Quiltmaker is pleased to begin a new series of Scrap Squad posts with a brand new Scrap Squad for 2014. Only six readers are on this year’s team, but already they are proving to be a top-notch group of quilters! One of the best parts of my job is getting to know the Scrap Squad each year. I always miss the group from the year just past, but I love meeting the new people, too.
If you’re not familiar with the Scrap Squad, they are a select group of readers chosen from applications submitted in December. For each regular issue, they take one predetermined pattern and make scrappy versions of it to help inspire other readers.
They’re invited to post on Quilty Pleasures about their quilts. We feature a new Scrap Squad quilt almost every week, usually on Friday. 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 Margaret Kennedy from Lake Frederick, Virginia.
She tells the story in her own words below.
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I was so excited to be named a member of the 2014 Scrap Squad…and the anticipation to receive our first pattern was tremendous!
When I received the Summer Love pattern, I knew immediately that I wanted to go bright with Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics. I decided to make half my blocks warm (predominantly red/pink) and half cool (blue/purple). When I looked at the pattern, I saw bright butterflies. I decided to use the opposite fabrics for the center triangles (cool for the warm blocks, and warm for the cool blocks) rather than a background fabric as originally shown.
I save leftover die-cut pieces from other projects, so I pulled out triangles of the right size in the right colors. I went to my scrap drawer and pulled out a few warm and cool fabrics to start with.
I decided to go with only one background fabric, a white with little green dots. Normally I would have gone totally scrappy on the background, but I decided to add a little calm to the quilt.
Because I was only going to use one background fabric, I eliminated one seam on the top and bottom of the block. Instead of using two flying geese and having a seam right in the middle, I instead have three of the large quarter-square triangles in a row with two half-square triangles on the end. I was also very happy to see that I could cut all the triangles for the blocks with my Accuquilt fabric die-cutting system.
I cut some triangles of the warm, cool, and background fabrics and I was ready to begin.
When I work on blocks like this, I lay out each block as I go on a large square ruler which I use like a tray. For this block, I started by placing the background triangles. Then I filled in with the large triangles, and finally with the small triangles. Note the single large background triangle in the center of the top and bottom rows rather than two smaller triangles as in the original pattern.
I carry this to my sewing machine and sew the block together in sections, finger pressing after each seam. I press when sub-units are ready and as the sub-units are assembled into larger units and finally into the finished block.
Here are my first two blocks:
I cut and arranged pieces for each of the 18 blocks as I went. And yes, I did cut some from yardage. I did not have enough true scraps. But I am happy with “scrappy,” where lots of fabrics are used in a quilt, even if they are not all left over from other projects.
By the way, here are my scraps from die cutting all the triangles:
I arranged and rearranged all the blocks on my design wall. Uh-oh, not crazy about the blandness and sameness of the background fabric. Boring!
I was not about to remake all these blocks so I needed to find a way to make the quilt sing. I decided to go with blue sashing. I cut strips and sub-cut to 12.5″ to fit the blocks. Going scrappy, I used eight different fabrics for the sashing. The colors are all similar, so they coordinate well. Since I made four blocks with yellow centers, I used yellow cornerstones to add some additional highlights. This is beginning to look a lot better to me!
Next, it was time for the setting triangles. Those are big pieces of fabric – and I like small piecing, so I considered making strip sets and cutting the setting triangles out of those. I think that would have been fabulous, but also a lot of work. I went to Plan B, finding
a fabric that would add complexity for me.
Yes—“cheater” fabric! I auditioned a stripe, but then I found this fabric which definitely lent itself to the triangle shapes:
I really liked what this added to the quilt! Unfortunately, I ran out of fabric part way through.
I had about a week’s delay in getting additional fabric, but then I was back in business.
In the meantime, I prepared a scrappy yellow first border, and a scrappy blue outer border (repeating fabrics used in the sashing). Here’s a hint: I cut my 2.5″ strips from yardage, but then I cut them in half so they were approximately 20″ long. This makes the color changes happen more frequently and the appearance scrappier than if I had used the 40″ strips. I elected to skip the third border.
I finished piecing the top, and then it was time to load it on the longarm for quilting.
I selected a curvy, allover quilting design to give the quilt a lot of texture. Thread color? Lime green—the perfect neutral!
Lime green coordinates with the background fabric which is white with lime polka dots, and it also shows up on both the warm and cool blocks and sashings without distracting.
I pieced a band into the quilt backing, and incorporated a machine embroidered label. I like to piece the label into the backing because that saves hand sewing to attach it. When the quilting is done, the label is also done. The quilting stitches thoroughly secure the label, going over and through the embroidery.
The main backing fabric is the red Dianthus print you can see here. The binding matches this backing and was cut from the leftover backing fabric on the sides and bottom after the quilting was done.
And now the big reveal…
I hope you have enjoyed my interpretation of this pattern and my version of Summer Love.
I look forward to my next Scrap Squad project…whatever it may be. You can find more scrappy projects on the Scrap Squad homepage.