Saturday, 25 January 2014

Positively Quilting

So the story goes, (or at least as well as I remember it) the first time John Lennon met Yoko Ono is when he showed up at her art gallery. In the middle of one room there was a ladder, and hanging from the ceiling was a magnifying glass. John climbed up the ladder and grabbed the magnifying glass, and when he looked through it he saw on the ceiling, in tiny letters, the printed word "Yes". And that impressed him. One simple positive word stirred a feeling in him, which started an attraction, which created a romance, and then ultimately resulted in the Beatles' demise...but maybe I shouldn't mention that right now, for the sake of this story:) 

The plus sign is the symbol for "yes" and expresses certainty, and lately I've been crazy about quilts with plus signs on them. Maybe my Word of the Year should be "positive".  It's so easy to catch yourself saying "this is just my luck" when something bad happens, or anticipating the worst possible outcome of a situation before anything has developed. Do you ever find that you can't sleep because you're worrying about  something that "could" possibly go wrong?  So maybe if we surround ourselves with "positive-ity" (or wrap ourselves up in a quilt with plus signs) we will sleep better, and won't have to take daily medications for our heartburn that is triggered by key words like "family reunion" because you are immediately imagining the crock-pot casserole that is probably going to get thrown at someone's head over a game of monopoly.  We really can't be sure what this year's family reunion will bring, so why worry about it? Maybe this is the year that everyone will get along and sing Kum-ba-ya...but anyway, back to quilting...

My plus sign obsession kind-of started with Danielle Burkleo, of Take Heart Designs. She is the amazing graphic artist behind this blog design.  I gave her an idea of what I liked and she did the rest. I was actually pretty amazed how quickly she came up with something that I loved 100%, especially since her and I have such different tastes. She's completely modern and trendy, and probably doesn't have to call her sisters to ask what people are wearing nowadays.

After she designed the blog, she contacted me and asked if I could make her two twin-size quilts for her boys' rooms. And of course I said yes. She knew exactly what she wanted and I just followed orders:) She even chose the black-and-white striped binding. To know what size I needed I quickly drew it up in the Threadbias design tool.

The quilts are entirely made of 12 1/2" x 4 1/2" rectangles and 4 1/2" squares. Each plus sign block is 12" and the quilt finished at around 68" x 90".

The quilts were a breeze to piece, but I the quilting took longer than anticipated because I basted and quilted each line of the diagonal criss-cross pattern individually. The tiny threads from the black kept somehow escaping from underneath the plus signs and showing through the white fabric. So I took the very long route of trimming the back-side of each plus sign, basting a row, and quilting one line-at-a-time, to ensure that there was no possibility of any random threads making an appearance.

Even though the black and white is a little too contemporary for me, it hasn't stopped me from obsessing over the plus signs. It motivated me to finish the quilting on my Glamping in the Spin Cycle quilt (post coming soon)

and I made a couple of X's and +'s blocks (and yes, I meant for all those strings to be there)--I've decided to try it with all red fabrics, and I am hoping I can finish it by Valentine's Day (and because I'm now a more positive person I'm not going to imagine how my husband is probably going to forget that Valentine's Day is a holiday we do, in fact, still celebrate).

I asked my Aunt Deanna (who I have been promising to make a quilt for) if she wanted a plus-sign quilt and she flatly replied that it reminded her of Band-Aids, so I guess I won't be making a plus sign quilt for her...hahaha. But I'll still send some positive vibes her way, and keep the band-aids for myself:)


  1. Wow, your X and + blocks are so pretty and sweet! I especially like the one with the red background.

    I've been thinking about making a plus quilt, I'm just trying to decide on fabrics!! Love how simple and effective the black and white one looks.

    1. Thank you!!! Good luck with your X's and +'s blocks...they are so much fun:)

  2. Cristina your quilts are so amazing! Everything in this post is awesome!

  3. Love all of your plus quilts Cristina! I've been wanting to make a X and + quilt too and your blocks are so inspirational! I should really get started on that... since I really need to start yet another project and all, lol :)

  4. These pictures turned out great! What you have to say along with the photos and really show your ability to be versatile in all that you do (including your writing--your posts are so funny). It is fun to watch your portfolio expand as you create more beautiful things!

  5. I have a soft spot for plus signs too - I've pinned heaps but just haven'y got around to making one yet!


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XOXO Cristina