Scrap Quilt Ideas: “A Little Off Center” by Margaret Kennedy

The Quiltmaker Scrap Squad is a select group of six QM readers who take one pattern from each issue and make scrappy versions of it to inspire others. You can see slideshows of past Scrap Squad projects.

QM scrap squadB3 Scrap Quilt Ideas:  A Little Off Center by Margaret Kennedy

The featured design from the new July/August issue of Quiltmaker is called Pup Tents. This issue is on newsstands now.

QM10714 500 Scrap Quilt Ideas:  A Little Off Center by Margaret Kennedy

July/August ’14 on newsstands now

Pup Tents was designed by Janice Averill from West Haven, Connecticut. The pink version below was made using fabrics from our preferred partners Quilting Treasures.

QM PupTents QT Scrap Quilt Ideas:  A Little Off Center by Margaret Kennedy

Today’s featured quilt is by Margaret Kennedy from Lake Frederick, Virginia. You’ll hear Margaret’s story in her own words below.

Margaretcropped copy Scrap Quilt Ideas:  A Little Off Center by Margaret Kennedy

Margaret Kennedy

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After studying the Pup Tents pattern, I decided to add a little interest by changing how the blocks were arranged and by making blocks in different colors. I grabbed a screen shot of the lower left portion of the quilt, 4 blocks wide by 4 blocks tall. I flipped and reversed it, then overlapped a little and came up with my setting. I call my quilt “A Little Off Center” because the center of the big X is not the center of the quilt.

Here is my working layout for the quilt – with lots of notes added. It’s not the prettiest drawing, but it served its purpose to keep me on track during the process of making the quilt. You can see that my quilt will be 8 blocks square, compared to the original 7 by 10 layout.

MK3 1 Scrap Quilt Ideas:  A Little Off Center by Margaret Kennedy

Work Plan for “A Little Off Center”

On my layout, I used a highlighter to indicate which blocks would be blue, and decided to make one long diagonal pink and the other red. I intensified the colors by using all medium to dark values for the geese and adjacent triangles and did not use lights for the “colors.” For the background, I selected several greens. I used the darkest one for the bottom “goose” based on the idea in the pattern’s alternate color way. I liked how this would form accent squares when the bottoms of two blocks met. Nearly all the fabrics are batiks.

This layout necessitated some reverse blocks.  No problem, I just reversed a picture of the block layout!

MK3 2 Scrap Quilt Ideas:  A Little Off Center by Margaret Kennedy

Block and Reverse Block

I began with the blue blocks. I laid out a few blocks at a time, using my regular and reverse block layout as a road map.

MK3 3 Scrap Quilt Ideas:  A Little Off Center by Margaret Kennedy

Notice that there is no “stitch and flip” happening here. I was able to cut all my pieces with Accuquilt, except for the trapezoids used in units 2 and 4. I had a trick up my sleeve for those, however. I cut rectangles and used the “Folded Corner Clipper” ruler to cut the corner off to exactly match the correct size of half-square triangle that I die cut. You can see how perfectly the triangle matches the trapezoid in the second photo, making it a breeze to sew.

MK3 4 Scrap Quilt Ideas:  A Little Off Center by Margaret Kennedy

Making the Trapezoid Units

Following my work plan, I laid out the blocks on the design wall. Here are all the blue blocks:

MK3 5 Scrap Quilt Ideas:  A Little Off Center by Margaret Kennedy

Blue Blocks on the Design Wall

After the blue blocks, I filled in the holes on the outside with all green blocks, and then it was off to make the pink blocks and the red blocks. There are a lot of pieces in these blocks, and it was a happy day when I had all the blocks on the wall! Here they are along with the backing fabric I was auditioning.

MK3 6 Scrap Quilt Ideas:  A Little Off Center by Margaret Kennedy

All Blocks on the Design Wall

I added a 2.5″ border of the same fabric as the medium green pieces in the blocks.  Next it was time to load the quilt and get it quilted. I selected green thread to add texture but not make a big statement.

MK3 7 Scrap Quilt Ideas:  A Little Off Center by Margaret Kennedy

Quilting Thread

I elected to use a wood grain quilting design. (Editor’s note: Look at Margaret’s spool blocks in the background of the photo below. Sweet!!! Free spool patterns by Laura West Kong on Adventures of a Quilting Diva.)

MK3 8 Scrap Quilt Ideas:  A Little Off Center by Margaret Kennedy

Quilting in Progress

Binding matches the medium green.  Here is the finished quilt:

MK3 9 Scrap Quilt Ideas:  A Little Off Center by Margaret Kennedy

Spring is a great time of year!

MK3 10 Scrap Quilt Ideas:  A Little Off Center by Margaret Kennedy

“A Little Off Center”: The Glamour Shot

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19 Responses to Scrap Quilt Ideas: “A Little Off Center” by Margaret Kennedy

  1. Carol Kidwell says:

    We are blessed to have Margaret at Lake Frederick. As you can see, her work is truly astonishing. Margaret, your eye for color is amazing, and so eclectic. I love the quilting pattern you selected here and must see up close!

  2. Beth says:

    I would seriously never in a million years think this was the same pattern. This is un-flipping-believable and I love it love it love it.

  3. Jenny says:

    Accuquilt really needs to come out with a 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ chisel die, don’t they?

  4. Beautiful job, Margaret! I love how you laid out the colors. WOW!

  5. Linda J says:

    I really didn’t care for the quilt as it was shown in the magazine. Your version is beautiful!

  6. Joyce Lombardo says:

    Just perfect and the colors are Spring! I love seeing how re-shape and re-design.

  7. Emily says:

    Wow! I love what you did with this. Reversing the block was a great idea. Love the green background and your quilting idea is fabulous. Good job!

  8. Marly says:

    This has come so alive with your treatment. I love the bold colour strokes you made in the distinct layout. Brilliant!

  9. Karlene says:

    Really beautiful quilt! Love the colors and how you arranged it.

  10. annie toy says:

    I LOVE your color choices!! Oh!! and how wonderful it would be with a paper-pieced pattern – drawn on EQ7! Now if I only knew how to use my EQ7, I’d be set!! LOL =P

  11. gab says:

    Absolutely beautiful with the light green background!

  12. Claudia says:

    You had me at the blue and green stage. Now, I’m off to find that spool quilt pattern. Good job.

  13. Sally says:

    Very fun! I’ve been looking at the pattern and can see that it’s worth drawing in EQ and playing with layouts..

  14. Jennifer says:

    Love, love, love the greens as the background choice! I need to stop thinking of backgrounds as neutrals and dive into what you did! Beautiful quilt!

  15. Gina says:

    Well done! I always have trouble making a quilt without a light cream or white-ish background. Yours is stunning!

  16. Joyce Weckwerth says:

    Love the arrangement and know you were thinking of me ….”a little off center”!

  17. Christa says:

    Great job and I love your spool quilt on your wall!! Too cool!!

  18. Aunt Marti says:

    Ohmigosh, Margaret, it is stunning! One would never believe it’s the same pattern.

  19. Becky Ball says:

    Beautiful! You’ve really brought this pattern to life – made it more interesting!

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