Plus Quilt Along Week 3

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Welcome to week three of the Plus Quilt Along! I'll be updating the Sew Along Page each week with all the posts so that you can easily catch up or reference these posts after the sew along ends!

I hope you'll sew along with us! Sew from the tutorial or the pattern:
Arithmetic Quilt Pattern
Modern Plus Quilt Tutorial

This week we're working on our quilt tops! It's time to lay out your quilt and then piece your quilt top! Let's dive into some tips and tricks for making this a smooth process.

For these quilts it's ideal to be able to lay out the entire quilt top at once. This means you'll probably need to clear a large amount of floor space, or clear off your design wall. If you're making a throw or baby quilt, you may even be able to lay out your quilt on a bed!

When I lay out a plus quilt, I like to use a large piece of foam board to separate all my squares by print. This makes it easy to move all the squares around the floor as I lay out the quilt. You could also use your cutting mat, or a clean cookie sheet.

Sometimes it can be tough to get a good spread of value and color in your quilt top so that it looks evenly distributed. I find taking a photograph and viewing it in color as well as in black and white can be really helpful! Oftentimes I can see right away a print that's sticking out or where I have similar colors clumped together.

Once I'm happy with my layout, I put my handmade row markers to work! I use these for nearly every quilt I make. Make your own using my tutorial: Easy DIY Row Markers for Quilting.

I like to stack the squares up in each row, then stack all my rows into one big stack of squares! Then it's time to start piecing. Chain piecing helps make quick work of these quilt tops, if you need a refresher check out my Chain Piecing Tutorial.

For even more piecing tips, check out my 8 Tips for Precise Piecing!

Ever lose track of which way you’re pressing your row seams? When I’m piecing a quilt top, I usually press my seams in one direction and alternate directions every other row. A few years ago I made a simple decision that makes my life easier: I press seams in odd numbered rows away from the row marker. I press seams in even numbered rows towards the row marker. I’ve done it this way on many, many quilts and I rarely end up with a row pressed the wrong way! Even if my rows are out of order when I do the pressing, this simple habit keeps things organized.

Pressing a quilt top isn't super high on my list of favorite quilting tasks, but I do love how good it looks when it's neatly pressed! Now it's all ready for next week!

Happy Quilting!

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