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 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.
Today’s reveal is from Jackie Hughes who lives in Spirit Lake, Idaho. You’ll hear from Jackie in her own words below.
When I started this quilt I had a color scheme in mind, blacks and a rainbow of brights, but I was having a hard time visualizing how to organize the colors.
I decided to start with the parts I was sure about. The square-in-a-square units would all be red, and the background would be black.
I made a few of the sashing units. I cut out a black center square and some orange triangles and auditioned them with the pieced units I had made.
I liked the orange circle of triangles but the dark center looked so empty. I thought I might quilt a design in the center of each block, using some colorful thread.
Another possibility was to add a pinwheel to the center.
Still undecided about the center, I continued making sashing units with greens, blues and purples. I arranged them on my design wall. This time I tried placing the sashing unit colors randomly.
I really didn’t like that—it looked too chaotic. Needing more units to play with, I got back to work. Soon I had enough to stop and play again.
How about four similar colors meeting around that red square? That looked pretty good, but those centers were looking so big and black. Yep, I decided I was going to incorporate pinwheels there.
I made my pinwheels from prairie points. Before sewing the squares together, I sewed the pinwheels in place 1/8th inch from the edge.
The blocks with pinwheels were soon made and on the wall and they did as I’d hoped. They brightened those large black spaces.
Looking good, but the arrangement still wasn’t quite right. I had another idea. What if I started with green on the top row and gradually changed color as I went down the quilt?
As I was rearranging pieces, I kept looking at those pinwheels. What if I opened and flattened those prairie points? That looked interesting.
Before I knew it I was hand sewing to hold each piece down, and then making colorful yoyos to sew in the centers along with buttons. More time than I had planned to spend but I really liked how they were looking.
Many days later…
after all that hand sewing…
and digging through my scraps to find just the right colors for the remaining units…
(Here I’ll let you in on one little secret. When the shade was close but not quite right I used an old trick. I used some of my fabric wrong side up!)
searching for just the right border fabric…TA-DA…
I quilted in all the black (background) areas with a loopy stipple. It’s hard to capture on a photo, but this made all the colored patches more dimensional. They stand up a little from the background.
This was a great quilt for using scraps, even small ones. It was fun to dig through my scrap bins searching for just the right shade.
I’m really pleased with how it turned out, especially since it was made out of scraps!
Jackie has made the important discovery of what can happen when you ask “What if…?” She was not afraid to audition or to change her mind along the way. She let new ideas take her where they wished. Her quilt was an exercise in creative thinking. She’s to be congratulated!