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.
Today’s featured quilt is Anne Wiens from Shelby, Montana. Anne blogs at Seams Like a Plan: visit her there for good tutorials and scrap quilt ideas. More from Anne below.
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The editors of Quiltmaker threw the Scrap Squad a curveball with Carolyn McCormick’s Star Search—how do you reinterpret a quilt as a scrap quilt when it’s already a scrap quilt? My solution was to use the same pieces, but make it look like a completely different pattern.
Usually, I begin with a plan, then go find the fabrics to make it work. This time, I was stuck for a plan until I came across these western-theme prints:
I decided I would make all of the large diamonds in Star Search from these theme prints. I made a line drawing of the quilt layout in QuiltPro, and discovered I needed to add one more theme print. (Hey, Diane, how’s this for a “yoogly” fabric?)
Every fabric has its place, and this “yoogly” green has been waiting patiently at my local quilt shop, the Creative Needle in Shelby, Montana, for me to find its quilt.
So the big diamonds were taken care of. I knew I would use a dark brown for the border, and decided to use a tan print in the rectangles.
My first two candidates were left over from earlier Scrap Squad projects.
But then I remembered this print, which is a souvenir of my first trip to Quilt Colorado in Estes Park in 2008.
By now I had the makings for a fairly fabulous quilt, but I honestly couldn’t call it “scrappy” since it’s all yardage and all but the tan print were newly purchased just for this project. Of course, I still have all of those triangles.
In Carolyn’s quilt, the triangles were red. In mine, they will be a variety of off-whites. I won the stack of charm squares at a quilt show last month. I bought a few more tone-on-tones just to be sure I had enough.
Okay, now I was willing to call it “scrappy”, though I still felt it was stretching the definition just a bit. It was too late to turn back, however, because the deadline was coming at me full-speed. I had to get this quilt done!
My next challenge was how to get around paper-piecing? (It did occur to me that I might be able to rent Christa’s son to rip papers for me.) I also knew I did not want to cut out every triangle with a template.
My solution was to make one template—the large diamond—which I used first to trace and cut out the large theme-print diamonds.
I traced the rectangle in the center of the template.
I sewed rectangles of off-whites and dark browns to the tan rectangles as needed.
I traced around the diamond on the fabric, then cut it out with a ruler and rotary cutter. Never try to rotary cut around a thin template…it’s just asking for trouble.
Once the diamonds were all cut, I used the dashed lines to mark and cut dark brown setting triangles and corner triangles.
Notice that my dashed lines are drawn 1/4″ from the points on the template, to account for the seam allowance. I had to be careful to trace the correct side of the template!
And finally, I cut four corner triangles, which had a short side and a long side. I cut two with the fabric face up and two with the fabric face down so I had mirror images.
Time to put this quilt together!
The rows were sewn together diagonally, just like the original pattern.
I was surprised how nicely the points matched up!
Then I took it to Kathy Brown at the Creative Needle, here in Shelby (Montana). She had a western boots and hats pantogram she had been wanting to try, and this was just the quilt for it. Nice job, Kathy!
And here is “Montana Sky.”
Editor’s note: Wow! That hardly looks like the same quilt. I had to scroll back and forth a couple of times to figure it out, so I decided to put another shot of the original quilt right here near Anne’s finished Montana Sky.
We can learn a lot about value from seeing these quilts side-by-side. Exercise your creative eyes with me:
• Find the tan rectangles in the left-hand quilt. Now find the same rectangles in the right-hand quilt.
• Notice the stars in the right-hand quilt. Now find them in the left-hand quilt.
• Describe the values of the diamonds in the right-hand quilt (hint: the diamonds alternate between reds and creams). Now describe the values of the diamonds in the left-hand quilt.
• Notice how the dark brown border seem to lie under the white triangles in Anne’s quilt? How does she achieve this effect?