Tag Archives: plus quilt

Modern Plus Quilts Blog Hop

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!

Below is the schedule for the hop
Monday, March 12
     Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs
     Paige @Quilted Blooms
Tuesday, March 13
     Signature Plus
          Soma @Whims and Fancies
          Ann @Brown Paws Quilting
          Kitty @Night Quilter
     Tribal Plus
          Sophie @Luna Lovequilts
          Afton @Quilt Mod
          Shelley @The Carpenter’s Daughter Who Quilts
Wednesday, March 14th
     Plus Surround
          Jayne @Twiggy and Opal
          Jen @A Dream and A Stitch
          Abigail @Cut&Alter
     Kaleidoscope Plus
          Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl
          Sandra @mmm!quilts
          Karen @Run Sew Fun
Thursday, March 15th
     Postage Plus
         Linda @Flourishing Palms
         Bernie @Needle and Foot
         Liz @Savor Every Stitch
         Stacey @Stacey in Stitches
     Rick Rack Runner
         Michelle @From Bolts to Beauty
         Patty @Elm Street Quilts
         Melanie @A Bit of Scrap Stuff
Friday, March 16th
     Row Addition
          Myra @Busty Hands Quilts
          Izzy @Dizzy Quilts
     Transparency Chains
          Christa @Christa Quilts
Monday, March 19th
     Faceted Rings
          Jessica @Quilty Habit
          Cindy @Hyacinth Quilt Designs
          Jennifer @Inquiring Quilter
     Petal Plus
          Julie @The Crafty Quilter
Tuesday, March 20th
     Message in a Bottle
          Tish @TishNWonderland
          Judy @Sew Some Sunshine
          Emily @The Darling Dogwood
     Cute as a Button
         Wanda @Wanda’s Life Sampler
          Karen @Tu-Na Quilts, Travels and Eats
          Katherine @Sew Me Something Good
Wednesday, March 21st
     Celestial
          Anja @Anja Quilts
          Kate @Smiles From Kate
          Sue @Sevenoaks Street Quilts
     Pinwheel Plus
          Carole @From My Carolina Home
          Alison @Little Bunny Quilts
Thursday, March 22nd
     Intertwined
          Debbie @Esch House Quilts
          Laura @Slice of Pi Quilts
          Beth @Cooking Up Quilts
     Bear Claw Plus
          Janice @Color Creating and Quilting
          Joanne @Quilts by Joanne
Friday, March 23rd
     Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs
     Paige @Quilted Blooms

Linking to my favorites. Find them at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

This post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase by clicking on them, I will receive a small payment. This does not change the purchase price to you in any fashion.

Positively Floating – a Finish

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!)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 –

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.)

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Linking up to my favorites. See the tab at the top of the page, Link Ups, for more info.

Positively Floating

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.

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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.

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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.

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I had to resort to my ever faithful quilt model.img_20160529_5276

She is such a helpful girl.

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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.