Checkerboard block backgrounds step forward to garner attention over the plus signs in this wall hanging. Fabrics are from the Highland collection by Lynette Anderson for RJR Fabrics.

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Inspired by Plus Postage from designer Susan Ache

Quilt tester: Laura Boehnke

Materials

• 9-9×21" pieces (fat eighths) assorted light prints in tan, white, and yellow (blocks)

• 9-9×21" pieces (fat eighths) assorted medium and dark prints in red, blue, and yellow (blocks)

• 9-1⁄8-yard pieces assorted red and blue prints (blocks)

• 1⁄4 yard red-and-yellow print (inner border)

• 1⁄2 yard blue-and-red print (outer border)

• 3⁄8 yard binding fabric

• 2-3⁄4 yards backing fabric

• 47" square batting

Finished quilt: 38-1⁄2" square

Finished block: 10" square

Yardages and cutting instructions are based on 42" of usable fabric width.

Measurements include 1⁄4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.

Press seams in directions indicated by arrows on diagrams. If no direction is specified, press seam toward darker fabric.

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Cut Fabrics

Cut pieces in the following order.

From each light print fat quarter, cut:

• 2-1-1⁄2 ×21" strips

• 1-1-1⁄2 ×14" strip

• 2-1-1⁄2 ×6" strips

From each medium and dark print fat quarter, cut:

• 2-1-1⁄2 ×21" strips

• 1-1-1⁄2 ×14" strip

• 2-1-1⁄2 ×6" strips

From each assorted red and blue print, cut:

• 1-2-1⁄2 ×6-1⁄2" strip

• 2-2-1⁄2" squares

From red-and-yellow print, cut:

• 2-1-1⁄2 ×32-1⁄2" inner border strips

• 2-1-1⁄2 ×30-1⁄2" inner border strips

From blue-and-red print, cut:

• 2-3-1⁄2 ×38-1⁄2" outer border strips

• 2-3-1⁄2 ×32-1⁄2" outer border strips

From binding fabric, cut:

• 4-2-1⁄2 ×42" strips

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Assemble Blocks

Using strips from one light print and one medium or dark print for each block, repeat the following steps to make nine blocks total.

1. Alternating colors, sew together two light print 1-1⁄2 ×21" strips and two medium or dark print 1-1⁄2 ×21" strips to make a long Strip Set A (Diagram 1). Using 1-1⁄2 ×6" strips, repeat to make a short Strip Set A. Cut strip sets into 16 total 1-1⁄2"-wide A segments.

2. Referring to Diagram 2, join four A segments to make a 16-Patch unit. The unit should be 4-1⁄2" square including seam allowances. Repeat to make four 16-Patch units total. Be sure to press seams in same direction in each unit so they will abut later.

3. Sew together a light print 1-1⁄2 ×14" strip and a medium or dark print 1-1⁄2 ×14" strip to make Strip Set B (Diagram 3). Cut strip set into eight 1-1⁄2"-wide B segments.

4. Referring to Diagram 4, join two B segments to make a Four-Patch unit. The unit should be 2-1⁄2" square including seam allowances. Repeat to make four Four-Patch units total. Be sure to press seams in same direction in each Four-Patch unit.

5. Referring to Diagram 5, lay out 16-Patch units, Four-Patch units, two matching blue or red print 2-1⁄2" squares, and one matching blue or red print 2-1⁄2 ×6-1⁄2" strip in three horizontal rows. First join Four-Patch units to the blue or red print pieces as shown. Next sew together pieces in horizontal rows. Then join rows to make a block (Diagram 6). The block should be 10-1⁄2" square including seam allowances.

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Assemble Quilt Top

1. Referring to Quilt Assembly Diagram, lay out blocks in three rows. Rotate every other block 180º so seams abut.

2. Sew together blocks in each row. Press seams in one direction, alternating direction with each row. Join rows to make quilt center; press seams in one direction. The quilt center should be 30-1⁄2 " square including seam allowances.

3. Sew red-and-yellow print 1-1⁄2 ×30-1⁄2" inner border strips to opposite edges of quilt center. Add red-and-yellow 1-1⁄2 ×32-1⁄2" inner border strips to remaining edges. Press all seams toward inner border.

4. Sew blue-and-red print 3-1⁄2 ×32-1⁄2" outer border strips to opposite edges of quilt center. Add blue-and-red print 3-1⁄2 ×38-1⁄2" outer border strips to remaining edges to complete quilt top. Press all seams toward outer border.

Finish Quilt

1. Layer quilt top, batting, and backing; baste. Quilt as desired.

2. Bind with binding strips.

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