QM Scrap Squad: Cathy’s Caribbean Vacation

QM scrap squadB3 QM Scrap Squad: Cathys 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 QM Scrap Squad: Cathys Caribbean Vacation


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

QMMP 130200 DENISE 450flat QM Scrap Squad: Cathys Caribbean Vacation

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 was made by Cathy Buel from Clinton Township, Michigan. You’ll hear from Cathy in her own words below. You’ll find Cathy’s quilt blog at Big Lake Quilter.

CathyBuel1 QM Scrap Squad: Cathys Caribbean Vacation

Cathy Buel from Clinton Township, Michigan

*     *     *     *     *

I write this post feeling bittersweet. This has been the most remarkable year. I have met some great friends, learned some new techniques and saw my name in print….lol. I am so sad to see this year end. With that said…

I have a question for you. Have you ever bought fabric that you liked but didn’t have any idea what to use it for? I know you have. That’s what I did. I bought some fabric a few years ago with no specific project in mind. Every time I started a new project I would pull it out and audition it. It never quite worked until now.

DSCF30791 1024x768 QM Scrap Squad: Cathys Caribbean Vacation

After choosing the red floral above as my focus fabric, I pulled reds, blues and off-whites from my scraps.

DSCF3083 1024x768 QM Scrap Squad: Cathys Caribbean Vacation

I learned a long time ago that if you are going to make scrap quilts you need to sort your scraps. I use 2 gallon storage bags to do this. It really helps when you are looking for a specific color.

You may notice that I am ending my year the same way I started…with a red, white and blue quilt.

I made a practice block and I liked how it looked, so I began working on the rest.

DQ block 1024x1005 QM Scrap Squad: Cathys Caribbean Vacation

DQ 2 Rows 1024x456 QM Scrap Squad: Cathys Caribbean Vacation

DSCF3078 768x1024 QM Scrap Squad: Cathys Caribbean Vacation

You can see that I chose a smaller version of the quilt. Mine is 5 blocks by 6 blocks. I thought about adding a smaller border first but I didn’t like how it looked so instead I used my focus fabric and cut 6″ borders.

DSCF3084 768x1024 QM Scrap Squad: Cathys Caribbean Vacation

So this is my final quilt. I want to tell the 2013 Scrap Squad to have a great time. Don’t stress out when you receive a difficult pattern…just breathe and have a ball.

Congratulations, Cathy, on finally finding the perfect use for that red fabric! Didn’t she do a great job on this piece? This quilt proves a couple of important points:

  • You can mix neutrals of white, cream, beige and tan and it will all work together. It’s much more interesting than using all one neutral fabric.
  • Auditioning different fabrics is important. Don’t just start sewing. Put fabrics up on a vertical surface and stand back. You’ll be surprised what a different this makes.
  • Don’t give up on a fabric after one failed attempt to use it. Cathy kept on trying with this fabric and eventually it was just perfect for a project. That being said, it’s also important not to try and force fabric to work where it won’t. If your heart tells you it’s wrong, it’s probably wrong.

Please join me in thanking Cathy Buel for a job well done on the 2012 Scrap Squad. We’ve enjoyed the quilts so much!



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11 Responses to QM Scrap Squad: Cathy’s Caribbean Vacation

  1. I LOVE this idea! My resolution for 2013 is of course “stash busting”. What better way to use more fabric than to deem myself a super secret honorary member of the QM scrap squad! LOVE it!

  2. So pretty! Great lessons in this post!

  3. Claudia says:

    YES!!! Love it. Maybe it is the lighting in the last pic, maybe not. It glows. Great job!

  4. Jennifer Stevens says:

    Cathy, great job! I love the red and blue, always my favorite!! Had a great time this past year, thanks for all the encouraging words!!

  5. Sue says:

    I think the floral border really finishes this nicely.

  6. Jackie says:

    I’m glad you found a project for your beautiful fabric, it made a beautiful quilt!

  7. Well done Cathy. I like how you made two “red” corners and two “blue” corners.

  8. Susan C says:

    Beautiful! I love your variety of reds, blues and neutrals, they really add so much interest to this quilt. Great job!

  9. Juanita Ross says:

    I like it!! I have kept looking at this pattern since I received the magazine. I love the look, but am determined not to go out and purchase more fabric!! I think I can now make it, using this inspiration!!! Plus, I am drawn to scrap/organized scrap quilts. This is a definite winner for me!!! Thanks-a-Million!!!

  10. Jnuquilter says:

    I love this quilt Cathy. It turned out awesome!

  11. LizaA says:

    Another winner!

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