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.
Today’s featured quilt is by Gina Elias, who lives in Spring Valley, Illinois. Gina blogs about quilting and knitting and keeps up with it nicely! You’ll hear from Gina in her own words below. (Editor’s note: Gina posted this well before Christmas but the editor was out of town for the holidays!)
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The last quilt for the Scrap Squad 2013 is here and I wanted to make sure it was exceptionally scrappy. I’ve been quilting for 15 years and I have never completed a Christmas quilt. Notice that I didn’t say that I’ve never made a Christmas quilt. I’ve started a couple. But I always start them too late and the holidays get the best of me. Making a Christmas quilt as part of the Scrap Squad ensured that it will get done since I have a deadline that matters and I must stick with it!
Judy’s Oh Sew Blue! quilt was perfect because she already worked out where the lights, mediums, and darks should be placed. I substituted red and green for the darks, yellow/gold for the mediums, and a whole lot of creams for the lights.
I started with the easy corners.
I pieced these like most people do. I cut out all the pieces and strips ahead of time and sewed in an assembly line fashion. At this point I thought, “Hey, how about a wall hanging? I could be done today!” But I don’t need a Christmas wall hanging, I need a Christmas quilt. So onward I went. I pieced the remaining “frame” blocks in assembly line fashion.
Next up were the Ohio Star blocks. These are 6″ finished which means the “X” blocks are 2.5″ unfinished. Those are itty-bitty pieces!
To keep with the uber-scrappy theme, I chose every shade of red, yellow/gold, and green. Because the pieces are so small, it works. When using larger pieces, one wonky green (like the triangle above that looks more blue-green) would really stand out. But not so with small pieces.
I placed these 6″ Ohio Star blocks on the wall and then went to work on yellow/gold “wings” for the outside of them. Instead of continuing with the assembling line piecing, I only cut out a few pieces and made a few of the segments I’ll call “wings” that surround the Ohio Star blocks. After piecing a few and thought, “Am I doing this right?” So I put some completed pieces on the wall where they belonged.
Hold the presses! I loved my mistake on the left! See how the wings formed a star when I placed them incorrectly? Let’s start playing with color and value here.
In the version above, I swapped out the white squares in the corners for red.
In this version, I made the corner squares yellow. I liked the one on the right above.
Here I made the wings red and the corners white.
And here, red wings and red corners!
Red wings reversed, yellow corners. (Can you tell I’m having fun?!)
Red wings reversed, white corners.
And finally, red wings reversed, red corners.
Okay – ENOUGH! Make a decision and go with it! There’s a deadline looming and you’ve got to get going!
Here’s where I landed.
I didn’t piece Judy’s fabulous borders. I just ran out of time. A finished quilt is better than an unfinished one any day, hands down. So I put on some scrappy borders and quilted an all-over pattern of holly leaves and ribbons.
Below you can get a better look at the quilting.
With all the scrappy quilts I make, I rarely use scrappy backs. My family doesn’t like them and it’s just easier to buy a large piece. With this quilt, I did want to use some of my Christmas fabric on the back, but just went with a large stripe of a piece that I like, but knew I would never use in a top.
I really want to thank Quiltmaker for this incredible adventure. I have loved each and every quilt I’ve made. Each one was unique and many were quilts that I would not have picked to make. I encourage quilters to form their own “Scrap Squad” with their friends and venture out of your comfort zone to piece and quilt some wonderful quilts in the future. Thank you readers, for all of your positive feedback over the past year. Quilters are great people and I can’t wait to read next year’s Scrap Squad entries.
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What a gorgeous Christmas quilt! Gina has really mastered using many different fabrics in a scrappy quilt, while still holding the design together nicely. What a fabulous job she’s done on this quilt and all year long. Stay tuned for just a few more pieces from the 2013 Scrap Squad–and then introductions to a new group of reader-quilters for 2014!