A Free Quilt Pattern Grandpa Would Have Been Proud Of

Quilts have an amazing ability to do so many things…..keep us warm, share our love with others or bring comfort at a time of heartbreak. A quilt can even connect us with the loved ones in our life, just like this quilt has done for me.

midnight quilt show

Scrambled Plus Sign quilt pattern

Last week’s episode of the Midnight Quilt Show features the free quilt pattern, Scrambled Plus Sign, which I designed in honor of my husband’s grandpa. He so very patiently showed me how to make my first quilt, a nine-patch. I didn’t realize it at the time, but he was setting me on a path to a love of all things quilting!

Grandpa love vintage-looking prints and dark colors, so of course, I made it in fabrics that he would have loved. But, it looks just as stunning in my favorite shades of blue solids

free quilt pattern

I’ll share a link to the video and free quilt pattern in a moment, but first, let’s chat about the quilting.

Quilting the Scrambled Plus Sign Quilt

machine quilting nine patch quilt top

As much as I love piecing, we know that machine quilting is my absolute favorite part. A quilt isn’t a quilt until it’s quilted, after all! To help encourage you to not only make the quilt pattern, but to actually finish it as well, I have included machine quilting diagrams in the pattern.

Free Quilting Diagram

Actually, I included two different diagrams. A “Turn in Early” diagram with a quicker quilting option and a “Up all Night” option for those of you who like to quilt things to death like I do!

continuous curve machine quilting

In this quilt, I used a lot of continuous curve machine quilting, which is just a line that arcs from corner to corner on a quilt block. If you haven’t tried it before, you should! It is such a versatile design. In fact, if you can do a continuous curve lines and a swirl meander, there isn’t a quilt that you can’t machine quilt.

If you are a little nervous about trying it out, here are a few tips to make it less stressful:

Tips for Continuous Curve Quilting

1. Look where you are heading, not where you’re at.

When I teach machine quilting classes, I always tell quilters to “put your eye where you want to end up”. For instance, when quilting continuous curve lines, I am not looking at the needle, I am looking at the next corner. If you think of it, it’s just like driving a car. You don’t look at the hood, you look down the road. Doing so gives you time to adjust if needed.

2. Don’t fuss over “perfect” curves

The amazing thing about this design is the optical illusion that it creates. Even if the curves aren’t symmetrical, it still looks great. So instead of worrying about the curves, focus on trying to make the quilting land on the corners (as much as possible).

3. Quilt multiple blocks at a time.

Very few people have so much time for quilting that they aren’t looking for a quilting shortcut or two. (By the way, if you are one of these people, let me know your secret!!) Instead of quilting a single square at a time, quilt the whole block of squares without starting and stopping.

Here are some step by step pictures of how to work your way through several squares at a time:

continuous curve step by step

Of course, if you find yourself stuck or if you have squares that are unquilted, just travel along a seam to get to the next area.

The Scrambled Plus Sign Tutorial

With no further ado, here’s the video. Watch how easily the quilt goes together as well as how I quilt it with the walking foot and free-motion quilting foot!

Your Turn

What do you think? Do you want to try making your own Scrambled Plus Sign quilt? If so, you can find the free quilt pattern with quilting diagrams here. You can also click here to find the fabric I used.

Let me know if you have any questions about continuous curve quilting or free-motion quilting in general by leaving it in the comments!

Happy Quilting!

Angela