QM Scrap Squad: Spinout by Donna

QM scrap squadB QM Scrap Squad: Spinout by Donna

Today's featured Scrap Squad member is Donna Amos from Arkansas.

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Donna Amos

The featured pattern is Spinout from page 46 of the July/August '11 issue of Quiltmaker. Spinout was designed by Barbara Cline. Barbara blogs at, where you can see more of her intricate designs.

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Spinout, patterned in July/August '11 Quiltmaker. Art Gallery Fabrics.

Now look below: I wonder if Donna was thinking ahead to autumn when she planned her colors. Aren't they stunning?! One of the things that makes this quilt work is the variety of fabrics within each color. See how the greens differ? Donna wasn't afraid to throw in some interest. And the reds and oranges don't “match,” which is a good thing.

There are a few fabrics that dip into the next portion of the color wheel, like the orangey-gold on the quilt's left side. Not every blade in a Spinner is from the same fabric. All of these were brave choices that paid off mightily for Donna.

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Donna's Spinout top before quilting

The quilting adds texture and pulls the whole piece together.

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The quilt is also interesting to look at because there are areas of both high and low contrast in the quilt. This works well in a design where the same shape is repeated many times over. The variety in contrast breaks up the repetition of the shapes to add “zing.”

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Donna's finished Spinout


Did you notice how Donna arranged the background fabrics? This adds another spark to the quilt.

Not only is Donna's quilt lovely from the front, it has a special surprise on the back! In Donna's words, here's what happened:

When I…was thinking about a backing, I really didn't have a matching piece of fabric large enough. But I had so many leftover Spinout blocks, I thought there must be something I could do…for a pieced back. To tell the truth, I was driving down the road and the idea of a Spinout Tic-Tac-Toe game just popped into my head. So instead of a one-fabric backing, I decided to piece mine.

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Donna's pieced back

I had some leftover pieces that were 10″, and that became the size for the Tic-tac-toe board. I added green and brick-colored borders around the center, then sewed some of the triangles into rows to make the backing longer. I added green and neutral border pieces to make it large enough.

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Tic-tac-toe pieces and their drawstring bag

For the game pieces, I sewed one of the “A” pattern pieces to a paper pieced triangle, right sides together,  leaving an opening at the bottom for turning. I clipped the corners, turned, stuffed with fiberfill and slip-stitched the opening. (I made 5 pieces with red for the main color and 5 pieces with green for the main color.)

Then I made a small drawstring bag for the game pieces.

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Tic-tac-toe anyone?

I'm betting Donna will have fun with some special loved ones and her game of Tic-tac-toe.

Incidentally, I wanted to share with you that Donna is 77 years young! I asked her to share some thoughts with us:

I am quite fortunate to be well and able to be busy all the time…never enough hours in the day to do all I want to. My husband, Clarence, and I will be celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary the 22nd of this month. We have always lived in NW Arkansas. Have two children and four grandchildren.

I have always loved to sew, mostly making my clothing with a few baby quilts added through the years. When I retired in 1999, after 41 years in Information Technology, I discovered the joys of quilting and have never tired of it. When I first decided that I wanted to learn to make a quilt, I watched all the TV quilting shows, Alex Anderson, Eleanor Burns, Fons & Porter and so on, subscribed to all the quilting magazines I could find, searched the internet for quilt block patterns, and was pretty much “self taught.” The part of quilt making I like best is choosing the pattern, then selecting the colors and fabrics to make the quilt. Most of my quilts are machine quilted, as I am too impatient to do hand quilting, and there is always another quilt that needs to be made.

There is so much that changes from year to year in the tools, fabrics and all that is available to us. I think that as we grow older we have to adapt to that change or be left behind. Learning to use a new ruler or another tool seems to let me be more productive. I have always loved a challenge and have always been one of the first in line to see if I could conquer it. Locally, I have many friends, in my age group, that enjoy making quilts for others, taking classes, finding new patterns. Always something to look forward to.

This year, being in Quiltmaker's Scrap Squad has been very exciting and rewarding to me. All of the members are so nice and so talented. It is such fun to get an email or a picture of what they are working on. I love seeing how each of us get such different results from the same pattern.

Donna sounds like someone I could be friends with!

Seven more Spinout quilts to share with you in the days to come, along with an alternate method to replace the paper foundations and a fabric giveaway. Stay tuned!

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Read about the Scrap Squad!

Visit the Scrap Squad on QCA.

See an earlier Scrap Squad project.




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