QM Scrap Squad: Jill’s Ladder of Success

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 Ladder of Success

The featured quilt from the May/June issue is Ladder of Success, designed by quilting legend and early QM editor Judy Martin. We’re so pleased to feature Judy’s design as part of our 30th anniversary celebration.

ladder1 QM Scrap Squad: Jills Ladder of Success

Ladder of Success, designed by Judy Martin, made by Donna Smith.

 

Today’s featured quilt is by Jill Montgomery from Fairfield, Ohio. Jill blogs here, and you’ll hear from her in her own words below.

JillMontgomeryopt QM Scrap Squad: Jills Ladder of Success

Jill Montgomery

 

I was still working on the first Scrap Squad quilt when we got the pattern for this one. I’m thrilled to be able to say that I have made a Judy Martin quilt instead of just collecting her books!

jill111 QM Scrap Squad: Jills Ladder of Success

I started by drawing the design in EQ so that I could play with the colors. The fabric was from a barn/animal-themed line from Connecting Threads with reds, teals, creams, tans and brown.

2 fabrics 300x224 QM Scrap Squad: Jills Ladder of Success

I realized that I wouldn’t have enough of the tan and brown for the outer borders so I supplemented with two additional fabrics.

3 cutting 300x172 QM Scrap Squad: Jills Ladder of Success

I cut everything out so that I could do a lot of strip piecing.

4 4 patches 300x203 QM Scrap Squad: Jills Ladder of Success

Piecing these Four Patches and the teal Nine Patches went quickly!

5 4 patch pressing 300x259 QM Scrap Squad: Jills Ladder of Success

I was happy to be able to press the Four Patch strips to the side and then pinwheel the last seam when I joined them (shown above).

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When I laid the quilt out, I thought the red was overwhelming the teal, and the tans from the animals were not showing up as much as I thought they would.

jill333 QM Scrap Squad: Jills Ladder of Success

After trying a few other combinations and consulting with the Scrap Squad, I made a decision.

jill444 QM Scrap Squad: Jills Ladder of Success

I have learned never to be afraid to make a mess in the studio.

9 pile of border fabric options 300x224 QM Scrap Squad: Jills Ladder of Success

The fabrics above were all potential border options that didn’t make the cut.

10 4 patches for pieced border 300x247 QM Scrap Squad: Jills Ladder of Success

Once I had the fabrics for the borders picked, I could start piecing border #2. Most of the same fabrics from the teal Nine Patch blocks were used in a repeating pattern for this border.

11 seam before prep rip 300x224 QM Scrap Squad: Jills Ladder of Success

I used the same trick on the Four Patches for the border. On the left is the intersection of the seam I just sewed.

12 seam post rip 300x224 QM Scrap Squad: Jills Ladder of Success 13 seam pressed 300x224 QM Scrap Squad: Jills Ladder of Success

On the right is the intersection after I ripped out the 2 or 3 stitches and then pressed the seam. One half of the new seam is pressed to one side and the other half is pressed to the opposite side. This technique leaves less bulk, which is better when you get to the quilting.

15 finished quilt close up 300x224 QM Scrap Squad: Jills Ladder of Success

A closer picture of the fabrics and the quilting above—a simple stipple.

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Here is my finished quilt! I’m happy that I went with the teals to balance out the reds.

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Jill's friend Joanne with her "Happy Everything" quilt

 

The quilt was a “Happy Everything” gift to my friend Joanne Ahlers. I almost hated to give this one away, but I know that she will love it forever!

Another fun quilt by a talented Scrap Squad member! The take-away lesson from Jill’s experience is to listen to the quilt. When the brown borders weren’t working, she was open to other options and she changed her plan. It’s good to be flexible as your project progresses.

This wraps up the Ladder of Success quilts from the Scrap Squad. If you make a quilt from this pattern, please email a photo to editor@quiltmaker.com, or post the photo to Facebook or Pinterest. We’ll link up if you let us know.

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5 Responses to QM Scrap Squad: Jill’s Ladder of Success

  1. Liza says:

    Great job! The teal border was an excellent choice.

  2. Claudia says:

    Of course! you should listen to your quilt. They do talk, really they do. Makes me think of a Scrabble board.

  3. Jackie says:

    Jill, your quilt turned out great! I think the teal border was the perfect choice.

  4. Susan C says:

    Love the teal and red combination! Good choice for the border!

  5. MarciaW says:

    Good Work by Jill!

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