Thursday, March 23, 2017

"X" Marks the Spot

NOTE: this was originally posted in March 2014. Still good info...

I taught a fun class last night, the "X" block from Sharyn Craig's book, Layer 'em Up. It's a sort, cut, shuffle, and sew process that creates 6 blocks quickly and all six are different.  The book is available here along with a link to a video of Sharyn showing the process.

Sort, light to dark


After first cut, before the shuffle

After the shuffle, ready to sew

Chain, Chain, Chain

Press, press, press
Modern blocks

Reproduction blocks

Beautiful blocks
Susan C with her first completed set of blocks

In less than 3 hours everybody clearly understood the process and had their first set of 6 blocks done.


FAT "X"               2" finished           Place ruler on 1.25" mark, corner to corner
NORMAL "X"  1.5" finished          Place ruler on 1" mark,  corner to corner
SKINNY "X"       1" finished          Place ruler on .75" mark, corner to corner

BONUS:  this block is adorable made very small.  Use 5" Charm squares and place the ruler on the 1/2" mark, corner to corner.  The "X" is 1/2" finished and blocks are 3" finished:

SHUFFLING STEP:  move the first two center squares, Fabrics 1 and 2, to the bottom, Fabric 1 is now under Fabric 6. Then move Fabric 1 "X" to the bottom of each stack.  You now have 6 completely different blocks.

This is a great project for a swap--since each block can be trimmed to the perfect size, since everyone has their own personal 1/4" seam allowance.   Here is my class sample, made from blocks swapped with 5 other quilters:

Let's quilt!



  1. Is this the block you used for the swap you did last year? Maybe after tax season there might be another one . . . !!! :)

    1. Yes, M'am! We did this last summer and I think I'll do it again later this year. Very fun and very easy!

  2. I am finally getting ready to put mine together! I made 81 baby x blocks for cornerstones. Maybe Susan C. will bring it to me to quilt, after I get her tree skirts done :0)

  3. I have made that block from one of Sharyn's books, but I didn't shuffle the fabrics. I used them as setting blocks to connect another block shape. Really liked the effect, and I love your scrappy full quilt!

  4. I've made gazillions of those blocks when Home of the Brave was still operating--all in civil war fabrics. Every one was so beautiful. In fact I've got one completed top and another that only needs 2 more blocks and they're both red, white & blue for Quilts of Valor. I LOVE that block and works so well for swapping since they get trimmed to size. Beautiful!!

  5. I haven't made that block yet but will be wanting to give it a try.

  6. Replies
    1. Lots of options. I use 10" squares and cut with the 1" line on the ruler on the center points, making the X 2" cut size and 1.5" when finished. You can go wider or narrower, your choice. I've also used 5" charm squares, 1/2" cut from the middle, adorable 3" finished blocks!

  7. What a fun block. The cut and shuffle is always such a nice way to mix up all your colors and gets lots of blocks in a hurry.