Giant Plus Quilt

10 Sep

So I’ve been working on this quilt for a few weeks now. I began with a 1/2 yard bundle purchased from Fabricworm back in 2011, with the idea that I would make a queen-sized bed quilt for Gregg and I. The colors are not my typical style but he helped pick it out (we have an ongoing joke that his favorite color is chocolate brown because when we met he had identical versions of the same brown tee shirt). I added some additional print fabric along the way, as well as some coordinating solids.  So far, all I’ve been doing is pressing, cutting, and playing with the layout


The squares are 6.5″ on a side, and I need 15 squares across the quilt to get a good queen size (90″ finished). I started playing on my design wall but it’s way too small. There aren’t really any other good surfaces in the house to lay it out either – the only floor space large enough is in the middle of Davy’s play area and as you can imagine, that would not work out so well for me.

So I decided to play around with technology. I downloaded a quilting app on my ipad, and while it was pretty much doing what I wanted it to do, the maximum grid they had was 10×10 (I’ve actually emailed to request that they increase the size but haven’t heard back). Then, I asked Gregg to help me, and we decided to use Photoshop because he knows it pretty well. It took a bunch of fiddling but we finally had some pluses made up and I was able to move them around. I spent a ton of time playing with them.

Plus Quilt final 1 small

This is what I think will be the final layout. It’s hard because everytime I play around I see something different that I want to adjust, and since I have “rules” for what pieces can go next to each other, making one change has a cascading affect. I can only do this from our laptop at home, which technically is shared but Gregg brings it to work with him. And I can’t do anything on it when Davy is awake, so time to fiddle is limited (possibly a good thing).

Since the layout isn’t perfect and the colors are not that great (fabric photos were taken in the evening with the not-great lighting in my studio aka the basement), I decided to take the cut pieces and lay them out in a little tiny version with 1″ squares on my cutting table, just to make sure that I wasn’t going to hate it once I actually saw it.


Also imperfect, but I think the contrast between the colors is easier to see. I thought this was going to be the final layout, but didn’t like all the yellow pluses in the middle so I switched them around in the photoshop image above. Still not sure if that will be my final layout – I’d love suggestions! Here are my “rules” that I’ve been working with – I don’t want the same colors butting up together, I don’t want the same print in different colors to be right next to each other, I’m trying to mimize solids touching each other, and I’m trying to spread out the low volume prints throughout the layout.

Linking up with Lee for WIP Wednesday!



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  1. Jehnny

    September 10, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I think the layout looks great! I always spend a lot of time moving things around before I sew too and I find it makes for better quilts. Good luck with the finish-it’ll look great!

  2. Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl

    September 10, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    I know what you mean about having rules for fabrics touching when putting together a quilt top! I usually approach the layout of something like this like it is a fun game of quilting Sudoku. I have to step away sometimes and come back, and I find it kind of fun. I am glad you found a computer program to help, but the mini block layout you chose to do works really well, too!

  3. BillieBee

    September 10, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Wonderful “plus” quilt.

  4. Heather Graves

    September 10, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    A mini of your quilt – I never thought of that! Good idea

  5. Jenn @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge

    September 10, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    Wow! Making a test quilt to check the colour distribution… you’re devoted! I think I would have just gone for it. Good call on switching some of the yellows… when I gave it the squint test, there did seem to be a build up of them in the center. That said, sometimes random doesn’t mean equally distributed! :)