Quiltmaker Scrap Squad

Quiltmaker Scrap Squad
Quiltmaker Scrap Squad

Friday, December 16, 2011

Quiltmaker's - Hip to be Square

This will be my last quilt for Quiltmaker's Scrap Squad 2011.  This has been a very fun year getting to make quilts for the Scrap Squad.  Most of all, "thanks" to all the other Scrap Squad ladies for their inspirations, fun times and sharing over the past year.  You will find lots of good pictures and ideas on their blogs:
          Dionne in Washington
          Jane in Tennessee
          Ruthie in Indiana
          Kim in New York
          Carol in Ohio
          Linda in California
          Pat in New Brunswick, Canada

I am a new Electric Quilt user and this is my first attempt to draw a specific block, put it into a quilt setting, color it, rotate it, and just have fun exploring how this block could be used.  The Hip to Be Square block is designed by Elizabeth Dackson and has proved to be a very versatile, pretty block that I like a lot.

Usually, I am drawn to use bright, clear colors but, after trying several colors in EQ I decided to use a more subdued color pallet.  The centers of the blocks are all very “scrappy”.  The corner units, the rectangle with triangle on the end, are the same fabrics in all blocks.

Fabrics I used

Two blocks, with one rotated

Since this quilt is called Hip to Be Square, I thought, maybe, I could make it “more hip” if I added more squares.  So by rotating every other block until the corner aqua units came together, instead of the 4 patch unit, a new aqua square was made inside a larger white square, which turned out to be “on point”.

Once the blocks were completed, I laid them out like the original pattern and then tried them with every other block rotated.   I liked both, but decided to use the rotated version for my quilt.

Straight set, like pattern in magaine

With every other block rotated

When I am going to make a pieced border, I like to pull out an element from the block.  The centers of the Hip to Be Square block made a great border with each border separated with a one inch piece of background fabric.  By just putting the squares around the corners, I can always get a perfect fit on the border, because I can adjust the size in the center background fabric of the border.

My finished Hip to Be Square quilt.

One tip that I would like to share.  Instead of drawing a diagonal mark on each square to be added to the rectangle unit, I made a piece of cardboard, just larger than the square, corner to corner, held it down as I sewed along the side of it.  Saved a lot of time and the markings on the black square was too hard to see anyway.

Using a cardboard to mark and sew diaganol line

Monday, November 28, 2011

Quiltmaker Dream Catcher

Finished Christmas Dream Catcher

    Quiltmaker's Scrap Squad
Dream Catcher -  My Christmas  Memories     by Donna Amos  
                     for Nov/Dec 2011         
Each year over the past ten years or so I have made a Christmas quilt. 
When I first saw this pattern, I immediately thought of the stash of Christmas fabrics setting on my shelf and knew that it would become my 2011 Christmas Quilt.  I have had more fun selecting the fabrics to use in this quilt than any of the quilts we have done this year.

The black with “Christmas trees” and “snow” was the first fabric selected to be the background, and then I chose all the brightly colored “packages” to go around the trees.  The peppermint stripe was used in a border and for the “candies” along with the brown/gray which was the “Choclate Chips” for the cookies.  In the border background, candies and cookies, are the “white sugar cookie” fabric with the red and green sprinkles.  Then last but not least would be the brightly colored strings of Flying Geese “Christmas lights.” 

This a paper pieced quilt, so with all the copies that I needed, I folded the paper on the sewing lines.  I had pre-cut the approximate sizes that I needed, so then pinned the fabric to the back side of the paper pattern, sew the lines, pressed on the right side and trimmed the bock. 

 For the way I chose to put the blocks together, it took 4 blocks with the tree fabric and 4 blocks with the various colors of the "packages"

8 Paper pieced blocks

I tried several different layouts, but ended up with this one, always trying to put some version of  blue, red, yellow and green in each quarter of the quilt.

Checking layout before sewing

After the blocks were sewn together, I press all seams open to make a flatter surface for the quilting, expecially where the "candy" came together at the centers.

back of quilt, seams pressed open

The flying geese units were made, not as paper pieced units, but using my Fons & Porter Flying Geese ruler.  It is so accurate and doesn't waste any fabric.  It was easy to measure the paper piece pattern and cut the geese to the proper size.  I thought they made a good string of Christmas Tree lights!

Dream Catcher before quilting

For the backing, I selected some Christmas fabrics from my stash.  They turned out cute enough that I now have a two sided quilt.  I also put a sleeve at the top so the quilt can be used as a wall hanging.

Backing on Dream Catcher

Dream Catcher as a wall hanging

Or used as a sofa throw

Check out other versions of Quiltmaker's Dream Catcher the Scrap Squad blogs.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Story of Quiltmaker's Scrap Squad 2011

The Story of the Quiltmaker’s Scrap Squad 2011
And How the Scrap Squad Stars & Bars Quilt was made for Diane Harris

By Donna Amos
November 15, 2011

The Quiltmaker Scrap Squad 2011 was formed in December 2010 when Quiltmaker sent out emails to subscribers to see if there were quilters that would like to get a quilt pattern to try it out before the magazine was published.  The Scrap Squad members could make the pattern in any size, fabric, color they wanted, and include their ideas into the quilt.  They had to have a quilt top finished before the magazine with the pattern was printed.  The magazine is printed every two months, so there would be 6 quilts in one year.

Quiltmaker suggested that each of us have our personal blog and post pictures and how we made our quilts, including any problems we encountered.

Many entries were received by Quiltmaker. The following were selected to be the Quiltmaker Scrap Squad 2011.
1.    Linda Ferguson              California
2.    Carol Vickers                  Ohio
3.    Jane Jacobson               Tennessee
4.    Ruthie Wasmuth           Indiana
5.    Donna Amos                  Arkansas
6.    Kimberly Brandt            New York
7.    Pat St-Onge                    New Brunswick, Canada
8.    Dionne Gordon              Washington

The Scrap Squad quilts would be posted and reviewed on Quiltmaker’s blog, QuiltyPleasures.  Diane Volk Harris, Interactive Editor would supervise the group.  All photos, patterns and instruction were done through e-mails.

There have been literally hundreds of emails between the Scrap Squad members and Diane, sharing photos of what we were doing, asking and giving suggestions and advice, just enjoying talking quilts and getting acquainted.

The patterns selected by Quiltmaker for us to make quilts were:
1.    Rhapsody in Bloom by Doug Leko – Mar/Apr 2011
2.    Raspberry Dessert by Julie Herman – May/June 2011
3.    Spinout by Barbara Cline – July/Aug 2011
4.    Linkin Logs by June Dudley – Sept/Oct 2011
5.    Dream Weaver- Artist Unknown-Collection of Joanna S Rose-Nov/Dec 2011
6.    It’s Hip to be Square by Elizabeth Dackson Jan/Feb 2012

We all have enjoyed the projects this year and as we started getting closer to the end of our time with the Scrap Squad we started to think about what a good leader that Diane had been to all of us.  She always had words of encouragement, did wonderful reviews of our quilts, came up with several “stash enhancements” for each of us, and is just an inspiration.

We decided that we wanted to make a friendship quilt for Diane.  Ideas flew over the internet. As we put out ideas, voted on them, and agreed that we wanted to each to make a star block with our name in the center and would like to use some of the blocks that Diane had designed for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks magazines.  Paula, from Quiltmaker sent a pdf. file with Diane’s patterns and Jane began her magic with Electric Quilt and made several patterns for us to look at.

We all agreed on the pattern Jane drafted with Diane’s  Bar None Block, Writer’s Block, Block Positive and an individual Signature Star Block each of us could choose.  The quilt would be blue and yellow.  Jane let all of us know how many blocks to make, contacted Paula about Quiltmaker helping us with the backing and borders, which they did.  Linda volunteered to set the blocks together, Donna volunteer to machine embroidery the Scrap Squad center block, Pat volunteered to provide the batting, to quilt and bind the quilt.

The group decided that we wanted to give this quilt a name.  Several made suggestions, actually there were 11 possibilities put out.  We voted on a name for the quilt and we called it  Scrap Squad Stars and Bars.

Scrap Squad Stars and Bars has got to be one of the most traveled quilts ever!  Fabric from Quiltmaker in Colorado was sent to each of the states mentioned above.  Blocks were made in the different states, and then sent to California to be set together.  Linda sent the top to New Brunswick, Canada to be quilted and finished.  On November 8, 2011, Pat mailed the finished quilt to June in Colorado for a surprise presentation to Diane. And then, Diane will take it home to Nebraska.  All made with much friendship and love.

The Label for Scrap Squad Stars and Bars  made for Diane Harris by Quiltmaker’s Scrap Squad 2011

Our many thanks go to June Dudley and Paula Stoddard of Quiltmaker for their help in this project.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Tour

Have been enjoying seeing all the blogs and the designers comments.

Looking forward to seeing the new 100 Blocks Magazine.

I'm now working on  the last quilt for this year that Quiltmaker's Scrap Squad will be making.  It will be in the Jan/Feb 2012 magazine.  It is a great pattern and the photo's that I am seeing from all the Scrap Squad ladies makes it something to look forward to.

Also, for any of you that are in the Golden, Colorado area, Quiltmaker is having a Scrap Squad Show during November and December 2011.  Each of the Scrap Squad members have sent three quilts that we have made this year.  The show is at
 Creative Crafts Group, 741 Corporate Circle, Golden, Colorado

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

More Quiltmaker Scrap Squad Quilts

Finished Linkin' Log Quilt

For the Sept/Oct 11 Quiltmaker Magazine, the Scrap Squad was given the pattern called Linkin' Logs.

The original was designed and made by June Dudley, QM Editor-in-Chief, in oranges and greens with a black background.

I have long been a feed sack collector, but have trouble when it comes to cutting into the sack fabric.  I am really stingy with the feed sacks!!!!  I thought this might be just the pattern that could temp me to use a feed sack background.  In my collection, I found four like kind of patterned sacks from the 1940's that I thought could work.  So my theme became "Something Old, Something New".  The "old" would be the feed sacks and the "New" would be the different shades of reds and teals from my stash and the "stash enhancements" from Quiltmaker's Diane.

A good variety let me make each log from a different fabric
 Making the Z block:
Each block was made from 2 reds (a dark and a light), 2 teals(a dark and a light) and the background feed sack fabric.  Since I was going to make each round log a different fabric, I desided to cut and sew one row at a time which made it easier to keep up with the fabric changes.

The Z block can be constructed like a big 9-patch, building the corner, center and side units before putting the 9-patch together.

I always kept the color placement in the same position.  Looking at the center partial seam unit, the dark red at the 12 o'clock position, the light teal at the 3 O'clock position, the light red at the 6 O'clock position and the dark teal at the 9 O'clock position.

Note the color rotation of corner pieces to form 1/2 of log

All blocks are the same layout, just rotated as the quilt rows are built


Making the Y Block:
The Y block completes rounded logs on the  top row, the bottom row and side rows.

See all block sizes, cutting instruction and for the block rotation in the section called "Assembling the Quilt Top"in the Quiltmaker September/October 2011 magazine.

It is most helpful to use a design wall when building the rows.  Mine is a flannel backed, plastic table cloth.  Usually put on a king size bed, sometimes on the floor,  when laying out the blocks.  When I'm not using it, can be folded and the blocks will stay in place.  This photo was before the Y blocks were added to the right side.


Laying out blocks

Making the Half Square Triangles (HST)

My Linkin' Log is like the magazine pattern, except that I made the half-square triangles (HST) a little different.  I cut fabric squares 3" instead of 2 7/8".  Made the diagonal line across the back, sewed a 1/4" seam on each side of the line and cut into 2 pieces on the drawn line.  This is how mine is different.  My favorite tool for making these HST is the Quilt In A Day Triangle Trimmer.  The extra room on the 3" square makes the trimmed HST a perfect 2 1/2" square every time

Red dotted line on sewing line and trim

Adding Borders:
The first border is the background sack fabric, to make the logs look like they are floating.  The 2nd border is a narrow dark teal. The last wider border is teal and white stripe.

Linkin' Log Quilt with 3 borders added


The corners are different on this quilt.  They are OK, but not something that I will regularly make.

The quilt is ready to go to Glenda Wilkerson to be machine quilted.  I chose a teal thread for the quilting, and as I usually do for quilts that are to get quite a bit of use, had Glenda split the batting in half, which make a light weight quilt that is comfortable and washes well.

How I do my Quilt Bindings:
I cut the binding fabric into 2 1/4" strips, width of fabric, and then sew them into one long piece.  This quilt took 8 strips.  Fold the binding in half, wrong sides together. Press.

Quilt ready to sew on binding
With the quilt face up, using a walking foot on the sewing machine, stitch a 1/4" seam around the quilt.

Since the corners on this quilt are different, I wasn't sure how the mitered corners would work, but they came out OK.  Just sewed to1/4" from the corner, then turned the binding back, away from quilt, and then back on itself to start down the next side.  When turned, this will become a "mitered corner".

At the end, sew the 2 pieces of binding together to complete the binding.

Now the quilt is ready for a "trim"  Cut the batting and backing along the 1/4" seam on the top side of the quilt.  Be very careful not to make a snip or cut into the quilt. Fold the binding over the cut edge, pin and then hand stitch the binding to the backing.  Always use a thread the color of the binding and your stitches won't show.

Linkin' Log Quilt is now finished and ready to use.  This was a very fun pattern to make and I think has a lot of possibilities.

P.S.  I'm glad I used some of my feed sacks!

Other places to see different versions of this pattern:
Check out the other Quiltmaker Scrap Squad members Linkin Logs.  You can see them reviewed on Quilitmaker's blog, QuiltyPleasures by Diane Harris.

Scrap Squad Blogs:

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Quiltmaker's Scrap Squad Quilt for June

Quiltmaker's July-August magazine will be coming out this week.  The Scrap Squad's assignment for this magazine is designer Barbara Cline's SPINOUT.  This is a paper pieced pattern that uses two colors of fabric at a time to make a triangle block.  The various color combinations produce a great looking, contemporary, quilt by arranging the colors into the spokes of the Spinout.  The triangles are sewn into rows that are then sewn into an overall tessellation pattern.

Barbara's other patterns and work can be seen at her website or her blog.

Look for other Quiltmaker Scrap Squad Members Spinouts on their Blogs

Starting June 2nd,Quiltmaker's QuiltyPleasures will be featuring each of the scrap squad's quillts

This is my version of SPINOUT, in a scrappy way, before it was quilted

How I Made my Spinout

Pattern Outline

First I copied the pattern outline, colored and numbered it with the pattern numbers 1 - 12.  This would tell me how the different color combinations should be laid out.

I eventually changed the yellow colors to browns

Browns & Greens

The next job was to select the fabrics to be used.  I choose browns, greens, salmon to brick reds, and a neutral for the background.

Greens, Reds & Neutrals

The pattern calls for 264 paper copies of the triangle foundations.  I purchased the lightest weight paper that would feed well through my ink jet printer (20 lb), printed the pages  and then rough cut the triangle patterns apart. 

 At first, I thought, using the guide for the 12 different combinations of Units 1 through 12, I could mark the colors and how many I would need of each color combination.  But, because later, I did not like the look of everything being very scrappy and the Sprinouts were not as crisp as I wanted them to be, I eventually started making all 6 spokes of the Spinout from one fabric and liked it much better

I made a pattern of each part of the triangle by adding an additional paper to the side that was cut in two.  This allowed my to determine how much fabric would be needed for pattern and pattern 2.

The fabric for the two correct colors are placed behind the paper pattern, leaving about 1/4" over the sewing line.  I usually would fold it back to check that enough fabric was behind the pattern piece.  Then I would stitch on the sewing line.

After the block is sewn, sprayed with starch and pressed, I would then trim the block accurately.

Note how the finished block has the color on the opposite side as is marked on the pattern front.  Because in paper piecing you always put your fabric back to the back of the pattern when sewing.  This will reverse how the pattern is printed, but allows you to always see the sewing line on top of the pattern.

Finished block will be opposide of pattern front

A group of trimmed blocks, ready to sort and start building the rows of the quilt

I sorted the different color combinations into groups

Then using a flannel backed table cloth for a design wall (on bed below), and  using the colored outline from the first step, I put the triangles together to make the Spinout pattern.

Next, the paper was removed and the Spinout triangles were laid out on the design wall (now on the floor).

Then I picked up the triangles,by row, pinned them together and sewed them into rows. 
 There are 12 rows in this throw.

I press all seams open.  This really helped in matching the points and distributed the fabric bulk evenly.

For the border, I choose a brick and black colored strip 1 1/2" for the inner border and a brick color , small black print 
 3 1/2" for the outer border.  I thought it needed something else, and found some very flat, black 1/4" braid in my stash.  I washed a test piece of the braid to check for colorfastness.  It passed fine, so I then sewed on the braid, by hand, over the seam between the two borders.

Choosing a backing was the next step for me.  As I thought about it, because I had so many left over triangle pieces, I desided that a Spinout Tic-Tac-Toe game would be a fun idea.  So instead of a one fabric backing, I pieced mine.

               First because I had some leftover neutral layer cake pieces that were 10" squares, that became the size for the tic-tac-toe board

Added a green border, then a brick red border around the center.  I then sewed some of the leftover triangles into rows to make the backing be longer.  And finally added a wider green and neutral border to make the backing large enough to cover the quilt top.

For the game pieces, I sewed one of the 'A" pattern pieces to a paper pieced Spinout triangle, right sides together,           leaving an opening at the bottom for turning.  Clipped the corners, turned and stuffed with fiber fill and slip stitched the opening closed.

I made 5 game pieces with red for the main color and 5 pieces with green for their main color. 
These represent the "X" and "O" for the game.
Then made a small bag with a drawstring to hold the game pieces so they would stay together

After the quilting, ready for a Spinout Tic-Tac-Toe game

I selected a brick colored thread for the quilting and a small swirly quilting pattern to be machine quilted.
My Spinout quilt was machine quilted by Glenda Wilkinson of the Fabric Shed.

I liked how the dark thread came out.  It I think it looked good on the backing too.

I really like how the quilt turned out, but while making it I sometimes felt that it was quite tedious.  The pattern was easy.  The only problem was, being so scrappy, it took me a lot of time to get the color/fabric changes right.  It could be that was because this is my first paper pieced quilt.  If it was made like the pattern calls for, only 4 fabrics, would make it go together  much easier. 

All said and done, I like my Spinout Quilt!