QM Scrap Squad: Becky Deals with Turning Points! Giveaway!

QM scrap squadB3 QM Scrap Squad: Becky Deals with Turning Points! Giveaway!

Quiltmaker’s Scrap Squad is a select group of eight QM readers. They take one pattern from each regular issue and make scrappy versions to inspire you.

QM10713 QM Scrap Squad: Becky Deals with Turning Points! Giveaway!

This is the new July/August ’13 issue with a warm summer sun on the cover. Isn’t it lovely? The featured Scrap Squad quilt from this issue is Turning Points by Carolyn McCormick.

QMMP 130800 MCCORMICK 450 QM Scrap Squad: Becky Deals with Turning Points! Giveaway!

The fabrics are in the Love Flows collection from Maywood Studio. It was quilted by Carol Willey. You may recognize Carolyn McCormick’s name as the inventor of the Add-A-Quarter ruler and as a popular author for Kansas City Star Quilts.

AddaQuarter QM Scrap Squad: Becky Deals with Turning Points! Giveaway!

Carolyn McCormick’s Add-A-Quarter in action

Today’s featured quilt is by Becky Ball from Blue Springs, Missouri. You’ll hear from Becky in her own words below.

becky QM Scrap Squad: Becky Deals with Turning Points! Giveaway!

Becky Ball

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Carolyn McCormick’s beautiful wall hanging first came to the Scrap Squad as just a diagram. We didn’t see her finished quilt until much later. I think this had a bearing on how I approached it.

I usually start with fabric selection so I pulled fabrics first. I wanted to use colors appropriate for a Quilt of Valor, but wanted to try a different combination for the “reds.” I used Joen Wolfrom’s 3-in-1 Color Tool and selected the fabrics below.

all fabrics 1024x848 QM Scrap Squad: Becky Deals with Turning Points! Giveaway!

All the red-oranges and yellow-golds I pulled. A few blues show in the top right corner.

I tried to pick fabrics that had been around for a long time. (See this separate blog post on using this Color Tool!)


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Some of the blues that I pulled.


I had one blue fabric that has been in my stash for at least 18 years. I loved the blue with grey stars in the middle, but who wants huge borders of leaping frogs? I tried to give it to a niece that likes frog fabric, but even she didn’t want it. I decided to trim off the borders and use the fabric in the middle for this quilt.

obnoxious frogs 1024x768 QM Scrap Squad: Becky Deals with Turning Points! Giveaway!

Who thinks that leaping frogs with flags are patriotic?

Then I went to EQ7 to play with colors, blocks, settings and more. Since the block is made of 16 “spotlight” units it was easy to draft there. I have 33 colorations of that block left in EQ—and also 30 quilt tops after deleting out a bunch. This should have alerted me to something: I didn’t like my colors!

natural color inspiration QM Scrap Squad: Becky Deals with Turning Points! Giveaway!

Picture posted on Chip-it. My colors on one bitty bird.

Much later I found this bird picture on Facebook.

One Scrap Squad member broke the quilt down into Units—I called them Stars, Footballs and Maltese Crosses. I cut out a bit of fabric, and began making some trial units. I had decided to enlarge the original unit, and made 3″ spotlights to make 12″ blocks. Although I’ve made some paper pieced quilts (using Carolyn McCormick’s Add-A-Quarter for every seam), it isn’t my favorite way, so I brought out some Marti Michell templates and cut out  my pieces.


No paper piecing for me 300x215 QM Scrap Squad: Becky Deals with Turning Points! Giveaway!

Cutting spotlight units from templates. I used the smaller template to cut a useable piece from what would otherwise be wasted.


I cut out a lot of pieces.

I cut and cut and cut 1024x716 QM Scrap Squad: Becky Deals with Turning Points! Giveaway!

I cut out a lot of pieces.

I started making modules:

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Star module


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Football module


Maltese cross block 150x150 QM Scrap Squad: Becky Deals with Turning Points! Giveaway!

Cross module

When I started playing with them on the design wall (as well as in EQ7), I saw that if I just moved the “football” a quarter turn I could make another star (remember I have a tendency to make every quilt a star quilt).

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Original block in my colors (please forgive the missing corner)



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My block with turned footballs



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First star completed out of components

It makes more sense to see it as the units are on the wall.

I started making all the components. I had noticed that it was really difficult to make the cross units, so I started with the stars—18 stars, no problem. Then I made footballs. I grew weary on these. How do you press the points? They are thick, lots of older (thicker) fabrics and they make a lump. It is so hard to match points, and I’m a stickler for matching points.

I switched over to the Cross blocks: 12 pieces of fabric coming together in the center. This is when my original EQ plan was downsized!

First EQ drawing 60 x 721 234x300 QM Scrap Squad: Becky Deals with Turning Points! Giveaway!

First EQ plan 60″ x 72″


final EQ number 31 300x300 QM Scrap Squad: Becky Deals with Turning Points! Giveaway!

Final EQ plan – wall hanging or baby quilt












I did toy with stopping here and scrapping the whole thing! My Scrap Squad cheerleaders urged me to finish.







Center with first border1 QM Scrap Squad: Becky Deals with Turning Points! Giveaway!

Center together with first border

After the first striped border, I looked for a fabric that would tie it together (yeah, right, as if anyone would make a fabric combining these colors). What I found was four strips of that frog border fabric center. I put one up on the design wall. It was only about 4″ longer than the center. Not to worry—I used partial seams and sewed that border on clockwise like it was a log cabin block. (Editor’s note: Great trick, Becky!)

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Used a partial seam, then added border Log Cabin-style. Note that 1/2″ of extra fabric I had!

Okay, let’s quilt this puppy—right (not)! Since there were “puffiness” issues, I decided to use a piece of wool batting. I put a thin piece of cotton under it and I (mistakenly) thought I wouldn’t have as many tension issues as when I tried wool the last time. I loaded Bottom Line on the top of the longarm, as well as in the bobbin (another never again). Why didn’t I stick with what I knew worked well?

I decided to use a Circle Lord template that makes radiating lines out from the center of the stars. I’ve used it before, with good results. I centered it, then began stitching out and back. I chose to use every line on the template. For the borders, I did some of my first ever stitch in the ditch and then Circle Lord stars randomly in the outside border.

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Quilting resulted in C cups

As much as I thought I had tested tension, when I cranked over the first stitching on my quilt, I cried, then began ripping out. If it looks like the thread is shredding on the top, it will be worse on the bottom. It went downhill from there! When I finally finished quilting and removed it from the frame, I immediately had “C” cups in the center of the stars. I will never use every line on the template again. It was finished. Blocking is a miracle worker.

I used Susie’s Magic Binding, but—note to self—when you use two battings, cut wider binding!

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Susie’s magic binding – No quilt police will ever say this binding isn’t full

Here’s the finished quilt – but PLEASE READ ON!

finished SS3A1 QM Scrap Squad: Becky Deals with Turning Points! Giveaway!

Finished Turning Points 3 A

I had a gazillion left-over pieces as I had cut out enough for most of the planned larger size. At this point I had seen Carolyn’s beautiful quilt, and began to wonder how I could make it, with a little tweaking, and solve the lumpy corners problem.

I made her original block. I had enough components for five complete blocks. That would make a small top resembling hers. I did make one addition. I cut 1″ pieces of sashing (1/2″ finished) and bitty yellow cornerstones. I had used this trick with many star quilts—I should have thought of it before. The seams are all pressed towards the sashing, but the sashing is small enough that it has no visual impact. The cornerstones look like the centers of flowers.

ctr block of 3b with tiny sashing1 QM Scrap Squad: Becky Deals with Turning Points! Giveaway!

Original block with tiny sashings and cornerstones

Since I had changed the size of my blocks, I (actually it was my dear husband) had to do the math for the setting triangles. At first I used all one color—the only color I had enough left of. I didn’t like the results.

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Too much yellow!

I found a bit of a piece of blue that I hadn’t pulled for this project, cut strips, ripped out part of the seams on the sides of the setting triangles, trimmed off half the yellow, added the blue, then sewed it up again. I thought about trying to make two-color setting corners, but my mind was too addled. Here’s my version of  Carolyn’s Turning Points:

beckyslast QM Scrap Squad: Becky Deals with Turning Points! Giveaway!

Finished Turning Points 3B

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Wow, what can you say about a Scrap Squad member who makes not one but two gorgeous quilts?! Lovely job, Becky Ball!

I can’t tell you how much we appreciate each and every Scrap Squad person on this year’s team. They do a lot for QM. Let’s show them some love and have a giveaway! Leave a comment below by midnight Sunday, June 23. Tell us what you like about Scrap Squad posts and projects. I’ll choose a winner for a bundle of quilty pleasures and announce it here next week. Good Luck.

The winner is Judy, who left comment #132.

This entry was posted in Giveaways & Contests, Scrap Squad and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

181 Responses to QM Scrap Squad: Becky Deals with Turning Points! Giveaway!

  1. Claudia says:

    I love both of your quilts.

  2. Pingback: QM Scrap Squad: Marti’s ’30s Turning Points | Quilty Pleasures Blog

  3. kwiltnkats says:

    What couldn’t be more patriotic than leaping frogs with flags? Sandi

  4. Julie Grogan says:

    These are really great. I enjoy seeing the quilts come together. Great job Becky !

  5. Mary says:

    I love both quilts. I love reading about the processes the scrap squad folks use and especially enjoy seeing the many different quilts made with the same pattern.

  6. Julie in GA says:

    I love seeing multiple versions of the same beginning design. Since I rarely make my quilt the same as a pattern, it is helpful to see different variations.

  7. Pat D says:

    I always have trouble picking fabric in a different color way than the printed pattern. These ideas help me learn how to choose. I love seeing the quilt from the beginning to the finished product.

  8. Pat V. says:

    I really enjoyed reading all the details of Becky’s process. Great problem solving and improvisation!

  9. Wilma Searcy says:

    This is fantastic! Thanks for showing it step by step.
    This giveaway is awesome, hope I win!!!

  10. Joey M says:


  11. Sandy A in St. Louis says:

    I love seeing how all the different fabric choices change the pattern and how the makers alter the patterns to their needs/wants. It makes me less scared to try it on my own!

  12. Patricia Matula says:

    I especially love seeing all the different fabric/color choices.

  13. You must have a lottt of patience to do all that and end up wit an absolutely gorgeous quilt in the end .. these are awesome !!!

  14. Patricia Hersl says:

    It’s the process, the journey. Scrappy quilts are my favorite too.

  15. Barb in MI says:

    Wow – Bwecky: 2 beautiful quilts! Thanks or sharing not only the good parts, but also the challenges along the way.

  16. Elsie Bulva says:

    Great work especially getting 2 quilts for 1. I like that. Quilters do understand the frustration of thick corners etc. I actually like the final scrap 3B better then the original. Maybe not as busy or because of the yellow for the sun we are having now after days of rain and flooding.

  17. Linda Sargent says:

    I love how each one can make a pattern their own, whether from fabric choices or choosing to make a smaller quilt. I am new at quilting, but love the variety!

  18. Janet Smith says:

    It’s reassuring to know that more experienced quilters struggle with color/fabric choices and inspirational to see such great results from fabrics in a scrap stash. Thanks for all the details.

  19. DeAnn Oliekan says:

    It’s interesting to see the thought process that each quilter goes through. Most of it sounds so familiar. So many ways to do the same thing!

  20. Susan V says:

    I love all of the little details – it really helps bring the quilt to life. And, they are both gorgeous.

  21. Kelly Cline says:

    WOW! Both are amazing quilts!

  22. Pat says:

    Amazing quilts. Thank you

  23. Maryann McEvoy says:

    WOW! So nice to read about the artist’s thoughts as she made this lovely quilt. I admire the sharp points and creative use of colors. I’d love to try one myself.

  24. Carol Crisp says:

    I love the individuality that shines through from each member of the squad. LOVE seeing the variety of fabrics and the fact that scraps are being used !!!

  25. Laurel Marsolais says:

    I love these posts – I always say that quilters are among the smartest people – give them a problem, and they’ll find a solution! In this case it was two beautiful solutions!

  26. Peg Heibler says:

    These are such great blogs/lessons Showing the process from choosing fabrics all the way through to binding and quilting makes it so much easier to understand And I love the way she shares her difficulties and how she overcame them Thanks

  27. barbara says:

    Wow, so interesting to read about the thinking processes you went through on this and learning that other people make mistakes too. Beautiful results!

  28. Gill says:

    It’s great to see how quilters tackle what often look complicated patterns and how they overcome problems on the way!!

  29. Judy Forkner says:

    Loved seeing how you made your decisions! Thanks for sharing.

  30. Annaleena says:

    I think that these posts are very informative. It’s nice learn new ways to choose colours, piecing and quilting. Both quilts have nice cheerful colours.

  31. Chris says:

    I like both choices! It is fun to follow along and see all of your changes and read about all of the choices you are making while you are making your quilt.

  32. Terri says:

    Nice to know I’m not the only one who does “reverse sewing”…. Love the colors and that everything was from her stash. This gives me inspiration to use fabrics that I usually wouldn’t use together. Good job, Becky!

  33. Becca Stawecki says:

    I enjoyed this a great deal, number one because it’s nice to know that I’m not alone in having difficulty with fabric choices..math..and even piecing!! Number two..seeing the thought process is enlightening and informative not only in seeing the difficulty but also the joy in the finished result!! Thanks Becky for an amazing duo of quilts!!

  34. Linda Zumwalt says:

    As a relatively new quilter, I enjoyed following her thought process from choosing colors to solving problems along the way.

  35. Linda Zumwalt says:

    As a relatively new quilter, I really enjoy the way she shared her thought process from choosing colors to solving problems along the way.

  36. Jeanne J. says:

    Both quilts are outstanding. I am always amazed at designs for scrap quilts. My scrap quilts are certainly plain janes when compared to yours.

  37. Pat Vonderhaar says:

    Always glad to learn from the ups and downs of a project.

  38. linda feltner says:

    I love hearing about the whole process of making the quilts from fabric selection to design challenges to finish. I really like seeing how everyone makes the quilt their own through their fabric choices and design tweaks.

  39. Julie B says:

    It always amazes me at how a quilt pattern can change just by changing the color placements. Great quilts and color combinations.

  40. ConnieG says:

    I Love the blog! Sometimes I see a pattern in the magazine that just doesn’t shout out at me until I see the same pattern interpreted in different colorways…thanks for the inspiration!

  41. Lorraine says:

    Wow! Love the narrative…the getting inside the designer’s head….the trial and error photos and evolution of the design. Oh, guess I like everything about the Scrap Squad!!
    And I especially like the second quilt…amazing!

  42. jean says:

    You did a great job on both quilts…they are gorgeous! I like the fact that you didn’t make it all seem “so easy” but very doable with perserverance.

  43. Cindi C says:

    Wow! Love the block. Thanks for sharing the process, it’s really interesting to learn and I appreciate it. I am so enjoying this Scrap Squad.

  44. Melissa says:

    I love the new colour schemes! It’s great to see how other people see the patterns.

  45. Jenny Moore says:

    Love how you use the colors and the way it all turns out. Great job.

  46. Rachell R says:

    I like scrap squad because I love getting a glimpse into someone else’s brain and creative process. I enjoy seeing the different colors and color placements.

  47. Kathy A says:

    So Beautiful! I love reading about the process.

  48. Rachel Wright says:

    Very neat!

  49. Darlene Krystal says:

    That is an awesome looking block…I love the scrap squads quilts because they show me variations of the blocks that I can learn from….It’s a great lesson in turning and manouvering the blocks in each quilt….thank you ever so much for the great postings…keep up the great work!!!

  50. Judy says:

    I enjoy reading about how the members of the scrap squad take a pattern and make it their own and sometimes what they come up with looks very different from the original pattern. It is also nice to know that as experienced as they are sometimes they still have problems and have to take things out or some part of the quilt just didn’t turn out as expected. Both of Becky’s quilts turned out beautiful and I love the colors she chose.

  51. sue says:

    I enjoy reading of their trials as they try one thing and another. It’s so true. And so heartening to see the results they get! Love the scrap squad- they are real people!

  52. WendyK says:

    I like to see how I can use up all of my scraps and also to know I am not the only one that cries when quilting ;)

  53. I think this is what is called “Schadenfruede” – happiness over another’s grief. Not exactly, but you know, it’s nice to see that others make the same mistakes I do. Thanks for the giveaway. The result was wonderful, by the way.

  54. E. Engman says:

    I love the details they provide as to fabric choices (and rejects), their unique visions of block-building and connecting, their abilities to recoup when something doesn’t quite work out as planned, and their results, all so different and all beautiful and inspired. Thank you, ladies!


  55. Gail says:

    Enjoyed reading the progression and how your thoughts and ideas evolved! good for you for documenting and photos!

  56. Barbara Pricola says:

    Wow! I love both of your quilts, and I really enjoyed reading the process you went through!

  57. Patricia S says:

    I love seeing the variety of colorways that can be done with one pattern. It’s always useful to read how each Scrap Squad quilter works their way through their fabric choices and finish with a beautiful quilt.

  58. Linda Erickson says:

    This was a great post on the evolution of a quilt with an explanation of her changes as she went.

  59. LeeAnn says:

    I like reading them because I see the thought process done and it gives me ideas about what I want to do next!

  60. Ann Flower says:

    Sorry to hear when other quilters have problems with patterns. But love to see how they use their talents to change patterns and come up with beautiful quilts in the process. Gives me the help I need to finish those projects that just seem so hopeless. Thank you Scrap Squad members.

  61. laurie says:

    It is very interesting to read about the process!

  62. Becky H says:

    The Scrap Squad posts are my favorite posts. They really expand my thinking about how to look at quilt patterns and make them my own. The innovation is inspiring!

    Becky, I wouldn’t have thought of your color choices, and I know you didn’t end up liking them as much as you thought you would, but you so make them work! They both turned out beautifully! And I LOVE the tip about the narrow sashing between star blocks, that makes point issues a lot easier to deal with!

  63. Sherry B says:

    I am so impressed with Becky’s story here, from the fabric placement & swapping out colors on the 2nd quilt, your problems in quilting & thread, how you added the sashing & cornerstones (love that) and your creative process in general! AND you made TWO quilts from this…I would have stopped at the first one, but now you’ve given me incentive to try this pattern after reading your article. Patting you on the back!

  64. Love following the “story” of how the quilt comes together

  65. Patty Happel says:

    I love reading the thought process that goes into making the quilts their owns.

  66. Pam Rosebrook says:

    I love scrappy quilts and these are beautiful. It was really nice to be taken thru the whole process. I like the gold version too. My office is painted a golden yellow so it looks sunny even on a rainy day. I will have to start following this.

  67. Sharon says:

    Love your color combination.

    Appreciate your “thinking-out-loud” process for designing this quilt.

  68. Teri powers says:

    I get inspired by all of the wonderful ideas. I love the explanation of their thought process

  69. Shanon Yawkey says:

    I loved hearing about your design process. Thanks for sharing!!

  70. Kathy says:

    I love to see how designers design their own quilts, see what they do with leftovers and the wonderful creations that are birthed.

  71. Lucy D. says:

    I like learning how others think through the “how tos”.

  72. Evelyn says:

    What do I like? Absolutely the abounding inspiration — both in words as well as pictures!

  73. Ellen Kuber says:

    I have lots of scraps to use up! Love them all

  74. JoAnn says:

    It is fun to see how each pattern is interpreted in a different way and also to see the variety of color choices.

  75. Nancy McFall says:

    I love the Scrap Squad. I always see color combinations I hadn’t thought of using. Sometimes I have a hard time seeing past the original colors the designer chooses so the Scrap Squad interpretations are always an eye-opener.

  76. claire says:

    Love how the scrap squad turns rotten old lemons into sweet sparkling lemonade.

  77. Thank you for spotlighting the Scrap Squad members in these special blog posts. It’s always interesting to see how another quilter approaches a pattern, their color ideas, methods of making a quilt, and the way their personality shows in the finished quilt. This one was really exceptional. I enjoyed reading and seeing how she constructed the two quilts – the same, but so, so different. Have a super day!

  78. Frances says:

    I love seeing the way quilts come together with a whole different personality when different colors and fabric combinations are used. And it is sew good to understand how someone else plays with their fabric.

  79. Tina Beard says:

    I love to see the different color combinations each one uses and how they change the look of the designs.

  80. Linda Halcomb says:

    Great to see the scrap squad’s work in progress. It inspires me to play with my block layouts and not to just settle for the original design. Thanks for a job well done!

  81. Michele says:

    I like seeing how other people take an idea and then tweak it. I think “why didn’t I think of that”, or more often, “why couldn’t I do that?”. I like reading about the design and construction process. I particularly liked reading about Becky’s trials with the quilt, the challenges she had, and how she overcame them. When things like that happen to me, the project ends up in the scrap bin, but she plugged on and wow. Love the results.

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