Someone said ‘every finish line is the start of a new race’ but for me it is the start of a new quilt. I am now allowed to work on 2022’s Positivity Quilt! As well as all of the other little distractions that pop up along the way.
This quilt doesn’t have nearly as many blocks as Preeti (Sew Preeti Quilts) called for but I decided it was a large enough quilt at this point. All of the pluses are either a shade of blue or yellow and with one exception, all backgrounds are various grays. The blue cross with yellow background came from Alycia (Alycia Quilts). She included this with her quilt when she donated it – you know, a year ago, when we were supposed to have finished these! I thought it was a perfect pop for this quilt so my quilt was technically made by me and Alycia!
There is a border of deep yellow framing the blocks and a dark blue binding. The binding was selected by my sisters. I texted them when I just couldn’t decide and they chose blue. Smart call on their part, as this looks great!
The backing is a piece called Abiding Reverie from Art Gallery Fabric. I had it in my shop because it reminded me of vintage sheets (which you all know I have a strong affinity for). It is such a cheerful fabric. There is still some left which makes me happy.
After doing straight line quilting both horizontally and vertically, I did this little design on each plus. I am so happy with the new machine my sister gave me. It is so easy to quilt on compared the the older machine I was using. I still don’t have a walking foot yet and the straight line quilting was actually more of a challenge than the FMQ. I had a few puckers since the fabric wasn’t being moved from top and bottom.
This is a finish and I am thrilled with it. I think I will wait and mail it to Mercy with the second quilt. Having this beauty sitting in my sewing room will motivate me to finish the 2022 project! Thank you Preeti for hosting this event, both last year and this!
Linking to my usual favorites. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
Hello Everyone! I am happy to be hosting the second link up for The Positivity Quilt Along, hosted by Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts. As you probably know, many of the quilts made during the QAL are destined to be donated to Mercyful Quilts. We are so thankful to Preeti for hosting this event and to all of you who have made, or are making, quilts for Mercy. I realize some of you have chosen to donate your quilt to a different organization and that is also wonderful! Your creativity, time and effort are hugely appreciated!
If you haven’t yet started, don’t worry! The blocks are a breeze to make and quilts are ALWAYS needed at Mercy Hospital. You are welcome to join in and make one whenever the timing suits you. As for my quilt….. I have been making very little progress. Summer has been so busy with lots of family time. In all honesty, I have only made eighteen blocks at this point. But, like I said, the need for quilts is on-going and I will get mine done.
Obviously, I don’t have a finished flimsy (quilt top) to share with you today. However, I do have some finished quilts to show you!
This quilt was sent to me by Rachel who is from Orgeon. She was the first person to send me a finished Positivity Quilt. She was really quick!! I love the colors and the arrangement of her plus blocks!
Rachel made a pieced backing, using some extra blocks she had. I think she did a great job with balancing the pieced blocks with the large pieces of fabric.
OK – on to the second Positivity Quilt that has been received (also from Oregon)! This one was made and quilted by Cyndy of Quilting Is More Fun than Housework. We all know Cyndy is a master when it comes to scrappy quilts and this is certainly no exception. Her use of turquoise and orange with a scrappy gray background is wonderful.
The HST quilt shown above was also donated for Mercyful Quilts. This beauty was made by Jolie D. of Oregon and quilted by Cyndy. I really like the color selection Jolie chose here. These earthy tones are warm and comforting.
It has been wonderful to replenish the supply of quilts for Mercy Hospital. The staff and the recipients of the quilts are always very thankful for the donations we provide. Thank you so much to each of you who have sent, or are soon to send, quilts our way!
Let’s share the flimsies that are made. There are prizes for this link up too! On July 25th, names will be drawn to win one of five different gifts. Each of these prizes are PDF patterns donated by these very lovely quilt pattern designers.
Please link up below. If you don’t have a blog, you are welcome to email me a picture of your flimsy so I can add it to this post. Your picture will count as an entry to win!! Linky will be open through Saturday, July 24, 2021.
Here is a flimsy made by Rochelle S. Love the blues and greens. Does it remind you of seaglass?
This quilt top was made by Nikki M. Notice that the pluses are basically the same tones as Rochelle’s up above. But change that background color and it is a whole new. sunshiny look!! Love them both and can’t wait to see them all quilted up. 🙂
The release of Modern Plus Sign Quilts, written by Paige Alexander and Cheryl Brickey is being celebrated with a blog hop this week and next. I am so happy to take part in celebrating this book. I have long been a fan of plus quilts and made one a while back. I called it Positively Floating and you can see it here. Adding a book devoted to modern interpretations of plus quilts is the perfect thing for my collection of quilting books.
There are a couple of things I really appreciate about this book. One is the ease of most of the patterns Paige and Cheryl designed. I am not usually one for fussy quilts with tons of pieces to cut and points to match up. While there are some advanced, challenging patterns in the book, there are also lots of options for simpler designs. Also, there is a nice write up on the history of plus quilts which I really enjoyed. Finally, with many of the patterns, the authors included an illustration of a suggested layout for cutting the pieces such that you get the most out of the fabric needed. This is really helpful for me as I just don’t have a strong ability to see spatial relationships and often (more often than you’d think) will cut my pieces and find I don’t have quite enough fabric. This is because I don’t always choose the most efficient cutting plan. Part of me attributes this to the fact that for years I sewed clothing, not quilts. Clothing patterns always show the best way to lay out the pieces on the fabric – so I never had to figure this out for myself. Anyway, I think this was a great addition to the quilt book and you don’t see it in many books that are published.
Let’s move on to the quilt I made. This is the pattern called Postage Plus. It is based on a postage stamp quilt (basically small patchwork) used to build the plus. The oversized plus is set into a bold pattern of stripes. This gives a very modern result. The book shows a quilt with a gray and white background which is looked really clean. When I chose to make this pattern, it was so I could use up an older Moda jelly roll that I purchased from a destash last year over at Academic Quilter. Using strip piecing with a jelly roll made this quilt a very simple project to assemble.
The quilt came together so quickly. I love using the stripes to bring out the brown and green shades in the patchwork. The colors make me think of ice cream for some reason. Lime sherbet or coffee ice cream, which would you choose? I would go for coffee ice cream every time!
You might notice I am sharing a quilt top, not a finished quilt. If you are a fan of Instagram, you probably saw the posts where I was unhappily removing a large amount of long arm quilting gone bad. Ugh! I took this quilt top and loaded it on a long arm at my friend’s house. For whatever reason, I couldn’t use her machine and obtain a good result. It just looked horrid. I am far from a perfectionist and will often leave issues such as wobbles, mistakes, or points that don’t quite work out in the quilt. (Maybe I am too lazy to fix things like this). But this was bad. Even the lazy quilter in me couldn’t just ignore it. So I stopped, after quilting about 25% of the top, removed it from the frame, took it home and unpicked it. Really, it wasn’t too awful a task and I am happy I fixed this.
I am eager to load it on the machine at the same shop where I have been renting time. I have an appointment on Friday of this week and will be able to quilt this up then. Off topic here, but take a look at the blue skies we enjoyed yesterday. It was a gorgeous day and I am lucky to have taken photos then. Today it is fierce, pouring rain – not a day to be outside. Sure changed dramatically over night!
In closing, I strongly recommend Modern Plus Quilts. The book is top notch with creative patterns of varied complexity , nice tips and clear information – a book well done. The blog hop goes on all of this week and through next week. Paige and Cheryl are offering giveaways each day so be sure to hop over there and enter the giveaways. Lots of fun happening in blogland these days!
Earlier this summer I made a plus quilt using the Art Gallery Dare fabric line, designed by Pat Bravo. I set it aside for a while, as most of us tend to do. After taking the long arm class, I decided to quilt this one for my second round of practice. Thursday last week found me at the Sew-So Shop ready to load the project on the machine.
When I arrived, I was told that the owners would be running a bit late due to a family emergency. There was another woman, a very experienced long arm quilter (Diane), who was there to pick something up and she offered to help me get everything set up. I felt so fortunate to have run into her because she taught me a great deal in the 15 minutes that we worked together. It was so helpful! We got the backing, batting and quilt top loaded and straight.
I talked with Diane about my plan to quilt this. I wanted to do simple spirals in the negative space and something linear within the pluses so they would be differentiated from the background. She and I scribbled on paper for a bit and decided on a flow of linear lines that look like water flowing. This would allow me to leave the machine free (as opposed to setting the channel locks for straight lines) and would give me a relaxed pattern to stitch. It worked perfectly (well, nothing is perfect but overall, it was very successful!)
I love the flow of these soft linear curves. At first I tried to treat each plus as a separate entity but it didn’t seem to make a difference so I relaxed on that and let the lines flow over the edge of one fabric and on to the next.
I love this motif – I don’t think I have used it prior to this but I will definitely use it again. It was really relaxing to stitch.
For the negative space, or the background, I did large, loose spirals and loops. My goal was to work on my speed control and precision so I picked a simple motif. Looking back, I wish I would have selected a darker gray thread because the quilting hardly shows up. I was not feeling very confident about my abilities so I picked a light thread, in case the stitching wasn’t the best.
The stitching shows up better on the back. For the first time, I bought a wide back cotton for the backing. This was so convenient! I had begun to piece a backing using the leftover Dare fabrics but when I decided to do this on the long arm, I nixed a pieced backing. I have enough going on loading the long arm without having to worry about a potentially wavy or ‘un-square’ backing (is that a word?). Using a wide back fabric eliminated all of those possible issues.
Since I had already pieced strips of the scraps, I decided to use that as the binding. I sliced the strips into 2 1/4″ strips for the binding. You know how much I love a scrappy binding.
As with each long arm experience before, I do have a question. The finished quilt has a bit of a wave to the center of it. (Look at the photo at the top and you’ll see it.) I feel it was flat and square when I started to quilt it. My question is, do you think this is because I quilted the Plus section more tightly than the negative space? It definitely has a stiffness to the Plus area. When I did the surrounding area, I kept it loose so the whole quilt wouldn’t be stiff but maybe I should have been consistent all the way through? Looking for some advice here. Yvonne….. Help please! 🙂
Oh how I have enjoyed learning about and using the long arm. I have one more finished quilt top to do so I will set up some time for that project soon! It has really helped me to get some projects finished up that were languishing a bit.
Couple of reminders –
The voting begins for the Quilt Bloggers Festival on Sunday! Go take a look and choose your favorites — so many gorgeous projects have been entered.
Handmade Halloween is coming soon! I hope you are checking your blog history for fun posts to link up that will inspire readers to make something for Halloween! If you don’t want to link an older post, you are welcome to write a new one. Lots of fun prizes have been provided by Craftsy, C&T Publishing, as well as Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts. Come back and join the party October 4th!! Be sure to let me know if you have any questions!
Craftsy has a sale going on this weekend. All classes are less than $20 (except for those in the Great Courses line.) Take advantage and learn something new!! There is always something new to learn. (Note, I am a Craftsy affiliate.)
Linking up to my favorites. See the tab at the top of the page, Link Ups, for more info.
Ever since I fell victim to my Pinterest addiction, I have wanted to make a plus quilt. Something about the simplicity of the design and the ability to use large scale fabrics effectively makes plus quilts very attractive to me. Honestly, I don’t think I have seen one that I didn’t like.
Last fall, when I received my first Art Gallery Club shipment from Pink Castle, I designated that bundle to be used for a plus quilt. (I posted about this here.) The line, Dare by Pat Bravo, has some wonderfully vivid large floral prints. I immediately ordered a couple of yards of Thread On to be used as the background fabric. When that arrived, the whole bundle sat in the sewing room until March.
One rainy Saturday, I managed to cut all of the squares for the pluses. Then it sat some more. Finally I started to assemble the quilt top. Really, it doesn’t get much simpler than this. Once I going, it went together quickly.
This quilt top was not an easy one to photograph. It was really breezy this afternoon and I couldn’t get the winds to cooperate with me.
I had to resort to my ever faithful quilt model.
She is such a helpful girl.
I am looking forward to quilting this. Lots and lots of negative space to work with. That is both fun and intimidating at the same time. For the backing, I have been piecing the scraps that were left from the front. I need a bit more fabric to complete it though. I had hoped I had enough leftover fabric but I am short. Darn it. I ordered a bit more of the background fabric and it won’t take any time to finish the backing once it arrives. For now though, the top is done and I am calling this one Positively Floating.
Linking this pretty flimsy finish with my usuals. Find them at the top of the page, under Link Ups.