To be a bit cliché, this shoemaker is a professional Web Developer and her child is this blog, but it was past time to launch what I have of a new design. All the content is still here, everything else is a work in progress (kind of like most of my sewing projects)!
I’ll spare you a lengthy essay on the quilt title, but the tl;dr of my stream of consciousness was something like “for CCC / double plus / C++? / cout << 'Hello Triple C' / okay, C++ is good enough before you get too far down the rabbit hole and start an i/o stream of odes to unorthodox programming syntax and 'doubleplusgood's and other 1984 references. / Wait, Sea++? Get it? Salt Water, like from the sea… no, really, just stop." My mind: a confusing place since forever.
But as the start of that stream of consciousness reads, this quilt is for my sister Courtney, also known by her initials as CCC or Triple C, and the quilt was inspired by one titled “Double Plus.” She’s been waiting patiently for a quilt since I made the ones for our mom and other sister back in May 2011 (plus the otherfabricthings I’ve made Kaite), so I’m glad inspiration finally hit!
It all started with a six-pack of FQs from Tula Pink’s Salt Water line. I threw in a bit of shot cotton (maybe a Moda Cross Weave?) and Kona Nautical as binding from my stash. Rounding out the fabric choices are yardage of another Salt Water print for the background and Laura Gunn Painter’s Canvas for most of the block corners.
Ideas floated around in the ether for a bit, always coming back to plus quilts, so when I saw “Double Plus”, the idea took shape. A few rounds of digital sketching later, I had the plan to execute in 70″ square form.
This yardage from IKEA has always been slated for the back of Courtney’s quilt, even before there was an idea for the quilt front. My brain decided it, and so it is. The piecing was less about intention and more about making the fabric I had work for the back—particularly without another trip to the store. The blue is a textured linen-like cotton that has been in my stash for a while, previously seen in Carl’s bag. Had I remembered it was there, it likely would have ended up on the front as well instead of the Painter’s Canvas. Case in point: I need stash organizing, stat.
I picked up a spool of Isocord thread to quilt with and I really like the results, but had to battle a fair number of tension issues. This also isn’t my best quilting because I tackled it all with my free-motion foot—even the straight and stitch-in-the-ditch parts. I need much more practice with doing straight lines that way, but now that it is washed, all the little mistakes aren’t obvious.
Tula paired up with Urban threads to offer some embroidery motifs that pair with the line, including a quilting one, so I mixed it in with my FMQ. I planned to do more, but those tensions issues made me modify that plan. There are still a few anchors mixed in the quilting.
The final wavy texture is amazing and it drapes beautifully. It’s hard to part with, but nothing but the best for my very favorite oldest younger sister who is infinitely patient.
To top it off, I threw together a quick tote bag from another bit of Tula Pink—the Turtle Bay print from Prince Charming—paired with a stashed solid (I’m not sure what), another embroidery from Urban Threads, and lined in the Ikea text print. I made her a zippered cosmetic bag from this same print earlier in the year (but never photographed), so it all ties together pretty well.
That’s three quilts in three months. Can I keep up the trend?
The more exact a vision of quilting I have in my head, the more Murphy’s Law takes effect, as evidenced by my current project.
I started with a grid in a plus in the very center of the quilt, planning to continue that motif throughout the other blocks.
I quickly realized that it is time consuming, mind numbing, and not the texture I really wanted. Since it’s the center of the quilt, it can be a bit special, so I left it in place, then switched to alternating between straight (or as straight as I can do with an FMQ foot) lines and curly lines.
I also had grand plans of using a machine quilting motif designed by Tula Pink to go with this Saltwater line (sold on Urban Threads) quite a few times on the quilt. Here it is from the back, where it shows up more clearly.
I’ve managed to get two sewn completely, had to rip out half of one of those, and now have another half of one to rip out because my machine doesn’t seem to be happy with this plan.
So, my plans are changing again, stopping with this third one, once I managed to fully stitch it.
I think I’ll finish off the background quilting with a nice, simple wave that I’ve used before. I don’t think much can go wrong with that. At least, not unless my FMQ foot keeps acting up, as it has also done throughout this process.
Dearest Murphy, a respite would be most appreciated.
My latest project is a quilt composed of plus blocks that are a bit different from the typical standard-grid plusses. It looks tricky, but once it’s broken down into components it’s not a difficult block to make. Here are the measurements and a diagram to make one like mine, which finishes at 17.5″ (yes, a very large block!).
Fabric 1 ( Corners)
Four 4.75″ squares
Fabric 2 (Background)
Four 4″ squares
Four 3.25″ x 4.75″ rectangles
Four 3.25″ x 7.5″ rectangles
Note: the more obviously patterned the background fabric is, the more obvious your seams will be without fussy pattern matching, so keep that in mind when selecting fabric.
Fabric 3 (Plus)
Two 4″ squares
One 4″ x 11″ rectangle
By considering it an irregular nine-patch, you can see how the sections all fit together without requiring any Y-seams. You can easily string piece the sections, but pay attention to the mirrored placement for the corner components.
If you’re looking for a similar pattern that provides all the details for a full quilt, I recommend this Double Plus pattern. While the proportions of the block may not be exact, I drew my inspiration from it when figuring out my own design.
When I explored Burlington pre-job acceptance, I found Stitched, a fabric shop in Williston, and fell in love. They had me at Tula Pink Nightshade showcased beautifully right as I walked in (one of three of her lines they had in the store!). Each new room in the old yellow house had some new print or designer that I’d previously only seen online. Despite what some might claim, that didn’t seal the moving deal, but it was a strong mark in the ‘pro’ column!
So, of course I walked out of there with a bit of Tula: 6 FQs of Salt Water, tied with a bow.
Fast forward three months. I saw this gorgeous “Double Plus” design come up in the Modern Quilts Flickr group, and was inspired.
So, rather than go back to WIP finishing, I dove into a new project. It’s very handy being able to just meander over to the fabric store to pick up more fabric from the line rather than wait for a shipment. Or dangerous, perhaps. C’est la vie d’une quilter.