WIP: Napoleon plus

While I’m giving The Carter Quilt a chance to relax and release some of its wrinkles, I decided I would go against my not-so-hard rule about starting new projects.

This is a simple one, though, and I’ve set a deadline for the top to be finished by my April guild meeting. Here’s where we start:

DSC_0003If any of you have been on my modern quilts Pinterest board, it won’t take you too long to see that I love plus-sign quilts. (Check it out for inspiration, I’ve got nearly 800 pins of quilty goodness!)

I’ve wanted to make one for quite awhile, and after I saw the large plus sign from Ashley over at Film in the Fridge, I knew it would be the perfect way to use some old large scale prints I had from my traditional fabric stash. These were from Sharon Yenter at In The Beginning, a great fabric store in Seattle that, sadly, is no longer in business.

I originally intended to use these fabrics in a blended medallion quilt that had a very Napoleonic look to it, but one of the things I love about the modern quilting movement is using traditional fabrics in non-traditional ways. And plus-sign quilts are a pretty quick cut and sew.

What’s making this go faster is that I’m not obsessing (hard to believe!) about what colors go where. This is just cut it, slap it on the board and get sewing.

DSC_0006(I need a step stool to reach the top row.)

DSC_0007I also need a third board to have a design wall large enough to do an over-sized queen bed quilt, which is what this one will be. Here are some detail shots of the fabric:

DSC_0009DSC_0016I love these little birdies!

DSC_0017This gold floral will make up most of the back.

DSC_0012This is the binding as well as a couple of plus signs. I just love the way stripes in binding look, don’t you? The style is so Empire, it reminds me of the kind of fabric Josephine would have had on one of her many boudoir chaises.

I hope to have the rest of the plus signs and partial pluses cut out and ready to go for a major sew-in this weekend. I’ll also have a few photos from this past Saturday’s Quilter’s Day Out in Louisville, Ky. Our guild had a primo spot and got nearly 50 emails from people interested in joining!

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced.



12 thoughts on “WIP: Napoleon plus

  1. Terrific combination of fabrics and pattern. I have a completed top in plus signs, which I’ll quilt once I get my current project off the frame. It’s interesting how many ways such a simple motif can be used. Thanks for showing us your design wall.

    1. Thanks, Melanie. How will you quilt your top? I can’t decide if I want to do something round, like feathers, swirls, etc., or stay modern and do straight lines. The design wall is easy – it’s just two boards of styrofoam insulation I got at a big box hardware store and covered in batting. A couple of nails to attach it to the wall keeps it stable. When I add a third one, I’ll do a cut out to be able to access the outlet.

      1. Well, my top is a DNA strand. So … I’ll quilt a wide wave all the way across, and then come back across it with another wave a little offset, like the double helix strand. I’ll have 4 of those running the whole length. Between then I haven’t completely decided. I can quilt letters (A,C,T,G) or words, or just do a very long meander between. It’s rather particular due to the theme of the design.

        For yours, I’d love something curling rather than straight lines. I think the + signs provide their own emphasis. But I also think the fabrics are strong enough on their own you don’t need to get very fancy. Feathers might be lost, not worth the effort. Just my opinion, worth all you paid for it!

      2. Thanks for the input. You’re right, something fancy would get lost. I actually might just do a stipple. It’s been awhile since I’ve done that, and one of the reasons I chose this pattern/fabric/size/etc., was because I wanted a quick quilt for my bed. That is if spring ever gets here and I don’t need the 50 million covers I’m using right now!

      3. I have an old version of Electric Quilt software (EQ5 – I’m waiting for the Mac version to buy EQ7), so I was able to plot it out by sizing my blocks at six inches finished. Then I colored them in different colors to create the plus-sign look and counted how many full, partial and single squares/rectangles I needed. One thing I didn’t think about was that because you sew the blocks together by row, the partial plus signs that look like Ts on their sides, would need a 6×12″ rectangle in the middle and two 6″ squares on top and bottom, rather than an 6×18″ rectangle sewn the other way, so bear that in mind if you decide to make this.

        If you don’t have a version of EQ or other quilt software, you could easily plot it in Excel. You can see my post on that here.

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