Friday, August 31, 2018

In the Shadow of the Plus in Modern Patchwork

I can finally write about my quilt which is in the current issue of Modern Patchwork! You can get your copy now in major stores and bookstores, or click the link in the sidebar to purchase online.

It started with my fifth design, back on February 10, that I drew in the second #30quiltdesignschallenge2018 I hosted on Instagram this past spring. The design got a ton of interest and likes, and I knew it was a good'un, so I removed it from Instagram. I played with it a bit and came up with the shadowed plus signs floating on a large background plus. I then decided to submit it to Modern Patchwork in early March, and it was accepted!

Almost all of these photos are from mid-April. It feels a bit odd to go back, when I've done a bunch of other stuff since then! I must say that Paintbrush Studio Fabrics solids are glorious to sew with. They have come a long way since we used them in the NQBBH back in 2015. They are smooth, I mean suh-mooth, a lovely hand, with little fraying. I made a test block, and my figurings had worked (yay!), so it was off to the races. Here it was on the design wall on April 9!

Quilting came next, and what a glorious canvas of solids on which to plan! I knew I wanted something with a punch for the turquoise plus signs.

I knew Hobbs Tuscany 100% polyester would be good; I may have done a fist pump when I saw this!
I first encountered this batting at Alma Sue's Quilt Shop in Sarasota, Florida, where you can have your quilt quilted by Amish ladies, who LOVE and use this batting. It's like quilting through butter, and it has wonderful definition. It provides warmth, maybe not as much as wool or cotton, yet is light. I still love my cotton battings, but this one is nudging them over more and more. This batting, along with Hobbs cotton ones, is on sale at a terrific price at Craftsy (affiliate link, here and see below).

This quilt is a quintessential example of my love of a variety of threads, Avril's ability to quilt with anything, and threads working in harmony to create something beautiful. (a little life lesson there, no?!) In the plus blocks I used Essential cotton 50 wt. I was a little unsure of how the variegated thread really showed, but once done, yep, I like it, and it will sink in more once the quilt is washed.

Back and forth horizontal lines with Sulky rayon went in the white background:

How to distinguish between the large grey shadow plus and the white background? I did ruler work lines vertically using Aurifil light grey 50 wt cotton.
You may be thinking, wait a minute, "Those lines aren't vertical; they're horizontal! Look at the roller bars." Look again.  Where's the shadow of the blue small plus blocks? Off to the side, rather than beneath as in the first photo. That's because I loaded the quilt sideways on Avril due to the backing being pieced, and for the best flimsy/backing tension, with no puckering, you want the long seams on the backing parallel to the roller bars. A few times I had to pause and turn my head sideways and go, 'okay oriented correctly back in my mind again. Proceed.' LOL ...which I did, doing a simple jigsaw-shape meander in the China blue shadows, using Isacord polyester. I wanted the small shadows to recede; the aquarius plus blocks are the star. I happily quilted away....

Until it was done and I took it off, stepped back to the bottom edge of the quilt...
I may have done another fist pump.

Binding came next, a flanged one!
I didn't have to worry about it covering up points, which happens due to the flange.

Here it is on my kitchen floor, all done, ready to be shipped off:

I just LOVE the texture a solid backing gives. Wow!
Sorry for the sunshine and shadow lighting here, but I didn't dare lay it outside before shipping it off! You can see the hanging sleeve (my least favourite part of making the quilt) in this photo.

And the label, using my test block:

Discerning eyes may gravitate to the anomaly in the lower edge, centre...see my initials? 👏
I remembered to add my satin mmm! quilts label too!

Here is one last shot. I am unsure as to whether or not I will wash it. I guess it depends on how I will use it, as a throw or as a wallhanging. For now it has a spot on a wall in our living room. I've never hung one this big before!

I have an extra copy of the magazine to give away. I am holding off on the giveaway for 2.5 weeks, in other words, until September 18. Why that particular day? Well that is the 5-year anniversary of my blog. Five years! Seems hard to believe, but the proof is on the sidebar blog archive. I will be holding five giveaways on that day, a copy of this magazine is one. Hope to see you back here then. It's for all my readers around the planet who have supported me. I've developed a bit of an irritation about those who make money off their blogs, through affiliate links, and/or selling fabric, but will 'only ship to US' for example, so I'm not excluding anyone. 😊

Running a blog costs nothing but my time, which yes is valuable, but if I make money, (not much at all, 4% at Craftsy fabric sales, a little more at bluprint depending on signups, 10% at a Connecting Threads), then it is my responsibility to give back to those who have supported me by: paying to run a thumbnail linky party, paying postage to be inclusive, buying a nicer template for the blog or a host, just to name a few examples. So, for those who have read my blog, commented publicly or sent private emails, bought stuff through my links, bought my one (LOL, there should be more by the 18th) pattern in my Craftsy store, sent me words of encouragement, inspired me, and on and on over the past five years, these five prizes I will offer to you.

Selling patterns, however, is a whole 'nother ball of wax, something I am passionate about, which is paying the designer for her time and talent and not stealing her creative ideas. But that's a whole 'nother post!

Guess what? It's the Labour Day long weekend here in Canada and across the river in the US, and both Craftsy (free bluprint 7-day trial and 50% off supplies!) and Connecting Threads (20% off sittewide!) are having some pretty sweet sales. Those are both affiliate links, as is the next one! Just to live up to my 'mmm-abler' title bestowed upon me by my friend Rose at Something Rose Made, I'll let you know that the Hobbs Tuscany polyester I used in this quilt, which quilts like butter, is on sale for a screaming good price...$8.68CA for a 60X60"!

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: original design
Size: 54.5" square
Fabric: Paintbrush Studio solids: white, silver, aquarius and China blue
Batting: Hobbs Tuscany 100% polyester
Backing: Paintbrush Studio aquarius
Quilted: on my Avanté, Avril
Threads:  pieced on my Bernina with GĂŒtermann cotton; quilted with Sulky rayon white, Essential cotton variegated 21221 Ocean Jewels, Isacord polyester 3800, Aurifil light grey 2600
Stitch Count: 159 904

Linking up
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
TGIFF at Anja Quilts
Busy Hands Quilts
Cooking Up Quilts on Monday


  1. On the floor with sunlight and shadows, a perfect photo shoot setting. Love the grey plus pieces, and then the quilting, those loops and lines, and as our family visited Canada and went skiing, I think of Kamloops where they had such a wonderful time.This is one to be seen every day.And published as well, you are indeed a winner.

  2. Such a beautiful plus quilt, made even more lovely by your amazing quilting skills. It must give you a real glow to have something you designed and lovingly stitched featured in a magazine. Many congratulations indeed!

  3. Congratulations on the publication. It's crazy how far in advance all the work gets done, and it can feel pretty weird to share about it after months of not even having it at home. It's a beautiful quilt and design. You are also *so* right about how far the Paintbrush Studio solids have come; a huge improvement in quality!

  4. Hi Sandra! Modern Patchwork, Bright and Bold sounds like the perfect showcase for this quilt. I just love reading about how your quilts come together, your thought process, how your quilting designs happen, the whole enchilada so to speak. Those photos on your kitchen floor with the partial sunlight patches are just the best. It is really fabulous, and if you just step back and look at it the quilting really makes each component shine. And you only have ONE pattern for sale?? I thought Plus Playtime was a pattern . . . come on. Whatcha doing?!! Five years is very impressive though - I'm going to poke around a bit. ~smile~ Roseanne

  5. I just love this quilt. I have the mag. Your photos here are just super and help me really appreciate your quilting.

  6. Well Sandra. You have done it again. It's a truly beautiful quilt and your quilting on it is stunning. Five years has gone by really quickly.

  7. Gosh, great design AND awesome quilting for it. Score!

  8. Congrats Sandra! This quilt is as gorgeous in real life as in the photos!

  9. Great design with great quilt-no make that fantastic quilting!

  10. Beautiful finish! Congratulations!

  11. This quilt just takes my breath away. I love everything about it! Start to finish, it is just fantastic!

  12. Love your quilt design and your fantastic quilting.

  13. Congratulations Sandra! It is lovely! Bright and beautiful colours, and the quilting finishes it off to your normally professional plus (couldn't resist) level. And with your detail of the journey (which I loved reading), you still manage to throw in tips - I have been toying with the use of a flange binding, and didn't even think of it cutting off points, but it won't effect the quilt I had in mind, so thank you. Finally, almost 5 years - I'm looking forward to wishing you a happy anniversary!

    1. Your words are so very kind, Orla. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I do hope you may check back here to see this; you are a no-reply and I have no way of reaching you other than here. When you come back on my blog birthday, I hope you'll include your email within your comment box so I can personally respond. Glad to have provided some useful tips! ;-)

  14. Congrats on the magazine! That quilt is so gorgeous!

  15. Your quilting is just lovely on this quilt. I love to learn about the thought process involved in figuring out what to quilt where. You nailed it! Congrats again on your publication. Great pattern!

  16. Oh this is yummy, scrumptious, delicious, delectable, delightful, exquisitely lovely texture!! (enough adjectives for ya??? hee! hee!)

  17. Saw it in the magazine - beautiful quilt! And the quilting is perfect for it - well done!

  18. Hang It! You made a bee-you-ti-ful quilt and it does deserve to be on your wall. Bella may want it for the couch but then she has all those other quilts, right. Hopefully three times is the charm when I go to the bookstore in search of the magazine. Congrats on your upcoming Blog anniversary--5 years. This reminds me of my naiveté when I first started my online adventures and began first with Pinterest. Your blog was one of the first ones I pinned on my Blog Board and didn't realize until years later that this didn't mean that I would be automatically be receiving your posts so I finally subscribed. I'm glad I did because you have been an inspiration and have gotten me in a lot of trouble. BTW, the correct title is Master MMM-abler and I have to check out that Hobb's batting now.

  19. All the wonderful choices for solid fabrics now. Thanks for the review on the paintbrush series. Solids are not well stocked locally (sad to say) so I'm always wondering about the other(not Kona) choices. Sandra, really love this plus quilt with the shadow feature. Your quilting is inspiring, making me want to practice, practice practice for myself. Hope you are up to fun this long Labour Day weekend.

  20. Congratulations, Sandra!! This one is definitely a winner! I love everything about it. And don't you love our HQs aren't persnickity about thread?! You did a wonderful job on the quilt AND the quilting is fabulous! I love how you added your initials - and the back looks as lovely as the front! This quilt is just FULL of awesomeness!!

  21. Oh my, this quilt is lovely and perfect for showcasing your amazing quilting.

  22. Yowza! What a blue beauty! A++, top of the class! Congrats on the publication, and it must be such a relief to not have to keep this big secret anymore. I'm not surprised by your generosity in offering a nice giveaway open to EVERYONE later in the month. It's just how you roll :)

  23. Congratulations on the publication and another splendiferous plus quilt! The quilting on it is stunning! I can’t believe all the depth and different shadows you have come up with, with the plus sign! Your 5 year blogversary is coming - wow! It does take a lot of time and effort to do this - and a little money - so I hope you do get some compensation. Look forward to your giveaway, but more importantly to your celebration.

  24. I saw your picture with the quilt in Modern Patchwork and thought it's Sandra! Congrats on having your fun and beautiful pattern published. My blog birthday is this month too, thank you for reminding me!

  25. Such lovely texture! You did have fun quilting that, didn't you! How fun to see it in print, too. Thanks for linking to Finished or Not Friday!

  26. I am so glad you made this into pattern. I love the design when you first shared it earlier this year. Well done my friend. Thanks for linking up your finish with Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday.

  27. Stunning! Congrats on the magazine. I really like the sunshine and shadow photo!

  28. It’s quite awesome, Sandra! Congratulations! It really calls out to me.

  29. I know I say a lot how much I love your quilting, but it is true! Your quilting really inspires me. If only I did more custom quilting. I’m always in for a faster quilting finish. Maybe when I finally get around to making all the cushions/pillows on my bucket list... I had fun catching up on your blog today.

  30. Wow, Sandra! “In the Shadow of The Plus” is amazing! Your quilting is absolutely stunningly excellent! I’m so excited for you having your pattern printed, and it’s lovely to feel “I know you!” from reading your blog for a while now. I’ve really enjoyed reading your varied posts ..... love the yoga tips, even though I couldn’t possibly do them myself, and love how you keep in touch, replying to comments and emails. It’s so generous of you to offer your anniversary prize and not limit it because of the postage! Look forward to reading your celebration post on the 18th and happy to be part of your community!
    Barbara x

  31. Gorgeous, all the way around (or should I say, on all points?)! Congratulations on the beautiful quilt design and the publication!

  32. Congratulations on another publication, Sandra! I love, love, love everything about this quilt. The design is fabulous, blues always have my heart, your quilting is amazing and that solid backing with all the texture is jaw-dropping!

  33. I finally made it through my copy of Modern Patchwork -- I thought it was a great, well-rounded issue -- and was thrilled to see your contribution. It's beautiful! Congratulations!