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.
The Scrap Squad quilt from the recently released Sept/Oct Quiltmaker is Country Morning.
It was the Classic/Update, where we take a classic pattern from an early issue and update it. The quilt features printed fabric that suggests redwork embroidery in the cream-colored blocks. We asked the Scrap Squad to replace that fabric with something completely different. They came up with some great ideas which you’ll see in the coming weeks.
Today’s featured quilt was made by Melissa Radtke from Dubuque, Iowa. You’ll hear from Mel in her own words below.
Country Morning makes a great scrap quilt. It’s good for your first paper pieced quilt or to practice your paper piecing. The units are simple and only have two or three patches.
When I saw those snowball blocks, I wanted to do something in Christmas colors. I thought about using my Kaleidoscope Kreator software. It helps you create a kaleidoscope image from a regular photo.
What says Christmas more than poinsettias and holly? I settled on the two pictures shown below.
This is what they looked like after I used Kaleidoscope Kreator.
Kaleidoscope Kreator gives the illusion of Stack-n-Whack® without all the cutting and piecing. I added variety to these blocks by using the pinwheel setting. This is a very fun program, and you might want to play around with it. It retails for less than $40 at kaleidoscopekreator.com.
Using any sturdy paper and the Add-A-Quarter Ruler will guide you to trim correctly and will give you placement for your next patch. (Sidenote: Carolyn McCormick designed the Add-A-Quarter ruler. She’s a friend of Quiltmaker’s and she taught at our first Block Party in Williamsburg, to rave reviews.)
Here is another handy tip that I learned from Carol Doak’s book. In paper piecing, start stitching behind the seam line and stitch past the end of it.
When using stitch-and-flip, do you hate drawing a line on the squares? Well, you’re not alone. This is another gadget that I wouldn’t be without. It’s called the Angler 2 by Pam Bono Designs.
You align the top of the block with the needle; align the bottom tip with the middle line on the Angler 2 and sew.
I just LOVE gadgets that make my quilting life easier!
The original pattern for Country Morning is shown with one plain outer border. But I had so many yummy red scraps left, I really wanted to do a scrappy border. Doing an all-scrap border might make a busy quilt a little too busy. The red scraps needed to be grounded between two plain borders.
Since there were three borders, this screamed out “MITERED BORDER!” I haven’t done a mitered border before but I decided to learn. I found a tutorial on YouTube by Penny Halgren.
She shows you how to do just a single border, but I figured the principle would be the same and I should just treat my strip like one border.
The only sticky point is making sure that your points on the miter match. It’s just like matching any other seam. I use the peek method. This means that I pin my seams and then peek to make sure they are where I want them. If not, I adjust.
I ripped out my first corner but each one got easier. The results were what I really wanted and I’m glad I tackled mitering. I’ll do it again as it really frames your quilt and is a great look.
I did a simple echo quilt design on most of Country Morning. The kaleidoscope snowball blocks are quilted in a circular swirl. On the green borders, I used a double straight line. And on my red scrap borders, I quilted holly leaves.
I promised scrappy, and scrappy it is! There are 11 different white, 10 green and 15 red fabrics in my Country Christmas Morning. So dig into your bags or bins and use ‘em up. Country Morning is a great scrap buster.
Won’t this look great in my house this Christmas?