Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Scrap Attack {Japanese x & + block}

Ok, so you've seen the Japanese x & + block, right?  I mean, it is the block that forced us to Scrap Attack after all.  When my friend Jessica of A Little Gray started her Japanese x & + quilt I just couldn't keep sitting on my hands.  A little chatter in Pinterest and here we are.

This block has become a bit of a legend.  Its fame launched when Jan photographed a quilt submitted by Setsuko Inagawa for the 2011 Tokyo Quilt Festival and shared said photos on Flickr.  Check it out:

Detail 4

Then Badskirt Amy popularized the block in blogland by creating her own version and an awesome tutorial.  Last year, a quilt-along for the Japanese x & + block resulted in some lovely quilts like this stunner by Leila of Where the Orchids Grow.

+ & X blocks Quilt

And even now another Flickr group has sprung up for folks who are swapping completed Japanese x & + blocks so as to create some super-scrappy concoctions.  (The swap is likely to repeat, in case you want to get on the list for next time!)

Isn't this all completely wild? It totally gets me going to think that one fabulous quilt can stir up such a fire of creativity.  The world is a dazzling place!  Here, here!

another gem by Jessica at A Little Gray

This tiny block finishes 7.5" square, so all those pieces use up modestly-sized scraps. I haven't made one myself.... yet.... but when I do I'll imagine that each block is a miniature fabric portrait   Sweet and scrappy.  Mmmmm....

So, if you'd like to make this block, do hop skip and jump over to Badskirt Amy's rather happening blog for the complete tutorial.   What, you don't know Amy?  Oh my, let's fix that.  Amy's a fascinating gal and she and I had QUITE the chat.  It was chock full of gutsy scrap-rebellion that could inspire a paradigm shift.  The interview turned out too long and too good to cram in with today's post, so I'll let's do this thing again tomorrow.   Until then, keep "Scrappenin" (thanks, Jessica) away on your Scrap Attack quilts.  We'll do a link party here at Stitched in Color at the end of January so we can all enjoy the great work that's already been done!

x and + quilt
Gorgeous version by the Berlin Quilter


  1. Once you make your first block, you'll also know how addicting these little guys are! Thanks for the history...

  2. What a stunning use for scraps. Incredible. This one is now on my list of 'things to make and keep for myself'. (I just made up that list. We'll see if it ever happens!) :)

  3. I have been dreaming about a second + & x blocks quilt, I am not going there I think ...but it is so much fun! Perhaps a cushion will satisfy my craving :)

  4. Very interesting, Rachel! I enjoy Badskirt Amy's website, and it doesn't surprise me that she has lots to say on the subject of scraps! I still haven't tried these blocks for myself, but only for lack of time! I will, hopefully soon!

  5. Ok I am going to try my first block today!!

  6. oh I'm so curious to read Amy's deep thoughts now. I always love reading what she has to say. Leila's quilt KILLS me. Actually, now that i see she only has 48 blocks, maybe mine won't take so long to finish after all. I'm over a quarter of the way there! What's funny about that one block you like so much is that I made it based on one little sample of meet the gang that I got in a package from Intrepid Thread. I love it when stuff like that becomes something special. (And yeeps Rach, thanks for all the links!)

  7. I keep finding quilts I want to make ~ACK! My list keeps getting longer. Thanks for the information about the quilt ~ love the tutorial and will be making this one very soon.

  8. All I have to say is...AAHHHHHH! I feel the same way about scraps! I had to force myself to create a "scrap bin" (which is actually a shoe holder thing on my door). I rarely put stuff in it, it either ends up back in my stash or in the trash. Stash it or trash it :) How nice to find someone who has a similar thought on scraps. Thanks for interviewing her!

  9. Uh...so I totally left that comment on the wrong post. What can I say? I'm a dork. Just pretend that goes to the scrap post. Sorry!

  10. I'm slowly, but surely churning these out for the swap

  11. I love this post! Loving this series--thanks so much!

    Elizabeth E.

  12. i love that you haven't made one of these blocks! i haven't either! we should so do a mini swap... ;)


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