QM Scrap Squad: Hip to Be Square #1; Giveaway

QM scrap squadB1 QM Scrap Squad: Hip to Be Square #1; GiveawayQM’s Scrap Squad recently made scrappy versions of Hip to Be Square from the Jan/Feb ’12 issue of Quiltmaker. In the coming weeks we’ll show you those quilts here. Below is the quilt as it was featured in the issue. Fabrics are from Riley Blake, quilt designed and made by Elizabeth Dackson.

hip QM Scrap Squad: Hip to Be Square #1; Giveaway

Hip to Be Square, designed and made by Elizabeth Dackson. Fabric: Delighted! by The Quilted Fish and designer solids for Riley Blake Designs.


*     *     *     *     *

Today’s featured quilt is perfect for the season! It’s by Kim Brandt from Poughkeepsie, New York. You’ll find Kim’s blog at Pokeytown Kim. Kim sent me lots of pictures and a few thoughts on her quilt.

kimhip1 QM Scrap Squad: Hip to Be Square #1; GiveawayHere’s the new Scrap Squad project with my drawing of the colors I want to try.

kimhip2 QM Scrap Squad: Hip to Be Square #1; GiveawayOnce I decide on my fabrics, I lay out my shapes so I can chain piece, making sure that each fabric is in the right place on every block. Otherwise the design will be lost.

I can’t remember when I bought these fabrics but I think
maybe the 80′s!

Below are some photos from trying different layouts.

kimhip3 QM Scrap Squad: Hip to Be Square #1; Giveaway



kimhip4 QM Scrap Squad: Hip to Be Square #1; Giveaway


Oh! This block is just like a Log Cabin—I can make a Streak of Lightning-type layout.


kimhip5 QM Scrap Squad: Hip to Be Square #1; Giveaway


Now, which way do I want the design to run? Across the quilt or
from top to bottom?


kimhip6 QM Scrap Squad: Hip to Be Square #1; Giveaway

I decide on the vertical layout.

This top is starting to feel more like “Christmas” than I thought it would, so why not make it a real Christmas quilt?  I think I’ll
add some letters to make it say “Merry Christmas.”


kimhip7 QM Scrap Squad: Hip to Be Square #1; Giveaway

First I’ll cut a bunch of strips.


B1055%20Word%20Play%20Quilts QM Scrap Squad: Hip to Be Square #1; Giveaway

Then I’ll get out Tonya Ricucci’s book Word Play Quilts to guide me in making each letter.


kimhip9 QM Scrap Squad: Hip to Be Square #1; Giveaway

Oh, see that “love” block on the cover of Tonya’s book? I made it!


kimhip8 QM Scrap Squad: Hip to Be Square #1; GiveawayTonya even gives me a shout out in the book. I use this book all the time. It is full of easy techniques to make a quilt special.

kimhip11 QM Scrap Squad: Hip to Be Square #1; Giveaway

Here are my letters in progress. I have used just two colors this time.

kimhip102 QM Scrap Squad: Hip to Be Square #1; Giveaway

kimhip12 QM Scrap Squad: Hip to Be Square #1; Giveaway

And here is the finished top :0)!

kimhip14 QM Scrap Squad: Hip to Be Square #1; Giveaway
I like the way the blocks can form stars or Streak of Lightning or just all go in the same direction the way Elizabeth’s quilt does (at the top of the post).

One thing for sure: it is a great way to use up scraps!

Happy Sewing,

I squealed with delight when I first saw Kim’s quilt! She has made a quilt that’s uniquely her own with the addition of the free-pieced letters. Sometimes this type of piecing is called improvisational. Isn’t it wonderful?!

You can read more about it on Tonya’s blog (be sure to look over “Tonya’s Tutorials” in the right-hand sidebar) and in Word Play Quilts. I have a copy of Word Play Quilts and I’d like to give it to a Quilty Pleasures reader. Leave a comment by midnight Tuesday, Dec. 13 (for luck!) and I’ll announce a winner here. Answer this question: Have you ever tried improvisational piecing?

Update: The winner of Word Play Quilts is Nancy who left comment #75. YAY!

About Diane Harris

I'm an editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I wrote pattern instructions, product reviews and how-to articles. Then I spent four years as QM's Interactive Editor, working to generate much of our online content. Now I'm back to patterns and how-tos, which is a great fit for me. I still love writing about quilt-related topics for Quilty Pleasures, and I always have my finger on the pulse of the quilting world. I teach a variety of quilt classes and give guild programs, too. Reach me by email: editor@quiltmaker.com.
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110 Responses to QM Scrap Squad: Hip to Be Square #1; Giveaway

  1. I never to make quilt before. Frist time I try to make small of quilt so I like your
    quilt. I try my best.

  2. Wow, what a fantastic job Kim has done with my pattern! I really love her interpretation, great job! :)

  3. Barbara Huston says:

    I have never tried improv piecing. I am a rule follower and a “things are done a certain way” type of person. However, (just this year) I have begun to see beauty in improv and modern quilting (as opposed to traditional). It is very exciting to me!

  4. Cathy B. says:

    I love what Kim did with her version of the quilt. I’ve been in touch with her for the last couple of weeks and she has given me so much helpful information regarding the scrap squad. I love what she did with Tonya’s book. I’d love to win a copy. Hugs

  5. Lisa says:

    I have done improv piecing once, and look forward to more! I made a scarf and added some free piecing to add panache. It was so liberating…I loved it.

  6. Am;uu says:

    My first 2 quilts were somewhat improvisational–the first was from “Snippets”, a quilt representing my interpretation of Monet’s Water Lilies. It hangs on my sister’s living room wall. 2nd was from Jan Mullen, Butterfliez, which is a wonky, scrappy butterfly quilt that I made when my niece was born. I had SO MUCH FUN with that one, using lots of “kid prints” and brights. Really want to do another one of those. I also love Tonya’s lettering. I envision a tote bag with the word PEACE on it, maybe the “C” a peace sign.

    I’ve gotten distracted by the bizillion other quilts I’ve fallen in love with, but have lots of fabulous fabrics I could use to do some of this again. Tonya’s book is awesome, and I’d love to have it! Thanks for the opportunity!

  7. Susan G says:

    A great design for a wonderful season. Thanks for the fun!

  8. Colleen says:

    I love your quilt and especially with the words Merry Christmas. And I would love to win the book!

  9. Carol M. says:

    I love what you did to your quilt ,thanks for the idea. I would love to win a copy of Toyna’s book.
    I do have an embordery machine but still learning how to do it. Thanks for giving us a change to win the book.
    Happy Quilting,
    Carol in Delaware

  10. sally says:

    Yes, I’ve tried improversational piecing a few times. Once I was trying to replicate something my 4th grader painted…trying to make it into a quilt. It was really hard to figure out and I’ve put it aside. Hope to get back to it. I tend to improvise when I make quilts of my own design. I find it to be a very creative process. I would love to learn more about TOnya’s methods, especially her letters. She’s a master!

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