Monday, March 5, 2018

QST Scrap Quilt

A Second Chance Quilt: 
Scrap Blocks and Stash Borders

One of my favorite quilts ever is my 'Chicago, 2007' QST Quilt--Entry for Blogger's Quilt Festival 2015. There is such a good story behind it, and it was the first I ever long arm quilted. While combing my shelves for old projects, I came across a box full of extra blocks I'd made for it. These were too good to waste! These dark winter days needed a charge of happy colors so I set right to it.

There were about 90-95 usable blocks so I laid out a grid.

Solid Aqua at the Center

Several dark afternoons I worked at filling in the background with something to connect it all. I didn't have quite enough of any one thing,  and auditioned lots of fabrics. I had never used multiple fabrics as backgrounds to create a secondary design, and found it wasn't as easy as I thought. The aqua jumped out from the tangerine print.

Blue Stripes
The stripes blended better, but this still didn't feel right. There was such a jumble of colors working against each other.

Finally I found two blues in my scraps of similar value to work together. What was the trick?

The answer was in organizing the QST blocks by color. I gathered all the blocks with colors that would lie opposite the aqua on a color wheel. Those orange and salmon colors were really set off grouped together in the middle. I filled in the background with the tangerine print making sure the directional print all ran in the same direction. And if you squint so slightly, you will see those QST blocks with darker overall value fill the next to last outer frame. Just a little play with the value gives these scrappy blocks some real order.

Keeping It All Together

Even a diagonal setting works well to chain piece if you're careful to keep everything in good order. Some masking tape works well to number each row on one end.

I can comfortably work with 4-5 rows at a time, and chain stitch and web even large sections like this.

Each successive row has a different number of pieces when you work this way so the numbers are very important to maintain order. I laid the strips on the floor, and carefully snipped the threads that webbed them.

Then I rearranged, and checked to make sure I had straight diagonals with QSTs and background fabrics.

I made my dark aqua setting triangle larger than necessary, and trimmed them back just enough to allow the QSTs to float. Two fairly modern fabrics from my stash created borders in low volume and chocolate brown.  I liked the grounded feel of the brown fabric with the aqua and orange. This created a very different effect than the original quilt as both a border treatment and color toning down the bright center.

The design wall is 8'x8' and the top fills it. This should generously cover a full to a queen size bed when quilted, and I'm excited to have another Second Chance Quilt underway. I'll add it to my Pinterest board as soon as it's done. 

You are welcome to add any quilts you create using leftover blocks or scraps too. Send me an email to add you, and keep those scraptastic quilts coming!

Come on, Doxie girls.


Unknown said...

This is a beautiful quilt and the colors make happiness. It is interesting how small changes make a big impact. Chain piecing is clear but I do not understand the principle of web piecing. Maybe you can write a tutorial about it

Stitchin At Home said...

Colour and colour value play an integrate roll in your layout, well done! I like the addition of brown.

9658 Textiles said...

This quilt is awesome! Thank you for sharing your process, I am inspired!

Judy P. said...

I love simple quilts that rely on scraps. They have so much energy. Good work!

O'Quilts said...

Great it.

Anja @ Anja Quilts said...

Wow. I like the blue blocks. Great way to use leftover blocks.

KaHolly said...

I am so impressed with your vision!

PaulaB quilts said...

Once again you've really taught me a lot by going through your design process. Like Penelope, I don't know how to do webbing, which is clearly helpful in this complex production. Thanks for another good post.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Color and how it changes in quilt layout is always interesting, yet somewhat illusive for me.
Interesting post.
xx, Carol

Sandy Panagos said...

Our great ideas are often nit as easy as we think! I never would have thought to use dark brown as a border, but it really works! I need to try that.

Christine Slaughter said...

You really teach me to be patient with the quilt making process and to give real thought to what is-and isn't-working in a quilt. It's one of the reasons that I truly appreciate you sharing the entire process with us. Where you started, what you didn't like, and what you did to change it and bring it to it's finish. I love how the aquas and oranges work together so well, and how the brown border frames everything up and tones it down a bit without overshadowing the color. You are an amazing quilter, and teacher!

Rebecca Grace said...

I love how your dark border fabric grounds the lighter pastels. Beautiful finish, and great story behind the original quilt!

Bonnie said...

You are so right about grouping the colors together and using the values of the colors. Your design is looking terrific. Although not much of a brown fan I think this quilt really sings with those borders.

Linda Swanekamp said...

There is something magical about that blue. It gives the illusion of floating colors and holds everything together cleanly.