Free Plus Quilt Tutorial: Feel the Positivity


You don’t have to be a math genius to crank out this gorgeous, arithmetic-themed quilt. In fact, you don’t have to be a quilting genius, either. The Plus Quilt is a great, beginner-friendly quilt pattern that will sew up quickly and banish negativity. (I'm a quilt poet. More on that below.)

Like a lot of the tried and true quilting blocks, the Plus Quilt works with the classic nine-patch pattern, alternating dark and light colors to make that all-famous plus-sign. The pattern itself is really versatile, with the opportunity to use just a few alternating fabric patterns or a ton of scraps.

A slight variation in the Plus Quilt pattern can also give it a great modern look, if you’re one of those cutting-edge stylin’ quilters (you know you are!)​

Before I hook you up with a satisfyingly simple tutorial, I just HAVE to also dish on the surprisingly short history of the plus sign. You know I’m all about backstories.

Plus History​

So, you know that math has been around for pretty much forever, but the addition and subtraction signs we use today actually arrived on the scene relatively recently. So, get this: about 500 years ago, math used to be written as poetry.​

I’m not making this up. All math problems were like word problems, except in metered verse (I can’t decide if I think this is awesome or terrible. Awesome in theory, terrible for teenage Suzy trying to wrap her head around calculous.)

So, the plus sign was actually shorthand for the Latin word “and,” since that’s basically what we would be saying if we wrote out math problems as sentences (two and two equal four. That’s right, I’m a math genius. Also a poet.)​

Even though it makes total sense to us now, it actually took a while to completely catch on. But when it did, it really did. The plus sign is now an incredibly useful symbol that we all know and love (or love to hate.) We even put it on our quilts.​

So now that you have that killer conversation piece in your toolkit, let’s talk tutorials.​

Plus Quilt Supplies

You don't need much, just the basics. OH! But if you want more than the basics (wink wink) try this Stripology ruler. It cuts the time of cutting strips in half. So instead of 6 minutes you spend only 3 minutes. That's 3 whole minutes you can spend surfing Pinterest! 😉

But seriously, it's a lot of fun. And who doesn't enjoy a new ruler?

Plus Quilt Tutorials


Plus Baby Quilt Pattern by For the Love of George

This sweet little baby quilt is a fast finish. Scenario: It's Thursday night and you're just remembering Megan's baby shower Saturday morning. Ack! Answer: Plus quilt.

Not realistic? OK, try this – Answer: 30 minky blanket. These really are a lifesaver.

Free Plus Quilt Tutorial

Simple Plus Quilt by Quiltylove

Emily Dennis of Quilylove has taken then simple "+" and made it into a chic, minimal design. This quilt uses only two colors – gray and white. yummm. Can't beat that! Click here for pics of her double Plus Quilt.


Abundance by Jeni Baker

You may remember that I posted about this quilt in a previous blog – 10 Fun & Free Scrap Quilt Patterns. This rendition of the Plus Quilt uses tons of scraps along with a solid color to add negative space. Negative space is important with scrap quilts to balance some of the busyness created from using many different types of fabric.

Have you made a Plus Quilt or have any sewing/math related jokes/tips? 🙂 I'd love to hear about it in the comments!

7 thoughts on “Free Plus Quilt Tutorial: Feel the Positivity

  1. Mary says:

    I just made the Emily Dennis/Quilty Love Double the Plus pattern. The pattern is well written and I loved the way it turned out with indigo Essex linen and kona snow. Instagram pics at msmkate.

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