Quiltmaker’s Scrap Squad is a select group of reader-sewers who make scrap quilts from the patterns in regular issues of QM. They’re a talented bunch who revel in diving into their stashes and wowing us with their creations.
Today’s quilt is from our free ebook Free Easy Quick Quilt Patterns. Quiltmaker is pleased to feature three free quilt patterns from Anita Grossman Solomon of Pages from the Make It Simpler Notebook. You may be familiar with her popular Anita’s Arrowhead quilt block, among others.
Today’s featured quilt was made by Keri Blankenship from Cornville, Arizona. You’ll hear from Keri in her own words below.
* * * * *
Our final Scrap Squad 2015 assignment was to choose from any pattern published by Quiltmaker in print or online. Choosing just one from all the patterns available wasn’t easy. I searched all of my magazine collection and the website, waiting for the perfect pattern to jump up and shout out, “Choose me!”
This Arrowhead pattern shouted out from the free ebook: Free Easy Quick Quilt Patterns. Anita Grossman Solomon’s Make It Simpler technique intrigued me. Each block is made from two 8-1/2″ squares stitched together and cut three times to separate the components. Stitch the components together as instructed and you get this awesome versatile 9″ block.
I fell in love with my sample block which took less than 20 minutes to cut, piece, press and trim. Most of that time was settling on which two scrap pieces to put together. Note: All the outside edges of the block are on the bias. Spray starch or fabric sizing is a life saver. Spray the fabric and iron before cutting. Spray and press the blocks together before sewing.
Keri’s Arrowhead Test Block
With my scraps sorted to 8-1/2″ square or larger, I started pairing fabrics, moving from light to dark.
These lonely fabrics and more had been waiting on the shelf for just the right quilt.
This pattern works best with smaller prints with little to no white space or those that read solid. Value contrast contributes to the overall pattern. I tested and even re-sewed some blocks.
Contrasting value adds interest to this quilt. The one on the right got lost in the mix.
The blocks take on a life of their own when set side by side on the design wall. Some just did not play well no matter where they were placed. Remember, just because you make a block does not mean it must go in the quilt. A package of pre-cut squares of the same fabric line might streamline the process.
I twisted and turned the blocks on the design wall until they seemed to be on speaking terms. Below is the final design which may or may not have shifted during construction.
The Kansas City Star originally titled this block Arrowhead. The arrowhead is not easily identified in my fabric choices. At the time I was pondering this, Quiltmaker posted a Bitty Tree block, part of the 2015 Bitty Block Series. A Bitty Tree turned upside down looks like an arrow. Light bulb moment! I added a border of Bitty Tree/Arrows to the quilt to enhance the arrowhead theme. I also backed the quilt with scattered arrows on a white background.
Bitty Trees turned sideways or upside down make a great “arrow” border. Here you can also see the play of lights and darks in the quilt.
Do you name your quilts? I tend to choose names based on the fabric, pattern, or the circumstances encountered during creation. Every piece of fabric in this quilt top had been auditioned on the design wall and put back again more than once. A few were scraps from other quilts, but most were just rejects that had been marking time on my studio shelves. I thought this would be a great pattern for all those lonely pieces.
Presenting There and Back Again, sewn by Keri Blankenship and quilted by Jody Gagnon.
There and Back Again by Keri Blankenship, quilted by Jody Gagnon
Even after the quilt was finished, other options kept coming to mind.
I printed the motif on light weightpaper and used a temporary spray adhesive to hold it in place as I stitched.
What if I set it on point and machine quilted it myself with the Ice Crystal motif in Quilting Motifs Volume 8?
Here you can see a close up of the quilting and the dragons on the backing fabric.
I printed the motif on lightweight paper and used a temporary spray adhesive to hold it in place as I stitched.
Here There Be Dragons – by Keri Blankenship
What if I used only two colors, a neutral and a dark in the block set?
Crossed Roads table runner by Keri Blankenship
What if you resized the block? You can resize the Arrowhead block by adjusting your cuts. For example, two five-inch squares yields approximately a 5-1/2″ finished block. Make your cuts 1-1/2″. Anita shares a cutting guide for alternate sizes on her website.
Resize the blocks to suit your project. All finished blocks will need to be trimmed to finished size.
One block three ways and I’m still looking at my stash thinking. . . this would be a great quilt in reds and neutrals. The sections could be strip pieced or cut separately for a super scrappy look. Hmmm.
Anita’s Arrowhead block three ways
What quilt ideas come to mind when you study this block? Let us know in the comments below.
Finally, a heartfelt thank you to Diane Harris and the Quiltmaker team for the opportunity to be part of the 2015 Scrap Squad. I learned new skills in quilting and blogging, met a great team of quilters from around the country, and had the opportunity to share my quilts with you. It has been a wonderful journey! I hope my scrappy ideas have given each of you a springboard to jump in with confidence and create your own awesome quilts.
* * * * *
We’ve been lucky to have Keri on the Scrap Squad this year. On behalf of everyone at Quiltmaker, thank you for a job well done, Keri!
Learn more about Anita Grossman Solomon and her unique methods!