Charming Plus Quilt Tutorial

on March 18 | in Quilting | by | with 5 Comments

Tisha from Quilty Therapy created her Charming Plus Quilt with the Avant Garde fabric collection. The basic nine patch block gets a little something extra in Tisha’s design, making it a satisfying project new quilters and experienced pros!

Learn all about Tisha in her introduction, and find her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

You can find the Avant Garde Collection, designed by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics, at Stitch Stash Diva. Tisha used a combination of both colorways with all 20 prints in the collection. Both colorways are available in bundles in the Stitch Stash Diva shop: Enlightenment + Allusion.


This quilt takes the simple nine patch block and gives it some flair. Charming contains the typical size block I keep in my stash, a 5” square or charm. A mini charm is 2.5” square, which I also keep in my stash.

For this tutorial you can use fat quarters, charms or yardage. I was fortunate to work with Stitch Stash Diva and the beautiful collection Avant Garde from Art Gallery Fabrics. The color palette offers contrast, allowing the bold colors to stand out in a plus. Visit Tayva’s shop to get these wonderful fabrics.

Fabric Selection:

  • Choose 5-7 bold fabrics, need ¼ yard
  • Choose 5-7 background fabrics, need ¼ yard
  • ¼ yard for binding
  • 1 ¼ yards for backing (5 ¼ yards if in a bundle)

Supplies:

  • Cutting mat
  • Rulers (any width that is 22”-24” long for cutting fabric strips + a square ruler)
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Pins (straight for piecing + safety for basting)
  • Small cutting mat or foam board for block layout

Supplies For Later:

  • Iron
  • Ironing board
  • Starch is helpful

Cutting:
Using your bold and background fabrics cut two 2.5” strips by width of fabric (WOF). From each strip, subcut 2.5” squares with your square ruler. Tip: Keep each fabric in a separate stack after cutting.

Block Layout:
To help with random placement of fabrics, I stack all the background fabrics together (but do not blend them together). I do the same with the bold fabrics (as pictured). This makes it easier to layout each block.

Once you have the stacks, it’s time to lay out the blocks. 42 blocks are needed for a baby sized quilt. This tutorial will give you enough to make the top bigger if desired.

Grab the small cutting mat or foam board. With your background fabrics, layout one square in each corner of the block. Fill in the five remaining squares (the plus) with a bold fabric as pictured. Take both of those fabrics off your stacks and make a new stack on the side.

Continue laying out your blocks this way until the end of either stack. Flip over the stack and repeat. Stop at 42 blocks or until you run out of fabrics for the nine patch squares.

Piecing Part 1:
Use a standard ¼ inch seam allowance for piecing. For efficiency I prefer chain piecing my blocks together. Bring your small cutting mat of blocks over to your machine and place on whichever side works best for you. I always put it on the left. When piecing blocks, I sew right to left as detailed below.

Sew 9 to 8
Sew 6 to 5
Sew 3 to 2

Sew 9,8 piece to 7
Sew 6,5 piece to 4
Sew 3,2 piece to 1

Repeat for all 42 blocks or until your stacks are gone.

Pressing Part 1:
Take the 126 strips you have sewn and cut them apart. Keep the three strips for each block attached to each other until you are ready to press.

Press row 1 to the center block.
Press row 2 to the outer blocks
Press row 3 to the center block.

Piecing Part 2:
After pressing, place the strips on the small cutting mat in the same order you had before. Repeat for every block. (You can reference the photo.)

Pin Row 1 to Row 2, lining up the seams on the center blocks. They are pressed in opposite directions and should nest together.

Sew Rows 1 and 2 together for all blocks.

Using your remaining Row 3 stack of strips, sew to the newly created 1,2 block. Line the center block seams and nest them together as in previous step. Pin and sew Row 3. Repeat for all blocks.

Pressing Part 2:
Take your chain pieced blocks to the ironing board and trim thread connecting them. Press the completed block as shown below. Row seams pressed towards the middle row. You may opt to starch the blocks to help seams lay flat.

Quilt Layout:
There is no right or wrong way to lay out this quilt. My personal preference is to not have the same block plus or background side by side or top to bottom. Adjust blocks until you find a layout you like. Note the picture below shows a layout of seven blocks by seven blocks; at piecing I took the seventh block off each row. I was much happier with the layout and size.

Label each row to help keep everything in place. I use scrap paper with the row number safety pinned to the first block as pictured above.

Piecing Part 3:
To piece quilt rows, I like to sew them left to right, the opposite of block piecing. Start with the first block on the left and move towards the right, placing the next block under the block before it. In the example the orange block is on top and the yellow block is on the bottom for the first row.

Repeat for each row. I stack all my rows together since I have the first block labeled.

Using the numbered guide follow this method to chain piece the rows. Trim thread between blocks prior to piecing on next chain. Pin based on the center block seams, which should be going in the same direction from your pressing above.

Sew 1.1 to 1.2
Sew 1.3 to 1.4
Sew 1.5 to 1.6

Sew 1.1 and 1.2 to 1.3 and 1.4
Sew 2.1 to 2.2
Sew 1.1 – 1.4 strip to 1.5 and 1.6 strip
Sew 2.3 to 2.4
Sew 2.5 to 2.6

Repeat for all seven rows. At Row 7 you will have to stop chain piecing prior to combining the 7.1 – 7.4 strip to 7.5 and 7.6 strip.

Pressing Part 3:
Press all row seams towards the bottom of the quilt. Use starch is needed to help seams lay flat.

Quilt Back:
Sew 5 ¼ yard cuts together. I chose these prints from the collection. They looked great whole and I didn’t want to cut into them. Press seams open, and use starch if you feel it is necessary.

Quilt and bind in your preferred methods.


This post is sponsored by Stitch Stash Diva, an online quilt fabric shop specializing in Fun & Bright Modern Fabrics and Children’s Fabrics. They offer the largest selection of Quilt Fabric on Etsy at an everyday low price and they ship daily. Stitch Stash Diva also offers all of their fabric in 1/4 yard cuts up through the yardage of your choice.

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5 Responses to Charming Plus Quilt Tutorial

  1. Deb E says:

    Love your tutorial, thank you for sharing with us. I’m going to use it for the next baby quilt I make. I’d use a 6.5″ length for the center strip of the blocks, and run it up & down, to cut down on the piecing. My 2.5″ scraps are stored by width, so I have lots that I can cut down to length of 6.5″. Love the use of the black/white prints for the corners, it really makes your fabric choices pop! What a beautiful quilt!

  2. Pat S says:

    What a great way to approach a plus quilt. Thanks!!

  3. The bold and gorgeous color combination set on the scrappy black and white background totally rocks Tisha!

  4. Myra says:

    This tutorial is well done and very helpful! Thank you!

  5. JeanneMc says:

    Love this quilt, the colors are great! I’m curious, is there a reason you pieced the center row squares instead of just using a rectangle?

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