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 Bonnie Stapleton from Powhatan, Virginia. She blogs at institcheswithbonnie. You’ll hear from Bonnie in her own words below.
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I saw this plate at the Louvre on vacation one year. It was so old, but the colors were still so vivid.
I had been planning to use these colors for a quilt. When I saw Chain Reaction I knew this was the time. It helped that I’ve been gathering fabrics in these colors for a while.
I pulled a pile of teal/turquoise fabrics and pumpkins, rusts and oranges with a neutral background. After making a practice block, I decided I didn’t like the light background and instead went with teals for the background and pumpkins as the X’s.
I figured out several things from making these blocks. First, it’s so much easier to see the 30º line if it doesn’t have yellow over the line as most of my rulers do. (Of course I was working on the last three blocks when I realized I had another ruler that didn’t have that yellow overlay!)
Second, I did make a little guide to help make sure I placed the strips far enough down. Once I figured this out I didn’t have to rip. I squared up my blocks as I went along—I hate squaring up at the end.
When I ran out of the two teal fabrics I bought another piece. Note to self: Buy more than half yard pieces—no wonder I am always making scrap quilts!
What to do with the excess slices? I decided to sew them together and add them to the backing as “art.”
Some of the blocks went horizontally, some vertically. I used a variety of leftovers.
I loaded this quilt on to Ruthie, my longarm machine, and tried some freehand feathers. The only fabric I had enough of became the binding. Sometimes decisions are based on what is available.
Here’s my finished quilt out in the sun.
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What a beautiful piece, and what a departure from the other versions we’ve seen! There are at least two great lessons to take from Bonnie’s experience.
• Make a test block! This is so important.
• Sometimes a light background washes out a beautiful color scheme. Bonnie wisely eliminated the problem and used just her two main colors for background and X’s.
Another job well done by the talented 2012 Scrap Squad! Just one more Chain Reaction and then we’ll be on to the next project.