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

70 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, Ruth, all of your renderings are so creative! I like your Idea #2 as well. The little plus signs look like twinkling stars! I love how you made it your own, looks great! Thanks so much for contributing to the book hop!

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    1. Thanks a million Paige and thanks for having me on the hop!

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  2. The central plus motif fairly glows in the colours you've chosen! Love the hot pink binding!

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    1. Thanks! I just finished a bed quilt with it as backing and thought it was just right for the mini - Funny how that happens!

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  3. WOW !!! This is most stunning with those fabrics and layout. A winner.

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    1. Thanks a million. It's a lot neater than I usually manage!

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  5. This one caught my eye , your fabric choices and the quilting, beautiful!

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  6. I love that you used the same colors as the original yet got a completely different look. Lots of great design variations there, I enjoyed seeing your sketches/ideas. Beautiful mini!

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    1. Thanks Emily. This was so much fun and a real privilege to be a part of the hop.

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  7. I love how you took the main design and played with, especially how you added more transparency to the chain background! Your variation is beautiful, thank you so much for taking part in the hop!

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    1. Thanks a million Cheryl. I love yours and Paiges designs and am so happy to have been a part of the book hop!

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  8. Excellent post! I love reading through your thought process and seeing how your ideas took shape. I especially love #2! FUN quilting is what it's all about!

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    1. Thanks so much Karen, sometimes the quilting is torture and somethimes it flows - I can never tell which and Gordon told me it looked neater than the last quilt so I gues practice makes perfect!

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  9. What a difference fabric placement makes! Love your version and the pink binding was the perfect final touch!

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    1. Thanks Jayne. My friends mum has hot pink in her living room and it is really cosy - I've never been that brave but adding in to the quilt I can do and think I should do it more often!

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  10. Fabulous quilt, wonderful post! I’m going to take a few minutes to enjoy a morning scroll through your more recent archived posts to see more of your lovely work.

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  11. Wow, fabulous.The quilting caught my eye!!

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    1. Thanks Rosa. I really enjoyed the combination of pebbles with lines and think I'll be saving that one up again!

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  12. I dunno, I like how stark a dark you used! I hope your back feels better soon; you are wise not to push it at the early stage. Beautiful version and quilting :)

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    1. Thanks! Am on the mend but have to make sure I don't sit too long or hunch over and its easy to lose track of time when you are caught up in the middle of a fun project!

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  13. Beautiful mini! Thanks for sharing the closeups of your fabulous quilting. Very inspiring :)

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    1. Thanks Louise! Watching all those craftsy classes some of it sunk in! I am more of a pieced than a quilter but getting more comfy with it now at long last!

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  14. Love it! The quilting is great!

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  15. The quilting on the mini is beautiful, Ruth! I hope you continue to heal and feel better quickly.

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    1. Thanks a million Yvonne. I'm on the mend and working hard on physio and core exercises. There is a pile of quilt tops waiting on basting and I am even thinking of handquilting one or two. Baby steps!

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  16. Very nice mini! Pretty quilting too!

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    1. Thanks Susan. I really enjoyed making the mini quilt and am very happy with how it turned out.

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  17. The variations adding transparency to the chains are great! I can't wait to play with this one myself.

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    1. Great, its a fun pattern and comes together very quickly. So happy to have been part of the hop and given the opportunity to play and make a fun mini quilt.

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  18. Hi Ruth,
    This is my first time to visit your blog, here via the blog hop. I love your project - what a great rif on the Irish Chain pattern. Especially enjoyed your example of the different layout of the gray fabrics and how the whole look changed based on the order of colors. Really cool Also loved this line in your post:
    "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!"
    That made me smile!! Off to take a look at other posts here. Have a great day. :-)

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    1. Thanks a million Bernie and thanks for taking he time to visit and look around

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  19. I so enjoyed seeing all the different versions you created showing how versatile the pattern is. Love your mini and the quilting is perfect. Sorry to hear about your back problems, I hope you recover soon.

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    1. Thanks a million Kate. It is fun working on smaller projects - much easier to move through the machine and it gave me an opportunity to take my time and play with the quilting.

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  20. I love seeing the different size quilts that are presented in a blog hop. It is inspiring to be able to find the right size that works for me. You did a wonderful job with this quilt. Picking just the right colors to blend together takes so much time and I often find that what I thought would work has the wrong underlying tone. What a good job you did in making it work. Hope your back heals well so you can enjoy making larger quilts.

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    1. Thanks Rochelle, I think I might need to do some shopping and keep in mind the next time I am buying solid neutrals about some of them working together and not just as a background colour

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  21. Just LOVE all your 'curiosity' renditions Ruth, as well as the one you did. Gorgeous quilting!!! and so cool that it all came together, pattern, meaning, country, day of celebration!

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    1. Thanks a million Sandra! It was a snowy weekend for St. Patrick's this year but an enjoyable one all the same.

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  22. I enjoyed reading about how you came about making this design and adding your creativity to it. It turned out beautifully, I love the quilting.

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    1. Thanks a million Sherry. It was nice to have an excuse to just play with the design and the quilting in small scale!

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  23. Everything is so awesome! I love all of the quilts and design options. Beautiful.

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  24. I love what you did with this Ruth and it was really great to see all the different possibilities.

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    1. I would have liked to have made a bigger version Lisa as I think Gordon would really like this one but I was also really happy to just mess about with a smaller project and learn a thing or two about the quilting. Am definitely going to use the combo of parallel lines and pebbles again. I really like how that looked in the end.

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  25. Love the finish and the process you used.

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  26. Love the colors used in your quilt - ooh that pop of yellow in the center, & then that hot pink binding- perfect! Your Quilting is amazing! Hope your back gets better soon! Thank you, Susan

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    1. It's funny how things come together. I had just used that same binding on a bed quilt for a class I was teaching and had the leftovers out on the table waiting to be put into my leftovers basket and thought that might work. Very happy with how it turned out.

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  27. Fabulous! And it seems as if you had as much fun making it as we have admiring it. : )

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  28. WoW! Love your post and your quilt is Amazing! It was really interesting to see all the different layouts. I think you did great! Your quilting is beautiful and the perfect finishing touch. I’ve definitely caught the “Plus Quilt” fever, hehe. Thanks for sharing!

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  29. How fun to see the possibilities available when varying the design. Your quilting highlights the block very nicely.

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    1. Thanks Afton. I normally do an all over in a bed quilt so it was fun to take the time to do more with this little piece and I am looking forward to the next little piece to play with quilting some more. I have just received a set of rulers in the post so that should be fun to try.

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  30. A small but mighty project! I love all your versions--they really show off how versatile the design is. Your fabric choices are wonderful, and the quilting! So lovely. I loved learning how you will be donating the quilt. So perfect!

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    1. Thanks Jennifer. It's funny how things all come together and it seems the perfect project for the teaching box idea and to hopefully make life easier for our new members who want to try a plus or chain block!

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  31. Beautiful quilts! I love the grey and turquoise colors.

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    1. Thanks I have to credit Cheryl with that beautiful colour combination. Caught my eye the first time I saw her and Paig's designs!

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  32. What a great quilt you have made here Ruth. I love hearing about your designing and decisions - the graphic showing the same fabric but in a different placement really illustrates design/colour so well - in fact it proves the point that none of us will ever have enough time to make all the quilts, and their variations, that we have in our heads!

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  33. Curiosity and its cousin, initiative, are great attributes to have.
    Your scaled-down version reflects the main concept of the original pattern but works for you too. I hope that back heals soon!
    I know what you mean about warm and cool greys not playing together. It seems to be true of any colour; each colour has a least three subcategories. Maybe you need another 50 shades of grey in your stash. :)

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  34. I like the different layouts. Your quilt is beautiful and gorgeous quilting. I can't believe you managed to that with a bad back. Well done!!

    -Soma

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  35. Amazing. It's beautiful. I also like Idea #2 at the top.

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  36. The information given by you is really very helpful.
    Thanks

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