Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Fabri-Quilt Block Design Blog Hop: My Block, PlusBalls

I'm participating in the Fabri-Quilt Block design blog hop. Fabri-Quilt and Inspired by Fabric generously donated six fat eights to the blog hop participants for use in their new block designs. Special thanks to our blog hop hosts/facilitators; check out their posts and the links to their participants.
Monday, August 31st – Hosted by Yvonne of Quilting Jetgirl
Tuesday, September 1st – Hosted by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs
Wednesday, September 2nd – Hosted by Stephanie of Late Night Quilter
Thursday, September 3rd – Hosted by Terri Ann of Childlike Fascination

As an added bonus, the blocks created for this blog hop will be used to make three quilts for charity. Win-win-win!

Speaking of winning, visit the hosts above for chances to win your own Fabri-Quilt fabric bundle.

Today is my day to introduce my block and tutorial, so let's get to it.

Presenting (drum roll) ...


A modern variation on the traditional combination of snowball and nine-patch,
using the hugely popular Plus motif. 
Skill level: easy.  

Each participant was given a fat-eighth fabric bundle from Fabri-Quilt of six solid colors in the Watermelon Summer palette. The fabrics provided in this summery grouping are Chartreuse, Turquoise, Coral, Light Aqua, Lapis Blue, and White.
Fabri-Quilt Watermelon Summer Palette
Please visit my fellow bloggers and check out their block designs as well.

Today's featured bloggers:

PlusBalls Block Tutorial

© 2015 Jan Ochterbeck

Finished block size 12”.    All seams 1/4".    Skill level: Easy.
Pre-wash all fabrics with like colors before using.

Cutting, for each block:

·        Cut 2 (two) 6-1/2” squares


·        Cut 16 (sixteen) 2-1/2” squares

Color #1: (illustrated in green)

·        Cut 2 (two) 2-1/2” squares

·        Cut 1 (one) 2-1/2” x 6-1/2” piece

Color #2: (illustrated in blue)

·        Cut 2 (two) 2-1/2” squares

·        Cut 1 (one) 2-1/2” x 6-1/2” piece

Block Assembly:
·        Snowball Quadrants:

o   Mark 8 aqua squares on the diagonal.

o   Position aqua squares at the corners of each White 6-1/2” square with the marked diagonals as shown. Sew on the diagonal lines.


o   Press the aqua corners outward.

o   Fold back the corners and trim away excess leaving ¼” seam allowance.  Note: Pressing before trimming improves accuracy and helps to assure that your 6-1/2” square remains square because you can align the folded corners with the original corners of the white square.
o   Press the corners back out.

·        Plus Quadrants:
o   Lay out colored and aqua patches as shown.
o   Sew patches into rows.
o   Press top and bottom row toward center, toward the color.
o   Sew rows together.
o   Press rows toward center.

·        Block:

o   Arrange Plus and Snowball quadrants as shown.


o   Sew top row together and bottom row together.

o   Press each row toward the Plus.
o   Sew rows together.
o   Spin seam allowances at center and press seams toward Snowballs.*
o   Trim away any threads or seam allowances that show through the white
* To spin seam allowances, unpick one or two stitches and press the seams in opposite directions so that you can see a tiny four-patch at the seam intersection.
If anyone would like a printable PDF of the tutorial, please leave a comment.

Suggested colorways and quilt layouts using the PlusBalls Block:

Simple layout, no borders:

Alternating blocks in Summer and Spring colorways;
5 x 6 block layout; 60" x 72"  throw size

Modern fun block layout with additional half-blocks and borders:

Shown with piecing seams, left, and without visible seams as finished top would appear, right. 
Layout is 4-1/2 blocks wide x 5-1/2 blocks high;
Pieced inner border; solid outer border. 
62” x 74” throw size.

The following colorways are the same modern fun layout as above:

Summer Colorway
Spring Colorway
Modern Christmas Colorway
Modern Quilt of Valor Colorway
Come back Friday, Sept. 4 for a tutorial on piecing the fun modern quilt layout.
Be sure to visit the other bloggers whose block designs are featured today.
  • Host – Stephanie @Late Night Quilter
  • Hannah @Modern Magnolia Studio
  • Cindy @Stitchin At Home
  • Abby @Hashtag Quilt
  • Lisa @Sunlight in Winter Quilts
  • Carrie @Chopping Block Quilts
  • Eleanor @Cat Approved Quilting
  • Brianna @The Iron and Needle
  • Tish @Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • Jan @The Colorful Fabriholic (you are here)
  • Sarah @Smiles Too Loudly
  • Beth @Cooking Up Quilts
  • Leanne @Devoted Quilter
  • Liz @LizzyClips Design
  • Kim @Leland Ave Studios
  • Kitty @Night Quilter




    1. Such a great idea. I love the look of the border made just by color placement.

    2. I really like how you played with the negative space flowing into the blocks in some of the layouts! Great design.

    3. Very nice! I love your spin on the traditional blocks.

    4. Great idea for your block. I like the negative space layout so many possibilities.

    5. Great idea combining two popular designs in your block! I love all the layout you presented too.

    6. Wonderful block Jan! I love the layouts of quilt possibilities! Great tutorial!

    7. This is such a great idea! I love all the possible layouts you provided! Your tutorial and photos were also very easy to follow!!!

    8. You're a genius!!! These ideas are perfect together. I NEED a quilt like this in my life immediately!

    9. I don't know if you intended it, but the name "Plus Balls" made me laugh! It's great that you showed all the different possiblities - it shows how versatile the block it - really well done! Plus it made me laugh. ;)

    10. Spectacular block tutorial and love the designs you created by changing the colors. Thank you for putting the time and effort into creating this and sharing it with us. Have a wonderful creative day!

    11. Wow very versatile blocks. It would be hard to pick a favorite layout because I like all of them!

    12. I love this block and all the layouts! What a great block! Thanks for sharing! BTW: I'm a STLMQG member also. So I'll see you at the next meeting. :)

    13. Love it! Congrats on a fabulous and modern design. The layout options are fun

    14. I LOVE your layouts!!! Such really pretty quilts!

    15. I love plus quilts and all the variations on plus quilts, so I love your block too. It would make a great Christmas quilt too

    16. Cute blocks! I like that you thought about both a spring and a summer color way. The layouts you have suggested really make this block shine.

    17. Thank you Jan for your tutorial of your blocks. I really like the looks of this one in the pretty colors you were provided.

    18. Love you how showed different colorways and how you can change up the interior negative space to make it look completely different. Great job.

    19. I love these Blocks. thank you for your tutorial. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

    20. Thanks so much for a block that a newbie like me could make! I love all the layouts you came up with--it's always amazing what can become of a block in its future!

    21. I'm going to open my mouth, and show my age. I immediately said, "Oh, balls and jacks!! How fun!" Several of us in the neighborhood growing up would hide out in the heat of the afternoon, and pull out our bags of balls and jacks. I still remember the scraps on the sides of my hand from rubbing the concrete as I tried to pick up the 'foursies' and up. Okay, I'm still under 50, but I think we all had slightly older moms buying our toys!

      Cool little block, and SO reminds me of my summers past. Thank you!

    22. I love the way you've played with colour placement in the variations you've shown. It creates a whole new look to this fun block!

    23. What a great post. This is a very nice block and I would like to share it with my comfort quilt guild with your permission.I like how you showed it as a border around a different centre. Wonderful!