Monday, November 12, 2012

X-ing and +-ing....

I've been in love with the Japanese x and + quilts, inspired by Setsuko Inagawa floating around the blogasphere of late. Most recently Ara Jane's of 'You know what I love?' and this one by Leila from 'Where the Orchids Grow' which has been on my pinterest board for an age.
For a great tutorial on how to lay out and piece the block go to Amy Gunson's badskirt site for a good explanation of the block construction. warned, the sizes quoted aren't quite right. Now Amy was the first to admit in her tutorial that the blocks she designed were loose and about having fun so I'm not pointing an accuracy finger at all. It's just that when I decided to use scraps for my quilt and realised I had an abundance of 2 1/2" squares and strips, I thought that I'd prefer to use them as a whole rather than cut them down to Amy's measurement of 2". When I tried to enlarge her units for her 7.5"/8" block, the square 3.5" piece didn't come out at a 'regular' size, in fact it was something like 4.32"! The pure fact that I couldn't work out what that could possibly look like on an inch ruler called for a halt in cutting proceedings!
Then I found this post by Occasional Piece-Quilt who'd discovered the same calculation problem but had worked it out based on 2 1/2" units using a quilt block computer program....salvation!
So I've worked with her measurements:
Centre cross = 1 x 6.5"x2.5", 2 x 2 1/2" square
Edges of the cross = 4 x 2.5" square
Background triangles = 8 x 2.5" square
Branches of the x = 4 x 4.5" square
These measurements yield a 10" block which is a great size.
I've spent the last few days on these blocks. I had an initial oops and should have re-read Amy's tutorial where she specifically explains the mixing of colours for the 'branches of the x'. I didn't do this for the first three and matched mine. I swore, abandoned ship and slept on it, deciding after another look not to pull them apart.
I'm so glad I didn't pull them apart because in the mix of the now scrappier blocks, it's hard to tell which ones they are. I find it hard to contrast my fabrics and scrappy is just as hard for me but as I'm working through these blocks and the fabric choices are diminishing, I'm getting better...and as Amy suggested....having fun!


  1. This is such a great block. And all scraps as well. I was thinking that now A is back we could go back to Thursday night Sand W and then we wont miss out on so many. Will put it out there with K and M.