New month, new Quiltmaker,
new Scrap Squad project!
The Scrap Squad is a small, select group of Quiltmaker readers who make scrappy versions of one quilt from each regular issue. They’re a talented bunch. For the brand new Sept/Oct issue, we chose a design called Western Waltz for their project. It was designed and made by Donna Benham from Omaha, Nebraska. Here is the original quilt seen on page 62.
Today’s featured quilt is by Gina Elias from Spring Valley, Illinois. You’ll hear from Gina in her own words below.
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Whenever we receive a new design, my first coloring is always patriotic. I think every quilt looks good in red, white and blue. Western Waltz was no exception!
Using EQ7 quilt design software, I drew and colored the quilt similar to the version featured in Quiltmaker.
This was a good starting point, but I obviously needed to make the quilt scrappy. I was determined to NOT PURCHASE ANY fabric for this quilt. I needed to use the fabric within my abundant stash!
I decided that I would change the placement and value of the red, blue, and medium blue in each block. I also wanted to use a lot of plaids and stripes in this quilt. I think plaids and stripes make the quilt gender neutral and I wanted to donate this finished quilt to a male veteran who had served with my son in his first tour of Afghanistan.
When paper piecing with plaids or stripes, I don’t rough cut the paper but instead cut one side right on the cutting line. By doing this I can line up my plaid or stripe easier.
Also, because I tend to be OCD about stripes, I want to make sure that each block has the stripes pointing in the same direction. For this block, I used stripes in some of the small 2″ squares in the corners of the blocks. When piecing, two units’ stripes needed to be pieced vertically and two need to be pieced horizontally.
Now when you build the block, they will all be in the same direction as shown below.
When I mentioned this on my blog, a reader commented that antique quilt makers didn’t usually pay that much attention to stripe placement. I know that, but it bugs me, so I always try to figure out how to get the stripes lined up in the same direction within a block.
After all the blocks were pieced, I needed to cut the setting triangles. Again, I wanted to make these scrappy. My original design called for red, but I chose a medium value blue fabric to make the center stand out more.
The pattern’s instructions listed the cutting for four setting triangles from a single fabric. I taped paper together to make a square the size listed then quartered it and taped it to my ruler.
When you cut a 14″ square into diagonal quarters, the height of the triangle is 7″. Therefore, I cut a strip of medium blue fabric 7″ wide and then lined up my ruler for cutting the triangle.
Next up: FIVE (5) borders. That’s right – FIVE. I attached the first two and they waved like the wind. I must have made a measuring mistake and I ended up removing both borders and then took my time to measure in three places; average; then add the border. Like we are taught – no short cuts. I’m happy to say, my borders and quilt top were then nice and flat.
The final finished quilt:
It is quilted with an allover pantograph from Linda’s Electric Quilters called “Stars and Loops.” It is bound using Susie’s Magic Binding method with cream piping. (Thanks fellow Scrap Squad member Marti Dyer-Allison for your great tutorial on this binding method! It’s my go-to binding now!)
Did I buy any fabric or use only my stash? I purchased two fat quarters of medium blue for the setting triangles. But because I made the entire quilt scrappy – including setting triangles and borders – I used up a lot of my stash fabric. That’s a good thing!
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I think it’s safe to say that Gina’s veteran friend will love this quilt. What a thoughtful gift. And I just love its scrappiness. Aren’t scrap quilts so much more interesting than quilts with just a handful of fabrics? I don’t think I’ll ever make another one of those. Beautiful job, Gina!