QM Scrap Squad: Jill’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.

QM scrap squadB3 QM Scrap Squad: Jills 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: Jills 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 Jill Montgomery from Fairfield, Ohio. She blogs at jillquilts.blogspot.com. You’ll hear from Jill in her own words below.

JillMontgomeryopt QM Scrap Squad: Jills Chain Reaction

Jill Montgomery from Fairfield, Ohio

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I am honored to be part of the 2012 Scrap Squad! I’m very excited to participate with the Squad and to make a few quilts that will be shared on Quilty Pleasures!

When we got the pattern for Chain Reaction, I took a few weeks to ponder the possibilities. I picked out fabric drew the pattern up in EQ7 to get an idea of how I wanted the colors to flow. As it usually happens, I had to dig around in my stash and come up with a second option because there were not enough fabrics in the first.

jillstrips QM Scrap Squad: Jills Chain ReactionOnce the fabrics are chosen, the cutting is the easy part. When I cut my strips, I leave the fabrics grouped together so that I can spread them throughout the pieces and make sure that I don’t have any blocks that will end up with the same two fabrics.

jill2 QM Scrap Squad: Jills Chain ReactionThe background pieces need to be cut on an angle and I resorted to my tried and true method of marking the cutting mat with painters tape. I laid the first piece on the mat and cut it and then used the parts to mark where to cut. For each of the remaining pieces, I laid it on the mat, lining two sides up on the edge lines, and then cut from mark to mark.

jill3 QM Scrap Squad: Jills Chain ReactionI did the same thing on the second cut, but had to re-measure and put down new pieces of marking tape. Once the tape is down, you no longer need to line up the edge of the fabric with the 30º mark.

jill4 QM Scrap Squad: Jills Chain ReactionOnce I had the second cut made and was ready to sew in the second strip on the blocks, I paired all of the strips up with the block parts so that I could sew them all at one time without having to think about which strip to use on the next block part.

jill5 QM Scrap Squad: Jills Chain ReactionI started thinking about my binding as I was sewing my rows together. I had a striped zigzag fabric that had all of the colors in the quilt, but the zigzags went the width of the fabric instead of the length. I had to do a bias binding in order to get the interesting look I wanted, but I found an easy to follow tutorial on Jaybird Quilts and had the binding done in about an hour.

jill7 QM Scrap Squad: Jills Chain ReactionI quilted small loops all over. And here is a close up on the binding. I really like how it turned out with the lines going both ways.

jill8 QM Scrap Squad: Jills Chain ReactionI sewed an easy label onto the back when I attached my binding. I cut a square of muslin, attached interfacing to the back so that it would be easier to write on, folded the square on the diagonal with the interfaced sides together and then sewed it into a corner. This leaves one side that needs to be hand stitched down.

jillfinalfinal QM Scrap Squad: Jills Chain Reaction

Jill's finished Chain Reaction

Here is my final quilt blowing in the Florida breeze! It was a gift to my grandparents. I can’t wait to start on the next quilt!

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What a great job Jill did! Notice the interest created by the fact that her fabrics are varied in value: there are darks, mediums and lights. She used mostly tone-on-tone fabrics, avoiding prints with many different colors present. The result is a clean, crisp, crayon-box look. It’s just wonderful!

Still a few more versions of Chain Reaction to come, so please stay tuned.


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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20 Responses to QM Scrap Squad: Jill’s Chain Reaction

  1. Maria Nogueira says:

    Obrigada pela “dica”

  2. Kim says:

    What a great gift!
    You did a super job getting the color to flow so beautifully across the quilt top.
    Nice job Cuz :0)

    Happy Sewing

  3. Donna Amos says:

    A beautiful quilt! I love the colors you selected. Will remember and use your tips.

  4. cheryl from MO says:

    great job, I love your mini tutorial, I can see me making one in solids with a black background- another future TO DO!

  5. Dixie Bradbury says:

    I love the quilt. My question is, what do you consider a scrap? You have a lot of the same fabrics in this quilt. And I’ve noticed it in other quilts labeled “scrap”. I have a true scrap stash and make truly scrap quilts. Don’t be offended. I just think the scrap quilt terminology is being misused.

  6. Angela Bickford says:

    When I saw this pattern in the magazine, I knew I would want to make it. After seeing this quilt, I am even more driven to doing this one. It is beautiful!! Love your painters tape idea!! Thanks so much for sharing!!
    Remember to enjoy the beauty that surrounds you!

  7. Deanna says:

    Yay, Jill! Another great example of your vision and skills.

  8. Terry says:

    You certainly made this quilt spark — love what you did — this one’s on my to do list for the future — thanks for posting it – Terry :)

  9. Pat Adney says:

    I like this version,too! I will definately have to make this quilt!

  10. Marj says:

    The colors you used are great. I love this quilt and your instructions make it more doable, thanks for the tips.

  11. JoAnne T. says:

    Gorgeous, Jill! I would have never thought to use that fabric for the binding. I am going to do that.

  12. Aase Vinther says:

    love this “scrappy” look, works for me…

  13. Carol Vickers says:

    Another beautiful version – thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas.
    As a past member of Scrap Squad 2011, I feel like I’m still a part of the excitement when I can see your wonderful creations.

  14. What a fun, colorful version of this pattern! I love it! That binding fabric was a great choice. And the painter’s tip is great, I will have to remember that.

  15. Ruthie says:

    I love it! Especially your method for cutting.

  16. Susan C says:

    How pretty! I love the clear, crisp colors in this. The painter’s tape tip is wonderful, I will definitely have to try that, what a great idea! Thanks for sharing. I’m eager to make this pattern.

  17. Karlene says:

    Very pretty quilt!

  18. Leanne says:

    I never would have thought of using painters tape to mark cutting lines. What a great idea. I love the look of this quilt. The pattern is great, and goes together beautifully in any color scheme, as these scrap quilts are showing.

  19. Jennifer says:

    Great revision of the pattern – I love the bright colors and the binding!

  20. Regina says:

    This looks great! And I love the painters tape idea – I was looking at making this pattern, but tend to be “diagonally” challenged when it comes to anything odd angles. With this tip, I think I could better tackle this project.

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