QM Scrap Squad: Colette’s Majestic Garden

QM scrap squadB3 QM Scrap Squad: Colettes Majestic GardenThe Scrap Squad is a select group of eight QM readers. They take one pattern from each regular issue and make scrappy versions to inspire others.

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The featured Scrap Squad quilt in Quiltmaker’s March/April ’13 issue is Majestic Garden, below.

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It was designed and sewn by Monique Dillard of Open Gate Quilts in Rockford, Illinois. It was quilted by Sue Glorch. The fabrics are Monique’s own Royal Gardens for Maywood Studio.

Today’s quilt is the last one from this issue. It’s by Colette DeGroot from Olivet, Michigan. You’ll hear from Colette in her own words below.


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Colette DeGroot from Olivet, Michigan

Being selected for QM’s 2013 Scrap Squad just made the start of 2013 that much better! The support and kind words from my family were wonderful, and so to celebrate I wanted to incorporate some lively colors into the first project.

The first order of business was to only select fabric from what I call my “small stash” section of the studio. This is divided into two parts:

  1. Scraps
  2. Cuts of under 1/2 yard.
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Some of my fabric scraps

I decided on some brilliant orange, green, and purple, and I added a little yellow for some additional zest. I made one test block to make sure everything worked well together.

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The first test block

It seemed like a pretty easy block so I continued to cut and sew as I went along. Generally I pull all my fabric at once when I do a larger project, but I wanted to give this the real scrappy feeling it deserved.

Once I had as many blocks as I wanted I started playing with the overall layout. This was the first layout which is featured in the magazine:

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Staying inside the box

Then I tried a few together another way. The Scrap Squad said they liked both equally but I wasn’t done playing around…yet.

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The second try


And finally, after playing for a day or so, I decided on this.

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It looks like it’s moving doesn’t it?

Once the top was completed, it headed off to Akay Creations for quilting. I originally thought perhaps a purple or some type of brightly colored variegated thread would look nice, but after we pooled thread onto the top, I settled for a shiny orange.

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How the orange looks in that purple border

I auditioned all the colors for the binding, and while the orange actually looked the best, I settled on the green because it seemed to be that final resting place for the quilt to end. I also had more of the green left over.

After adding the binding by machine, I take the time to hand sew it to the back of the quilt top. It’s a long process. This quilt measures 63″ x 79″, which is a little over five feet by a little over 6.5 feet.


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Waiting to be sewn on to the front of the quilt

I don’t have a lot of patience to sit that long, so the it can take me up to a week. But there are deadlines—I must complete this quilt by Friday, and it’s already Tuesday. Will I make it? Read on to see…

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The quilt in a "pile" between each days' stitching

Here it is! I made it! Whew, and with a few days to spare.

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The First Grand Finale

What a wonderful wrap-up to this series of Scrap Squad quilts! Colette’s first project is a rousing success. The colors play brilliantly off one another and the setting keeps everything moving.

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See all of the Scrap Squad quilts together in our slideshow.

Starting Friday: A new Scrap Squad project from the May/June issue of Quiltmaker, officially at quilt shops and newsstands April 9.


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