Friday, August 4, 2017

Tutorial - Great Scrapbuster, "The X Quilt"

Photo of X Quilt coming off the frame. 

I love it--it's so scrappy. 

Let me show you how I construct the X Quilt Block, using my 2.5" wide strip method,
a genuine scrap buster approach.

Fabric Cutting and Assembly Reference

10-1/2 inch X Quilt Block


Step 1 - sew together 3 strips of fabric
Each strip is 6-1/2" long by 2-1/2" wide


Step 2:  Fold unit in half, and press to mark a center line


Step 3: Open pressed unit to reveal center line crease


Step 4: Put unit on a cutting board, and lay 4-1/2" square ruler template diagonally following the ironed crease line.  


So far, we've sewn two units.  Pressed, and Cut with 4-1/2" square ruler template.


To make this block, make 4 units

Step 1 - Sew 3 strips together

Step 2 - Press in half

Step 3: On your cutting board,  lay 4-1/2" square ruler template on the unit

Step 4 - With rotary cutter and ruler template, trim to 4-1/2" square


Fabric Cutting and Assembly Guide

Note the Orange, Red, or Yellow Cross in the center of the block are built from 2-1/2" Squares, plus (1) 6-1/2" x 2-1/2" Horizontal Strip.

I made 42 blocks.  6 blocks per row, 7 rows.

Above Photo: first 4 blocks.  Auditioning orange, red, and yellow fabrics for center crosses.


2-1/2" Wide Sashing (medium to light gray fabric)

Sew 10-1/2"sashing strips to each block

I laid the blocks on the floor of my studio, to create a good color distribution.  

I found success in focusing on the YELLOW crosses
as they have the most twinkle, the most sparkle.  

Satisfied with the arrangements of a few rows, I knew I had a good plan for arrangement of the remaining rows.

Rows 1,2,3, and figuring out arrangement of blocks for row 4.

From the floor layout: I folded and marked row 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

Adding horizontal sashing to each row.

I finished sewing rows together and threw the quilt top on the bed to take a couple (progress) photos.

Why is a queen size quilt about 90" wide?
Answer: a queen size mattress measures 60" across, plus 15" drop on both sides = 90"


Next, I added two borders: 3 inch navy print, followed by a 6 inch gray border in the same fabric as the sashing.

Sewing 3" Navy Blue border around perimeter of the quilt top.

Adding 6" gray fabric border

Quilt loaded on the frame, first row of long arm quilting.

Side note: it takes me two hours to load the backing, batting, and quilt top on the frame which also includes cleaning and oiling of machine:

  1. clean machine surface with lint catching cloth. 
  2. emove throat plate to clean and make sure there are no stray threads or lint from previous quilting project. 
  3. one drop of machine oil in the bobbin race rim while you have the throat plate cover off.
  4. install new needle.
  5. one or two drops of machine oil in designated port to oil bearings (right hand side of machine head).
  6. clean frame surface, frame rails.
  7. clean machine carriage and its wheels (checking for dirt, lint, stray threads from previous quilting project).
  8. wind M size bobbins (10 bobbins needed for a queen size quilt based on my Floral Feather free style edge to edge quilt design).  My other signature designs are: Squirrel Feathers, and Fish Feathers.
  9. clean inside housing where bobbin race sits.  always lots of dirt and lint there from last quilting project.
  10. one drop machine oil inside the base of the bobbin race, then insert bobbin.
  11. thread machine (top thread)
  12. load backing, batting, and quilt top on frame,
  13. snug belly bar and take up bar to take up slack.
  14. attach side 4 clamps at the left and right margins of quilt fabric layers.
  15. Turn on machine.
  16. Test stitches with scrap strip of fabric on the oversized batting at the right hand margin.  Nearly always I have to adjust bobbin tension.  Its a lot of fussing some days.  I swear naughty elves adjust and play with the bobbin tension between quilting projects.
After all that, I began free style (long arm) quilting Floral Feathers.  A serpentine design that ends in a spiral, backtracking with feathers.  Its a very curvy, Victorianesque design I created a couple of years ago.  The sequence is about 10" tall, and covers an area 12-15" wide.  

I flipped up the bottom of the quilt, so I could photograph the backing.

and to show you two art panels added to the backing (a day's work to sew the backing for this quilt).


Yesterday, I squared two queen size quilts--this X quilt and another quilt called Blues Shoo-Flies.

Blues Shoo-Flies Quilt

I'll be doing a separate post about the Blue Shoo-Flies Quilt, which includes a tutorial how to fix a backwards placed block, while its still on the frame. 

It was a scary moment discovering this mistake. 

The repair turned out to be straight forward, and simple. 
I want to share photos how the repair was made.   

I prepared and installed bindings for both X quilt and Blues Shoo-Flies Quilt yesterday, and last night from the dinner hour forward I turned and hand-stitched the bindings to finish these two queen size quilts for a show this Sunday August 6 "Heritage Day" in New London, WI. 

At my tent at Heritage Day, I'll have 10 queen size quilts for sale, table runners, baby quilts, hand embroidered/hand beaded purses, and a bazillion oversized potholders.  Come see me! 


Yippee, I'm down to only one LARGE  FULL storage bin of fabric scraps. 

Best wishes to you.  Thank you for stopping by my blog, to read about life here in central rural Wisconsin, living in our old Victorian Farmhouse.  We're picking a big garden this year, lot's of green beans, zucchini, and tomatoes.

Love ya--friends.  Leave me a note, ok?

Friday August 4th--I had to turn on the furnace today.  Its cold, rainy, gloomy day, 54 degrees F. 


  1. Always love your posts. Love the quilting. very nice.

  2. Great post! What a fabulous eye you have for putting together those colours and prints. LOVE these scrappy quilts especially.

  3. Enjoyed visiting with you at Heritage Day. Thanks for the opportunity to sew on the 128. Loved it. Love my new purses, as well. -Jean

  4. Hi Frog Quilter: I left you a note today on your blog. Inspired by your colorful fabric combinations, and scrappy projects. I hope everyone gets a chance to read your blog. It is outstanding and filled with great ideas and lovely photography. I'm going to try one of your projects today--sewing a scrappy pouch for my 1939 Featherweight Foot Control. What fun! Best wishes to you.

  5. Hello there Jill (Quilt Rat: Your latest blog post is wonderful, filled with photographs of your digital artistry. I am so thankful you share your creations with everyone. Lots of hugs for you from your friends, including me!

  6. Hi Jean, Nice to meet you during Heritage Day event in New London. Thank you for buying several purses. Talking with you was such a pleasure, and hearing about your sewing machines. Looking forward to seeing you again at our Halloween Weekend Victorian House Tour and Craft Show, Sat/Sun 28-29 Oct, 2017.

    Message for everyone else to read: Jean is a beautiful person, dresses to the nines, and has a smile that gives the heart a lift. Truly, a lovely person inside and out.