blackman, Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns this particular block is named Double T, no. 1662d by Nancy Page. A similar block with a differing construction was attributed to Nancy Cabot. Here is some history of Nancy Page. nancypage quilthistory. She sure sounds like a woman who got things done.
Apparently the T block was representitive of the Women’s Christian Temperance Movement. Which you can read more about here. quilt_pattern_temperance
This quilt appears much older so perhaps the design predates Nancy Page naming. Which is intriguing. Many quilt blocks have been around for a long time before they actually had a name.
Maybe the quilt was made during the period of Queen Victoria’s long reign, so is it possible that influenced the name as it does look like a cross too. It’s a bit of a mystery.
Then I decided to look up Queen Cross and was surprised to find a medal which was issued by Queen Elizabeth after WW2 which was probably later then the making of this quilt. You can see the medal here which is a cross joined by a circular wreath. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Cross I can definitely see the design of this quilt block in it.
Having said that, cross designs have been around for centuraries, and some of them have a similar appearance, like the Celtic Cross and Greek Cross. The fact that the Women’s Christian Temperance Union was Christian could make it believable that a cross was intended in the design…. But that is just speculation on my part.
The quilt I saw appears to be made with shirting and was very appealing. The blocks were set on point which changes the appearance and maybe that is where the Queen Cross comes into it. The setting blocks are a blue and white Rail Fence which also gives creedance to the idea that it is a Temperance Quilt as blue and white were the colours that they used.
I then reassessed the information from the seller and it said it was a queen sized quilt with a cross variation……maybe that was all they really meant…..
I did email the seller to see how they arrived at the name and got a reply where they said after an exhaustive search they came across the Queen Elizabeth Medal and that is how they got the name too! The resemblance is very strong and I can understand why they came up with the name but the quilt predates the medal I feel.
Then, just to make things more interesting I discovered that the Elizabeth Medal was based on or is similar to the Canadian Memorial Cross which is awarded to veterans of wars beginning in 1919 after WW1. That is a bit of a conundrum, as, is it a quilt which may have been made for a Women’s movement or a quilt which may have been made for a veteran of war…..who knows.
So perhaps I have just gone down a bit of a rabbit hole and it really is a T Quilt which is in itself is very interesting anyway. In Australia we would say that it makes for a pretty good yarn! A ”Yarn” is a story, as opposed to a skein of yarn. 😊
As I have been cutting up old shirts recently Get shirty this certainly gave me reason to try at least one. As it turned out I needed to make a few to get the measurements and setting correct.
The block is made up of four 1/2 square triangle units and and four sets of two flying geese with a centre square in the dominant fabric. The geese are made with the background fabric and fly towards the centre. It is essentially a nine patch. The construction also reminds me of the Churn Dash / Monkey Wrench pattern.
Flying geese can be a challenge, but I’ve got a way around that. I’m thinking that my method is not unreasonable as I believe it would have been hand pieced, so the shapes were cut to fit together.
The block measures 9 1/2” x 9 1/2” approximately. I would definitely recommend making a test block to check your seam allowances. You will need two fabrics. A main colour fabric and a light background fabric. Seams based on 1/4”.
This is how I did it.
Requirements for one Antique Queen Cross Double T Block
2 of 4” x 4” squares of main colour fabric
2 of 4” x 4” squares of light background fabric
8 of 2 1/2” x 2 1/2” squares of the main fabric cut once on the diagonal to reveal 16 triangles for the sides of the geese.
2 of 4 1/4” x 4 1/4” squares of the background fabric cut once on each diagonal to reveal 8 triangles for the flying geese
1 of 3 1/2” x 3 1/2” square of the main colour fabric for the centre
Instructions for making the Antique Queen Cross Double T Block
Rule a diagonal line onto the wrong side of the two 4” x 4” background squares.
Put a 4” x 4” background square onto a 4” x 4” main colour square right sides together.
Sew a 1/4” seam each side of the diagonal line. Cut the units apart. Press and cut off the doggy corners.
These units should measure 3 1/2” x 3 1/2”. Trim if necessary.
Make the eight flying geese units.
Place the long side (hypotenuse) of a small coloured triangle right sides together on the short side of a background triangle. Sew a 1/4” seam to join them together. Turn the triangle back. Finger press and repeat for the other side. For more details on construction see
Chain piece making the eight flying geese. Press the geese. These units should measure 3 1/2” x 2”.
Join the flying geese units together in groups of two. Make sure that the seam does not cross the tip of the geese so you don’t lose your points. The set of two flying geese should measure approximately 3 1/2” x 3 1/2”. The two geese should fly in the same direction.
Lay out the units in a nine patch fashion with the plain square in the centre and the half square triangles in the corners and the flying geese units in between. The geese should all face toward the centre square.
Now sew the units together as a nine patch. Pinning may be necessary to make sure that the units align and the seams lay down nicely and nest. There is a bit of bulk, so take your time sewing them together.
Press the block. I don’t know haw many of these I will make yet. But I do like them.
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All the best,
© Susan Stuklis 2021