QM Scrap Squad: Mel’s Bella Amore

QMMP 121200 cover 200 QM Scrap Squad: Mels Bella AmoreThe QM Scrap Squad is a select group of seven QM readers. They take one pattern from each regular issue of Quiltmaker and create their own scrappy versions to inspire you.

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Today we begin showing the Scrap Squad’s quilts made using the Bella Amore pattern found in the Nov/Dec issue.


QMMP 121200 BELLA 450 QM Scrap Squad: Mels Bella Amore

Bella Amore, designed by Marianne Elizabeth, sewn by Pat Welch, quilted by Janet Lee Santeusanio. Fabric: Arabella Rose by Marianne Elizabeth for RJR Fabrics.

The quilt was designed by Marianne Elizabeth. The original, shown above, is made in Arabella Rose fabrics by Marianne Elizabeth for RJR Fabrics.

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Melissa Radtke from Dubuque, Iowa


Today’s featured Scrap Squad member is Melissa Radtke from Dubuque, Iowa. You’ll hear from Mel in her own words below.

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Bella Amore is a beautiful bed-sized quilt with a lovely medallion center. But if you decide to make a throw-size quilt as I did, you must eliminate the medallion or come up with another idea to give the same look, because the medallion could be overpowering on a smaller quilt.

Electric Quilt is a great place to play with the quilt in a smaller size. Here’s how I accentuated the center of Bella Amore.

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Throw Size Bella Amore in my EQ7

By using the lavender fabrics in the center of my quilt, I have given it a medallion look. The blocks in my throw-size quilt are all the same, but rearranging the lights and darks makes some blocks look different and puts the emphasis on the quilt center.

Inspiration for a quilt is something that fascinates me. Where do you come up with your inspiration? Mine came from a stash of Asian-inspired fabrics. (I can thank my Iowa Quilt sisters for seriously enhancing my stash with birthday fat quarters!)

The colors and patterns of Asian-inspired fabrics really appeal to me. The hues are saturated and vibrant.  I found four fabrics in my stash that seemed to coordinate well.

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Asian-inspired prints for my focus fabrics in the stars

So many yummy colors here. Turquoise, plum, purple, lavender and pink will be perfect. Since I wanted to call attention to my Asian prints, I paired them with tone-on-tones.

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Tone on tone fabrics

I went through my scrap bin and used what I had in these colors, even if it was only a small piece. Can you say “scrap buster”? I must really like turquoise because I had tons to choose from!

Bella Amore is mostly half- and quarter-square triangles. My Angler 2 by Pam Bono Designs came to the rescue. After using the Angler 2, I just can’t imagine having to draw all those lines on the back of my fabric. When I’m on a roll sewing, I want to keep sewing, not mark fabric.

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No mark sewing of quarter square triangle with the Angler 2

Have you ever sewn your rows together to discover that one block several rows back is turned the wrong way? Maddening isn’t it? Who likes to sit and tear apart all those rows!? I never had room for a design wall until this summer when I moved into my new sewing studio.

Now I have this awesome empty wall where I can lay my blocks out, move them around until I get them just so and take them down just one row at a time to sew. It sure does save on having a block in the wrong spot.

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Bella Amore on my design wall

Once your quilt top is together, do you ever think to yourself, “Now what?!” I have two quilts in my sewing room right now that I started quilting but I really, really do not like what I thought would be be awesome quilting.

Here’s another time that EQ7 comes in handy—auditioning your quilting on your top! There are designs you can use in the program along with various thread colors, but I prefer to doodle while watching TV.

I print a line drawing of my quilt and a color copy. Then I doodle! Once I find a design that looks good on my line drawing, I try it on my color copy. Here were my two choices for quilt designs on Bella Amore.

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Quilt motif doodles on EQ black and white line drawing

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Doodles on EQ7 color copy

Since I do my free motion quilting on a Bernina 440QE, once I decide how I would like to quilt my top, I like to give it a try on some scraps. I need to make sure I’m not in over my head. It also gives my brain and hands a chance to sync up.

I test my quilt designs on leftover batting and inexpensive muslin, and I save the test sandwiches. There may be another time on another quilt when those squares will come in as handy as any design book.

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Free motion test of my quilt motif

This is definitely a winner and should look great on my quilt.

Here is my finished Bella Amore. It’s pretty close to how EQ7 and I envisioned it.

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Mel's Bella Amore

Bella Amore means beautiful love. Who wouldn’t love this beautiful quilt?

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8 Responses to QM Scrap Squad: Mel’s Bella Amore

  1. Kathy says:

    Very pretty. Working on quilts for Christmas right now, so I am thinking that I will mark it and do it after the holidays. Sure will help me to use up some of my scraps.

  2. Rhonda says:

    Oh Melzee, what a lovely quilt, as usual. You do beautiful work. Rhonda

  3. Jan Wallace says:

    The quilt is wonderful – so vibrant and colorful. You did a great job interpurting the original larger quilt – have the save feel, but not overpowered by the center medallion. Very clever of you!!!

  4. Jackie Orton says:

    Another winner, Melzee. Beautiful fabrics. You’re going to have to give IQ a demo on your EQ7 savvy! Is that new studio big enough for a long arm?

  5. pat adney says:

    You rock,Melzee! Beautiful quilt,great use of scraps!

  6. marybeth says:

    Awesome job Melzee!! Love it!

  7. Carol Vickers says:

    Beautiful, as usual, Melzee. Thanks for the quilting ideas too!

  8. Pingback: QM Scrap Squad: Mel's Bella Amore | Quilty Pleasures Blog | How To Quilt

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