Jackie’s Caribbean Vacation

QM scrap squadB3 Jackies Caribbean Vacation

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.

QM10113 Jackies Caribbean Vacation


This quilt is found on the cover of the Jan/Feb ’13 issue of Quiltmaker.

QMMP 130200 DENISE 450flat Jackies Caribbean VacationCaribbean Vacation from Jan/Feb ’13 Quiltmaker, designed and sewn by Denise Starck.
Quilted by Hatty Brown. Fabrics: Dear Stella. 


It’s Caribbean Vacation, designed and sewn by Denise Starck, QM’s Graphic Designer. It was quilted by Hatty Brown. The fabrics are Dear Stella.

Today’s featured quilt is by Jackie Hughes from Spirit Lake, Idaho. You’ll hear from Jackie in her own words below.

JackieHughes1 Jackies Caribbean Vacation

Jackie Hughes from Spirit Lake, Idaho


This Scrap Squad quilt was soon due—but I also needed a king-sized quilt in time for Christmas. Knowing it would be difficult to make two complete quilts with the holidays coming up, I decided to make the Scrap Squad quilt a king.

Limited by the color preference of the recipient (brown and green) I began looking through my stash.

1 Jackies Caribbean Vacation

This RJR Thimbleberries fabric was one of my candidates for the focal fabric. I saw the date in the selvage and realized it was almost 10 years old. I decided right then that this fabric had waited long enough. This was the one.

I needed 90 squares from it and can you believe there was just enough fabric? I only had one square left at the end. This fabric was definitely meant to be!

2 300x298 Jackies Caribbean VacationThis quilt seemed quite simple to make, all strips and squares. I cut a few strips of each color and cut units for one block. My reds were a little dark, but other than that it seemed like it would work.

3 Jackies Caribbean VacationI put nine blocks on the wall (minus a few Four Patches), placing them all straight instead of rotating every other block 1/4 turn like the original layout. It seemed a little dreary. I generally use brighter colors in my quilts. How could I brighten up green and brown? The red just wasn’t doing it. Hmm…what about that gold in the focal print?

4 300x225 Jackies Caribbean VacationThis should brighten it up!

6 Jackies Caribbean VacationYes, much brighter!

As I looked at these blocks on the wall, I noticed the green pieces almost made a diagonal zig-zag across the quilt. Too bad the red squares interrupted the lines.

Hey, I think I can fix that!

7 300x276 Jackies Caribbean VacationI took these Four Patches and rotated them 180 degrees.

8 Jackies Caribbean VacationThe zig-zag line is complete!

Now, one small problem, this was supposed to be green AND brown!

What if I substituted half of the green with the brown units?

9 Jackies Caribbean Vacation

I really liked this!

9a 300x286 Jackies Caribbean VacationSo this was  my final block.  Now I need 81 more. Some speedy piecing techniques sounded good! Here are some things that helped this project go a little faster.


10 Jackies Caribbean VacationSince my strips were from scraps they were all different lengths. As I came to the end of one I just added the next one on and kept sewing until I had a mound of strips piling up behind my machine.

11 Jackies Caribbean VacationThen I cut them apart at every join.

12 Jackies Caribbean VacationFinally I staggered about 10 strips on my cutting mat, lining them up with each line on my mat to help keep them fairly straight.

IMG 0189 Jackies Caribbean VacationI trimmed the edge and then I could quickly cut many units at once.

Teenagers can press open stacks of Four Patches—which helps thing move along. I also discovered they are quick at math. I was informed that 90 blocks with 31 pieces each equals 2794 pieces in my quilt top. I think I may have been more appreciative of learning that fact after all my blocks were made!

With a little perseverance I soon had my blocks completed. I laid them out in the original configuration before I sewed them all together.

9b Jackies Caribbean VacationThis would have made a great quilt too, but I really liked my zig-zags!

Blocks and rows were sewn together and I added a plain brown border.

13 Jackies Caribbean VacationI quilted an overall leaf design.

14 Jackies Caribbean Vacation

The final result: The biggest quilt I have ever made—and completely from my stash.

IMG 0198 Jackies Caribbean VacationMy “mostly” green and brown version of Caribbean Vacation.

It’s always good to ask yourself “what if?” during a project. By doing so, Jackie discovered a wonderful surprise in this quilt and made it uniquely her own. Jackie has consistently delivered amazing quilts to us this year. Please join me in thanking her for a job well done on the 2012 Scrap Squad.



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9 Responses to Jackie’s Caribbean Vacation

  1. Maria Gallardo says:

    As always, I admire your outstanding job. So much to learn from you and I’m honored I have met you Jackie! Hugs!

  2. Marge P says:

    Jackie – a bit behind in reading my Quiltmaker magazine and just came on line to view your quilt. Another amazing finish – I love to read how you plan out these quilts. Bless your kids for giving you the number of pieces! Great job! I am sure the recipients loved it.

  3. Jennifer Stevens says:

    Congrats on the King size!! Love the gold. Great job!!

  4. LizaA says:

    2794 pieces–Gotta love those teenagers for pointing that out! Another beautiful quilt.

  5. Karlene says:

    Very nice. I’m sure the recipient will love it!

  6. Douglas Oliver says:

    I love it. Love the waves.

  7. Gina says:

    Wow – great quilt!

  8. Pingback: Jackie's Caribbean Vacation | Quilty Pleasures Blog | How To Quilt

  9. Regina says:

    Wow – I love the movement in Jackie’s version – more wavy than zig zag. The gold was a great choice.

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