25 April 2014

Flag Plus Block

I'm in the Stash Bee, and May is my month as Queen Bee. I've been thinking for a while now about what block to have the group work on. It's hard to find something that I think people will like to make. The right balance of structure, improv, and color guidelines without being too demanding is difficult to reach! Not sure if I've accomplished it here, but since I finished making the tutorial I thought I'd share a version of it here.

Flag Plus Block

I took a plus block and decided to change the proportions slightly, making it rectangular. Now in my head it looks like flag with a plus on it, hence the 'Flag Plus' name for my block.

This is what I'm aiming for when I get all the blocks from my hive:

Yes, I do all my sketching on graph paper with ball point pens. 

I think I'll make smaller pluses for the blank rectangles on the sides. Not sure yet though, I'll see what happens when I receive blocks from my bee mates.

This is what each of the larger blocks will look like. My color scheme is black and white/lowish volume background with bright jewel color pluses.

Flag Plus Block

Here goes the tutorial!

~Cutting guide~

Background (I chose scrappy, low volume b&w fabrics):
[4] 5.75" by 7.5" rectangles
[2] 2" by 2.5" rectangles
[2] 2" by 3.5" rectangles

Plus color (I chose a yellow floral that I'm really into right now):
[1] 2" by 8.5" rectangle
[2] 2" by 4.5" rectangle

Cutting guide. 

First we'll sew together each side section of the Plus. You'll take the two 4.5" plus color rectangles and the two 3.5" background rectangles and sew one of each together along the short side. You should end up with two segments like this: 

Plus sides. Each is one 3.5" background rectangle and one 4.5" plus rectangle. 

Next we'll sew each side of the block together. You want to sew one of the side sections of the plus you just made between two of the large background rectangles along the long sides. Sew one large background rectangle to the top of the side section, and one to the bottom and you'll end up with two larger segments that each look similar to this: 

You will end up with two of these side sections. 

Next you'll sew the middle portion of the block. It's also the middle section of the 'plus'. Take the 8.5" Plus rectangle and sew a 2.5" background rectangle to each of the short sides. Yours should look something like this:

8.5" plus rectangle with both 2.5" background rectangles sewn to it. 

Finally we'll sew these three sections together to make the block! I've laid out each section the way I'm going to sew them together: When you're laying them out, just make sure that each side segment is rotated so that the plus section is butted up next to that middle plus section, as depicted below.  

Final block layout. 

First sew the left side to the middle, then the right side to the middle. Press your seams towards the center, or open, whichever you prefer. Now you should have a completed Flag Plus block measuring 16" by 12.5"!

Final block, once again. 

I also made a second block that ended up being a little scrappier. Same principal, I just pieced one of the larger background rectangles. 

Another slightly scrappier Flag Plus block!

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial, and I'll be sure to share the finished quilt once I get all the blocks and all the details figured out! If you have any questions or comments feel free to let me know!

Linking up to Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.


  1. Thanks for the tutorial :-)

    1. No problem. Not reinventing the wheel here, just modifying slightly ;)

  2. Cute block, very easy to understand. I think your quilt is going to be really eye-popping and I think keeping the smaller rectangles "plus-free" will make the others pop even more!

    1. Thanks! I guess I'll have to see how the blocks come back to me, and depending on that and my motivation we'll see what happens. You may be onto something with the 'plus free' zones keeping the focus on the main attraction rather than cluttering up the sides.

  3. Thanks for sharing this, I love the sketchbook drawing. It's nice to see the work behind people's creative endeavors!


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