Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Plus sign quilt tutorial



I made this quilt a few months back combining some of my favorite prints in a fun, large scale design. I saw a lot of tutorials/patterns for plus-sign quilts that called for cutting all the fabric into squares and sewing them back together, but I didn't want to break up these prints more than I needed to so I made the plus signs with 2 squares and a rectangle.

I would suggest sketching the quilt blocks ahead of time so that you can figure out how many different fabrics you need to use, but I put together this brief tutorial to make it easier to figure out how to cut the squares and rectangles to make whatever size plus-sign you want with every plus-sign lining up just right. You shouldn't need a pattern to make this style of quilt.


The first step is to determine how big you want the plus signs to be. If you think about the plus sign as comprised of 5 squares (1 on top, 3 in the middle layer, 1 on the bottom) decide how big you want each of those squares to be. I made mine 6.5 inches, unfinished.

To determine the length of your (middle layer) rectangle, multiply the size of your unfinished square by 3 and then subtract 1. To be nerdy and algebraic... The long side of the rectangle = 3N - 1 where N = size of unfinished square. So, 3(6.5) = 19.5; 19.5 - 1 = 18.5 My rectangles were 6.5 X 18.5.

If you want a smaller plus sign, made up of squares that are 4 inches unfinished, for example, then it would be 3(4) - 1 = 11 inches. Your rectangle would be 4 X 11.


Once you figure out all the math and have your pieces cut, lay out the blocks to form tessellating plus signs and then sew all your rows together! It works up really fast - especially when you use larger scale blocks like I did!

I even had a few extra for the back.


15 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tips, I'm putting this on my list! :)

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  2. without my doing the math, can you tell me how big this ended up being? I love this and think I am going to make a Christmas quilt using this method.

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  3. Hi Meaghan. Do you think I could make this quilt with 7 fat quarters? I really like this design. Love your fabrics too! Thanks.

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  4. So glad to have found this, I saw a similar one in a quilting magazine that required all tiny sqs to be cut individually ... crazy amount of time and work in that one. This is so much simpler ...

    thank you

    warm quilt hugs, sue in CA

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  5. What was your seam allowance? I am assuming 1/2"????

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  6. thanks for doing the math for us!

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  7. whew....thanks for that math lesson. i'm 54 years old and my brain is spinning!!!!!!!!!! :(

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  8. I also wanted to say that I HAVE done the version with five squares, all at 2.5'' (lap size quilt). it was time consuming -- took up the kitchen table for a month, but I have to say it is one of my very favorite quilts. now that I have 'been there and done that', i'm going for the three piece version! :)

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  9. Thanks for figuring this out for me! So excited to start my quilt.

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  10. Oh and what was your quilt size when all finished?

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  11. I have some comments on here from no-reply bloggers. Sorry I didn't respond to your questions earlier! The quilt is 58 X 64 and I used a 1/4-inch seam allowance. This math won't quite work if you use a 1/2-inch seam allowance and 1/4-inch is pretty standard for most quilt patterns.

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  12. Also, thanks for your nice comments. It's a fun quilt and I hope this math takes the pain out of some of the 'figuring-out!'

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  13. Perfect! These were actually pretty close to the dimensions that I was planning on using. I'm using fabric from my wedding day that we used on all the tables; it is 9 years old now :) Thanks again and for replying so quickly!

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  14. I appreciate, cause I found just what I was looking for. You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

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  15. Meaghan, You save me a lot of headaches with this blog. I'm making a friend of mine's daughter a quilt for her graduation in June and I wanted to get an early start. I finally found the fat quarter collection I was looking for but didn't want to do 2 1/2 inch squares or six inch squares. I had settled on the four inch squares but felt there was some other way to get the cross done without having to cut 320 squares. I'm going downstairs with you info in tow and start my cuts today. Something you blogged five years ago saved my time today. Thanks ever so much !

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