Friday, September 4, 2015

Quilt Tutorial using my Fabri-Quilt Block Design "PlusBalls" Block


PlusBalls Summer Fun

© 2015 Jan Ochterbeck
62” by 74” throw size
Skill Level: Easy
Fabric Requirements:
Prewashing all fabrics with like colors is recommended.
Color 1 (illustrated as green): 1/2 yard
Color 2 (illustrated as blue): 3/8 yard
Aqua: 2-1/2 yards
White: 3-3/4 yards
Binding: 5/8 yard (aqua)
Specific cutting requirements are given for each block component and color, below. Before cutting the white, cut the outer border pieces on the lengthwise grain (parallel to the selvage) as follows:
o   White top & bottom borders: Cut 2 strips 2-1/2” wide by at least 64” long. Will be trimmed to length later.
o   White side borders: Cut 2 strips 2-1/2” wide by at least 72” long. Will be trimmed to length later.

Block Components:

o   All seams are ¼” unless otherwise noted.

o   Block instructions are in this post (Or just scroll down)
      If you want a printable pdf of the block instructions, please leave a comment with your e-mail address and I will send one to you.
o   The total number of pieces to be cut for the number of units required is given below. 
o   For this tutorial, first make the block quadrants, referred to here as plus units or snowballs. Do not sew them together into blocks yet.
1.      Make 20 green plus units.
Green: Cut 40  2-1/2” squares;  and cut 20  2-1/2” x 6-1/2” rectangles
Aqua: Cut 80  2-1/2” squares
Color 1 (green) Plus Unit
2.      Make 14 blue plus units.
    Blue: Cut 28  2-1/2” squares;  and cut 14  2-1/2” x 6-1/2” rectangles
     Aqua: Cut 56  2-1/2” squares
Color 2 (blue) Plus unit

3.      Make 18 white plus units.
White: Cut 36  2-1/2” squares;  and cut 18  2-1/2” x 6-1/2” rectangles
Aqua: Cut 72  2-1/2” squares
White Plus Unit
4.      Make 49 snowballs.
White: Cut 49  6-1/2” squares
Aqua: Cut 196  2-1/2” squares. Mark each on the diagonal on the wrong side.
Assemble snowballs as shown in the block tutorial.

Snowball Unit

Top Assembly:
We will use the row method rather than assembling the plus and snowball units in to blocks, for more flexibility in laying out colors and better seam allowance management.
5.      Lay out plus units and snowballs according to the layout diagram below, 11 rows, 9 units in each row.
Plus & Snowball Layout
6.      Sew units into rows. Press all seams toward the snowballs. Trim away any stray threads or heavy seam allowances so they don’t show through the white.
7.      Sew rows together. Press seams all in one direction or open, your choice. Trim seam allowances & threads to prevent show-through.
A pieced inner border and plain outer border complete this quilt top.
The outer border enables the quilt to float against the background and assures that no points will be cut off when binding. 
The inner border is made of units like partial snowballs and partial pluses, resulting in the continued appearance of aqua X’s around the edge of the quilt.
Make the inner border units:
8.      Border Unit 1, partial snowball: Make 22 units.
White: Cut 22  2-1/2” x 6-1/2” rectangles
Aqua: Cut 44  2-1/2” squares and mark each on the diagonal on the wrong side.

Assembly:  Align the aqua squares with the white rectangle and sew on the marked lines the same as for the snowballs. Press, trim away the excess, and repress, the same as for the snowballs.
Border Unit 1

9.      Border Unit 2, three patch: Make 18 units
White: Cut 18  2-1/2” squares
Aqua: Cut 36  2-1/2” squares

Assembly: Sew an aqua square to opposite sides of each white square. Press seams toward the white.

Border Unit 2
10.      Cut 4 aqua 2-1/2” squares for the corners of the border.
11.      Inner Border Assembly:
o   Note that the side borders will be attached before the top and bottom.
o   Arrange border units around the quilt center as shown in the assembly diagram below. Note that the three patch unit aligns with snowballs in the top, and the partial snowball unit aligns with pluses in the top.
o   Sew the units together to form the side borders.
o   Attach the side borders to the quilt center, matching seams. Press open or toward the border, your preference.
o   Sew the units together and sew a corner square to each end to form the top and bottom borders.
o   Attach the top and bottom borders to the quilt center, matching seams. Press open or toward the border.
12.      Outer Border Assembly:
o   Measure the length of the quilt top with borders. It should be 70-1/2”.
o   Cut your longer white border strips to this length.
o   Sew the border strips to the sides of the quilt top, matching at centers and quarters. Press toward the border.
o   Measure the width of the top with borders. It should now measure 62-1/2”.
o   Cut your remaining white border strips to this length.
o   Sew the border strips to the top & bottom of the quilt top, matching at centers and quarters. Press toward the border.
Border Assembly Diagram

13.      Piece backing to at least 70 x 80” (requires 4 yards of 41” width fabric).
14.      Layer, baste, and quilt as desired. Trim excess batting and backing 1/8” outside top.
15.      Binding:
o   From aqua fabric, cut 8  2-1/2” by width of fabric strips
o   Join end-to-end and press in half lengthwise, wrong sides together
o   Attach to quilt with heavy 1/4” seam and sew down as desired.
16.      Be sure to label your quilt!

My apologies for the bizarre formatting - Blogger doesn't like to let me copy & paste from a Word document. If you want a printable pdf of these quilt instructions, please leave a comment including your email and I'll send you one.

Disclaimer: This pattern has not yet been tested. Please let me know of any errors you may find.

If you make this quilt, I’d love to see photos. Please send me a link to you IG or blog post.
Here's what it will look like finished, without the seam lines showing.  I like how the white shapes look like spoons, and the aqua parts form Xs!
Here are other possible colorways using the Fabri-Quilt Watermelon Summer palette, but don't feel limited to these colors. The possibilities are endless! I like how aqua is the new neutral - it goes with everything.
Spring Colorway

Christmas Colorway

Quilt of Valor Colorway


  1. What a clever combination of blocks, it looks like a maze!

  2. I am so excited by all the great designs that came out of the new block blog hop and all the awesome quilt patterns, too! Thank you so much for sharing more details on this.

  3. Great blocks. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. REALLY love this quilt! If it wasn't 8:30 on Sunday night (of a holiday weekend to boot!), I'd be heading to my LQS for fabric right now!

  5. Wonderful! This is a great pattern for a beginner. It's a beautiful


So sorry to have to use word verification, but the spam has gotten unbearable lately.