The 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.
The Scrap Squad recently went to work using the Bella Amore pattern from the Nov/Dec issue. Below is the original Bella Amore, designed by Marianne Elizabeth, sewn by Pat Welch and quilted by Janet Lee Santeusanio. The fabric is Arabella Rose by Marianne Elizabeth for RJR Fabrics.
Today’s featured quilt is by Jill Montgomery from Fairfield, Ohio. You’ll hear from Jill in her own words below.
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Before we even got the pattern for this quilt, I had a certain fabric from a local shop stuck in my head. I had seen this fabric but I couldn’t think of a reason to buy it—even though it was so pleasing to me. When we got Bella Amore, I knew the fabric would be perfect. I ran back to the store and bought some yardage.
I went to EQ7 and drew the quilt. I knew that I would fussy cut the focus fabric to have the orange in the center of the orange stars and the blues and greens for the centers of the blue stars. I couldn’t get my EQ to show the fabric for the centers the way I wanted, so I improvised.
When I had my EQ7 version finalized, I started pulling fabric.
For my half- and quarter-square triangles, I prefer to cut squares of fabric and sew 1/4″ out on each side of the diagonal. I figured how many HSTs and QSTs I needed for each block, cut my fabrics and paired them together.
Because many of the patterns I make use HSTs, I usually have blue painter’s tape on my machine. The painter’s tape is put down 1/4″ to the side of the needle as shown below, left. When I sew the squares, I line up the corners on the painter’s tape and make sure that the corner closest to me follows the tape’s edge as I sew. Then, I turn the block around and sew down the other side. This eliminates the need to draw a line down the center of the squares.
I also make my HSTs a little larger than necessary and then, after pressing, trim them to size. For these blocks, I pressed the seams to one side and used a new tool to trim the blocks. The Bloc-Loc ruler has a groove along the diagonal that sits over the seam and seam allowance to lock the block in place while you trim the edges.
I do something similar for the quarter-square triangles. I find that this step helps me get all the parts the correct size—and assembly is much easier.
Once the blocks were assembled, I auditioned tans for the setting triangles, but the dark brown really set the blocks off. And I opted for the same brown for the inner border so it would appear the blocks were floating. I made the outer border wider to show off more of the focus fabric.
Because there were spots with a lot of seams coming together, I decided to quilt this with a stipple. I was able to avoid running over bulky seams with my quilt machine.
I’m very pleased with how this quilt turned out and I enjoy seeing how all of my colors play together in the secondary design!
Jill’s colors are perfect for the week of Thanksgiving, which we’ll celebrate on Thursday here in the U.S. I love the white she added in because it gives the whole project a clean, contemporary flavor. Beautiful job!