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.
Today’s featured Scrap Squad member is Melissa Radtke from Dubuque, Iowa. You’ll hear from Mel in her own words below.
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If you are like me, when a new magazine is delivered to your door, you’re drawn to the quilts in the colors you like best.
Well…pastels are not me! When I first caught a glimpse of Chain Reaction, all I saw were the colors. Not a fan of the original colors, I thought, “How do I make this quilt ME?” So I got on the trusty internet and consulted the trusty color wheel. I was immediately drawn to the warm side.
My next thought was how to incorporate all those colors ranging from light yellow, dark yellow, gold, orange, dark orange, red, to red violet. I wanted to do a gradual color change through my chain, like a sunrise. But—why not go from sunrise to sunset?! Starting with my first row, I would gradually move my colors through the chain until my last row was the complete opposite of the first.
You can see how the color is gradually changing in the first four rows. This is what I call a very controlled scrap quilt. The awesome thing is that you can use as many or as few fabrics as you’d like, as long as they are in the same color family. I have five yellow fabrics and 10 orange fabrics.
Here are a few things I learned while making this quilt. I am the first to admit that I am “ruler impaired.” When cutting a 30° angle, I can flip my ruler 100 times and still won’t get that angle right. So I use the 30° line on my cutting mat and line my ruler up with that. Just make sure, as you can see from the picture above, that the corner of the fabric is ½” off that 30° line. Voila!!! A perfect cut!
I had some problems when adding my center strip. One end would be too short. So before I took my pieces to the sewing machine, I would lay them out next to each other. With the right sides facing up, I made my adjustments so there was plenty of fabric on each end. Then I turned my strip so the right side would lay on top of my triangle. It was ready to sew with plenty of fabric on both ends of my strip. It worked like a charm.
I am a beginner when it comes to feathers. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE feathers, but was never able to get the hang of them. Then I bought the book Hooked on Feathers by Sally Terry. With just a few days of practice, I figured it out.
This quilt had the perfect places for feathers. I echo quilted the chains and the sides, and quilted feathers through the middle. And this was all done on my Bernina, not a longarm. So you don’t have to be a longarm quilter to do fun quilting.
This quilt looks more difficult than it is. You’ll amaze your friends. They’ll think you’re an expert quilter and only you will know how easy it really is. Have some fun with it and make a Chain Reaction of your own.
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Another wonderful job! I think this quilt is really quite a feat from a color standpoint. And those feathers are amazing! If you’ve ever tried them, you know they’re tricky.
I’m happy to tell you that Sally Terry has graciously provided a signed copy of Hooked on Feathers for giveaway here! One reader will soon be quilting feathers as lovely as Mel’s!
Learn more about the book here: Hooked On Feathers Book, Fun, Fast and Easy free-motion no-mark, no-backtracking method with step-by-step instruction for shortarm, midarm, longarm, and traditional machines. How can you not get excited about that?
Here’s a taste of what Sally Terry does. It’s easy to see why Hooked on Feathers was the #1 book for AQS in 2009!
Leave a comment by midnight Thursday, March 1 answering this question: Have you tried quilting feathers, and how did it go? We’ll pick a random winner to receive Hooked on Feathers by Sally Terry. And you know how we are—there could certainly be other surprises in the package! The winner is Joan Mathews. Thanks to everyone for the great comments. Now let’s go practice our feathers.