Friday 16 March 2018

Modern Plus Sign Quilts Blog Hop!

Image courtesy of C&T Publications

I'm so excited it's my turn to share for Cheryl and Paige's book hop, for their beautiful new book Modern Plus Sign Quilts.  It is a real honour to be a part of this hop and to have had the privilege of making from Cheryl and Paige's designs.  There are 16 brilliant patterns in the book and I had a hard time deciding which to make and in the end, I was delighted to make the Transparency Chain pattern.

Image courtesy of C&T Publications

I chose this pattern for a few reasons.  I love transparency designs and haven't made too many of them and thought it would be good practice to exercise a sense of value and tonal scale, by trying a design like this.

I think this was the quilt for me especially as, at the moment, my time in front of sewing machine is limited.  I am healing from disk issues in my lower back and knowing that basting a quilt top would be a struggle,  I  am limited to smaller projects, quilt as you go and design work.  One of the way's Cheryl and Paige suggested the pattern could be used was to make less blocks for a baby quilt or a table topper.  I decided to go with the latter and make a mini-quilt.  Given the small size of my project, I wanted to put a special effort in and to try and contribute to the book hop by playing with some extra chains in the design.  Cheryl and Paige invited us to change things up if we wanted and to be inspireed by the designs with our projects. 

Idea #1
Idea #2

Because the pattern is so well written and comes together in a very clever way, it makes it easier to piece lots of the same block than it looks and makes it really easy to play with.  I took it as a challenge to honour the beautiful clean nature of Cheryl's design and at the same time have a bit of a play. I love playing with design and suffer from a condition called curiosity - it's not fatal but it does take me down endless rabbit holes!  I end up with lots of variations and really struggle with just choosing one.  So I thought the Transparency Chain would be a great pattern to have some fun with and stretch myself a little.

This is what I eventually came up with.

Exact same colours, just different placement gives a different effect!
Originally I thought about framing the chain around the plus block but quickly realised a light to dark transparency was nicer and more true to Cheryl's design. By adding a chain to the outside and the inside in different tones I got a transparency inspired double Irish Chain.  To make the design work you need to add some of the chain to the plus blocks, so if you want to have a go, you take the pattern block and add a square into each corner.

I have a lot of grays in my stash so colour me surprised when trying to match a light to dark was not as easy as I had expected.  I have a good mix of warm and cool greys that don't really go with each other!  In my mind, I was looking for light, medium and dark grey but realised also, the background white was part of the gradient, so I made a change to my light grey to make it work better.  In hindsight, I'd not use as stark a dark again and try and get a smoother transition in the light to medium/dark grays.  But I'm still happy with the end result and I think it works.

This is how I think I could use the double transparency in the pattern and think this would make a great quilt for Gordon for the study.  It can be tricky sometimes finding a pattern and colourway that can be gender neutral and I think this is definitely one of them, that would also live very well in our house!

Final idea!

Especially when framed with hot pink binding!

Given the mini size of the block I ended up making for the hop, I thought it would make a great piece to practice some free motion quilting on and I had a blast.  I used a small stipple for the centre, parallel(ish) lines, pebbles, spirals, orange peel and wishbones to quilt it!  I am very pleased with how the quilting turned out and it will be hard to give this mini away.

One of the projects our committee of the Irish Patchwork Society has been working on is a project that brings all 8 of our branches together by having each branch take a traditional quilt block and make 8 variations of it from traditional to modern to share with each other.  My branch has the Irish Chain and it being St. Patrick's Day tomorrow this book hop and Transparency Chain pattern couldn't be more timely!

My mini will be donated to the branch, crediting Cheryl and Paige's book on the back label and I hope it will be used to show how versatile chain designs, and as a bonus, plus designs can be.  The Modern Plus Sign Quilts Book is available to buy directly from Cheryl and Paige as signed copies or from Amazon.  I could easily make so many quilts from this book and couldn't recommend it highly enough.  Whether you are looking for inspiration or a fun pattern well written, there is a quilt here for everyone!

To see more designs and the projects my fellow blog hoppers have made from and inspired by the book, the full schedule is below.  Please stop by and visit, you will not be disappointed!  Don't forget to visit Cheryl & Paige's blogs for giveaways while the hop is on!

Thanks again to Cheryl and Paige for allowing me to participate in the hop.  I have loved making your design and feel very privileged to have had so much fun playing and exploring plus blocks with you all.  Happy St. Patrick's to everyone!

Monday, March 12th

Tuesday, March 13th
Kitty @ Night Quilter
Sophie @ Luna Lovequilts
Afton @ Quilting Mod

Wednesday, March 14th
Abigail @ Cut & Alter
Sandra @ mmm! quilts
Karen @ Run Sew Fun

Thursday, March 15th
Bernie @ Needle and Foot

Friday, March 16th
Izzy @ Dizzy Quilts
Christa @ Christa Quilts

Monday, March 19th
Jessica @ Quilty Habit

Tuesday, March 20th

Wednesday, March 21st
Anja @ Anja Quilts

Thursday, March 22nd

Friday, March 23rd
Paige @ Quilted Blooms
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