Happy summer! I have been slowly working my way through a few outstanding, but fun projects. I am happy to share a newly-completed quilt with you today, the “XMark Throw Quilt!” The “XMark Throw Quilt” hits the etsy shop just in time for the summer season. I love the fresh vibe of both the pattern and the fabrics. The floral combinations with light orange feel fresh for the summer. The wildflower prints especially make it say “picnic perfect!” The blue and purple tones add a cooling effect. Each blend together on opposite sides to form the bold x pattern surrounded by a relaxing off-white background fabric.
I started the XMark quilt way back in March 2022, when I first cut into the fabric bundle to make my daughter’s “Writer’s Sketchbook” patchwork minky blanket. The same fabrics were used to create a PMB for the July 2022 issue of We Like Sewing Magazine, which you can see here.
What I was left with from both of these projects was a beautiful assortment of Art Gallery Fabric strips in approximately 2 to 4 inch widths. I combined those leftovers with a few other fabrics from my stash, as well as off-white background fabric to form the base of the quilt.
There is no doubt the X design was inspired by Suzy Quilts Maypole and Sugar Pop quilt designs. I love the way she used strips in a more unconventional braided and x methods. Rather than purchasing the pattern and having to cut strips to some other demensions, I wanted to see if I could use up my random strips to create my own version of an x quilt design.
Creating the Design
I began by creating the four large triangles from my off-white background fabric. Then I arranged my longest and boldest orange strips through the center to form the basis of the X. Putting those bright colors toward the center draws the eye immediately in and gives the entire pattern a very strong focal point.
The remainder of the strips from my bundle were filled out with complimentary fabrics from my stash. I arranged all of those supporting strips to have a good balance of colors on opposite sides of the central X. Finally, I chose a deep peacock green – an opposite on the color wheel from the tangerine orange- to balance the boldness of the central X on all four sides.
Some of the strips were not long enough to make the complete distance of their part of the X. To extend them, I added a strip of the off-white background fabric to the end. Every strip has to come out slightly beyond the background triangle.
The quilt is basically made in four braided quadrants. The quadrants are then pieced together to form sides that sit on the diagonal. Finally, the two diagonal sides are joined up the middle seam. When the entire top is pieced together the edges are trimmed to the final square shape.
Quilting and Embroidery Details
Because I was flying a bit off the cuff on the design of the XMark Quilt, some of the strips I originally cut needed to be amended as I worked. That meant adding extra length to several of the strips as I worked. I also happened to be in the thick of an embroidery lesson with some of my elementary students.
If you’ve ever sewn with kids you likely know how much thread is left behind in odd little bits. After sorting through my floors after class, I pulled out several small pieces to set aside to use up. Several of the colors matched well with my XMark quilt. This gave me the idea to add several decorative stitches to some of the seams in the background.
Most of the stitches are simple geomentric freestyle designs, but one is an organic leaf design inspired by the print directly next to it. I love how the simple stitches add another layer of dimension to the quilt and emphasize the handmade quality.
For the quilting I went with one of my go to designs, the diagonal irregularly spaced stripe. Here the lines loosly follow the width of the pricing for a bit. As the strips change direction, the quilting continues on the diagonal at a similar spacing interval. I enjoy the repetition of the diagonal quilting, combined with the playfulness brought on when it breaks with the design.
Backing and Binding
In a recent trip to my local quilt shop, I found the most amazing double wide backing fabric! The print is a wildflower daisy cluster in cream on a light taupe background. “This is 100% the perfect fabric for me to use as backing!,” I thought. I promptly purchased 5 yards. Though I love to use random piecing to complete the back of a quilt, I’d just as rather not. Double wide 108 inch fabric is so wonderful when you can find it at a good price.
I happily used a whole piece to complete the back of the XMark quilt, then a few other strips to make the binding. I love how well the taupe color and daisy spray print went with the front of the quilt. Quilting serendipity indeed!
Shop the XMark Quilt
The XMark Throw finishes at 56 inches (142cm) square and would be a perfect throw quilt in your modern cabin getaway. The quilt would also be a decadent touch to your next romantic picnic in the fields. Grab your sun hat, champagne and charcuterie board!
Don’t worry if it immediately sells out, I plan to make more! In fact, I would like to take the notes I made from working on this one to make a pattern. As soon as I can, I will share the info on how to make an XMark Quilt of your own!
I hope you enjoyed the story of the XMark Throw Quilt. Thanks for reading, sharing and supporting. Have great summer and stay creative, friends! Janice
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(©2022, Janice Bailor // laruedefleurs.com)