Quiltmaker’s Scrap Squad is a select group of readers who take one predetermined pattern from each issue and make scrappy versions to inspire other readers. We feature a new Scrap Squad quilt almost every week.
QM created the Scrap Squad because we know our readers want to use fabric they already own to make lively one-of-a-kind creations from our patterns.
Today’s featured quilt is by Nadia Wilson from Port Hardy, British Columbia. You’ll notice that Nadia spells a few words differently, and we decided to leave them alone, because we have so very many Canadian readers and we thought it would make them feel right at home!
Nadia tells the story of her project in her own words below.
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Sew much excitement…being accepted into the Scrap Squad, meeting new friends, feeling nervous yet excited, scared but confident!
We received our first assignment, Summer Love. Even though I own quilting software and other drafting programs, the best way to come up with a piecing plan is still by using my mind’s eye. Once I ‘see’ a picture in my head of what my quilt will look like…I go with my gut feeling and…I…just…do…it!
The name Summer Love reminded me of soft winds blowing gently, peacefully and lazily on a warm summer day. If you stare long enough at the pattern—what was obvious to me were the butterflies!
I could see butterflies in each of the blocks and I could see how they were fluttering in the breeze amongst the pretty flowers in a garden…a butterfly garden!! Thus my quilt began to take shape…butterflies set against soft, dainty and pretty flowers. Bright and glorious fluttering butterflies set against calm flowers in a garden!
I went to my 30’s stash and my old-fashioned calicoes and pulled out all the dainty flowered ones. I decided to set the flower fabrics and butterflies against off-white backgrounds. I fell in love with some of my teal and orange decorative threads and knew I wanted my butterflies to be in those colours.
I used a variety of orange and teal prints in the butterflies, which is hard to see in the pictures. I wanted my butterflies to really stand out. I could see my quilt beginning to unfold…
I like to add my personal spin to the things I make. Instead of making all the flying geese units the pattern called for, I opted to rotary cut the shapes for each block.
I cut quarter square triangles, which means I worked with bias edges. Extra care must be taken because they are easily pulled out of shape.
As much as possible, chain piece the units to save time and thread!
Look! I finished another spool of my favorite piecing thread!
Have a look at my thread scrap pile!
Along with accurate ¼” seams, it is important to press your seams while sewing…. pressing, not ironing.
See how the units are coming together?
Once my blocks were done, I added the embellishments. I couched on decorative thread for the antennae and I machine appliqued the body with a blanket stitch.
I was beginning to see how my quilt would look…I loved it! I made about a dozen extra butterfly blocks which I will turn into a bed runner. How awesome will it be to wake up next to a bright and ‘springy’ quilt on the bed? I’m thinking Summer Love for sure!!
Once I finished making the blocks I started on my layout. Which way should I turn the butterflies? I’m working on the living room floor, testing out different layouts, when along comes my 7-year-old and says “Whatcha doing?” So I explain and he says, “Do this, Mom…” and he turns the blocks so the butterflies are all flying in different directions. Leave it to a 7-year-old! He was so proud of his work!
Ever wonder what the backs of pieced tops look like? Here is a shot of mine.
I finished the top and the next step was to longarm quilt it. I freehand quilted flowers and greenery in the setting triangles. I stitched meandering loop-de-loops in the blocks, and I outlined the butterflies because I did not want to stitch through them. I quilted piano keys in the checked border.
I used an off-white thread for the top and bobbin because I wanted the piecing and the butterflies to stand out more than the quilting. For the backing I used a natural-colour muslin. For the binding, I joined different colours of fabric strips, in keeping with the scrappy look.
Here is my version of Summer Love. I’m calling it “Butterfly Garden.”
It was pretty hard to capture the true coloring of the fabrics with my camera. It looks much brighter in real life.
It was so much fun making this top, I can hardly wait to start my next assignment! I think this quilt turned out amazing. Do you think you’ll make one, too?