Thursday, July 2, 2015

Pow - Ta Da! and a tutorial

Pow

Let me tell you about this quilt - I named her Pow. Pow - I hope that this quilt is full of courage and strength and happiness and love. And she is also my "cancer sucks" quilt. You might have noticed me making her on instagram over the last month or so. A young friend - he is about 25 - is stuck in the hospital for 8 weeks or more having very aggressive chemo treatments for a kind of cancer can be beaten but there are no sure bets with cancer. But this kid grew up with one of mine, he was always about, and he should be laughing and building cars, not doing this. By the way, he is still laughing a lot, this guy is one of the good ones.

So, I did what I knew, I made him a quilt. He likes it too, when he said his favourite colour was orange he meant it.

Plus quilt - tutorial

Several people have asked me for a pattern or a tutorial for my style of giant plus quilts (you can see some others here and here and here). So I shared my process on instagram and I will share it with you. This pattern turns out differently each time and is easy to make. First pick a bunch of fabrics, scraps, charm squares and other bits.

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I cut all the fabrics into 5" squares. That way I can use charm squares if I want to. I just cut a bunch - you can add more as you go and left over ones are easily added to your scrap bin. From a fat quarter I cut two 5" strips and then cross cut those into 8 squares. From other pieces I cut 5" strips and then cross cut them. Pick one fabric for the "background" and cut a lot of squares from it.

Now, you certainly can cut two squares and one rectangle to make the pluses instead. If you are starting with 5" squares, your rectangles will need to be cut at 14". But I don't do that as there is less flexibility if you have rectangles - you cannot take out the centre square. Also, you can do a bit of both if you like, cut some rectangles and for other pluses cut only squares. This quilt is pretty flexible to make.

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Head over to your design wall or design floor or design bed and start laying out your squares into plus shapes. If you look at the photo you can see how they tesselate - the pluses repeat on the diagonal and between each plus moving up and down the rows are two other squares (look at the photo and you will see what I mean). Make some of the pluses complete and take the middle square out of others and put a background fabric in the middle.

The "floating" or modern effect that my quilts have is caused by making some of the pluses out of the background fabric or even just out of fabric close to the background and also by taking out that middle square on some of the pluses. For this quilt, in my mind I designated the Architectures print you see to the left and down one from the orange feathers, as the background but really all the white low volumes read as background too.

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Sew together the rows. I sew the rows from top to bottom. Also, as my design wall is not big enough to hold a good size lap quilt (this one is about 66" square after a wash and dry), I start on the wall, sew the strips and then move them to my design bed (actually my own bed). Then I can lay out some more pluses around the strips and sew them on the top and bottom of the strips until I am happy with the design and the size of the quilt.

Plus quilt - tutorial

After you have sewn the strips, press the seams. If you lay out the strips and then press them in order, you can press the seams one way on one strip, the other way on the next. That means you can then sew together the strips without pins, just nest the seams as you go. Soon you will have your quilt top done and give it a good press and admire it.

By the way, if at this stage some fabric placement is really bugging you, it is really easy to rip open the seams and change it out. I don't usually bother but as you are randomly placing those fabrics to start, remember how easy it is to change something you don't like. I find that in the end the random placements make me very happy.

Plus quilt - tutorial

Then layer your top with batting and a back and quilt it (I have a basting tutorial here). I like to use a bright thread to add an additional little spark to the giant plus quilts. I think I used that bright orange Aurifil at the top of the photo. Feel free to also change thread colours as you go. I quilted randomly spaced straightish lines for my favourite industrial modern feel - sort of a fierce and defiant look, which I think is perfect for this quilt.

Plus quilt - tutorial

Bind the quilt  - I have a binding tutorial here. I stitched this one on by machine as I was trying to hurry the finish - given that, well, cancer sucks and one feels like the clock is ticking and you want to get that quilt to that guy quickly.

Pow - back

Here is her back. I chose bold, masculine prints, all of which were also favourites of mine. I have to say that these large 6 - 8 print pieced backs are becoming a bit of a signature for me and I just love each one. The back is interesting enough to be another front, but it does not compete with the front either.

Pow

There she is again with a bit of scale. Pow!

I love this quilt and I was so glad to be able to give it to my young friend, who once was a 3 year old playing in my family room. I sure hope he is better soon too, he is brave and courageous and kind and goodhearted, and maybe this orange hug will help a little too.

Best,

Leanne

54 comments:

  1. It’s a beautiful quilt with lots of positive fibes! I’m sure it will bring comfort to your young friend!

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  2. Fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  3. That's a lovely quilt Leanne, isn't it a shame that we seem to need to make *more* chemo quilts, not fewer!

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  4. I love this quilt. And I'm so pleased your young friend loves it too. Hoping for the best for him!!

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  5. Such an amazing quilt Leanne!

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  6. fingers crossed for the power of Pow - its just gorgeous and I'm sure he will feel the love when he wraps up in it !

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  7. What a delight Leanne! Pow certainly packs a punch! Best wishes to your friend as he fights that sucky cancer.

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  8. Oh i love this--I have a "math wizard " grandson whose fave color is orange--Two years til he goes to college--this would be perfect for him! I am bookmarking this one...thanks for the great tutorial.
    Hugs, Julierose

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  9. The very best of good luck to your young friend ~ your beautiful quilt will surely brighten up his hospital room.

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  10. I do love all your giant pluses but this is my favourite - and I wouldn't have said I was a fan of orange! Your quilting and backing choices are just perfect. Best of luck and healing zen vibes to the lad!

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  11. Wow! I definitely am going to give this one a try. Gorgeous! or whatever the manly equivalent is. :)

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  12. Thank you for sharing, Leanne. It's a beautiful quilt with a strong message. Prayers and everything good to it's special recipient.

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  13. what a beautiful quilt, Leanne! I love the color scheme and the large scale of the blocks. I haven't made a plus quilt in a long time (if ever? I can't even remember. ha!) but i'm itching to try one. your is pushing it higher on my list!

    also, I love the pieced back! I've been doing that recently, too, with about 8 half yard pieces and it's a great stash buster! I just love it!

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  14. This is such a handsome finish, Leanne. Powerful and prayer filled!

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  15. A beautiful quilt that will surely hug.

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  16. oh, my!!!! I love EVERYTHING about this quilt. It's gorgeous. And thank you for sharing a tutorial, I'll definitely be making one (or two) soon :).

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  17. Wonderful quilt, Leanne. I really like your pieced backings too. Best wishes and prayers for your friend.

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  18. This is a perfect quilty hug for your buddy! I have a question about your quilting. Does it make the quilt stiff? What batting are you using? I have found that my straight stitched quilts feel stiffer. I love everything about yours! Thanks so much for posting your tut here....I am not an instagram gal!

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  19. What a beautiful quilt. Love the colours. Wishing your friend the best.

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  20. It is a beautiful quilt, I love the orange with the low volume background. I hope your courageous young friend continues to battle his way through x

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  21. A great quilt made from the heart.

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  22. Gorgeous! Pow is everything a quilt should be, Leanne. Thanks for sharing your process with us.

    I know your young friend will feel all the love you stitched into it. Adding my prayers and wishes for his full recovery.

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  23. Gorgeous quilt Leanne! Here's hoping your friend's cancer is sent packing!

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  24. This is a great quilt and I hope things go well for this young man.

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  25. Your fierceness, love & care for this young man is beautiful. POW! is perfect and surely makes you both feel better. God bless you both. I will pray for a happy outcome for your friend.

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  26. Lewnne.....great quilt!!!....very nice gesture!!!!!

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  27. Beautiful, wrap them in love! 💝. I plan on saving this tutorial of later! I love how you wrote this tutorial...relaxed!

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  28. Wonderful quilt Leanne and lets hope your young friend gets better.

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  29. No two ways about it - cancer sucks. But I know your quilt will add a sparkle to his recovery and create a lasting bond. And I love your simple comment, "So, I did what I knew, I made him a quilt" because I have done the same. Best wishes for your friend and his family!

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  30. What a wonderful quilt! Love the colors and awesome pieced back. And yes Pow! that cancer right in the chops- hoping that your young friend does well with his treatments while wrapped in the love of his new quilt.

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  31. Love your quilt! Loved your story that goes with the quilt! Cancer and quilts definitely go together. A companion through the long nights. Great gift.

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  32. A beautiful quilt with lots of energy and optimism , hopefully that will bounce off

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  33. Love how it came out, I think I missed the final reveal on IG (if it was there) Hope the packing is going well!

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  34. Love how it came out, I think I missed the final reveal on IG (if it was there) Hope the packing is going well!

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  35. How amazing! I'm off to have a go myself! Good luck to your friend x

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  36. I've been loving plus quilts for a long time and yours is outstanding! Healthful wishes to your friend, may this quilt comfort him during this stressful time. Thanks for sharing!

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  37. The best kind of hug Leanne. What a fabulous quilt and I love the orange

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  38. This is a beautiful quilt Leanne. Thanks for sharing the tutorial and the story that goes with it. I hope all goes well for your friend.

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  39. It's gorgeous. A plus quilt has been on my list for awhile now.

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  40. So very wonderful! This is a great quilt for a man. So fun too. Well done!

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  41. I love how this quilt turned out.

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  42. This is a wonderful quilt. Thanks for the tutorial. Been on my list for a while now. Best of everything for your friend.

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  43. Such a beautiful quilt. I'm sure your young friend loves it. Good vibes being sent his way. And kudos to you for such a thought-filled gift.

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  44. A stunner of a quilt! There is something special about wrapping a person who needs loving support in a quilt. I'm sure it will be well loved for many years to come.

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  45. I checked out your binding tutorial. It is so clear and the pictures are wonderful. I'm so glad I read through it all. I wish I could machine sew binding on - I think that is an art all by itself! Thank you.

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  46. I love this quilt and am keeping your friend in my thoughts x

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  47. Your quilt is gorgeous! Wishing all the best for your friend.

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  48. Pretty! I'm orange fan as well :) Thank you for sharing the tut as well!

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  49. Beautiful! I just cut and laid out this quilt yesterday. I saw yours and was inspired. I had yellows and greys. It looks fabulous. I made mine smaller, 11 x 11squares. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  50. Awesome quilt. I have a quilt I need to make in blues, neon greens, white, grey and orange
    This pattern might fit the bill.
    Thanks for sharing

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  51. Pretty quilt! Thank you for the totutoral.

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  52. love this quilt, its on my to do list

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  53. What a wonderfully uplifting quilt. Just the kind needed for your dear friend. I will be making a king size plus quilt and will be referring to your helpful hints frequently. It will be for my daughter and son-in-law, but not for Christmas this year. Thank you for posting the instructions. Happy holidays.

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