Plus 2

Plus quilts are in fashion right now and this one is based on a vintage quilt with a few small changes to make it my own. Here’s my two color drawing – designing in two colors is quicker and I always want to get to the piecing faster! I might have to make this one again because as much as I like scrappy, I love it in red and white too.

Quilt size – 54 x 76 which puts it right in the size range I like for donating or gifting.

Block size – 10 inches finished (10.5 inches with seam allowances).

Setting – 5 blocks across x 7 blocks down. 35 blocks total.

Please read through all the instructions BEFORE you start piecing and ask if you have any questions –

My quilt in progress – you can see how the sashing transforms the quilt into something special.

The quilt is Jelly Roll friendly and I used 35 strips from a jelly roll (each strip made one block with a little left over) and paired it with black yardage from my stash.  I started with 3 yards of my black fabric and I will end up with less than a half yard left after I cut my binding.

Piecing the block – make 35

For each block cut the following:

(4) 2.5 x 2.5 inch squares from your print

(4) 2.5 x 6.5 inch rectangles from your print

(6) 2.5 x 2.5 inch squares from your background

(1) 2.5 x 6.5 inch rectangle from your background

First we’re going to piece the PLUS block and then we’re going to frame it. Sew your print squares to your background square and then sew them to the center rectangle – I pressed everything to the black at this stage.

Now that you have your plus block pieced, you’re going to frame it.

Sew two black squares to two of your print rectangles. Press toward the print rectangle.

  • These are your top and bottom frames.

Sew two rectangles to the sides of the PLUS block – press toward the print rectangles.

Sew the top and bottom frames to the block. Your seams should nestle if you’ve pressed correctly.

NOTE: in all my PLUS  blocks, my black rectangle in the center of the PLUS is oriented vertically.

I cut and pieced 3-4 blocks at a time until I had all 35 done. Make sure all the blocks are arranged as you want and then you’re ready to sash the quilt.

Sashing is cut 1.5 x 10.5 inches from the background fabric

  • I cut (2) 10.5 inch pieces of fabric from selvage to selvage and then subcut that into my 1.5 inch sections. Depending on how wide your fabric is, that should give you about 52 sections and you will need 58. For those extra few sashing strips, I cut 1.5 inch strips selvage to selvage and subcut them to 10.5 inches. Cutting my sashing in this way made the best use of my fabric yardage.

Cornerstone squares are cut 1.5 x 1.5 inches. I had enough of the jelly roll strips left to cut my cornerstones. 

You can use whatever process for sashing that you choose. I like to sash 4 blocks and then assemble these sections into rows.

I describe below how I add sashing and press seams – you can also Google “sashing a quilt” if you prefer a different method. Here’s a link to a Craftsy post on sashing it’s one of many “how to’s” you can find. 

I sew one sashing strip to the right side of each block – press toward the sashing strip

Then sew the cornerstone to a sashing strip – press toward the sashing strip

Sew that strip with the cornerstone to the bottom of the block – press toward the sashing strip in the first block and toward the block in the second block. Keep alternating the direction this seam is pressed.

These 4 blocks are then sewn together. At this point you will also need to alternate the direction of the seams that join the blocks together. I do this by pressing that seam to the left in odd number rows and to the right in even number rows.

You could always press these seams open during the sashing and joining of blocks if you find it too confusing to alternate the direction of the seams but I have my process and it works for me.

The last two blocks in the row will only have a a sashing strip sewn to the bottom of the block and all three sections will be sewn together to create the row. The last row in the quilt will not have a sashing strip and cornerstone on the bottom of the block. 

Again, feel free to use any process for sashing the quilt that you feel comfortable with – this is just how I like to work with sashing. If you have questions ask!

My finished top


(c) Mary Johnson – – 2016

14 thoughts on “Plus 2”

  1. Love this one! Thanks for the pattern. As it so happens, I have numerous jelly rolls that I can use so I really won’t have all that much cutting.

  2. I love your patterns! I’m a scrappy kind of girl. Can’t throw them away. Right now I’m sewing scraps to adding machine paper strips. I don’t know what I’ll make with them, but at least I have them all ready to go when I decide. Thank you for sharing your patterns and ideas.

  3. Thanks for doing this Mary. My Grandson is hoping for a quilt so this pattern will suit his taste perfectly. His color choices are lime green and navy mmmh these will push me way out of my comfort zone. Oh well I am up for the challenge. Appreciate your generosity; happy quilting from Canada.

  4. So excited to start this for a dear young friends high school graduation in June. Thankyou

  5. Thanks. It looks simple. I will try it for my next charity quilt for one of our local hospice houses.

  6. I have been eagerly awaiting the tutorial for your cross quilt. I love the way the sashing and corner stones make the simple block such a standout. Thanks formaking the tutorial so clear.

  7. I L O V E this cross/plus quilt–and that it is jelly roll friendly–thanksso much, hugs, Julierose

  8. Thank you so much. I really like this one and you are so nice to write it us for us. I love reading about your adventures and family.

  9. Thank you so much for posting such clear and concise instructions. I’m uncurling a jelly roll (almost) as I type…lol. I especially appreciate pressing directions as well—-that really can make or break a block. Many blessings….

  10. Thank you Mary!! My niece was baptized yesterday, and I was looking for a “cross” quilt to make her. I LOVE all of your patterns & instructions, very easy to follow.

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