The research of the real name of the Cross Block started with a stray comment I made on a list saying I wondered what the real name of my block was.
That sent Sarah on a frenzy of Googling, where she found that the Library of Congress has quilt photo called Royal Cross that has similar bones to the Cross Block. Sarah also found that Tazzie has a pattern for the Royal Cross.
Then Leslie chimed in with the sudden realization that she had a quilt from her Grandma in this [Royal Cross] pattern. She posted the pics, which I have reproduced here.
Comparison between the Royal Cross and the Cross Block.
Blocks are constantly modified to suit the needs of the maker and I am sure that these blocks are no exception. My block and the Royal Cross look similar in the middle, but the outside of the Royal Cross looks like it is meant to draw attention to those squares in the corner. I can’t say much about that as I went on and on in one post about the center of this, among other patterns, not actually being the center. I’ll have to look through the Barbara Brackman book and the Kansas City Star books and see what I can find. If all else fails I’ll post a picture on the AQSG Yahoogroup and start sending photos around to various quilt historians.