I like to call this block Japanese X and Plus Block, because it was first made popular in 2011 by Setsuko Inagawa in Japan (I would love to link to a picture of the original quilt, but unfortunately it seems to have been taken off Flickr). I've also seen it referred to just as X and Plus Block. Here's one belopminata made.
Background - (8) 4.5"x4.5"
Print 1 - (4) 8.5"x8.5"
Print 2 - (4) 4.5"x4.5"
Print 3 - (1) 4.5"x12.5" and (2) 4.5"x4.5"
Background - (8) 2.5"x2.5"
Print 1 - (4) 4.5"x4.5"
Print 2 - (4) 2.5"x2.5"
Print 3 - (1) 2.5"x6.5" and (2) 2.5"x2.5"
Mark all of your background pieces along the diagonal. Mark a second line at least .5 from the previous line if you want to make bonus HSTs.
I would recommend laying out your block to make sure all of your pieces are in the correct spots, and to make sure your directional fabrics face in the right directions (if that's your thing, it's definitely mine). Also, if you've fussy cut your partial snowballs (X portions), now is the time to determine which order you want them in (i.e. which corners can be cut off each one).
First sew the Plus sections of the block. Sew the side squares together and the top and bottom squares onto the rectangle. I recommend pinning just to make sure the fabrics don't shift while sewing. If you want to chain piece these, sew the first square on the rectangle and then run the other squares through before coming back and sewing the second square onto the rectangle.
Next pin the corners onto the partial snowball (X portions), making sure that your bonus triangle line is closest to the corner and that the corners of both squares match. Chain piece these as well. Don't forget to sew just on the outside (towards the corners) of the lines.
Trim off the bonus HSTs, by carefully cutting a 1/4" from the middle seam. Remember to iron the seams open to reduce bulk.
Set aside your bonus HSTs for either the back, future blocks, or your scrap bin.
Trim your blocks to 8.5" (4.5"). When you trim, make sure you line the ruler up with the corners and edges of the print, and that way you should only have to trim bits of the background.
Now, lay out your block again to make sure your directional prints are still facing in the correct directions and then sew the side arms of the Plus to the lower X portions. I generally pin the outside corners first, and then the center seam. The seams should be offset a bit, since one is on a diagonal and the other is straight. If you want to make sure that the points will match up, stick a pin through the seam 1/4" down and see if that goes through the seam at the 1/4" mark on the other side. If it doesn't, you can wiggle it just a bit to fit before pinning.
Sew the seams and then iron the pieces. Next sew the top X portions onto the sections you just worked with.
Again, pin the outside corners and then the center seam. Sew and iron. Now sew the center Plus section to one of the sides, pinning in the corners, then the outside seams and then the center seams. Finally, sew the other side to the block.
Press the block and you're done!
Here is the baby quilt sized block:
Completed Block Size:
Queen Sized: 20.5"x20.5"
Baby Quilt: 10.5"x10.5"
- Fussy cut the prints.
- Use four different fabrics for the corners or make the whole thing scrappy (try to stick with a general color for each part of the block, so you can still see the base design).
- Use improv stitch and flip triangles to make wonky X portions.
- Play with where you place background and prints, e.g. cut the four outside squares from the background fabric so they disappear and you are left with just the Plus and the X behind it.
- Create improv "fabric" to cut your X portions from.