QM Scrap Squad: Jennifer’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: Jennifers Chain Reaction

The 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: Jennifers Chain Reaction

Today’s featured Scrap Squad member is Jennifer Stevens from Hays, Kansas. She blogs at craftsbyjennifer.blogspot.com. You’ll hear from Jennifer in her own words below.

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JenniferStevens1 QM Scrap Squad: Jennifers Chain Reaction

Jennifer Stevens from Hays, Kansas

I am so excited to be part of the 2012 Scrap Squad!! This is such a great opportunity and at 29 years old, it is something I’m proud to participate in!

When I initially saw the Chain Reaction pattern, I fell in love with it. Taking a second look, I was a little scared of it! By the third look, I was ready to dive in.

I started this quilt using my batik scraps with a  light purple background. I practiced on a few blocks (thankfully, and highly recommended!) and finished about 10 good blocks.

jennifera QM Scrap Squad: Jennifers Chain Reaction


When I laid the pieces out, I hated it.


jenniferb QM Scrap Squad: Jennifers Chain Reaction


In tears, I decided on a completely different plan. Just above is the color scheme I came up with. Below are a few things I learned as I made my version of Chain Reaction.


jennifer12 QM Scrap Squad: Jennifers Chain Reaction

My ruler with the 30 degree markings on it wasn’t long enough to make the complete cut.

jennifer2 QM Scrap Squad: Jennifers Chain Reaction

Not to fear, my ruler with the 60 degree markings was, so you will see the fabric lined up on the 60 degree mark on my ruler in the pictures above.

jennifer3 QM Scrap Squad: Jennifers Chain Reaction
I found when laying out the first piece on the 12″ strip, it was best to put it slightly toward the smaller side of the triangle, as above, to allow enough room when the piece is opened up.

jennifer4 QM Scrap Squad: Jennifers Chain Reaction

In this second picture, always measure 1/4″ hangover from the dog-ears to allow it to be even after you sew it down.

jennifer5 QM Scrap Squad: Jennifers Chain Reaction
When laying out the block to sew the final seam, be sure to mark the lines so the X will be straight when you open it up.

jennifer6 QM Scrap Squad: Jennifers Chain Reaction
Final block!! When I started sewing blocks together, I was trimming the extra pieces as I went.

jennifer7 QM Scrap Squad: Jennifers Chain ReactionAbout halfway through, I decided it was easier and more accurate when I didn’t trim, but marked with a pencil instead. At the end I trimmed the blocks to 8½”.

jennifer81 QM Scrap Squad: Jennifers Chain Reaction
This is the top before it was quilted. I made it wider than it is long because I want it use it on the back of the couch.  The colors of the 12″ strips resemble an American flag.

jennifer9 QM Scrap Squad: Jennifers Chain ReactionThis is the finished quilt. My mom does amazing longarm quilting and she put tiny stippling between the rows and outlined the strips.

jennifer10 QM Scrap Squad: Jennifers Chain ReactionI used all the extra 2½” strips from the blocks for my binding.

jennifer111 QM Scrap Squad: Jennifers Chain ReactionWe used the embroidery machine to make the label.

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A wonderfully creative idea from Jen, wasn’t it?! Who’d have guessed you could incorporate an American flag into this design? I love it. Nice work!

This wraps up the Chain Reaction Scrap Squad quilts. You’ll find the pattern for Chain Reaction in the March/April issue of QM.

Soon we’ll showcase the next design from the brand-new May/June issue of Quiltmaker. 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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8 Responses to QM Scrap Squad: Jennifer’s Chain Reaction

  1. Sharon says:

    P.S. I like your purple blocks, too. They would make a great baby quilt, even if you alternated them with plain blocks or in stripy rows.

  2. Sharon says:

    I absolutely love it! You did a great job & in telling us where we might encounter difficulties. Thank you so much.

  3. Love it!! I can’t wait until we can show off the next quilt. :)

  4. Karlene says:

    very striking; good choices

  5. Ivani Vieira says:

    Love your version Jen.

  6. Julie Warner says:

    I love the colors and although the colors are traditional patriotic, it didn’t come out looking like you could only take it out on the fourth of July. Thanks for all the tips you used working with that pattern.

  7. Nice Job Jen — did you actually embroider the label info onto the quilt backing? Hum, something to think about… And what will become of the left over blocks? Maybe a nice charity quilt? Bonnie

  8. Cathy B. says:

    Jen, it is beautiful. Nice job.

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