I delight in Plus Quilts!
Because of this ongoing desire for a Plus Quilt I determined to make one for the before-end-of-year reopening of Isabella’s Whimsy on Etsy.com. (Don’t know what Etsy is? Click here.) There are a few different styles of Plus Quilts, and the style I like the best is made with squares and rectangles (not completely with squares). I also think 3″ (finished) squares will work very well for a baby quilt; 4″ or 5″ probably would look good to me also, but for my first Plus Quilt I wanted to have 3″ squares as the base size. Also, I wanted the Plus Quilt will be in boy colors.
Thank goodness for internet searching. I had a lot of questions, even after selecting the style and base-block size. I looked at color selections, read tutorials and process descriptions, and picked up as much info as I could. I looked at and learned from these sites especially:
Reannalily Designs (dot) com shares cutting guides and a worksheet based on 7″ squares and accompanying rectangles.
I like the variety of colors in Happy to Craft‘s Plus Quilt. Ms. Happy used 2 prints and 5 solids.
Gemini Stitches has made a tutorial for a lovely Plus Quilt Table Runner based on a 2.5 base block.
A very helpful site is For the Love of George. Ms. Love-of asks you to register, then she provides a free Plus Quilt pattern in three sizes with suggested layout options.
I started my serious planning with Option 1: 9 fabrics with a random layout. There was only one difference from the Layout Guide to the number of squares I wanted in my Plus Quilt; all I needed to do was draw in one more column on the right hand side and I was good to go. (Oh, and her base square to cut is 4″ where mine is 3.5″ but that didn’t matter too much.) Of course that one little change meant I had to do some math to adjust a few of the pieces from squares to rectangles
So, wanting to use as many fabrics from my stash as possible, I pulled enough to make a stack of nine fabrics in blues, greens, and grays.
This is what I came up with –
Immediately you say, “Hey where did that orange come from?!” Well, I decided Plus Quilt Baby Boy needed a little more energy. And then you also say, “That stack of 9 fabrics looks like it has more…” And you are correct! I didn’t have quite enough gray for all I needed, so I added a couple of blues. I also really wanted to use that cute little ABC print, but it also needed more, so I added another print that blends.
I wanted to keep an eye on the color values as I went into the layout phase, so here are the swatches arranged by value: top row is 5 light, 3 dark; bottom row is 5 medium (some of them were a little tricky for me to categorize). The next pic shows a black and white copy suggested by more experienced quilt designers as a method to check for value.
I laid out the cut pieces, but I wasn’t as happy with it as I wanted to be. I did another black and white check for light, medium, and dark values in the placement.
Follow-up next week with the finished quilt and any lessons I learn along the way.
Oh, do you see the “surprise” green and white chevron fabric that found its way in?