Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Plus Playtime QAL Fabric Requirements and Tips

Here we go with the first post about the actual quilt for the Plus Playtime Quilt Along! You may want to hop over to the sponsors post, as three more have been added, two PDF patterns from Cindy at Stitchin' At Home, a 6-month subscription to Make Modern, and a beautiful handmade wooden bowl and frog pencil/tools holder by Jean's husband. Jean's blog is All Points of the Compass. I do hope you will take a little time to check all three out!

Now, let's talk fabric. This post will give some tips and advice when choosing your fabrics. If you didn't already know, you will find three kits available for the small pluses, one from Mad About Patchwork and two options from Clinton Modern Creative.

You will find the fabric requirements in the ezine on the Benartex blog, Sew in Love With Fabric. Note that there are 28 plus blocks, three of which are partial blocks. Here are a few things to consider:
  • You can choose to go scrappy and use 28 fabrics from your stash for the plus blocks.
  • Perhaps you choose to repeat some. Fourteen fat eighths will allow two pluses out of each fabric.
  • You may like to consider cutting a plus or two from your binding fabric; the yardage allows for that.
  • The large shadow plus requires one yard; you may choose to cut a small plus or a partial one, as I did, out of this fabric as well. If you do this, note that this plus block would have to float on the background, not the shadow plus.
  • If your mind works like mine, several of you will notice on the quilt layout that there are places in the background (the yellow in the ezine) where you could use one 9.5" square instead of three 3.5X9.5" strips. Feel free to make that call, and alter the cutting directions accordingly. Your piecing for those blocks will differ from the column construction method that is given, however.
I may be getting a little ahead of the game plan for this week, cutting being next week, but once you've cut all the pieces, this quilt is best organized by laying it out in its entirety on a design wall before starting to sew. Both times I've made it, I've been too excited to see what a couple of blocks look like, and I've started the piecing. Then, when I do lay out the rest of the quilt, in both cases, I have gone back and ripped and switched placement of a few plus blocks. So, resist the temptation! 
The more adult version of the quilt, in progress on the design wall

Make sure there is good contrast between your background and large plus shadow, and be sure that all your small plus blocks will show up well on both. Sometimes, you may choose to have that little 'aha!' moment for the viewer when a plus block or two almost blend in. You can see the navy does that against the black in the top right corner block of mine. It's not as dark as in the photo though.

One eager beaver, or maybe I should say, dive-right-in dolphin, on a boat in the Turks and Caicos as I type, has completed her hot, hot, spicy top, so I have another example to show you. (Tish posted her EQ drawing of what she's thinking, for yet another example, think sexy and classy together.) I first referred to the one in the photo below as Red Hot Chili Peppers...
Just look at that pristine water; makes the red even more vibrant!
Right now Louise, of Quilt Odyssey, to whom it belongs, is calling it 'Five Alarm Chili' quilt. Love that! When I asked if I could use her photo, she sent me five more! Five... two with feet!
So much to love about this photo.
Isn't that name and the fabric, just SO Ă  propos for having been pieced in the Caribbean? (I feel like I need to add a 'mon' after that.) Thank you Louise! Incidentally, if you're looking for a fabulous book, actually two, to read about a basically year-long sailing voyage a couple took to the Caribbean islands, and which I think Louise and Sean are pretty much living, you must read An Embarrassment of Mangoes by Ann Vanderhoof (that's the first one). My sister Linda recommended it to me, and it is such an excellent read. Louise made a red cross in honour of the Red Cross, which is the original name of my quilt which I designed in last year's 30 Quilt Designs Challenge...

When I designed it, I was just so impressed by the efforts of the Red Cross, how they just go in and help, unconditionally, and without a hidden agenda. Louise and her husband volunteered with the American Red Cross, so this is her nod to that...or perhaps something else as well, but you'll just have to head over to her blog to find out what! Isn't it marvellous that she didn't know the symbolism behind my design when she made her quilt! Ah, synchronicity, I know and love and appreciate you well.

Let's show off our fabric selection in the linky below! Instagram, Flickr, blog post, all acceptable. This is a good time to visit each other, and if you have questions, ask! It's usually 'protocol' to visit the link before and after your own; this helps keep Quilting BlogLand as rosy a place as always.😍💕


  1. Did I sign up to join in the QAL-I know, I am such a ditz, or perhaps all my brain cells didn't come back home with me after vacay!

  2. The HOT version by Louise is so fun!

  3. Hi Sandra,
    How fun although I can't quite imagine sewing while cruising in the Caribbean. Wait - yes I can and haven't yet. That's the real problem. HAHA! I love the hot version.
    ~smile~ Roseanne

  4. Such great inspirations to help in selecting fabric. Wonderful colors and ideas.

  5. Those are stunning. Thanks for the pics. Not so fond of the boat and water. I almost get sick thinking about it. LOL

  6. I told my DH that his feet are famous on the internet now! Did you notice how blue the ceiling is over his head? That's white paint reflecting all that amazing turquoise water.

    Thanks for all your kind words about my flimsy. I'm glad my rush to piece the top gives you an example to show to help folks choose their fabrics :)

  7. Well darn...now I'm re-thinking my background fabric. ha ha ha ha

  8. This looks so fun to make. Not sure I have time but I'm thinking of ideas. Look forward to seeing what everyone puts together.

  9. Louise's quilt is such fun, how could you not love the name she gave it.

  10. I love the version with the bright red, big cross! I need to get moving and start picking my fabrics!

  11. Looking forward to this. The red hot chilli quilt is so fun! Pulled out a bunch of brights and a few possible backgrounds. Can't decide ....

  12. Who does not love a quilt with feet? FIve-alarm chili is so appropriate. Louise sounds like a fun quilter you'd want to hang out with, sharing margaritas. Your instructions are so thorough and detailed. Were you a teacher in your former life :-D

  13. I'm joining in on this QAL, but haven't even looked at fabric yet because I've been playing elsewhere. I'll do my best to catch up this week!

  14. Sandra,
    I am joining in and shared my fabrics above. Hashtag in a jelly roll - I hope using 2.5" instead of 3.5" isn't going to turn into a big headache, but I have them on hand to use up and I like the fabric. xx fingers crossed. ~smile~ Roseanne

  15. I am taking part, but haven't linked up as I detailed my fabrics in a previous blog post. Don't want to bore people too much! love Louise's quilt. She's well ahead!


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