Sew Colorado Quilting using the whisper pattern which added a nice swirly feel to the angular blocks.
My daughter and I took it on a little outing recently when we took a girls weekend away. These photos were taken on an evening hike through Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. Couldn't resist the sangria bottle since it had all the right colors and name on the bottle.
I have always wanted to make an X-Plus quilt. The block was very popular several years ago and I always thought I'd make one using aquas and chartreuse. But this summer I opened a box with fabric I had set aside for a different quilt and they suddenly seemed perfect for the X-Plus block.
In the box was a fat quarter of this Kaffe Fassett fabric purchased many years ago. Reds and corals with a dull gray-green background and very bright chartreuse leaves. It paired well with another Kaffe spot print and Kona seafoam that is a close match to the print background. From my stash I pulled a rusty red/green dot print. These were all in the box.
Also in the box were three other large prints in somewhat similar colors. I had planned to use them in a modern minimal design I came up with years ago. That design no longer held much interest to me. Too simple. Too minimal. I have come to realize that more is more as far as my quilts are concerned. I like to throw in a lot of different prints and often a riot of color. Below are three of the original feature fabrics in the box.
I knew a wider range of fabrics was needed so I turned to my stash. I looked for X prints in the pink, coral, orange color range that varied in value. I looked for reds, oranges and even magentas that worked for the plus signs. Initially I planned on all chartreuse prints for the ends of the plus signs but realized it was better to broaden that color range as well so included yellows, oranges, and greens. For the background I debated on using all the same fabric but decided I preferred more variety there as well. I even used the original seafoam green to add a little more value change in the background. Below shows the lightest and darkest blocks plus one of my favorite blocks on the far right.
The end result couldn't be further from my initial idea. All sparked from a single print that caught my eye. Lots of color and value differences keeps my eye engaged. I think that's why prints appeal to me so much. Prints are my happy place. : )
Numerous tutorials exist online on how to make the X-Plus block at different sizes. I thought I'd share some links here in case you'd like to make your own. From what I've read, the original block is attributed to Nancy Cabot in 1938.
- For a 7.5" finished block check out this tutorial by Amy of Badskirt.
- For a 10" finished block check out this tutorial from My Quilt Infatuation. Kelly provides great tips for making a super scrappy X-Plus quilt.
- For a 12.5" finished block check out this tutorial by Christine Barnes. If you're a Kaffe fan you'll love the blocks she made featuring Kaffes prints. They are gorgeous.
- And for a giant 24" finished block check out this tutorial by Karen at CapitolaQuilter. She made a wonderful scrappy quilt that mixes block sizes.
I wanted a 12" finished block so I used the following measurements. It's not an even division of the 5 x 5 grid but it's so close you wouldn't know.
- X: cut (4) 5.5" x 5.5" squares. I used the same fabric for all four but you could use a different fabric for each one to make it more scrappy.
- Background (corners of X pieces): cut (8) 3" x 3" squares
- Center cross: cut (1) 2.5" x 7.5" AND (2) 2.5" x 3" pieces
- Outer cross: cut (4) 2.5" x 3" pieces
You can see the look of the quilt changes when the grid measurements within the block are altered. Even though the X units are wider in the illustration on the right, the X itself gets lost because the background that helps define the shape is smaller.
The X-Plus block offers so many possibilities I'm tempted to make another one. Maybe I'll make that aqua and chartreuse one I originally envisioned. Or perhaps a totally scrappy version where each X within the block is different. That would be a great way to use lots of scraps.
Have you ever made an X-Plus quilt? What colors did you use?
If you've never made one now might be the time. Maybe this post and my Pinterest board or the Instagram tag #xplusquilt will inspire you.
Linking up to Kelly's NTT, Wendy's Peacock Party, and Cheryl's Favorite Monthly Finish.
Hop over and be inspired.