Today we start a new group of quilts from the QM Scrap Squad. The ink is still wet on the May/June issue so we’re excited to see what the Scrap Squad has already cooked up.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Scrap Squad, they are a select group of six QM readers who take one pattern from each issue and make scrappy versions of it to inspire others. You can see slideshows of past Scrap Squad projects.
Mountain Morning will be the featured quilt from this issue. It was designed by Jocelyn Ueng who is with It’s Sew Emma, and made in Bali Batiks from preferred partners Hoffman California Fabrics.
Mountain Morning, designed by Jocelyn Ueng. Sewn by Deborah Hawkins.
Quilted by Diane Selman. Fabric: Bali Batiks by Hoffman California Fabrics.
Today’s quilt was made by Margaret Kennedy from Lake Frederick, Virginia. You’ll hear Margaret’s story in her own words below.
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The arrival of our second Scrap Squad pattern was serendipitous—chevron quilts have been so popular and I had not made one yet. I decided that to make this quilt mine, I needed “more”: more color, more piecing, and more of a dimensional look.
I reduced the half-square triangles of 5″ and 2.5″ finished to 4″ and 2″ finished, so I could cut the pieces with my Accuquilt die cutting system. I have the dies for the smaller sizes, and doing so would give my quilt more detailed piecing. I would have to piece more units to have my quilt end up the same size as the original.
I started asking questions: What if I turned the chevrons the other way on the quilt, so they ran up and down? And what if I mirror-imaged them to make ribbons? And what if I tossed out the rectangles?
To test my ideas, I worked from the picture of the original quilt, and using a digital tool I copied parts of the quilt and pasted them to a blank document, rotating and mirror imaging them to make “ribbons.” Due to the smaller size, I also added more blocks.
Here’s a look at my working draft. It’s a little fuzzy from being a copy of a copy, but it was good enough to see if I liked it and wanted to pursue this layout. If you don’t have digital tools, you can print a quilt layout and then cut it up and put it back together to try different options.
Guideline for quilt made by rearranging elements from original design
I liked the layout! Next to decide on fabrics, colors and color placement. My previous quilt was Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics, so for this quilt I decided to go with batiks. I wanted purple for the ribbons and decided on blue for the background. I selected eight compatible, but not identical, blue fabrics to give some quiet interest:
Eight blues selected for a scrappy background
I wanted a focus fabric to run down the center of the larger ribbons. I thought about a (regular) printed fabric, doing some kind of fussy cutting, but I ended up finding this multi-color batik instead:
Finally, I needed lighter and darker purple fabrics to give a strong three-dimensional look to the ribbons. I picked a mix of reddish- and bluish-purples. Along with the blue backgrounds, this definitely says “more” color to me.
Next it was on to die cutting the larger half-square triangles. Using Accuquilt gives me perfectly-sized pieces with the corners already clipped so they align perfectly for sewing. Good thing, because that’s a lot of pieces!
Large half-square triangles ready for assembly
I decided to make this the “block,” and I needed 27 of them. By placing the light purples above and the dark purples below, I could achieve more of a three-dimensional effect than in the original quilt.
See that “light” purple just to the right of the focus fabric in the top row? I ended up taking that one out later on because it looked too dark.
Here are my 27 blocks all sewn together. I like how the three-dimensional effect is shaping up.
With the larger triangles sewn, I tackled the small triangle units using the same purples and blues, but not the focus fabric. The blue background shows through the middle of the smaller ribbons. The stacks are sitting on the die I used to cut them. There are actually more pieces here than in the stacks of larger triangles.
I decided this would be my block unit, and I needed 18 of these.
Assembly is the same as for the larger units, except that there are twice as many pieces per block. I love how all the blues work together in the background.
Here is the completed top, with all the ribbon units and top and bottom borders of the focus fabric. I also added narrow blue borders for two reasons. One, binding is easier because the points don’t go out to the edge with the border added. Two, from a design perspective, it makes the ribbons appear to float on the background.
On to preparing the backing! I created a special label and pieced it into a band of leftover background fabrics.
I had a piece of purple batik that I bought several years ago for another project, but it just didn’t work out back then. This time, it was perfect! You can catch a glimpse of it in the final photo of the quilt at the end of the blog post.
For thread, I decided on…surprise!…purple. I felt it was what I needed for this quilt.
I noticed that the piecing formed alternating lozenge-shaped units. I have outlined the lozenge shapes in yellow in the picture below. Instead of an edge-to-edge quilting design, I found a pattern at It’s a Quilt Thing! that I could place in each of these “lozenges.”
The quilting looks like this on each lozenge.
It adds a nice undulating texture across the quilt. The top and bottom focus fabric borders are quilted with a beadboard pattern.
Here’s a shot of quilting in progress:
And the finished product! Binding matches the backing.
And here is “Purple Ribbons” in her glamour shot. More color, more piecing, more dimension, and more PURPLE!
For me, “more” was just the ticket to make this quilt my own. Thanks for reading my story!