On Monday I learned that the next prompt for the stay at home quiltalong was Plus Sign. As in the past round, several challenge participants had their additions up and posted on the first day. I was not so quick to get to work. First of all, I wasn’t sure where I should place a plus sign on my project. Secondly, I wasn’t sure what technique I wanted to use I considered all of these options in turns:
- Nine patch blocks made with contrasting strips
- Painted on, either freehand, stamped or stencilled
- Reverse applique
As I awoke this morning, I had the answer – really, it came to me just as I got out bed! I remembered this little tool stuffed away in my sewing cabinet:
I would make plus sign appliques, but I would do it with fabric strips run through the bias tape maker. This tool folds under the raw edges making a very even tape, very quickly.
It turned out to be the only part of the project that was quick.
My first goal was to bring the gray X motif, which had a prominent place on this work, to a graceful close. To do this, I cut and pieced a border using the light blue and dark grey fabrics, with the grey piece matching the angle of the X already in progress.
Here are three of these borders, sewn and ready to be pressed.
When sewn in place, the grey X get its rectangular legs finished up.
Now I am ready to add the plus signs. It’s time for the floral batik fabric to make another appearance. I cut it into four triangles to finish the corners. It is here that the plus signs will appear.
One of the problems I had with using the plus sign motif is that it looked like a stubby, ungraceful pair of sticks to me. To solve this issue, I decided to elongate two sides of it. The long legs will come from the edges of the triangles, with the cross happening at a right angle in the corner.
All of this sounded very simple to me, in terms of the construction steps. This is where my lack of experience kicked in. After prepping the pieces, I started sewing them in place. Nothing would line up correctly! I measured each triangle, but didn’t find anything wrong with their angles. After spending an hour or so, sewing on and removing a few triangles, I finally realized that I had failed to true up the border edges. What a rookie mistake!
Eventually I sorted out the 90 and 45 degree edges and sewed everything together.
To see some of the other quilters’ work, you can visit their posts.