X and +

Who can resist the x and + quilt blocks popping up all over the internet. Certainly not me. Especially not when I had a whole stack of Anna Maria Horner Field study fabrics begging to be made into a quilt. If you are looking to make one of your own, I followed this tutorial. I found it very simple to follow with good pictures and written explanations. I especially like that there are three different sets of measurements depending on how big you want your blocks to be.

I decided to make my blocks 10-inches finished. I wanted the pieces big enough to show the larger scale prints. I started by cutting all of the strips and squares I was going to need. Since I was only using prints, and they were all different (i.e. no background fabric here), I wanted each block to be unique and scrappy. Once I had all of my fabric cut I gathered the required number of pieces for each block and separated them into plastic sandwich bags. This ensured each block was different and kept each blocks pieces together until I had assembled it.

process

Here you can see baggies of blocks (top left), chain pieced block components (bottom), and finish blocks (top right).

X and +

A sidenote on chain piecing: When I started quilting I did all of my piecing and quilting by hand (no sewing machine at the time). Once I started sewing with a machine I would sew each seam and take it out of my machine. I found that this wasted a lot of thread, but I figured that was how it was done. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I was introduced to chain piecing. Whereby each seam is sewn one right after another, and each section is connected with a small bit of thread. You can then clip them apart when you are ready to use them. When I get to the end of the pieces I am sewing I run a small scrap of fabric (about 1.5-inches square) through my machine so I can get the last piece out. So much less wasteful and so efficient.

pieces

I was able to get 33 blocks from a little less than 18 fat quarters. I decided on a 5X6 block layout, making my quilt around 50X60-inches finished. I like this size. It is manageable to sew and big enough to cuddle with on the sofa with a cold beer. That left me with three extra blocks and extra bits of fat quarters to construct a scrappy back.

whole back  back detail

With so much going on with this scrappy quilt, I decided simple straight line quilting with a rainbow verigated thread would be best. Once my quilt was well basted, I started with one verticle line down the center of the quilt. I then used my presser foot as a guide along that line of stitching, with my needle as far to one side as possible, resulting in 1/2-inch spacing. I continued in this manner across the width of the quilt.

 whole front  front detail

So what do you think of my x and + quilt?

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