Sunday, March 25, 2012

Japanese x and + tutorial

One more week until the official kick off of the Retro Flowers Quilt Along! I hope you all will join us!! Now is the time to pick out you beautiful fabrics, get your supplies ready, and join the fun in the flickr group. For all of the information on schedule, prizes, and more, go here! Until then...

I have been hunting around the internet for a good tutorial on the Japanese x and + block finishing at 12.5 inches. Much to my dismay, I could not find one. I decided to backwards engineer it and I thought I would share what I came up with!

Here is my final block, finishing at 13 x 13 (12.5 x 12.5 once it is sewn to its neighbor blocks)

My pictures came out like I was using a fish eye lens...weird. Anyway, this is the first cut I have made into my Good Folks and man was it nerve wracking. 

So after some careful math, I figured out that you need:

(8) 3 inch squares for the triangle pieces (blue in my block)
(4) 3 inch squares for the ends of the plus (yellow in my block)
(2) 3 inch squares for the plus (red diamonds)
(1) 8 x 3 inch rectangle for the plus (red diamonds)
(4) 5.5 inch squares for the x pieces (I chose 4 different prints to make it scrappy)

I started by piecing the x part of the block. Each 5.5 inch square will get (2) 3 inch squares sewn into opposite corners like this. I sewed a vertical seam from the top corner of each blue square to the bottom of each. 

Next, iron the squares back onto themselves (wrong sides together) and cut away the excess fabric like so

Next, I sewed together the pieces of the plus part of the block using a 1/4 inch seam. I ironed my seams open mainly because I prefer the look. You can press them to the side as well.

After that, I sewed 2 of my 5.5 inch squares to each of the shorter plus pieces. This is where you have to get careful about placement. You want to make sure the 'points' of your x pieces are pointing towards your main plus color. In mine, I made sure my x pieces were pointing to the red diamonds, as opposed to the yellow. 

Finally, I sewed each of those pieces to the final portion of the + part of the block. 

I really like the scrappy look of it! It was a super easy block with some very fast piecing. I have seen people use color and fabric in numerous ways for this block, but I find the scrappy ones to be the most interesting and striking. 


  1. That's really a great project for all my scraps :-) Thank your for the inspiration!

  2. Oh lovely!! The fabrics look so perfect x

  3. Love it. I just finished my scrap attack quilt and for some reason I think I have more scraps than what I started with! These could be a good way to use them up . Thanks for the tutorial and can't wait to get stated on my Retro Flowers.

  4. Thanks for the excellent tutorial. Love the use of fabric for this square. Beautiful.

  5. Great tutorial - the block looks amazing!

  6. I love those busy fabrics all together like that. Great job. I'm in for Retro Flowers - yippee!

  7. So Pretty...........I could see the T part of the block in brownish colors and the X part in vines and flower prints with a sky blue background all the same and put together it would look like a trellis..........thanks for the pattern........

  8. Hi, someone just referred me to this tutorial and then I remembered you from the Hand Stitched class :) Do you have more posts showing your Japanese X+ quilt? Thanks!

  9. Thanks for the redo on sizing. I've been eyeing this block forever and curious to see it done in a larger block and how that changes the overall look.

  10. Thank you so much for doing this tutorial! I love big blocks! Yours is gorgeous! :)

  11. I've made both sizes and I do like the big ones ; )

  12. I have been looking for a up-sized version of this block, I'm so useless at the maths that I got in such a mess, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for this. The colours and patterns you chose for your block are really lovely. x

  13. I just adore this block! An Lord knows I have scraps. :-) This might have to be my next block project. Thanks for making this tutorial!

  14. Love the choice of color fabrics you selected! So vibrant and edgy and thank you for the very clear toutorial...

  15. I have been itching to start cutting and could not make up my mind...then saw this tutorial. Yea!! Thank you for sharing. Made a block tonight and it was so easy and fun.


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