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.
Star Search from the Nov/Dec issue of Quiltmaker
The Scrap Squad quilt for this issue was designed and made by Carolyn McCormick, designer of the Add-A-Quarter ruler. It’s called Star Search.
Today’s featured quilt is by Gina Elias from Spring Valley, Illinois. You’ll hear from Gina in her own words below. Be sure and read to the end, because there is definitely a punch line!
* * * * *
This quilt uses TEMPLATES! That word turns so many quilters off and they don’t consider making a quilt that involves templates. But templates shouldn’t be feared or avoided, in my opinion. Here was my approach in making this quilt.
First I made some templates out of mylar plastic. I do something different here—I make the templates without the seam allowances.
Each star has 4 of patch B and 4 of patch C. Since my stars were going to be “controlled scrappy” (each star made from the same fabric), I decided to glue those 8 pieces on an 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheet of paper with as little waste as possible.
You can see the cutting lines on even the dark and busy fabrics. I peeled the fabric off the freezer paper and then cut the shapes apart. Did I use scissors or a rotary cutter? Both. I have a lot of time in the car waiting for the kids to get done with events, so sometimes I brought the fabric and scissors and used that time.
I used the same process to make a lot of A templates with the computer. I drew them by hand on an 8 1/2″ x 11″ piece of paper. Using my pdf, there was very little waste fabric on these. I used both the computerized pieces and the plastic templates, depending on the size of my scraps.
The advantage to making templates without the seam allowance is that your drawn line is the seam line. Sewing is easy—just pin the intersections and sew on the line.
Since this design is made in diagonal rows, I like to work on two ends at once.
For this quilt, I emphasized the diamond shape by placing the colors to form a diamond.
Now for the quilting: I wanted to emphasize the diamond shape and the color placement. I decided on custom quilting alternating straight lines with large flowing free-hand feathers.
The final quilt front:
The final quilt back:
Close-up of the quilting:
I named this quilt “Illinois Fall” because these are the colors of the trees right now in my neck of the woods.
Also, I had procrastinated on this quilt and it was coming close to my deadline. I started getting up at 5:30 am to get an hour of quilting done before work. On one such morning, I headed downstairs before I was fully awake and missed the first step. Down I tumbled… hence, Illinois Fall! (I was fine – I just don’t bounce as well as I used to!)