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Christine's Color Connection

A newsletter for quilters in love with color

August, 2016      

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The Quilter's Color Club has lots of info on every aspect of color. You can find my book on my website  
"Spumoni," a Tutorial
First, apologies for the sending the WRONG newsletter a bit ago. I have no idea what happened, but I'm sure it was my fault!

So, let's try again: Why spumoni? Well, it is summer, and when I looked at my latest quilt top, it reminded me of spumoni, "a creamy Italian ice cream, with different colors and flavors in layers, often with bits of fruit and nuts." If you're following me on social media, you may have seen some of the Japanese X and Plus blocks I've made. Here's my first, still one of my favorites:
As you can see, there is a "plus" shape made up of horizontal and vertical units (the green pieces), and an "X" shape (the red pieces). These are all Kafffe Fassett fabrics, to which you know I am hopelessly addicted.

The Quilt, Step-by-Step
So, let's look at some examples. I adore this basic block because it gives you the chance to showcase patterns and colors you love, and it's super easy to make. Here are three more individual blocks. (The quilt is coming below, promise.)

My plan was to space out the individual blocks with plain alternate squares or sashing. Didn't work because the blocks looked lonesome. So I took a deep breath and set them block-to-block.

Gulp, is it fun . . . or is it just chaos? I've decided it's a "party quilt" because it looks as though these blocks are having a good time. It makes me happy, and isn't that all we ask of our quilts?

A narrow border cut from a large black-and-white dot seemed to contain the wild blocks. I didn't realize until I cut the strips that the dots weren't printed straight. Who knew.

Ready to make your own Japanese X and Plus block? Here's how:

I'm going to give you the size of the cut pieces and let you figure out how much you need for the number of blocks you plan to make. I suggest a scrappy quilt, but with the same background to calm things down.

For a nine-block quilt, you'll need ½ yard of background fabric. That assumes no cutting errors, so I would get 5/8.

Cutting for one block, 12½" square:

For the "X" units, cut: 
4 squares 5½" x

For the background, cut:
8 squares 3" x 3"

For the "Plus" unit cut:
2 squares 3" x 3"
1 rectangle 3" x 8"
From another fabric, cut: 
4 squares 3" x 3" for the outer squares

Making the X units 
Sew 2 background squares to a 5 ½" square as shown. Trim the excess at the corners, leaving a ¼" seam allowance. Open out the pieces and press the seams (and all seams) open. Make 4 units.

Making the plus unit 
Sew an outer square to each end of the center rectangle. Then join the outer and inner squares.

Sew the units into horizontal rows as shown. 

Ta da! Your finished block.
I hope I haven't worn you out, rather that I've inspired you to make a few (I dare you to make just one) Japanese X and Plus block.

My YouTube channel with tutorials is coming soon and I'm so excited. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your summer, and keep cool, perhaps with a bowl of spumoni? Ciao!    

About This Newsletter   

If you've received this newsletter, you may have attended one of my workshops or bought one of my books, patterns, or color wheels. It's easy to opt out, below, but I hope you'll stick around to see what's in store. It's all about color, using it, enjoying it, and sharing it with other quilters.


Thank you! 

Contact Info

Christine Barnes

[email protected]