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 new 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 Nicole Brouillette from Cottonwood, California.
You’ll hear from Nicole in her own words below.
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Choosing fabrics for this quilt was difficult for me. When I saw the pattern I decided to pick my border fabric first. I bought this fabric a while ago thinking how perfect it would be for my daughter. She is a typical 5-year-old girl—she loves pink and flowers!
I pulled coordinating fabrics from my stash and came up with this…
I loved seeing it all laid out like this, but I just couldn’t wrap my head around how to place them in the quilt. I ended up staring at this pile for a couple of weeks, but it just didn’t seem like it was going to work for me. Finally I started over. If it didn’t seem right after a couple of weeks, then why push it so hard?
On to Plan B.
One of my local quilt shops recently had a sale. Their fabrics from 2007 and older were put on clearance. Among those fabrics was this line of Fig Tree by Moda. I love Fig Tree, and I bought almost all of the yardage available. After all, who can pass up these quality fabrics for just $2 per yard? Not this thrifty quilter!
I did the same thing this time, I started with my border fabric…my favorite print…and I started pulling coordinating fabrics again.
The pink, cream and blue were way too boring, so I grabbed some yummy chocolate brown fabric to go with it.
I still couldn’t picture it. AARGH! I was running out of time and I didn’t have the time to sit on it for a couple of weeks. So I took the pattern over to my copier and lightened it up so that it was black and white but on a lighter scale. Then I took my colored pencils and I drew it out. You know what? I thought it was great. I may not have the awesome computer design software, but sometimes a copier and some colored pencils is all it takes!
It took a little longer than expected but…YAY! A PLAN!
It’s finally time to start sewing. Carolyn McCormick was so sweet to send all of us Scrap Squad ladies an Add-a-Quarter ruler and I put mine to good use! It was my first time using the ruler but I have to say, I LOVED IT!!! It made paper piecing so much easier, no more picking out paper from the seam allowance.
I was surprised to see that the entire center of the top is made out of the same unit! The only thing that changes is the color placement in the units.
Chain piecing was my best friend in this pattern.
Once all of my units were pieced I put them all together into blocks and laid them out on the floor. I just loved the way that the brown popped out. These colors are very neutral for me, so at least it has some POP to it.
From here I pieced my setting triangles and put it all together.
I’m loving it! Time to start putting the rows together. I decided to press the seams open when I was joining the blocks together to help with the bulk.
For the final two borders I changed up the color placement a little bit to make my colors pop just a bit more. I always like to audition it by laying out the fabrics similar to how they would be in the quilt and taking a picture.
Yup! That’s a keeper. Now that the borders are on and the top is ready to go, its time to get ready for quilting.
Even though I go by the rule “Measure twice, cut once” I still like to lay out my quilt to ensure that my backing is large enough for the quilt top by folding my top and backing in quarters. I line up the bottom folds and make sure that there is at least 3″ of extra backing fabric to the side and top of the quilt top.
There are several reasons for the extra backing fabric. Number one: It is needed for pinning the backing fabric onto the frame. My absolute favorite tool for my longarm is called “Red Snappers.” These lovely things make loading a quilt onto the frame a snap, literally! The only drawback is that they use up at least 1″ of the extra backing fabric just to keep the fabric in place.
The other reason for the extra backing fabric is for squaring up the quilt top.
Since the fabrics are traditional, I went for traditional quilting choices. Feathers worked for the borders and corner triangles, curlicues went in the brown border fabrics and stippling worked in the center. I only stippled in the background fabric so that the colored pieces popped out just a bit!
Time to trim the quilt and bind it! In my last post I promised one of you lovely blog
readers that I would show how I hand bind my quilts. I love that there are so many ways to bind a quilt. I have found my favorite way and that is what I am sharing with you today.
Normally I use a 2½” strip and sew with a 3/8″ seam allowance, but I didn’t want to blunt the corners of the points of the outside border on this quilt, so I cut a 2″ strip and sewed it on with a ¼” seam allowance.
Once I’ve attached my binding to the top of the quilt by machine, I fold over the binding and pull out my needle and thread. I use the ¼” seam that I used to attach the binding to the top as my guide to keep the binding straight on the back. I like to take small bites with my needle to keep an even look and away I go!
And here is the final project!
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What a stunner this Scrap Squad member has pulled together! And she is absolutely right: The chocolate brown is wonderful! You can read more about Nicole’s custom quilting (or hire her for your quilts!) at Nicole’s blog or her Facebook page for Nicole’s Longarm Quilting.