QM Scrap Squad: Country Morning (Christmas Style)

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: Country Morning (Christmas Style)

The Scrap Squad quilt from the recently released Sept/Oct Quiltmaker is Country Morning.

QMMP 121000 cover 200 QM Scrap Squad: Country Morning (Christmas Style)

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.

QMMP 121000 update 350 flat QM Scrap Squad: Country Morning (Christmas Style)

Country Morning was designed by Judy Martin and made by Hatty Brown. Fabric: Lazy Daisy Baskets from Robert Kaufman.


Today’s featured quilt was made by Melissa Radtke from Dubuque, Iowa. You’ll hear from Mel in her own words below.

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Melissa Radtke

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.

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Poinsettia picture before Kaleidoscope Kreator

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Holly picture before Kaleidoscope Kreator

This is what they looked like after I used Kaleidoscope Kreator.

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Poinsettia and Holly with the 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.

I am a self taught paper piecer. My local quilt shop suggested Carol Doak’s book 50 Fabulous Paper-Pieced Stars and the Add-A Quarter Ruler. This little ruler will become your new best friend!

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Trimming with the Add-A-Quarter Ruler

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.)

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Quarter inch seam

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.

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Begin stitching BEFORE your starting line

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Stitch PAST your ending line

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.

CM 001 300x200 QM Scrap Squad: Country Morning (Christmas Style)

Stitch and flip with the Angler 2-All sewing and NO marking!

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.

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Backside of border. I can't reveal what it looks like just yet!

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.

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Peeking to make sure my seams match


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Mitered border pinned and ready to sew

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.

finished CM 002 QM Scrap Squad: Country Morning (Christmas Style)

Mel's Country Christmas Morning

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?

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4 Responses to QM Scrap Squad: Country Morning (Christmas Style)

  1. Jackie says:

    Melzee, that Kaleidoscope Kreator looks like a really neat program. Your blocks really set off the whole quilt. Great job!

  2. Jackie O says:

    Another winner, Melzee!!

  3. Carol Vickers says:

    Awesome, Melzee. You come up with the most unique ideas — all of the spectacular. This is a beautiful, beautiful, quilt with so much life and movement. I love it!

  4. Pingback: QM Scrap Squad: Country Morning (Christmas Style) | Quilty … | How To Quilt

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