Quiltmaker’s Scrap Squad is a small select group of readers who make scrap quilts from QM patterns. We share their creations on Quilty Pleasures to inspire you to make scrappy quilts from the fabrics you already own. Doesn’t that sound like fun?
Today’s quilt is from Quiltmaker’s brand new May/June issue, on newsstands now. You can also get it directly from us in print or digital format.
Today’s featured quilt is Chop Suey, designed and made by Scott Flanagan from Fremont, Nebraska. It’s one of three designs by male quilters in this issue. Scott’s quilt, below, is made with Bali Batiks from Hoffman California Fabrics.
Julie Huffman from Lenore, Idaho created today’s colorful version of Chop Suey. You’ll hear from Julie in her own words below.
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For my second Scrap Squad project I was given the pattern Chop Suey. I was attracted to the pattern by the strong graphic lines, yet they had an appearance of being a bit random. The pattern was labeled pre-cut friendly and I didn’t think twice. I wanted to use batiks. Over time I have cut my scraps into usable pieces for projects, so I went straight to these.
I stayed with the pattern dimensions and the number of blocks and started pulling strips and 5″ squares in the brighter tones. I did not realize how many different fabrics I had crammed in the drawers and soon decided that I would try to use each piece only once.
I laid the fabrics out to make sure I didn’t have duplicates and kept counting until I came up with 105 batiks. Some of the fabrics are very close to each other but different. The strips are not all full width strips, but if they were at least 10″ long, I put them in the strip box.
I had a 4-yard piece of pale blue batik, exactly what the pattern listed for background. After cutting all the pieces, I assembled the blocks randomly and put them on the design wall to get a balance of color before sewing the rows together.
I knew I didn’t want to do a solid border so I went through the leftover strips looking for some that had at least 5″ of length left. The border has duplicates, and not all fabrics from the center of the quilt are used. I randomly sewed the strips together until I got to the correct border length. I used background to fill in the corners.
Hint: When a top is finished and before it is quilted, I recommend straight stitching around the edge of the top to stabilize it and to keep the seams from popping. I stitch at a very scant 1/4″ to stay inside the binding seam line.
For backing I went to my collection of multicolored batiks and pulled out some that I really couldn’t picture using or that hadn’t worked for other projects. After figuring out a size for the backing, I used my tile floor as a guide and laid the pieces out until I roughly had the right size, and then I assembled the back. I did have to insert one strip to make it wide enough.
I chose to do a random all-over design using my machine with a slightly larger throat area. I had to try to remember to change directions on my swirls when I got to the halfway point and turned the quilt. With all the straight lines in the quilt top, I wanted to add some interest with the quilting. I tried to do wavy lines that increased and decreased in size and then I went back between each set of lines to add the “puddles.”
I went back to the batik strip drawer and pulled out pieces to make a binding using many different colors. Here is the finished quilt.
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Get the 2.5″ Carnivale Strip Collection from Keepsake Quilting: Perfect for this quilt!