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.
The Scrap Squad quilt from the Jan/Feb issue of Quiltmaker is Oh, Sew Blue! It was designed by Judy Laquidara and made by Hatty Brown using Moda fabrics.
Becky Ball visits the International Quilt Study Center and Museum with me last summer.
Today’s post is by Becky Ball from Blue Springs, Missouri. Becky blogs at Becky’s Quilt Obsession. You’ll hear from her in her own words below.
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Oh, my, this is my last Scrap Squad post and project. I’ve had such a good time doing this. I’ve “met” lots of really nice quilters and look forward to continued contact with them.
When we received this project, I was so excited. I love Judy Laquidara’s patterns. I figured this would be a great, quick project that I could finish before Christmas. I thought it was just perfect in blues, but that was the way it was already presented.
Okay, I have that whole bin of browns and creams – let’s look at that. Oops, I don’t think all browns are meant to be used together. I couldn’t come up with five shades.
About this time I remembered when Angela Walters took time to show me the fabrics in her new line, Legacy. I told her I would try to use them in a project. I had purchased fat quarters of both colorways, so why not start there? I love to fussy cut and some of her prints begged for it!
Legacy Jade colorway with additional fabrics from stash
This line of fabric has a few lights, lots of mediums, but just one dark, and it wasn’t really dark. I pulled these other fabrics to blend with it. I measured the fabric on the left for fussy cutting, and it would work best with a 3″ (finished) square. Off to EQ7.
Sew Blue made with 3″ centers would end up 94″ x 116″.
I really wanted to use this fabric, but I didn’t need a long, narrow quilt like that. What I needed was a king quilt for my bed. I’d made everyone else in the family one, but never one for us. By adding just another row of the dark squares – and the resultant filler blocks – I could have my king-size quilt and fulfill my Scrap Squad commitment at the same time. Works for me.
Final layout with adjusted borders to be 122″ square
I decided to make the Ohio Star as my test block. Oh, my, the color just died.
Test block – the color in that center fabric is NOT brown.
It didn’t get any better when I added the framing points.
Adding dark green framing points didn’t help this color combination.
At this point I went through all my stash searching for greens that would work, without success. Scratch this idea, on to plan two. Angela also has a blue colorway, almost an aqua blue.
The blue colorway of Legacy with scraps pulled from stash
Again, there weren’t any dark darks in this line, and it definitely needed the addition of some black. I pulled brown blacks, grey blacks and blue blacks. The blue blacks were leftovers from previous Scrap Squad projects. Some of the others had been in my stash for 14 years.
New test block – I’ll keep these
I chose a different fabric for the fussy cut centers of the Ohio Stars as I didn’t have enough repeats in the other fabric. I would use that later. I made all the Ohio Stars first. My design wall isn’t big enough to hold them with the framing round, so I left that until later.
All the Ohio Stars – there are lots of different fabrics in them. None repeat the same combination of fabrics
When I first started making these, I had some trouble. I was using the diagonal squares method, and I was coming up short on my seams – there wasn’t 1/4″ left outside the point. I corrected this by sewing with the point seams DOWN, so the machine would pull up a bit more of them than the top. It made the method work.
Only nine centers – I later went back and cut 2″ squares as well
I can manage to make a star out of almost any block. The central Nine Patches were no exception. This way I could use those cool tiled centers and Angela’s swirls fabric. I cut these out using Tri-Recs rulers. The Four Patches were made using strips.
Central Nine-Patch turned into 54-40 or Fight (almost)
Once these were all on the board, I started making the Nine Patch blocks that go around the outside. These can get a little bit tricky! It is so easy just to continue sewing Four Patches in the corners. STOP! They are different.
Watch where the special corner is located in relation to the directional fabric.
If you want to make it more difficult, pick a directional center fabric that you decide needs to go in the same direction every time. You can’t just make four with two corners, etc. You have to plan where each one goes.
I did it! All of the outer blocks have the corners in the correct position.
Next it was time to put the framing round on each block. I’m a “flip-and-sew” corners failure, so I don’t use that method. I cut 9 1/2″ lengths of white, then, using a Marti Michell template or an Easy Angle I whacked off the ends. Make sure you have the angle right.
Trimming sashing instead of using flip and sew method for corners
- Just cut triangles from strips in your usual method
At this point I moved from Bernie to the Juki that is next to the design wall. I’ve always used the same machine throughout a project, but I decided to mark my 1/4″ seam the same way on both machines and had no problems. There are several methods for this; I used one I learned from Jan Krentz using several layers of painter’s tape.
About four layers of painter’s tape used for seam allowance. Who put my mother’s hands at the end of my arms?
I thought I was doing a great job of adding the framing round and then putting the rows together, even without a design wall. I put the first two rows together, had to change the angle on the setting triangles, then sewed them to each other. I ended up with this:
Oops – I had originally flipped the whole row. Now I had to rip and resew the setting triangles back the way they started as well as turn the end blocks.
I waited until morning, then tackled the repair.
This is the way it is supposed to look.
I sewed just a bit longer that day than I should have, and this was the result:
The Four Patches are supposed to form a chain.
Lesson learned – it takes longer to repair your mistakes than to take proper rest breaks. I also started making better use of what design wall I did have.
Using a design wall really, really helps keep these straight
I finally finished putting the center of the top together! Now where to take a picture of it so I could look for more mistakes?
Using the top of our king-size bed for pictures
It needs about 8″ of borders on each side to cover the mattress.
Now to tackle the borders. It was an easy decision to make – the borders would be mitered. No way was I going to wrestle all that bulk three different times. Mitering really isn’t that hard . . . .
All you have to do is sew the borders on, leaving a 1/4″ seam allowance at the corners, fold the ends together and lay them flat. Draw the 45-degree angle line and sew. In my entire quilting life, I’ve never had a quilt where all four corners are easy and go together without a problem. This one was no exception.
There’s always one of the four that doesn’t quite turn out right.
Borders on – it fits the bed!
Finished top on king bed
It covers the mattresses enough that it should still be long enough after quilting.
Oops – it won’t fit Black Bart (quilting machine). It’s off to a friend’s who has a 14′ table and the same machine.
Quilt top is too large to be quilted on a 12′ table. On to plan B
My friend Linda K, a retired long-arm quilter, took pity on me and did the quilting on this monster. I wanted feathers, so she used the pantograph Bountiful Feathers designed by Hermione Agee for Lorien Quilting.
We used Quilters Dream Wool batting, and Superior So Fine top thread with Bottom Line bobbins. The backing is a wide piece of white on cream, with the addition of some very light yellow to make it wide enough.
Linda’s bountiful feathers quilting
Next I tackled 500+ inches of binding. I had a workout manipulating that bulk.
Wrestling the bulk through the machine to put on 500″+” of “Magic Binding”
At last it was finished! It was too heavy and too large for my photography backdrop holder, so out on the deck (in the wind) we went, with my husband on a step ladder to minimize the “keystone” effect.
The final product – king-size, 125″ square
It fits the bed even though I decided not to round the corners. I didn’t want to experiment with Magic Binding on a curve. I make my Magic Binding out of true straight grain strips and I didn’t have enough fabric left to cut some on the bias for the curve.
I left the corners square. The quilt is large enough to cover the mattresses on our bed, but I’m not sure we can turn over under the weight.
That’s it for this now-retired “Scrap Squader.” I’d like to welcome the new 2014 Scrap Squad. I look forward to seeing your creations!
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What an impressive king-size beauty! The high contrast is lovely and the addition of a special binding is the perfect finishing touch. Great job by Becky on this quilt and all year long. Kudos!