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How to Make a Hugs and Kisses Quilt
Scrap quilt fans will love this easy Hugs and Kisses quilt pattern.
One of the traditional names of this quilt block is Paths to Piece, but in recent years it's become know as X's and O's — in other words, hugs and kisses. Why? Because depending on how the quilt blocks are sewn together, one or both of those letters will emerge in the design.
If you're not a scrap quilt fan, devise a structured color scheme for the quilt. Take a look at the Hugs and Kisses scrap quilt in the January, 2014, Quilting Calendar. It's scrappy, but with a more color controlled appearance.
The quilt blocks are quick pieced and go together very quickly. Each quilt block is made up of four smaller units.
Hugs and Kisses is perfect when you'd like to make an easy baby quilt but can be used for quilts of any size.
The 4-part blocks in this pattern finish at 9" square and each quarter of a block finishes at 4-1/2" square.
If you like Hugs and Kisses quilts with letters that are more defined take a look at an X's and O's baby quilt made with sashing. Two sizes are included, a larger version that could even be used as a lap quilt, and a small baby quilt that's suitable for a newborn.
Finished quilt size: 54" x 63"
Refer to the last page of the pattern for more size options, and read through the pattern before you begin to preview options for the quilt blocks.
Beginning Quilters Should Become Familiar with a Few Skills
- How to Make a Scrap Quilt
- Color Value for Quilters
- Color Wheel Simplified
- How to Rotary Cut Strips of Fabric
- How to Cut Patchwork Shapes
- How to Sew a Quarter Inch Seam Allowance
Don't stress about your fabric choices. Scrap quilts are lovely when fabrics vary greatly.Continue to 2 of 4 below.
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Hugs and Kisses Quilt Block Options
How Hugs and Kisses Quilt Blocks Are Made
The quilt blocks are made by sewing small squares in two opposite corners of a larger square with the same technique used to make quick pieced Snowball quilt blocks. A portion of the squares are trimmed after sewing, leaving triangles in those two corners.
Each Hugs and Kisses quilt block is made from four of the smaller quick pieced squares. Two variations are shown above. Dark fabrics form the X in the block on the left and light fabrics form the X in the block on the right. The two can be mixed in a layout — experiment to see if you like the look.
Quilt blocks can be sewn together as O's, too — like the blocks in this example. The quilt layout will differ somewhat, but it's actually the outermost areas of smaller units that change the appearance of a scrap quilt. Like this.
To make the two letters more separate from each other, create both block configurations, and use the same fabric to sew the patchwork that forms each X or O.
Vary the Size of Your Quilt Blocks
The quilt blocks can be any size, and if you see other patterns for the design you'll find that some people vary the proportions of corner squares used for triangles. That's fine, as long as square sizes are consistent.
Many quilters make the quilt blocks with pre-cut 5" squares, often called 'charm squares,' which are available in packets of coordinating colors. Some of the large squares are cut into quarters to produce four 2-1/2" squares, which are then used to create triangles in the corners of the remaining 5" squares.
Compare Prices of charm packs on Amazon.com. You'll find squares of different sizes and different numbers of squares per package.
Resizing the Quilt Blocks
Remember a simple guideline if you'd like to change block size and aren't sure how large the small squares should be:
Continue to 3 of 4 below.
- Cut small squares that are 1/2 the size of the larger square. That's a bit different than the traditional pattern, but it works perfectly.
- That technique does produce a quilt with chunkier X's and O's. Take a look at an example of its slightly different appearance on the last page of the pattern. Which do you prefer, more narrow X's or the chunky version?
- Finished block size is the finished size of two square patchwork units across and two down.
- Block assembly is shown on the next page.
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Assemble the X's and O's Quilt Blocks
Yardages are helpful, but pay more attention to the number of pieces needed if sewing a scrap quilt. You'll need the following to make a quilt similar to the project shown on Page 1.
- (168) 5" x 5" dark squares (3-1/4 yards)
- (336) 2-3/4" x 2-3/4" light squares, 2 yards (if you are using charm packs, cut light 5" squares into quarters to create (4) 2-1/2" squares each, the size difference won't matter)
- Backing and batting for a quilt that finishes at 54" x 63" (quilt backing instructions)
- About 240 running inches of doublefold binding to finish at 1/4" (how to make binding strips for quilts)
Assemble the X's and O's Quilt Blocks
- Draw a line from one corner to the opposite corner on the back side of each small square.
- Gather (1) 5" dark square and (2) of the marked light squares.
- Align a light square right sides together with a corner of the dark square, top middle illustration, making sure all edges match and the drawn line is angled as shown.
- Sew a seam directly on the line, top right drawing.
- Slice through all layers about 1/4" from the seam, towards the corner, middle left drawing.
- Press to set the seam, and then press the light fabric right side up to create a triangle, middle drawing, center.
- Use the same method to sew another light square to the opposite edge of the larger dark square.
- The steps above are much faster if you chain piece. Set up an assembly line and perform like-tasks, rather than stopping to trim and press each section.
- Make a total of (168) 5" dark squares with light triangles on opposite sides.
- Arrange four of the units into two rows as shown, left bottom drawing. Sew units in each row together. Press seams in adjoining rows in opposite directions and then join the rows. You might want to hold off on pressing the last seam until you've devised a layout for the blocks and then press the center seams of adjoining blocks in opposite directions.
- Repeat to assemble 42 quilt blocks.
Design the X's and O's Quilt
Continue to 4 of 4 below.
- Use a design wall or other flat surface to arrange the blocks into seven rows, each row with six quilt blocks.
- Stand back and examine the quilt. Are you happy with the layout? If not, shuffle blocks around and check again. Sometimes it's helpful to leave the area for awhile, even a day or so if possible, and then return for a fresh look.
- Once you're happy with the layout, sew blocks in each row together. Press new adjoining seams and any other unpressed seams in opposite directions.
- Join the rows, carefully matching all seam intersections. Press.
- Mark the quilt for quilting if necessary. Sandwich with batting and backing and baste the layers together. Quilt or tie.
- Remove excess batting and carefully square up the quilt's edges. Sew doublefold binding around the edges of the quilt.
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X's and O's Quilt with Different Proportions
This is the slightly different version of a Hugs and Kisses quilt made using corner squares that are half the size of the larger squares. The X's are more chunky in this variation of the quilt.
Fabric Squares for Other Quilt Sizes
Batting, backing and binding — see previously instructions.
36" x 45" Hugs and Kisses Baby Quilt (9" blocks as shown in this pattern)
- (80) 5" x 5" dark squares (1-1/2 yards)
- (160) 2-3/4" x 2-3/4" light squares (or 2-1/2" squares for the more chunky X's on this page) (1 yard)
77" x 88" Bed Quilt (larger, 11" blocks)
- (224) 6" x 6" squares (6-1/2 yards)
- (448) 2-3/4" x 2-3/4" squares (or 3" squares for the more chunky X's) (3 yards)
How to Alter Your Quilt
- Add or subtract blocks from its width and height; remember to add or subtract four larger squares and eight smaller squares per block
- Sew one or more borders to the quilt.
A few facts about mattress sizes can help you design a quilt.