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.
This is the July/August ’13 issue with a warm summer sun on the cover. The featured Scrap Squad quilt from this issue is Turning Points by Carolyn McCormick.
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.
Today’s featured quilt is by Anne Wiens, from Shelby, Montana. Visit Anne’s new blog, Seams Like a Plan. You’ll hear from her in her own words below.
The Scrap Squad had a “leak peek”…that’s an unintentional sneak peek…at Turning Point several weeks before we had the actual pattern, so by the time I had Quiltmaker’s actual pattern, I already had a plan.
I broke the pattern down along slightly different lines. Where Carolyn’s pattern uses 10″ (finished) blocks, mine are just 5″. I also used fewer pieces, so my quilt is a 45″ x 45″ wallhanging. Before I show you the quilt, here’s how I got there.
I took the sketch that someone – we won’t say who – at Quiltmaker sent us, and drew it out in black and white with my QuiltPro design program. Three “blocks” jumped out at me:
Center top actually looks like a Maltese Cross. I would need eight of these as well, made with a dark gray and a medium-dark gray (bottom center).
That left me with twenty five of the “Diamond” blocks (top right). I had a couple of turquoise fat quarters I could use to make the diamonds…or should I call them Yogo Sapphires, a particularly gorgeous gemstone found only here in Montana? I digress. I used a medium-light gray and the same dark gray for these blocks.
I called my quilt Carbon Copy because gemstones are made of carbon that’s been under a lot of pressure, and because the basic pattern is a slightly modified copy of Carolyn’s Turning Points.
Carolyn sent us each one of her “Add-A-Quarter” and “Add Enough” tools, which was very generous, and they are must-haves for paper piecing. Paper piecing is just not my thing, however, so I used Deb Tucker’s “Corner Beam” rotary cutting tool to make the units for this quilt. Marti Dyer-Allison gave you an excellent photo tutorial on this tool in her blog posting a couple of weeks ago. Deb also has a video tutorial on her website.
Like a few of my sister Scrap Squad members, I had a couple of issues in getting this quilt together, but they were my issues, not the pattern’s. As I was merrily cutting side-light pieces of the medium-light gray, it struck me that that was supposed to be the center beam of the diamond block units. (I know you never do anything like that.) Of course, I didn’t have enough left to cut the correct pieces, so I had to go find another medium-light gray. And goodness knows why I thought I would need five yards of the dark gray for a 45″ x 45″ quilt…I’m usually a whiz at quilter math…but I guess it’s always better to have too much than too little, and it was on sale. If you follow my blog, you’ll soon find out what I’m doing with the leftovers.
Here’s an exploded diagram of my quilt, so you can see how the units were arranged:
I added light gray corner triangles to square it up, then a 1″ (finished) light gray border, followed by a 2.5″ dark gray border with just one center beam unit in each corner.
Quilting presented another issue. In those places where four points come together, there are so many layers of fabric, there is just no way to avoid bulk. Since I was too close to deadline to send it out for quilting, I decided to do some straight line quilting on my home machine. The machine and I have agreed never to do free-motion quilting, and I was worried about hitting those bulky corners at speed. Straight lines allowed me to slow down and go stitch-by-stitch through the tough spots.
Sometimes when I look at the finished quilt I think it needs another line of quilting inside each of the diamonds and stars. One of my favorite creative quotes is, “Art is knowing when to stop.” So did I stop too soon? I’m not sure.
And finally, here is the (maybe) finished Carbon Copy: