Thursday, February 21, 2013

Plus Quilt (Tutorial)

There are always things to try out in quilting.  I was able to combine two of these things in one project!
I've been admiring many "Pluses" or "Plus sign" quilt projects.  Heather brought hers to a Saskatoon Modern Quilt Guild meeting and that tipped me over the edge from admiration to "wanting to make one myself".

Another thing I wanted to try out was a product called "Quilter's Grid Fusible Interfacing"  It is an iron-on interfacing that is marked with grid lines.  Sometimes the grid is marked into one inch squares, and sometimes two-inch squares.  We had some in the shop that was a two inch grid.

I thought that the pluses quilt would be a perfect project to use the fusible grid for because it's all sewn from the same size of squares.
The idea of it is that you place your squares on the grid, and then iron them on so that they stick to the fusible side so that you are able to handle it as one piece instead of sewing all the little seams individually.

I took photos of the process in case you want to try it too!
  First spread out the fusible grid.  you have to make sure that the bumpy side is facing up, because they are what will melt to stick to the fabric.  I found that I had to put some light colored fabric underneath it in order to see the grid lines
 I decided to cut my squares at 3 inches.  That way they finish at 2-1/2" which is a scale that I thought would be nice.  I used the scraps of "Curious Nature" and "Seven Wonders" fabric by Parson Gray (David Butler).
 I just started at one corner to place the squares on the grid.  Each plus sign needs 5 squares, so I precut several sets of them.
 It was a little tricky to figure out how to make the design.  This surprised me, because I thought it was pretty simple looking.  Who knew.
 Because the fabric squares (3 inch) are not the same size as the grid (2 inch), they take up one and a half squares on the grid.  This is pretty easy to figure out. 
 After a while I filled in the edges of the pattern with partial plus signs.
Next, I dragged it all over to where the iron was, and tacked them down, being careful to avoid getting the iron on to the extra edge of fusible around the edges.
Then I cut away the extra fusible all around the edges and pressed it really well so that the fabric was well fixed onto the fusible. They will still pull off, so you have to handle it a bit carefully.
Now, to sew the squares together, you can just fold over one column of squares at a time, and sew a quarter inch seam.
 Sew all the columns.( I also stay- stitched the edges.)

 To sew the columns into rows, you want to be able to alternate the direction of the seams to reduce bulk.  To do this, you just clip the little quarter inch place between each of the blocks.  Its okay if you cut through the sewn threads.  Then you press the seams in each row back and forth
 then you are able to nestle the intersections when you sew the seams,  Trust me, this all makes sense when you are doing it.
 After you've sewn all the rows, press the seams all to one side,
 The interfacing adds a bit of body to the piece,
 I think that I'll make this piece into a cushion cover, as it will finish at 17-1/2" x 35".
If you wanted to make a large piece using this method, I would do it in smaller chunks to keep it manageable.

P.S. Remember that there's a giveaway you can enter up until the end of February, for store entries, see here, for blog entries, see here,
thanks for all the entries so far, Good luck!



  1. Very interesting technique, Michelle! It looks great.

  2. ThanksPatti, I was glad that I tried the method, it was pretty slick,

  3. genius! sheer genius!

  4. I'm so tickled that you were inspired by my quilt, Michelle. I just made another one, by the way, and I'll bring it tomorrow (I guess that would be today) to the quilt guild meeting. I've imagined the Parson Grey fabric lines in plus quilts, too! Of course, your method is clever and nothing I would have thought of.


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