Plus Side Quilt – With a Twist

I’ve been wanting to make another version of my The Plus Side quilt pattern for a while now (pattern can be found here).

I really like the layout of my last one (in Carkai by Carolyn Friedlander) and wanted to try it again with different colours:

The Plus Side (quilt pattern) by Kirsty at Bonjour Quilts. Made in Carolyn Friedlander's Carkai fabric line

I went with a scrappy collection of FQs in fuchsia, lime and navy, with various low volume prints and light solids.

The Plus Side quilt pattern by Bonjour Quilts. An easy modern quilt suitable for beginners; pattern available for sale.

I’m calling this layout “With a Twist” as it seems to suit the patterns created:

The Plus Side quilt pattern by Bonjour Quilts. An easy modern quilt suitable for beginners; pattern available for sale.

I went into this quilt uncertain of the layout I’d choose. While I love the Carkai version, I felt I should probably try something new.

One of the best parts of this quilt pattern is playing with the block placement and orientation before sewing it together. Once I completed all my blocks, I spent a night messing around with them on my design wall. All the following designs are made with the same 20 blocks. This was how the blocks looked when I first threw them on the wall – they remind me of blobs of paint coming together on a painter’s palette:

The Plus Side quilt pattern by Bonjour Quilts. An easy modern quilt suitable for beginners; pattern available for sale.

Then I went back to the original radiating diamond pattern that I’d used in the Carkai version:

The Plus Side quilt pattern by Bonjour Quilts. An easy modern quilt suitable for beginners; pattern available for sale.

Next, I tried the same pattern, but with the darker colours forming the central diamond:

The Plus Side quilt pattern by Bonjour Quilts. An easy modern quilt suitable for beginners; pattern available for sale.

Next was a cross formation (and I briefly considered sewing another row of blocks to put across the top to make the pattern symmetrical):

The Plus Side quilt pattern by Bonjour Quilts. An easy modern quilt suitable for beginners; pattern available for sale.

But it was too late at night for that so I decided to make the  cross unsymmetrical in both directions:

The Plus Side quilt pattern by Bonjour Quilts. An easy modern quilt suitable for beginners; pattern available for sale.

Then I tried making some diagonal stripes:

The Plus Side quilt pattern by Bonjour Quilts. An easy modern quilt suitable for beginners; pattern available for sale.

And some diagonal stripes in like colours:

The Plus Side quilt pattern by Bonjour Quilts. An easy modern quilt suitable for beginners; pattern available for sale.

And again, just with the corner blocks swapped:

The Plus Side quilt pattern by Bonjour Quilts. An easy modern quilt suitable for beginners; pattern available for sale.

And finally, an offset arrow head for good measure:

The Plus Side quilt pattern by Bonjour Quilts. An easy modern quilt suitable for beginners; pattern available for sale.

By this stage, I was ready for bed and not sure which design I was most fond of.

The next day, I put a quick call out on Instagram asking for people’s opinions on 3 of the designs – the Radiating Diamond (dark centre), the Centred Cross and the With a Twist layout. I folded the laundry and made a cup of tea and came back to see that the majority were liking With a Twist. I was pretty happy with that as I did want to try something new, so I sat right down and sewed the layout together into a quilt top. When I’d finished, I popped back in to Instagram to see that Radiating Diamond had surged ahead in the popularity stakes….ooops, but there was no way I was unpicking it!

The Plus Side quilt pattern by Bonjour Quilts. An easy modern quilt suitable for beginners; pattern available for sale.

(My 12 yr old graciously agreed to hold this quilt up for me as my husband was away. His arms were getting sore in the above picture ;)

The main reason I liked the With a Twist layout was the secondary patterns formed around the central, light diagonal. There are Vs and Ls and triangles – lots of defined areas that would be fun to quilt, and very do-able on my own Janome.

I ended up quilting this fairly densely – so much so that I had to wet and block the quilt top before I sewed on the binding, just to reset the edges.

I began by outlining all the “quilting zones” I’d decided on within the quilt. This not only defined those zones, but also stabilised the whole quilt before I went to town with the quilting. I always like to work from the centre of the quilt outwards, so I sewed the black lines first, red lines second and green lines last.

The Plus Side quilt pattern by Bonjour Quilts. An easy modern quilt suitable for beginners; pattern available for sale.

I filled in the zones in the same order – black, then red, then green. I used a light beige/tan thread which blended in quite well.

The black zone held a truss or frame pattern. The red zones contained straight line quilting that echoed the original stabilising lines. The green was a spiky, starry kind of affair that could be done in one pass because I’m too lazy to bury threads. This diagram is not exact, but it gives you the idea:

The Plus Side quilt pattern by Bonjour Quilts. An easy modern quilt suitable for beginners; pattern available for sale.

That diagram looks totally crazy-pants, but I assure you it looks a lot calmer in real life with the beige thread!

All the quilting was completed with a walking foot. I either used the block seams as my guide, or as in the case with the truss section I used a hera marker to mark out lines.

As mentioned before, with all the dense quilting and pushing and pulling required, the edges were undulating by the end. I put the quilt sandwich in the washing machine with several colour catchers and filled the bowl to just cover the quilt. I agitated lightly by hand to be sure there were no trapped air pockets, and then drained and lightly spun the quilt. The whole thing took 10 minutes. I tacked the quilt sandwich out on the carpet and pinned it in place with pushpins. They didn’t work very well (kept popping out), but thankfully just smoothing it all out into shape and letting it dry overnight made a big difference.

I made a scrappy binding from all my FQ remnants (after the blocks are cut from each FQ as per the pattern, there is enough for a strip of binding from each) and then hand sewed the binding down.

The Plus Side quilt pattern by Bonjour Quilts. An easy modern quilt suitable for beginners; pattern available for sale.

I really love the colours in this one, the fuchsia packs such a good punch.

This version of the pattern finishes at 48″ x 60″ (crib size) but the pattern includes instructions for lap, twin, queen and king size as well. It’s quick to sew up and is definitely beginner friendly. If you’d like to make your own The Plus Side quilt then you can purchase the pattern here.

Hope you’re having a great weekend and happy sewing!

Kirsty

The Plus Side quilt pattern by Bonjour Quilts. An easy modern quilt suitable for beginners; pattern available for sale.

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20 thoughts on “Plus Side Quilt – With a Twist”

  1. Thank you for sharing the whole process. These blocks look great in so many layouts and I love that you explained your thought process and also how you went about quilting it. One of my pet peeves is the good old, “quilt as desired”. I always love to see how a designer has quilted their quilts. Not that I want to copy it but as quilting is such an integral part of the design, it’s interesting to see the designers choice of quilting. Also, I never thought to block a quilt sandwich after quilting, when it’s a bit out of shape, that’s a brilliant idea.

    Reply
  2. Wasn’t my favorite layout, but finished I LOVE it! Thank you so much for sharing the whole detailed process from start to finish! I know it takes a lot of extra time but as a beginner I so appreciate it! What machine do you use to do your quilting?

    Reply
    • I have a Janome Memory Craft 8900 QCP, Sandy. It has a few things that annoy me, but overall it’s a great machine and I’ve loved sewing on it these past 3 yrs or so.

      Reply
  3. I just love this quilt. The colors you chose are so great! I totally feel you with the layouts. I can get into a crazy design-loop when I’m testing different layouts. And then I text my friend pictures of all the options because I cannot make up my mind!

    Thanks for the great quilting visuals and technique. I love that you shared how you accomplished it! It looks fantastic. Happy quilting!
    Becky

    Reply
    • Thanks Becky! I’m glad I’m not the only one who has problems deciding on a design. I will even resort to asking my kids which one they like best. The older two are great, the youngest, not so much. The last time I asked my 5 yr old which design was better, he looked at both “It should have a frog on it.”. Sigh.

      Reply
      • HA! about your 5 year old! I’ve had those moments where I look at how things turned out, and I somehow want something entirely different, too! Love it!

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    • Thank you, Sue. I liked the idea of quilting each zone differently. I think a free motion quilter could really go to town on this one. Thanks for dropping by!

      Reply
  4. I’m guessing the popularity of each version would have its own audience, the pattern being so versatile and striking too! It is obviously one that gives plenty of opportunity for creative quilting too! Well done Kirsty, another winner!

    Reply
    • For sure, Suz, and I think my Instagram tally confirmed that. Each pattern had its own admirers. Much like preferring a certain wine, for instance!

      Reply
  5. Thank you very much for the detailed thoughts and pictures in this post. For a beginner quilter this is very, very helpful. I am so surprised to see how many versions you have come up with using the same blocks. So glad I have found your blog!

    Reply

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