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.
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.
Today’s featured quilt is by Bonnie Stapleton from Powhatan, Virginia. You’ll hear from Bonnie in her own words below.
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What fun to start a new quilt! I love dreaming up the color combinations and playing with the fabrics. I was excited to plan something for the block centers in Country Morning. I settled on pumpkins because, well, fall was going to arrive even if it was 100 degrees when I started!
Once I had the pumpkin idea I gathered fabrics. Everything came from my stash.
I decided to tackle the paper piecing part first. I used EQ’s Foundation Sheets because they go through my inkjet printer with no problems and they are see-through, which makes it easy to line up the pieces.
On these patches it was very challenging for me to get the fabric to cover the whole space. I did a bit of ripping. Eventually I just pinned the seam lines and flipped to make sure the fabric would cover everything.
I drew my own pumpkin shapes. I traced the drawings onto Heat N Bond Lite fusible web.
I cut the center part of the web out before applying it to the back of the pumpkin fabric which helps keep the quilt supple. I enlarged the background patch to 9½” so I could position the pumpkin where I wanted. Except that when I trimmed I didn’t think about the corner triangles. Oops. I made one stem smaller but this one is just too close.
Once I got the center of the top together I needed to decide on the borders. I used photos to help me audition.
It was evident right off that I needed a small black border to set off the center section. I tried all sorts of fabrics from my stash: added a color, a bright, a print, and tried using a fabric from the center.
I decided on a print which I’ve had in my stash for years. It really warms my heart when I use an old fabric that I have fondled and loved for a while.
After checking my batting collection I decided to try Dream Green batting from Quilter’s Dream. It is 100% post-consumer recycled bottles. I think of soda bottles whenever I see this green batting. It worked great in this wall hanging.
I decided to hand quilt this as I wasn’t planning on doing heavy quilting. I spray basted using 505 Spray and Fix Temporary Fabric Adhesive. I actually drew a line on the batting where the top would go so I didn’t spray areas that I wasn’t going to use.
Once I started quilting, I realized black thread on black fabric wasn’t the greatest combination for older eyes. I quilted lightly and will decide later if I want to add a bit more quilting. While taking pictures I realized that each pumpkin needs some stitching in the center. I’m thinking of going back and redoing each of the spines with a machine zigzag.
I attached the label before the binding so it was caught in the binding. I made the label using EQ Printables and my computer. I usually make several specific labels, like this one, and several generic labels with just my name and location.
After I finished this quilt with an older piece of fabric for the backing, I realized what I thought was a pumpkin was really a flower. The backing is all about a garden, while the front is all about the pumpkins. Works for me.
Although this was a challenging quilt for me, I love how it turned out. It is already hanging in the living room. And what’s even better—the hubby likes it. And, I quote, “It’s got movement and feeling.” Score another cool Scrap Squad finish!
One of the most valuable things we can learn from Bonnie’s process is the way she auditioned border fabrics. She tried all kinds of different fabrics—because you just never know what’s going to work until you get them up on a vertical surface. A job well done, Bonnie!