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.
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. That’s not an optical illusion—the stars really are elongated. Aren’t they interesting? We knew the Scrap Squad could do great things with this design.
Today’s featured quilt was made by Colette DeGroot from Olivet, Michigan. You’ll hear from Colette in her own words below.
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I love the name of our group: Scrap Squad. It’s a shame we are nearly done with our “assignment” but I have enjoyed the time we’ve had together, putting new colors and twists into proven designs.
I took the name of our group literally and went into my stash (which has recently been relocated) to build this quilt from only what I could find there. I didn’t really having the time to go shopping for fabrics since our new “address” is also in the middle of renovations.
I love my new location—I’m no longer relegated to the dungeon. I have a quilt room where I can spread out! Now I can look at colors through windows instead of artificial lighting. Here it’s much easier to discern between a light value and a dark, and when building this quilt, that was important.
I had to decide how to construct this project. We were given a few options, and while I love to paper piece, I wanted to mix it up and try some of it using templates. I decided to do both, so I got my old freezer paper friend out to lend me a hand.
I had to be sure the templates and paper pieces worked together. There’s nothing worse then constructing a set of blocks only to find out they aren’t compatible.
All seemed well—but I seldom just dig in. I’ve had too many “oops” moments not to do at least one test section. I like to see how the scraps work, how the foundations build, and how the templates work with all of it together. The time saved later is worth this extra step!
Well, this looks okay, right? I have a secret. This wasn’t my first paper pieced section. The next picture shows what really happened.
See that little section at the bottom? This was my first attempt at the paper piecing. It goes the opposite way of what I was attempting. I had forgotten to reverse my paper pieces and found out early (thank goodness) what I would need to do. I would have wasted a lot of time if I had forged ahead without doing this step. Cringe!
It seemed like the quilt was progressing nicely. I took a few days off to build a quilt for our local VA hospital but this quilt top took a solid two weeks to complete. While the top looked okay without borders, I wanted to add them so the quilt was more in the keeping with our queen-sized beds.
I did add two borders and then I had to whisk the quilt off to the quilter.
I asked a guild member to quilt this one (Bee Quilted in downtown Charlotte, Michigan) and was very pleased at how quickly she completed it for me, and with the wonderful quilting!
Because this was a larger quilt, and because I have to put some old fashioned quilting traditions into each one of my quilts, I hand stitched the binding. The project was fun and it was a challenge working on point with bias squares (parallelograms, actually), but I made sure to starch each piece and work carefully. I think it turned out pretty nice—and now for the reveal.
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Wow, what a wonderful scrappy quilt, Colette! Congratulations on a job well done. Many of us could make this quilt with fabrics we already own, and wouldn’t that be a great feeling? Just think in terms of lights and darks and you’ll be in good shape.
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We’ll have another great scrap quilt from the Scrap Squad next Friday!
See all of the Scrap Squad quilts here. Scroll down to the Slideshows and click on the month you’d like to view.