"Nough Said" Layer Cake Quilt


My daddy was a quiet man who loved the out of doors. He had an uncanny ability to connect with people on a personal level. It still amazes me how he could sit down with someone and within 10 minutes share a bond that reached to their deepest roots. It amazes me, but it isn't really a surprise. Daddy designed camps. Anyone who ever spent time at a Boy Scout or Girl Scout or Church Camp, anyone who ever drove through a national park or enjoyed the view from the top of a mountain or the side of a lake stood where my Dad stood. He would share that moment with you...in detail...because he had been there.

When Dad met my beloved he knew exactly where G had grown up. The man could describe the drive way and the house and where the trees were planted. Dad had been past it a hundred times on the way into the Sierra National Park.

I have no doubt that he could do it with you, too.

To me, this quilt is all about that - connections. I made it with Reunion by Sweetwater...a fabric line about connections....+'s and x's connect numbers......the blocks form chains....you get the picture..... 'Nough Said.

  • 1  Layer Cake (42 10"x10" charms)
    • for +'s and x's  
    • I used Reunion by Sweetwater
  • 1 1/2 yards Red
    • for inner border, sashing, and x's
    • I used the red from A Stitch in Color by Malka Dubrawsky (#23210 16)
  • 1 yard Cream  
    • for sashing
    • I really don't know what I used, I wasn't paying attention when I bought it, but you could use Porcelain from Bella Solids (#9900 182) and get the same result.
  • 1 1/2 yards Outer Border
    • I used the news print on porcelain from Reunion (#5471 13)
    • My original plan was to use the grey with dandelion dots (#54762 1)
My original idea for this quilt

  • 4 yards Backing
    • I have to admit it....my taste changed a little between the time I bought the fabric and the time I finished the quilt.  I bought grey chevrons (#5473 1) as my outer border and the news print (#5471 13) as my back.  When I got to the point of adding my borders, I didn't like that anymore.  So I used the fabric I had on hand for the backing to make the borders.  As a result my backing wasn't big enough.  What you see is the remainder of my original backing plus 8 charm squares and some of the chevrons.  I kind of like the results.
    • All of this to say - go ahead and be creative!

  • 1/2 yard dark blue
    • for binding
    • Again, I have no idea what I used.  It is dark blue.  Bella Solids, #9900 174, American Blue would do the trick.

This quilt can be viewed in a couple of ways.

It might be 64, 4" blocks set in an 8 by 8 grid with 2" sashing all around.  This view helped me a great deal when I was cutting things out.  Not so much when I was piecing it.  (I get intimidated by large numbers.)

A friendlier view is 16, 10" blocks set in a 4 by 4 grid with  2" sashing all around.  From this perspective it kind of looks like the "+'s & x's" quilt that is so popular in blog-land.

Cutting Instructions:
  • From Red
    • Cut 10, 3 1/8" x width of fabric (wof) strips
      • Sub cut into 128, 3 1/8" x 3 1/8" squares
    • Cut 5, 2" x wof strips
      • Set aside for inner border
    • Cut 3, 2 1/2" x wof strips
      • Sub cut into 40, 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares
  • From Cream
    • Cut 9, 2 1/2" x wof strips
      • Sub cut strips into 144 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares
  • From Layer Cake
    • Divide cake into a pile of lights and darks
    • From lights
      • Select 16 charms
      • Cut each charm into 4, 5" x 5" squares
    • From darks
      • Select 13 charms
      • Cut each charm into 16, 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares
      • Keep these squares in sets of 5 matching squares.  They will become +'s later on.
      • Yes, you will have extras.
  • From Outer Border
    • Cut 6, 5 1/2" x wof strips
      • Set aside for outer border.

Break time!!!  If you have worked all the way through the cutting you need a break.  Go for a walk.  Call your Dad just to say hi.   Pet the dog.  Stretch.  The quilt will go together much more smoothly this way.  Trust me.

Piecing Instructions:

  • 64 Little blocks (& 128 bonus half square triangles)
    • Gather
      • 128, 3 1/8" x 3 1/8" red squares
      • 64, 5" x 5" light squares from layer cake
    • Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of each red square
    • Align one red square and one light square, right sides together so that the diagonal line is parallel to the corner.

    • Sew just to the outside edge of the drawn line....closer to the common corner.

    • This step is optional  - I hate tossing extra bits of fabric.  So I've included this step.  Call it a bonus block.  Hope over to my blog and see what you can do with them.
      • Draw a second line 1/2 inch to the outside of the stitching you have just done. (the green line)

      • Sew just to the inside of this line...between the blue and green lines along the green line.
      • When you have a minute head over to my blog to see what I did with my bonus blocks.

    • Cut excess, 1/4" from sewn line between the line and the aligned corner (or between the two sewn lines if you made the bonus hsts).
    • Iron seam allowances toward the red.
    •  Repeat on opposite corner.
    • Trim blocks to 4 1/2" x 4 1/2"

  • 16 Bigger blocks
    • Gather:
      • 64 little blocks
      • 64 cream 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares
      • 80 dark 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares (16 sets of 5 matching squares)
    • Sew each cream square to a dark square.
      • 16 dark squares will be saved for the centers.
    • Iron seam allowances towards the dark squares
    • Keeping dark sets together, and scrambling the light patches in the little blocks, combine patches to make 16 bigger blocks as shown above....more or less, your fabrics will all be different.

  • Connector Units:
    • Gather
      • 80 cream 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares
      • 40 red 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares
    • Sew 40 red squares to 40 cream squares.
    • Iron seam allowances toward the red.
    • Sew 40 cream squares to the red/cream units, parallel to the seam just sewn, making 40 units that are cream, red, cream.
    • Iron seam allowances toward the red.
  • Rows:
    • At this point it is very helpful to use a design wall....or floor....or bed.  The idea is to find a place where you can set  your blocks out and see what you are doing.

    • Gather
      • 16 big blocks (BB)
      • 40 connector units (CU)
      • 25 sets of 5 matching dark 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" squares (DS)
    • Arrange 9 alternating rows starting and ending with a sashing row.
      •   At this point I found it easiest to pin the dark squares as a unit of 5, taking them off and adding them to the rows as I needed them.
      • 5 sashing rows
        • 2DS, CU, 3DS, CU, 3DS, CU, 3DS,CU, 2DS 
      • 4 block rows
    • Sew 5 sashing rows,
      • ONE at a time to keep things in the right order
      • Don't worry about ironing your seam allowances just yet.
      • Return each row to design wall/floor/bed as you finish it.
    • Sew 20, DS/CU/DS units together

      • Iron seam allowances toward the DS
      • Return units to your design wall/floor/bed
    • Sew 4 block rows
      • ONE at a time to keep things in the right order
      • Ironing seam allowances towards the DS/CU/DS units
      • Return each row to design wall/floor/bed as you finish it.
    • Sew rows together.
      • Push seam allowances in sashing rows so that they snuggle with the block rows appropriately.
      • Iron seam allowances when finished.

  • Inner Border:
    • Gather
      • 5, 2 x wof red strips
    • The following directions describe how I attach borders.  With gentle handling this works just fine.  If, however, you are apt to tug on your fabric as you sew measure your top and use the binding strips to make 4 long strips of the exact lenghts you need before you sew them on. Skip the rest of this section and proceed to your outer borders which you will do the same way.
    • Sew 2 strips, end for end along short side.
    • Iron seam allowance open
    • Attach this strip to one side of the top.
    • Iron seam allowance toward the border strip.
    • Trim excess
    • Sew excess, end for end along the short side to a wof strip
    • Iron seam allowance open.
    • Attach this strip to side parrallel to the border you have already added.
    • Iron seam allowance toward the border strip.
    • Trim excess
    • Repeat process on other two edges.
  • Outer Border:
    • Gather
      • 6, 5 1/2" x wof strips of border fabric
    • Refer back to inner border instructions.
  • Layer and Quilt as desired.
I hope you enjoy your quilt!  Please take a photo of it and add it to my group on Flickr.  Feel free to visit me too...there are lots of other fun things going on over at Tops to Treasures.

67" x 67" throw, perfect for watching a ball game or snuggling under while reading a good book.

Cindy Sharp


Quiltjane said...

Fabulous design. Love it!

Anita said...

This block is exactly like the x and plus block tutorial on the badskirt blog. The sashing gives it a different look which is cool.

tiffanyfarhner said...

I absolutely cannot wait to make this! I just bought this layer cake the other day not knowing what to do with it! I now know!!!

Leeanne said...

Very cool! I like the quilting design too.

Gill said...

I love this quilt!

Elsa said...

What a lovely story about your Dad ~ and love the quilt even more for the story.
Thank you for sharing your memories and the the quilt.

Patti said...

Cindy, the quilt is amazing, as is the inspiration for it!

Mary Hamilton said...

This is a wonderful design! we are having a "Demo Night" for our guild in January with the theme of how to use pre-cuts- I volunteered to do a demo, and this is inspriational!

lissa said...

I can't wait to make this one.

Quilting in the South said...

Quilt s using this block are the must do quilt today. LOL.

I started my morning on Facebook and saw the link to a tutorial on Amy's blog Badskirt from April 2011.

Her version was more scrappy. This more controlled color way is great too.

Two very different looks from the same block.

Esch House Quilts said...

What a great quilt and a lovely story! Reunion has been one of my fav lines :)

Pam said...

Love this quilt! Great design!

Jan said...

I really love your take on the Japanese + & x quilt blocks. Great job.

Tamie said...

This is beautiful. I'd love to give it a try.

MaterialGirlQuilts said...

Gorgeous quilt! Wonderful design and I love it with the Reunion fabric.

Cindy Sharp said...

Thanks all for the kind comments. I am glad you are enjoying this project. It is one of my favorites too.

Cindy Sharp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary said...

Gorgeous as always Cindy!!!

Aggiequilter said...

Thanks for sharing with us! Looks great in these Sweetwater fabrics.
but I don't get the "take on Japanese" comment above (Jan's)... What is "Japanese" about this quilt pattern ?? There have been nine-patch and "x" cross designs used in quilts since WAY BACK in the 1800's ...???

Kell said...

Beautiful! I do love it with the news print for the border.

Valerie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Valerie said...


My best guess on the Japanese comment is that there was a quilt from a major show in Japan (either '10 or '11; can't remember) which focused on these blocks in a scappy arrangement with applique. Several quilting bees and a flickr group started up in response. Amy of badskirt posted a tutorial on her version of the block, mentioning the original quilt as her inspiration + later she shared that this block had been featured in a couple early 1900's US magazines.

Regardless of the source or inspiration, I think this block looks smashing with the red/white repeat!

Flamingo Quilting said...


Your quilt is fabulous! Great pattern and as always your use of fabrics inspires me.

Carla said...

This is so fabulous! I love x & + blocks. Must make a full quilt soon ; )

PatSloan said...

Just printed this... It's now on my to do!! GREAT pattern!

Laura G said...

Great job This pattern is fresh creative and a great way to showcase fabrics. I am excited to try it.

Sithel a.k.a. Miss Rebecca said...

Wanted to say that I made this quilt for my sister for Christmas. Didn't use any Moda fabric, alas.

It was a great pattern, and far more forgiving then I expected! Wound up making the border a bit more busy.

Thanks so much for posting this! I'm excited to do a follow-up pillow with all my clipped corners.

[I blogged my results : http://code-n-crafts.blogspot.com/2012/12/christmas-gift-quilt.html]

Cats and Quilts said...

This is a terrific pattern for layer cake fabrics and I really appreciate the post.