QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

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.

 

QMMP 131000 cover 500 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

For the new Sept/Oct issue, we chose a design called Western Waltz for the Scrap Squad project. Here is the original quilt seen on page 62 of the issue.

QMMP 131000 BENHAM 400 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?
Western Waltz
was designed and made by Donna Benham from Omaha, Nebraska.

Today’s featured quilt was made by Rebecca Ball from Blue Springs, Missouri.

becky QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

Becky Ball from Blue Springs, Missouri

You’ll hear from Becky in her own words below.

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When we received Donna Benham’s Western Waltz as our next project I was so excited! I loved this pattern with its interlocking rings, my second favorite star in their centers and the cool corner treatment of the borders.

I went right to Electric Quilt’s EQ7, drafted the two blocks and arranged it for a king-size quilt. I planned to use an assortment of Kaffe Fassett fabrics I’ve collected with some various grays for the rings…then reality set in.

That was the last of June, I was traveling most of July, had another trip in August, plus the grandkids most of the summer. I had to revise. Perhaps a baby quilt would be possible.

EQ file SS4 215x300 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

The EQ7 plan

Do you have a container like this? You just keep stuffing in all those groupings of fat quarters that were “cute” for a baby quilt, soft colors, scraps from other baby quilts and similar fabrics you bought to “help out” the fabric store because they weren’t selling well.

container e1377160136783 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

This would be my challenge for this project—to use something from this box!

inside container e1377139300870 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

Inside of container with all the “baby” fabric grouped by collection with scraps anywhere

I picked the hardest grouping (for me).

the starting fabrics e1377139630946 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

The collection plus purple and additional backgrounds – What I started with.

I like working with brights and pure colors, so toned pastels would be a stretch. I added the lavender because it was in the panel, but not much of the panel ended up on the front of the quilt. I pulled additional soft yellows as needed for backgrounds. Other than the lavender, I was working with just fat quarters or small scraps. I did end up buying one more peach—a solid—for the inner border.

The first thing I had to do was to change the dimensions of the block. All the pieces I wanted to fussy cut for block centers from the panel were at least 4″. That was easy—we went to a 16″ block from a 12″.

I used Marti Michell templates (B and D sets) and Tri-Recs rulers for cutting. The 4 1/2″ square was great for fussy cutting centers. The rest of the pieces were cut from 2-1/2″ and 4-1/2″ strips until I reached the setting triangles. Once again, no paper piecing for me. There are newer rulers and templates available for cutting these same shapes, but these old timers have worked well for me for a lot of years.

I made block Z first.

blocks one add peach e1377160634736 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

Block Z

Right away you need to be alert that there are a lot of mirror images in these blocks.

mirror image rectangles e1377142520722 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

Mirror image rectangles – I call them wedges

I cut the rectangle/wedge blocks in pairs with the fabrics folded wrong sides together. Each cut gave me mirror image pieces, so I cut 4 pairs of each fabric for each block. I had to lay out each block, each time, to keep from reversing some of the pieces. My seam ripper and I still became close friends.

To make sure that I wasn’t leaving notches where the wedges made the circles, I used an extra pin as a guide. I leave the pin in place to sew towards until the machine is only a stitch away, then try to have the needle go into the same hole that held the pin.

step one pinning wedge e1377142706698 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

Guide pin inserted exactly where seam should be sewn

step two pinning e1377142776403 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

Pins less than an eighth inch from the guide pin. Guide pin must stay straight up.

step three pinning e1377142879449 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

Sew straight for the guide pin; remove it a stitch of two away. Use very fine pins.

On to block Y.

block 21 e1377161556724 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

Block Y—my second most favorite star

There are more mirror images in this block if you use stripes. Gina has a good explanation of making these blocks. I have to lay them out as they appear in the block and can still turn them around just by picking them up.

mirror image stripes e1377142583808 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

Stripes mirror image for corners of star block.

block 2 added to block one e1377161749975 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

Blocks Y and Z on point. Rings begin to appear

Three more Y blocks, and now it looks like this: HUGE!

5 blocks up size change e1377161932113 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

Time to re-think layout

At this point I was running low on background fabrics from what I had originally pulled, and had only saved back a few partial fat quarters for the setting triangles. I altered the layout to be just these five blocks. The center would already finish at about 45″.

Math: Since I had changed the size of the block from 12″ to 16″, I had to recalculate the setting triangles—both side and corner ones. Because part of the triangles are pieced wedges that measure 12″ (finished), the diagonal of the CORNER triangles had to be 12″, exactly. I thought I could easily do that as a proportion using Quiltmaker’s cutting sizes – WRONG!!

Do the equation correctly:

12″ /1.414 = 8-1/2″ plus 7/8″ seam allowance = 9-3/8″ square

So my new corner triangle was a square cut 9-3/8″ then cut once on the diagonal.

math now its right e1377163999635 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

Perfect fit – diagonal 12″ plus seam allowance

I didn’t have fabric pieces large enough to cut these as one piece. I decided to piece them to match the ring pieces that would be added on.

dividing setting corner e1377166853864 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

Dividing the corner triangle to line up with the ring piecing

I started to copy this so I could paper piece them, but looking at it, I decided I could just add seam allowances to the pieces and cut them using my ruler with a paper template under it. This allowed me to put the outsides of the triangle on the straight grain of my fabric. I also cut my small E pieces with the long side on the straight grain.

dividing to fit ring pieces drawn template lines e1377167169708 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

Seam allowances drawn to cut paper templates, matching up the seams of the rings

 

corner triangle witches hat e1377167401678 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

Corner pieced setting triangle – Witch’s hats

4 corners on wall e1377167740164 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

Four corner setting triangles in place

Now to tackle side setting triangles. OH, two corner triangles equal one side triangle. Duh! (If you want to cut them from one piece it is: 12″ times 1.414= 17 (rounded) + 1.25 seam allowance = 18-1/4″ square cut twice on diagonal)

2 corners make a center triangle e1377167825598 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

Two corner triangles equal one side setting triangle

The setting triangles are all very scrappy. I’m glad I stopped at a five-block quilt, as there was very little fabric left from the original set.

scrappy setting triangles all around e1377168200617 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

center finished at 45.25″ both in EQ and actual – amazing!

Borders: I like the borders on Donna’s original Western Waltz, but I have used straight borders on my last four quilts, so I just had to do a pieced border. Also, I wanted to use up every scrap of this group of fabrics. Using the Triangle piece of Tri-Recs, I cut 48 triangles from scraps, and 44 lavender triangles, plus four sets of lavender Recs pieces for the ends of each border.

border of scrappy triangles 1024x559 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

Border of scrappy triangles and lavender. Note use of wedge to start the row.

The pieced borders ended up 48″ long (finished). The center finished at 45.25″ square. To make up the difference, I added a “coping” border to make the pieces meet. The difference between the two is 2.75″. Divide this by 2 since we are adding it to both sides of the center, so 1-3/8″ plus seam allowances so cut it 1-7/8″ wide. Two borders are cut 45.75″ long, the others cut 48-1/2″ long.

Before you sew the pieced border on, it is handy to trim the points. Make sure you leave 1/4″ above the point so you aren’t sewing into the points. Note to self: Trim both sides of the border before applying. It’s a lot easier than trimming with the whole quilt up there!

trimming points on border at quarter inch e1377199426935 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

Make sure you only trim one point at a time, measuring each one as you go

I used the left-over fussy cut blocks from the panel as cornerstones. I added a 2″ outer border of the lavender cut on the true straight grain (parallel to the selvage) as it helps me keep the quilt square on Black Bart (my longarm), at least sometimes.

corners for border treatment e1377200528244 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

Peach coping or sizing border, pieced border with cornerstones, outer lavender straight grain border

Quilting: While visions of how this quilt could be custom quilted were dancing in my head, reality set in—this is a baby quilt—so I quilted it with simple wavy lines using Superior SoFine thread on top with Bottom Line pre-wound bobbins. The batting is Hobbs 80/20. I once again used Susie’s Magic Binding to finish this.

IMG 2888 e1377266677313 QM Scrap Squad: Do Babies Dance the Western Waltz?

Babies Western Waltz

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Great job, Becky! Doesn’t this make an elegant baby quilt? And you’ve got to admire a quilter who forces herself to step outside her comfort zone and use some colors that stretch her. Beautiful quilt, and a job well done.

This Scrap Squad rocks! 

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