QM Scrap Squad: Becky’s Sew Blue Grows

QM scrap squadB3 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

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.

Today is another of the final projects from the 2013 Scrap Squad.

QMMP 140200 JUDY 450 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue GrowsThe Scrap Squad quilt from the Jan/Feb issue of Quiltmaker is Oh, Sew Blue! It was designed by Judy Laquidara and made by Hatty Brown using Moda fabrics.

beckyiqscm QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

Becky Ball visits the International Quilt Study Center and Museum with me last summer.

Today’s post is by Becky Ball from Blue Springs, Missouri. Becky blogs at Becky’s Quilt Obsession. You’ll hear from her in her own words below.

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Oh, my, this is my last Scrap Squad post and project. I’ve had such a good time doing this. I’ve “met” lots of really nice quilters and look forward to continued contact with them.

When we received this project, I was so excited. I love Judy Laquidara’s patterns. I figured this would be a great, quick project that I could finish before Christmas. I thought it was just perfect in blues, but that was the way it was already presented.

Okay, I have that whole bin of browns and creams – let’s look at that. Oops, I don’t think all browns are meant to be used together. I couldn’t come up with five shades.

About this time I remembered when Angela Walters took time to show me the fabrics in her new line, Legacy. I told her I would try to use them in a project. I had purchased fat quarters of both colorways, so why not start there? I love to fussy cut and some of her prints begged for it!

IMG 3170 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

Legacy Jade colorway with additional fabrics from stash

This line of fabric has a few lights, lots of mediums, but just one dark, and it wasn’t really dark. I pulled these other fabrics to blend with it. I measured the fabric on the left for fussy cutting, and it would work best with a 3″ (finished) square. Off to EQ7.

judy sew blue QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

Sew Blue made with 3″ centers would end up 94″ x 116″.

I really wanted to use this fabric, but I didn’t need a long, narrow quilt like that. What I needed was a king quilt for my bed. I’d made everyone else in the family one, but never one for us. By adding just another row of the dark squares – and the resultant filler blocks – I could have my king-size quilt and fulfill my Scrap Squad commitment at the same time. Works for me.

final sew blue QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

Final layout with adjusted borders to be 122″ square

I decided to make the Ohio Star as my test block. Oh, my, the color just died.

IMG 3176 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

Test block – the color in that center fabric is NOT brown.

It didn’t get any better when I added the framing points.

IMG 3180 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

Adding dark green framing points didn’t help this color combination.

At this point I went through all my stash searching for greens that would work, without success. Scratch this idea, on to plan two. Angela also has a blue colorway, almost an aqua blue.

IMG 3169 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

The blue colorway of Legacy with scraps pulled from stash

Again, there weren’t any dark darks in this line, and it definitely needed the addition of some black. I pulled brown blacks, grey blacks and blue blacks. The blue blacks were leftovers from previous Scrap Squad projects. Some of the others had been in my stash for 14 years.

IMG 3368 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

New test block – I’ll keep these

I chose a different fabric for the fussy cut centers of the Ohio Stars as I didn’t have enough repeats in the other fabric. I would use that later. I made all the Ohio Stars first. My design wall isn’t big enough to hold them with the framing round, so I left that until later.

IMG 3249 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

All the Ohio Stars – there are lots of different fabrics in them. None repeat the same combination of fabrics

When I first started making these, I had some trouble. I was using the diagonal squares method, and I was coming up short on my seams – there wasn’t 1/4″ left outside the point. I corrected this by sewing with the point seams DOWN, so the machine would pull up a bit more of them than the top. It made the method work.

IMG 3191 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

Only nine centers – I later went back and cut 2″ squares as well

I can manage to make a star out of almost any block. The central Nine Patches were no exception. This way I could use those cool tiled centers and Angela’s swirls fabric. I cut these out using Tri-Recs rulers. The Four Patches were made using strips.

IMG 3277 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

Central Nine-Patch turned into 54-40 or Fight (almost)

Once these were all on the board, I started making the Nine Patch blocks that go around the outside. These can get a little bit tricky! It is so easy just to continue sewing Four Patches in the corners. STOP! They are different.

IMG 3273 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

Watch where the special corner is located in relation to the directional fabric.

If you want to make it more difficult, pick a directional center fabric that you decide needs to go in the same direction every time. You can’t just make four with two corners, etc. You have to plan where each one goes.

IMG 3290 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

I did it! All of the outer blocks have the corners in the correct position.

Next it was time to put the framing round on each block. I’m a “flip-and-sew” corners failure, so I don’t use that method. I cut 9 1/2″ lengths of  white, then, using a Marti Michell template or an Easy Angle I whacked off the ends. Make sure you have the angle right.

IMG 3294 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

Trimming sashing instead of using flip and sew method for corners

IMG 3293 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

Correct angles

IMG 3178 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

Just cut triangles from strips in your usual method

At this point I moved from Bernie to the Juki that is next to the design wall. I’ve always used the same machine throughout a project, but I decided to mark my 1/4″ seam the same way on both machines and had no problems. There are several methods for this; I used one I learned from Jan Krentz using several layers of painter’s tape.

IMG 3324 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

About four layers of painter’s tape used for seam allowance. Who put my mother’s hands at the end of my arms?

I thought I was doing a great job of adding the framing round and then putting the rows together, even without a design wall. I put the first two rows together, had to change the angle on the setting triangles, then sewed them to each other. I ended up with this:

IMG 3297 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

Oops – I had originally flipped the whole row. Now I had to rip and resew the setting triangles back the way they started as well as turn the end blocks.

I waited until morning, then tackled the repair.

IMG 3305 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

This is the way it is supposed to look.

I sewed just a bit longer that day than I should have, and this was the result:

IMG 3314 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

The Four Patches are supposed to form a chain.

Lesson learned – it takes longer to repair your mistakes than to take proper rest breaks. I also started making better use of what design wall I did have.

IMG 3318 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

Using a design wall really, really helps keep these straight

I finally finished putting the center of the top together! Now where to take a picture of it so I could look for more mistakes?

IMG 3328 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

Using the top of our king-size bed for pictures

IMG 3329 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

It needs about 8″ of borders on each side to cover the mattress.

Now to tackle the borders. It was an easy decision to make – the borders would be mitered. No way was I going to wrestle all that bulk three different times. Mitering really isn’t that hard . . . .

All you have to do is sew the borders on, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance at the corners, fold the ends together and lay them flat. Draw the 45-degree angle line and sew. In my entire quilting life, I’ve never had a quilt where all four corners are easy and go together without a problem. This one was no exception.

IMG 3348 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

There’s always one of the four that doesn’t quite turn out right.

Borders on – it fits the bed!

IMG 3360 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

Finished top on king bed

IMG 3363 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

It covers the mattresses enough that it should still be long enough after quilting.

Oops – it won’t fit Black Bart (quilting machine). It’s off to a friend’s who has a 14′ table and the same machine.

IMG 3355 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

Quilt top is too large to be quilted on a 12′ table. On to plan B

My friend Linda K, a retired long-arm quilter, took pity on me and did the quilting on this monster. I wanted feathers, so she used the pantograph Bountiful Feathers designed by Hermione Agee for Lorien Quilting.

We used Quilters Dream Wool batting, and Superior So Fine top thread with Bottom Line bobbins. The backing is a wide piece of white on cream, with the addition of some very light yellow to make it wide enough.

Lindas quilting QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

Linda’s bountiful feathers quilting

Next I tackled 500+ inches of binding. I had a workout manipulating that bulk.

IMG 3384 QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

Wrestling the bulk through the machine to put on 500″+” of “Magic Binding”

At last it was finished! It was too heavy and too large for my photography backdrop holder, so out on the deck (in the wind) we went, with my husband on a step ladder to minimize the “keystone” effect.

bed quilt reduced QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

The final product – king-size, 125″ square

It fits the bed even though I decided not to round the corners. I didn’t want to experiment with Magic Binding on a curve. I make my Magic Binding out of true straight grain strips and I didn’t have enough fabric left to cut some on the bias for the curve.

finished corners QM Scrap Squad: Beckys Sew Blue Grows

I left the corners square. The quilt is large enough to cover the mattresses on our bed, but I’m not sure we can turn over under the weight.

That’s it for this now-retired “Scrap Squader.” I’d like to welcome the new 2014 Scrap Squad. I look forward to seeing your creations!

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What an impressive king-size beauty! The high contrast is lovely and the addition of a special binding is the perfect finishing touch. Great job by Becky on this quilt and all year long. Kudos!

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8 Responses to QM Scrap Squad: Becky’s Sew Blue Grows

  1. Eva says:

    This is a wonderful work. I love what you did with Angelas designs and the combination with the black.

  2. I agree that this quilt is just beautiful!

    I especially want to thank you for photographing your errors to share with us. I make daily use of my seam ripper, so I am happy to know that even the experts work too long and mess up once in a while.

    I subscribed to the magazine because of the Scrap Squad and Bonnie Hunter, so thanks for all you do!

  3. Claudia says:

    Gorgeous quilt. I’ll bet you and your snugger hunny are warm and toasty with all the winter weather you are having. Wonderful interpretation of the original.
    (My mother’s hands seem to have appeared at the ends of my arms too.)

  4. Linda S says:

    I love this quilt! It is so beautiful. I am not brave enough yet to tackle a quilt this complex and this size. Congrats on a great finish for the year. All of you ladies on the squad have done an amazing job all year!

  5. Margaret K in Virginia says:

    Becky, congratulations on your quilt and on your year as a Scrap Squad member! Love your Tri-Recs stars with the fussy cut centers.

  6. Marlo Raub says:

    This is so beautiful. You did an amazing job.At I wasn’t sure I would like the colors. But seeing it all put together it is perfect.

  7. Audrey says:

    Absolutely beautiful. That is one big quilt. Your upper body strength must be impressive. Thanks for sharing your process.

  8. Anne Wiens says:

    I love that you changed the 9-patches to stars….a subtle change, but it adds to the quilt.

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