QM Scrap Squad: Gina’s Illinois Fall

QM scrap squadB3 QM Scrap Squad: Ginas Illinois Fall

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.

QMMP 131200 cover 2001 QM Scrap Squad: Ginas Illinois Fall
This is the current issue of Quiltmaker, dated Nov/Dec ’13.


QMMP 131200 stars 450 QM Scrap Squad: Ginas Illinois Fall
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.

ginablogheadshot QM Scrap Squad: Ginas Illinois Fall

Gina Elias

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.

templates 1 QM Scrap Squad: Ginas Illinois FallEven though the pattern in the magazine doesn’t give you a template for piece A, I made one. Remember—it’s without the seam allowance so the template is 3″ x 4″.

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.

templates 2 QM Scrap Squad: Ginas Illinois FallI scanned that sheet of paper into my computer and used a photo editing program to take out the letters and arrows. I saved it as a pdf. Below is the result.

templates 3 QM Scrap Squad: Ginas Illinois FallNow comes the fun part! I cut 8 1/2″ x 11″ sheets of freezer paper and ironed them to the right side of my fabric. I fed my fabric into my printer and I had my shapes printed out right on my fabric!

2013 08 31 19.51.27 QM Scrap Squad: Ginas Illinois FallYou 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.

QMMP ADD2SCRP MAY 200 QM Scrap Squad: Ginas Illinois Fall

Wild and Goosey is perfect for using small scraps. Block by Bonnie Hunter for Quiltmaker’s May/June ’13 issue.

Was there wasted fabric? Yes. But I saved those pieces for small paper piecing patterns like Bonnie Hunter’s Wild and Goosey block published in Quiltmaker’s May/June ’13 issue.

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.

sample pinning QM Scrap Squad: Ginas Illinois Fall

2013 08 31 19.52.48 QM Scrap Squad: Ginas Illinois Fall

Since this design is made in diagonal rows, I like to work on two ends at once.

photo QM Scrap Squad: Ginas Illinois FallI piece a lot of on-point quilts like this so that when I get tired of the project, I can just piece a middle row and then I’m done.  icon smile QM Scrap Squad: Ginas Illinois Fall

For this quilt, I emphasized the diamond shape by placing the colors to form a diamond.

top before quilting QM Scrap Squad: Ginas Illinois Fall

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.

10 inch QM Scrap Squad: Ginas Illinois FallThe stars measured 10″ from point to point. I originally thought my straight line quilting would be 2″ apart, but I ended up filling those in with 1″ line segments.

The final quilt front:

front 1 QM Scrap Squad: Ginas Illinois Fall


The final quilt back:

Back 1 QM Scrap Squad: Ginas Illinois Fall


Close-up of the quilting:

back 2 QM Scrap Squad: Ginas Illinois Fall



I named this quilt “Illinois Fall” because these are the colors of the trees right now in my neck of the woods.

DSC03251 QM Scrap Squad: Ginas Illinois FallAlso, 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!)


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13 Responses to QM Scrap Squad: Gina’s Illinois Fall

  1. Pingback: QM Scrap Squad: Kaffe is Star Struck | Quilty Pleasures Blog

  2. Claudia says:

    I was thinking the same thing — about Inklingo.

  3. Cathi says:

    Inklingo makes it very, very easy to print templates on fabric using very faint lines of coloured ink that will wash out without any worries about the ink creating a problem. Inklingo templates are designed to completely minimize any fabric waste and are a fabulously efficient way to have perfect templates, with stitching and cutting lines and matching points, printed on the back of your fabrics.

  4. Charlsey Holler says:

    I haven’t made a quilt in years without the Inklingo method of printing shapes on fabric with my printer. The downloadable shapes have no or very little wasted fabric and they are absolutely the most accurate method of piecing both on machine or by hand. Go to http://www.lindafranz.com and view the various shape collections. There is even a free collection for you try.
    I am just a happy customer!

  5. Go to http://www.lindafranz.com and see the downloadable collections for printing on fabric using freezer paper in your printer. With that method there is no or very little waste. The downloads are very accurate. There is a free collection that you can also try. I haven’t done a quilt in years without this method.

  6. Sonia Burgess says:

    Love the quilt and the quilting!

  7. Karen W. says:

    I like this quilt the best of the scrappy ones that have been shown so far for this pattern because of the diamond pattern of the color choices.

  8. Karen says:

    we print out templates all the time on fabric when we use Linda Franz method called Inklingo! you should check out her website http://lindafranz.com/section/inklingo/62

  9. susan rizzi says:

    I think your quilt is very pretty. Your comment about making the templates without the seam allowance has me very confused! You show the stitching lines and cutting lines on your printed fabric so how did you leave off the seam allowance? Sorry, if I am dense.

  10. Pingback: Scrap Squad Quilt #5 | Gina Quilts and Knits

  11. Anne Wiens says:

    If you had called the quilt “Illinois Autumn”, you could have saved yourself the fall. :0}
    The quilt is awesome, Gina!

  12. Aunt Marti says:

    Gina I love your quilting on this quilt! It really shows off the stars, And so glad you weren’t injured falling down the stairs!

  13. Becky Ball says:

    Wow this turned out great. I am in awe of your beautiful quilting!

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