I got an email the other day from Ernest S. (correction Judy in MO made this. She uses her husbands email and the email wasn’t signed so I assumed we had a guy quilter- Thanks for clarifying Judy!) In the attachment was a picture of their version of our “Plus Fun” quilt.
Oh my…I love it. When I saw this version the memories of the fun I had while making it came flooding back to me. I love scrap busting quilts and boy, oh boy, did this one clean out some scraps.
This was originally published in McCalls Quick Quilts several years ago.
I thought today I’d give you a free tutorial for this quilt as it’s such a fun one to make. Normally I would refer you to ordering a back issue but here was an error in the pattern writing. Please note, we do not write the patterns. We only sell the design along with a rough draft of the instructions for the quilt. The magazine companies write the actual patterns.
I thought to make this a pattern in our shop for sale but then thought instead we’d rather treat you with a FREEBIE tutorial instead. You all have been so good to us purchasing several of our patterns. We so appreciate your support and in return…a Freebie for you.
Here is our quilt….
Oh, I hate that picture of the quilt as you can’t see the goodness in it…the prints and that’s what really makes the quilt.
My suggestion is to focus on a few colors. Note brown wasn’t included in the quilt. I used teal and not blue but of course, use what makes you happy. Note in the close-up pictures there are white and off white neutrals but not tans.
This quilt is entirely made of nine patches…LOTS OF THEM! So gather some scraps and let’s get sewing. I’m going to take a second here to refer you back to a few blog posts I did on sorting scraps.
Scrap Sorting #1
Scrap Sorting #2
Scrap Sorting #3
All of these posts talk about how to use neutral background fabrics and colored fabrics. You’ll notice that if you want to make the quilt like the one sent in by a reader or the one I made, you will want to focus on “white-based” neutrals or slightly off-white. You will need a lot of them. You will also notice that many of our white-based neutrals are highly printed. I love these as they make the most interesting quilts. A person can look a quilt for a long time studying the prints when you use an eclectic bunch of fabrics like these.
If you are someone who goes on a lot of shop hops or loves visiting quilt shops, this would be a great quilt for you. You could pick up a fat quarter at each shop….make it a memory quilt of your shop hop.
Here is another picture for reference. This is our “Thanks to You!” quilt from our book (find it in the Shop) We did one version in white-based and one in tan-based. The Plus Fun quilt would be good in a tan version too.
Our quilt is in a 21 x 21 layout. That includes the border as it is made from nine patches as well. The blocks finish at 4 1/2″ so our quilt is 94 1/2″ x 94 1/2″. Of course, you can make it smaller.
Look closely can you see how the quilt is all just nine patches?
In the quilt note the squares are 2″ cut and 1 1/2″ finished.
The block finishes in the quilt at 4 1/2″.
Here is how to make a block…For each colored block, you need 4 neutral 2″ squares and five colored squares. Make two as pictured below.
Make one as pictured below.
Sew the strips together….
…and you have your block.
Repeat to make 181 blocks.
Grab 9 neutral squares. Sew into rows and then into the block.
Repeat to make 260 neutral nine-patch blocks.
Sew the blocks into rows. Sewing every other one as you can see in the photo above.
You’ll need ten rows that have 19 blocks each starting and ending with colored block.
You’ll need nine rows that have 19 blocks each starting and ending with a neutral block.
Sew those rows together to create the center of the quilt.
Sew 19 neutral blocks into a row. Make two. Sew them to the side of the center of the quilt.
Sew 21 neutral blocks into a row. Make two. Sew them to the opposite sides of the center of the quilt. That’s your quilt top.
I used this funky fabric for the backing. It was a thrift store find fabric. I miss the thrift store fabric. I don’t get it anymore as the thrift store has been donating it all to the ladies that make masks. It doesn’t even hit the sales floor.
I love the pebble quilting on this…so fun.
Now if you don’t like sewing little pieces that are 2″ that’s entirely okay. Cut your squares at 2 1/2″ and make fewer blocks…or 3 1/2″ and make even fewer blocks.
The quilt that was sent in had border strips rather than border blocks. I think that looks great and cuts your piecing time down a lot. If you choose that, I would cut your border strips (if you don’t want to piece them like the original) the same size as the square in the blocks.
After seeing the version that was sent to me, I sure wish I have put a stripe on the binding. I just love stripes for binding.
So there you have it. It was such fun revisiting this pattern. This would be a great pattern to use as a leader and ender. You could mindlessly piece the strips of those neutral blocks….Hmmm. Maybe I want to make another of these quilts. Seriously, mindless sewing is my favorite!!