QM Scrap Squad: Donna’s Chain Reaction

The QM Scrap Squad is a select group of seven QM readers. They take one pattern from each regular issue of Quiltmaker and make their own scrappy versions to inspire you. The 2011 Scrap Squad recently retired. This marks the beginning of the 2012 Scrap Squad posts. I hope you will enjoy them.

QM scrap squadB3 QM Scrap Squad: Donnas Chain ReactionThe featured quilt from the March/April issue is Chain Reaction, a design by Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced. Here’s the original quilt made in Pear Tree fabrics by Thomas Knauer for Andover.

downsizedchain QM Scrap Squad: Donnas Chain Reaction

Chain Reaction designed by Lee Heinrich. Fabric: Pear Tree by Thomas Knauer for Andover Fabrics. Appears in Quiltmaker March/April '12, No. 144.

Today’s featured Scrap Squad member is Donna Hanley from Cincinnatus, New York. You’ll hear from Donna in her own words below.

DonnaHanley11 QM Scrap Squad: Donnas Chain Reaction

Donna Hanley

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I was so excited to get our first assignment…couldnʼt wait to get started. I thought I’d try a black/white combo for every other vertical row; the in-between rows would be complementary colors: blue/orange, purple/yellow, red/green.

1donna1 QM Scrap Squad: Donnas Chain Reaction
On the black/white rows, I decided to try one side dark at top flowing to a medium in middle & back to dark on bottom. The other side would be light to medium and back
to light. I was hoping to have the fifth block be the same value mediums for each side, but that didnʼt look right. I redid it into a more subtle change which made a much better transition.

2donna22 QM Scrap Squad: Donnas Chain ReactionWorking on the second vertical row proved to be a challenge. Just making five blue/orange blocks was enough to see that I didnʼt like it so I had to come up with Plan C.

3donna31 QM Scrap Squad: Donnas Chain ReactionI settled on black/white vertical rows alternating with red/white.

4donna41 QM Scrap Squad: Donnas Chain ReactionHere are my fabric choices:

5donna5 QM Scrap Squad: Donnas Chain Reaction
All 66 blocks are made and on my design wall.

6donna6 QM Scrap Squad: Donnas Chain Reaction
After sewing blocks together to make vertical rows, I found it helpful to mark the right side of each block at 4″ from the seam.

7donna7 QM Scrap Squad: Donnas Chain Reaction

That let me know where the adjacent seam line was supposed to be placed when sewing on the next row.

I didnʼt want to discard all those leftover 1.5″ strips and the blocks I had made for Plan B. I also had the half blocks and a few mistakes. I decided to piece a backing for the quilt. Hereʼs the result:

8donna8 QM Scrap Squad: Donnas Chain Reaction
On to the quilting. I used 3/4″ masking tape as a guide and quilted diagonal lines.

9donna9 QM Scrap Squad: Donnas Chain ReactionI planned to quilt in both directions, but after how long it took me to quilt just one way, I decided that diagonal lines in one direction looked just fine.

10donna10 QM Scrap Squad: Donnas Chain Reaction

I learned how to make piped binding in a Ricky Tims seminar, so I added red piping for a little burst of color.

Grand Finale DVD 4cc34c4c574e0 150x150 QM Scrap Squad: Donnas Chain Reaction

Grand Finale DVD by Ricky Tims

The instructions for this technique are on Ricky’s Grand Finale DVD. (Note from the editor: This is a great DVD full of useful finishing info.)

11donna11 QM Scrap Squad: Donnas Chain ReactionAnd here’s my first completed Scrap Squad quilt:

donnasfinish QM Scrap Squad: Donnas Chain Reaction*     *     *     *     *

Beautiful job, Donna! Looks like we’re off to a great start with the 2012 Scrap Squad. Stay tuned for more wonderful versions of Chain Reaction.

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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11 Responses to QM Scrap Squad: Donna’s Chain Reaction

  1. Ruth Ann says:

    I have just ordered the Quilt Maker Magazine and love Chain Reaction. I am not an experienced sewer but am willing to try anything. I started doing this with the paper piecing but am a bit frustrated. I finished one block and it is shy of the 8 1/2″…. It seems it would be an easy block but with no arrows and no exact width of strips to cut…it is not as easy as I thought. Where would I go to find someone with a little experience under their belt that is paper piecing this beautiful quilt???? Is any of the Scrap Squad paper piecing? THANKS!!!

  2. Diane Harris says:

    To answer Laurel’s question above, the Scrap Squad quilts can only be seen online. Occasionally something might be shown in print, but the beauty of the internet is that we have no space limitations! We love being able to share details that we otherwise could not. It’s worth mentioning that all the Scrap Squad posts remain up indefinitely, so you can always look back at them. We hope you will! They’re great for an inspirational shot in the arm!!

  3. I love the way you can see the elements of Donna’s quilt coming together in the photos. The finished quilt is just stunning!

  4. Laurel says:

    I love the colors you used! I may have to “borrow” your scheme to make one for Wayne…I know he’d love it, too.
    Also, what I really liked was you posting about your thought process as you progressed from beginning to end, AND the photos you included! Will this be included in the magazine or just online?

  5. Kim says:

    Nicely done!

    Happy sewing

  6. Danielle says:

    I love the color choices. You did a great job.

  7. Gorgeous! Very striking. And I absolutely love the diagonal straight-line quilting. : )

  8. MarciaW says:

    beautiful result

  9. Donna Amos says:

    A good looking quilt. The red adds just the right “pop” of color.

  10. Ruthie says:

    It looks great and makes me want to make one also.

  11. Kaye M. says:

    The red strips and the piping add a pop of color to your quilt! I think it turned out great!

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