Scrappy Chippewa Picnic Quilt

This week I began a scrappy Chippewa Quilt. I am determined to sew more from my scrap bins this summer in an attempt to keep them from spilling all over the room. Back in April I did a round up of some of my favorite scrap-busting projects reminding me how much I love the simplistic, yet bold design of the Chippewa Quilt pattern by Allison Harris of Cluck Cluck Sew. 

I had made a version of the Chippewa Quilt back in 2016 using up a bunch of my nautical themed scraps.  It looked beautiful on the beach at Assateague Island National Seashore, but I rarely reach for it otherwise. I just find it too thematic to use on a regular basis. Living in central Pennsylvania we definitely spend more time in the woods and mountains than we do at the beach, and I just feel like mermaids don’t fit the mountain setting.

This time around I am going for a more neutral theme. Goodness knows I have plenty of scraps in every color, so I am also going to make the pattern in a radiating rainbow. The center plus of my quilt top is a left-over piece of hand printed fabric from a friend and establishes the floral motif with its loose and sketchy design. The next layer had to be purple and orchid, since that will be the smallest ring and definitely the smallest amount of any color I have in my scraps. I just don’t tend to use purple unless it is requested by a customer. From there it moves to blue, green, yellow and peach all in a mix of the same color at different value levels. Some have a floral print, some have a texture or tonal pattern, and some are solid. I tried to not be too precious about how I approached the fabric pull. I simply went on color cohesion so each ring of the design would be obvious and consistent to the eye. I also tried to use non-directional floral prints, of which I luckily have many.

For the next row, I think I’d like to use berry colors, like deep pinks instead of red. And then I think I will work to some more neutrals as the rings break down into the background. We’ll see. Part of the fun of working on a scrap quilt- especially the Chippewa- is seeing them develop as you work through it and not necessarily having everything planned out right from the start.

 Each of my squares is 4 1/2 inches, sizing up considerably from the 2 1/2 inches in Allison’s pattern. I just wanted to take a big bite out of my scrap bins and feel some instant gratification, which is easier all around with the larger piece size. Additionally, I want to make a larger, picnic sized quilt that possibly all four of us could fit on at one time. I’m not sure how many 2 1/2 inch squares that would take, but it seemed far too tedious for a summer sewing project just to haul to the lake and woods.

So far I have only worked on the quilt top for a few days as a leader-and-ender project while I finished another Expanding Stars Quilt. It has already grown quite nicely, and I expect I will be able to finish it up in plenty of time to take on our family trip to Lake Erie this summer. Luckily, I already have a fun, picnic-perfect backing already chosen! Usually having backings is the step that holds me up the longest. However, this backing fabric was given to me by a friend, consists of several yards, and has an all-over fruit print- it absolutely screams picnic quilt back! 

I can’t wait to get this one all finished up and ready for our summer travels! Having a quilt to use and enjoy on the lake and in the woods will be the perfect addition to our family getaways! xoxo, Janice

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