Monday, December 31, 2018

Good Fortune Clue #6

This week was clue #7 in Bonnie Hunter's 2018 Mystery Quilt, Good Fortune. There were three ways to achieve this step - string piecing, strip piecing, or solid pieces of neutral. Those that chose the third option - using only one neutral fabric - were told not to cut anything this week and skip this step until later when they would be told how to cut their fabric. I chose string piecing and finished the same day as the clue was posted, last Friday.

We should be getting close to the end and the big reveal. Bonnie has said to stay tuned because clues may not be posted when you are expecting them to be.

To follow along and see all the other color choices that people are using, click here for Mystery Monday Link-Up, Part 6!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Good Fortune Clue #5

Merry Christmas to all! Every week we are getting closer to the big reveal in Bonnie Hunter's 2018 Winter Mystery. I was able to complete clue #5 with no problems on the day (evening, actually) that the clue was revealed. I wanted to use the Essentrial Triangle ruler, but couldn't find it so I resorted to the "old school" method of using the Easy Angle and Companion Angle rulers. It worked out fine. I am subbing yellow to gold fabrics for the orange that Bonnie is using and dark green for her blue. I am hoping for a quilt with a Christmasy vibe. Here is my completed clue #5 shown with the other four clues. I am pleased with the colors. This should make a nice Christmas themed quilt.

I am linking up with others who are posting at Bonnie's web site. Click here to look at what others have accomplished this week.

I continue to make blocks for the Virginia Bound quilt being made for a relative, using shirts from her late husband. It is an easy process to make these blocks, albeit not terribly fast. Now that there are six stars completed, the secondary pattern made by the light triangles has appeared.

This pattern is in Bonnie Hunter's book, Scraps and Shirttails (the first one, not Scraps and Shirttails II), and is the very first pattern in the book. The second pattern, Cactus Patch, has also captured my eye and I am getting sucked into making that next. I sewed up a test block last night to see if I like it and I do! The centers of the blocks are 4" finished scrappy string pieced blocks. After the Christmas festivities are over  I will pull out my treadle to complete the blocks needed for the quilt. Last night I used the Pfaff sewing machine to make 8 of the 4" blocks which work up very quickly. I really enjoy treadling, so will put off making the remainder until Wednesday when I can use the treadle and not worry about the mess that will be made in the living room, where the treadle lives. Here's the "test" block.

I haven't seen this pattern shown in Bonnie's Show & Tell sessions at the various places she has taught workshops. Pinterest only has a few pics as well and several of the photos are actually from Bonnie's web site or book. There hasn't been many (if any) requests for workshops for this quilt either. At least that I can find. Maybe it's not one that Bonnie offers for workshops.I did find a few references to this quilt on Bonnie Quiltville blog, including the original antique quilt that was her inspiration.

Bonnie's instructions indicate the the half square triangles can go any which way. That combined with the string pieced centers make for a relaxing project. Her instructions call for the conventional method of add 7/8" to the finished size for cutting the strips to make the half square triangle patches. Using her updated way of making these, I was able to use strips cut 1/2" larger than the finished size and cut the triangles with her Essential Triangle ruler.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Good Fortune Clue #4

This week's clue in Bonnie Hunter's Good Fortune mystery quilt can be done four ways. I chose the string piecing method, since I really like string piecing. I found a phone book that was relatively large, so I was able to get four blocks from each paper foundation. The pieces flew through the sewing machine and I was finished in record time.

I am using yellow to gold fabrics in lieu of orange, as in Bonnie's palette. To see what others are doing, click

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Good Fortune Clue #3

I was really dreading the chevron blocks that Bonnie had for us in clue #3. I had made these blocks in previous years for her mystery and it was a sad tale indeed. Mine were quite wonky in many cases. However this time I used her Bonus Buddy ruler according to her directions and was amazed to find that all of the chevrons and bonus half square triangle blocks came out spot on. Almost no trimming - except for dog ears - was needed. I am a happy camper.

I am using grass or lime green for the darker green that Bonnie calls for. I substituted very dark forest green for the blue called for in the pattern. My intention is to make a Christmas quilt and with any luck these substitutions will work. To see all the other wonderful color palettes, head on over to Bonnie's blog.

I am going back and forth between Bonnie's mystery quilt and Gyleen Fitzgerald's Bricks, Cobblestones and Pebbles QAL on her Facebook page of the same name. Bonnie's clues are posted on Fridays and Gyleen's on Tuesdays. So far I have been able to finish the mystery clue well before the following Tuesday. I am now in the process of seaming together the QAL blocks. It is a bit of a puzzle as there are several partial seams required to put the top together. I am methodically working through Gyleen's instructions after first thinking I could just wing it. It's a little more complicated than that.

The colors look washed out in this photo. Next time it should be all sewn together and I will attempt a more saturated photo that shows the colors better.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Good Fortune Clue #2 & Monday Link-Up

Bonnie Hunter's 2018 mystery quilt, Good Fortune, is on the second week of clues. I finished clue #2 yesterday evening. The task was to make a slew of half square triangles. I used paper foundations found online at Quilting and What Not. Each sheet makes multiples of half square triangle units which allowed me to complete the clue in record time. I have substituted dark green for Bonnie's chosen color blue since I am making a Christmas quilt.

Here are four of this week's units arranged as a pinwheel and paired with the four patch units from last week's clue #1.

To see what others are doing, check out the Monday Link_up over at Bonnie's blog: Monday Link-Up.

I am also working on Gyleen Fitzgerald's Weaver QAL on Facebook. This is a preliminary arrangement of the blocks completed so far. There will be lots of moving blocks around as I make more. I chose the Kaffe paperweight fabric in pumpkin as the unifyimg fabric but now I am thinking it would have been better to choose something brighter and less busy. Live and learn.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Good Fortune Clue # 1

This is the quilt I am not making this year. Ha! That was my first inclination. Then I decided, per Bonnie's suggestion, to make just 12 of each clue. Then only half and now all of them. It's so addicting and I blame Bonnie for being the enabler. I decided to make a Christmas quilt from this year's mystery. I have always liked the colors in Bonnie's Carolina Christmas from Scraps & Threadtails II.

So in my version, neutrals = neutrals, red = red, light/bright green = green, yellow/gold = orange, and deep darkest forest green = blue. I think it will work out fine. I have a number of Christmas fabrics and a fair number are glittery or metallic. This is the first time I have changed up Bonnie's colors preferring in the past to take the easy route and use what her pattern states. Iam almost finished with this week's clue with about two dozen left to do.

Today is MysteryMonday Link-Up over on Bonnie's blog. To see what everyone else is up to, click here. Today's post has lots of other good information as well, such as a report on a party held each year in Chandler, AZ to kick off Bonnie's annual mystery, how to make a label for your mystery quilt, and Cyber Monday sale at the Quiltville shop. I downloaded the Punkin Patch table runner pattern. Lots of good deals available.

I am also participating in Gyleen Fitzgerald's Bricks, Cobblestones, and Pebbles QAL over on Facebook. This is a closed group, but it's not too late to join in. Search under "Gyleen" in Facebook and the page should pop up. Then click on it and ask to join. The next task will be posted tomorrow. So far we have only been tasked to select fabrics from our stash.

I made one of each type of block to see how I like my fabric choices. I am using neutrals with orange for the centers. I broke open a Bali Pop Cappucino bundle that has been hanging around for at least 10 years, dating to the time when Bali was the only company putting out jelly rolls. These two blocks are from the darkest strips; there are lighter strips in the pack which will definitely be needed to lighten things up. They were hand cut back then and required some trimming in several instances. Time to use them up!

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving Day

A quick post before we head out for the family Thanksgiving dinner. This quilt is finally finished and destined for Home Sweet Home, a local charity that provides furniture and soft furnishings for people moving into proper living quarters from homelessness. The pattern is Criss Cross Applesauce and can be found here.

The pattern uses a layer cake bundle. I had one on hand from Kate Spain so that is what I used. The problem was that there were many large patterned floral fabrics in the bundle which did not make for a very calm quilt. I added some Kaffe aboriginal dot fabrics to try and tone things down a bit. I am not all that enamored of this quilt and added the black and white border because I felt it needed something a bit less colorful somewhere. That said, a local speaker we had at guild last year absolutely loved it. Go figure.

I quilted it using rulers. I cannot say that ruler work is fun or even particularly accurate. At least in my case. I found it very difficult to get consistent results. And it was very tiring trying to keep the ruler and the quilt moving in unison. My hat off to those that have mastered it. I much prefer free motion quilting even with the less than stellar results I produce.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Projects on the Design Wall

Our guild makes "tummy time" quilts for a local organization, Nurses for Newborns. The visiting nurses include these small quilts (24" x 36") in the items they take when visiting a new mother for the first time. Since babies now sleep on their backs, they sometimes do not get enough "tummy time" which helps to strengthen their necks and upper back. These are the ideal size for newborns and they are also small enough to tuck into a diaper bag. The moms can use them in public restrooms to cover the baby changing table as well (I wonder how often those things are cleaned) as using them as a cuddle quilt in the car.

I have lost track of how many I have made. Probably upwards of 50. This is the latest one. The green dog fabric has been in my stash for years, dating back to when I first started quilting and thought collecting dog and cat fabric was just the ticket. The small Chinese coin strips are cutoffs from a raffle quilt I recently finished for the guild to donate to the retreat center we use each fall. The backing and binding fabric is the very last bit of a bolt of fabric I bought when a quilt shop near me closed years ago. The print has the name of many different dog breeds printed on it. Other than my time in making it, this cost me nothing and used up some fabrics that needed some love.

I recently acquired Pamela Goecke Dinsdorf's  (Aardvark Quilts) latest book, "Parallel Lines." This is the cover quilt and it is hand appliqued. Very easy because the curves are gentle and the pieces are large, about 10" in length. The book is published by Quiltmania, which means that although the quality is good, the book is pricier than normal. And now I can't find it. It's here somewhere (I hope) although I have taken it to guild meetings and gatherings with friends, so it could have been left behind somewhere. I don't think so because my name and address are on the inside cover and I would like to think that someone would have found it and let me know.

I collected as many striped fabrics as I could find at a recent quilt show in Springfield, MO. The blocks are on the wall in no particular order. I just threw them up there as I finished them. If memory serves, the pattern calls for 24 blocks, each with two of the "petals". After the blocks are sewn together, the horizontal pieces (just pinned on at present) are appliqued over the horizontal seams. The books is wonderful and as the title implies, features projects made with striped fabrics. I love nearly every single one in the book and frankly don't think there is a dud among them.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

I'm Back!

Yes, it's been almost a year since I last posted. I started this blog the first year that I participated in Bonnie Hunter's Mystery Quilt in order to have a vehicle to join in Linky Mondays to show my progress on the mystery. Since then I have found that Instagram more and more suited my need to post pictures of my quilting projects and I let this blog slide.

Last year I sat out "On Ringo Lake", Bonnie's 2017 mystery. The 2016 mystery, "En Provence" still sits in parts and pieces although all the blocks are made as well as the sashing. They need "only" to be sewn together. I was hesitant to join in this year because of all the other projects that I have going on.

I was going to skip this year's mystery as well, but have decided now to jump in. But then I watched QuiltCam last night in which Bonnie joined with Holly Ann of String & Story. Holly and Bonnie discussed how to change out colors from the published ones that Bonnie has chosen. I felt more confident in being able to choose my own colors this year after watching QuiltCam. Plus Holly Ann has a weekly get together on her blog Friday evenings and she is going to focus on making the mystery quilt with her Rock Stars. It sounded like fun and there will be a community every Friday during mystery season that sews together. It will (hopefully) keep me on track to get the quilt done this year.

I have tweaked her colors a little bit to give me a Christmas vibe. I really like the colors in Bonnie's "Carolina Christmas" which was originally a mystery quilt (2009?) and is now a published pattern in her book "Scraps & Threadtails II". That quilt is my inspiration for the color palette I have chosen. I may only do half the clues each week, just to keep things sane and because the quilt is not as large as in past years (72" x 72") so it wouldn't serve as a bed quilt for my queen size bed in any case. Here is my fabric pull, all from stash.

Red is red, light/bright green is green, yellow subs for orange, dark green subs for blue, neutrals are neutrals. A number of the fabrics are sparkly or have metallic gold in them and several are actual Christmas prints. I think it looks fairly Christmasy.