Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Grand Illusion - Clue #3

Greetings!  I know I missed the Clue #2 post, but sometimes life gets in the way.  I know you all understand that.  Here are the links to Clues 2 & 3 from the Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt!

Clue #2
Clue #3

If you are interested in seeing the in-progress quilts of others in this grand quilt-along of thousands, be sure to check out the big blog/Pinterest/Instagram link-up HERE.  Scroll to the bottom and see all the beautiful quilts being made across the globe!  Europe, South Africa, South America, Canada, Asia, Australia...all represented.  It's glorious!

For Clue #2 I used the first method Bonnie showed.  I did this because I messed up Clue #1 so badly that I didn't want to waste any fabric on Clue #2.  Method one had no waste and used 2.5" strips.  There was a bit of drama on Facebook around the challenge of Clue #2 and the printing of the template. Frankly I did the chevrons last year in the Celtic Solstice mystery and this was actually easier than that because the units were bigger and easier to handle.  Heck, if I could do the chevrons, I could certainly do the double diamonds.  Here are some pictures:

All cut and ready to sew!  In general, I'm happy with how the diamond points are matching up.  I have a few that slightly off, and by that I mean, only a quilt show judge would care.  Most are spot on.  

Not bad eh?  I like a mix of all kinds of fabric, from prints to solids to hand dyed fabric, to batiks.  I'm game for anything.  Modern or traditional, I don't care.  The variety adds interest and it's all about color regardless of fabric style.  If it's in my scrap bin and the right color, it goes in.

Also, I have been playing catch up with Clue #1 since I created all my half square triangle the wrong size in week one.  Currently I have 70 units from Clue #1 done and 70 from Clue #2.

Onto Clue #3.  Last Friday, I got all my strips cut out and started sewing my strip sets.  I loved getting the green fabric into the mix!  Though I have to confess, I found the measurements puzzling.  Clues 1&2 are all suppose to finish at 4 inches where clue 3 is not only not square, the units finish in multiples of 3 instead of 2 or 4.  HEAD SCRATCHER!!!!!  I like the challenge of trying to figure out the lay out as the mystery progresses but this one threw me for a loop!  I'm now certain that I won't be able to guess this one  before the reveal, but I guess that's the fun of a mystery quilt!

Here's a picture of my clue #3:

Prints, hand dyed, solids all mixed in and coexisting happily.  I do confess, for the first unit, I sewed the wrong edges together and had to pull out the old seam ripper.  But from my way of thinking, if that doesn't happen in a quilt, you're inhuman.  You have to be "at one" with your seam ripper if you're a quilter.  It's part of the process.  

Measuring up perfectly!  I have 30 of these completed right now.

Last Friday evening, after a day of cutting and sewing, my sister who lives in Dayton OH came to visit and I put my sewing away.  There was wine to consume and good times to be had.  I love my sisters more than life itself and I need to take advantage of our time together as much as possible.  She left late Saturday afternoon, and my husband and I needed to do some holiday shopping.  Sunday was consumed with family cookie baking, and Monday was back to work.  

Tomorrow is Thursday and it is my LAST WORK DAY OF THE YEAR!!!  I plan on spending my days catching up and keeping up with the remaining clues.  Although Friday is Clue #4, I have promised my daughter to do some holiday shopping once finals are done so I may not get too far on Friday, but I should be able to find time over the next week to get back in the game!  

Thanks for reading and have a happy and relaxing holiday.


Jen in IL

Monday, December 1, 2014

Grand Illusion - Clue #1

Happy Linky Day!  To see other blogs of folks who are also doing the mystery quilt this year, here is a link......LINK

I am a bit late in writing this due to the crazy weekend/holiday.  On Friday I woke up ready to go. Here is a link to the clue...  LINK.

I read the clue and decided to use the "Magic 8" method which I had never done before.  I found a tutorial, did all the calculations in my head, wrote it all down and went into the studio feeling confident.

I cut my fabric based on my calculations....

I prepared my new-to-me vintage sewing machine....

....and sewed like a maniac to make a gazillion half-square triangle (HST) units.

I then started cutting out my yellow and black squares for the "broken dishes" unit, only to realize that each and every one of these beauties are the wrong size.  All these units, 1/2 inch too small.  If I had made them too big I could have at least cut them down, but no, they're too small.  Why didn't I use a calculator?  Why?

So what do I do?  I go to the fabric store, buy some additional fabric, and start all over again, this time using the Easy Angle Ruler method which I've used successfully before.  These mini units will make a fine addition to my backing, or maybe a border.  Who knows.

I finished my last correctly sized HST last night and tonight I finished 10 of the broke dishes units. I've got quite a few more to go before Friday but I'm going to give it my best.

Since I work full time, I have to do this after work, dinner, kid wrangling, etc.  Ten was all I could manage, but least I had quilt cam to keep me company tonight in the sewing room.


Jen from IL

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The mystery starts again!

I'm very excited about this year's mystery Grand Illusion (click here to see what all the hub-bub is about!)  I've been wanting to make a quilt with pink in it for a while. My pink stash is getting out of control!

With that said, when reading Bonnie's initial Grand Illusion blog post, she mentioned folks who post their own process, step by step, with measurements and counts. I went back and checked my old posts and I found that I did reference these things, so I took down all my posts from last year and the year before. It never occurred to me that folks could use my posts to reverse engineer the quilt pattern once it was taken down from Bonnie's site.  It was just my over-exuberance to share my experience.

This year I'll make sure to keep measurements, counts, or any step by step instructions out of my posts to avoid any concerns.  The last thing I want is to negatively impact Bonnie who gives so much to the quilt world!

In preparation for this year's mystery, I thought I would post my results from the last two years.

This was my first Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt - Easy Street.  I called it "The Big Easy Street" due to my use of Mardi Gras colors.  I swapped out her aqua for yellow.

Although I like the quilt in general I was a bit disappointed with my selection of background fabric.  You loose the design because the solid gray is too similar to many of the "black on white" prints when viewed from afar.  Lesson learned and this quilt is at my in-law's house.  They love it!

Last year I tackled Celtic Solstice.

These piles turned into THIS!

Some up close pictures.....

This quilt was a gift for my sister, and not only does she love it, so do two of her fur-babies, Abby and Sophie...

My recent projects are more baby quilt related.  I am involved in a quilt group at my local library and we did a fabric exchange/challenge.  We had 17 participants and everyone brought in at least 16 pieces of fabric from their stash (all different) at a size of 7"X7" or larger.  Everyone had to pick one fabric from everyone else's pile of scraps and make something out of it, augmenting with your own stash if you want.   I made a baby quilt using the fabrics below.

I took a page out of Bonnie's Wonky Wishes quilt and used the owl faces as the focus.

This is the resulting quilt.

This is due at the January meeting where we all show our projects!  

In the meantime, I actually needed another quilt for friend who is expecting so I went rummaging and found some really cool elephant fabric and some matching brights to make this!

It still needs binding but I'm hoping to finish that up today because.....FRIDAY IS TWO DAYS AWAY!

I'm ready to go!  I am also preparing to make some progress on some longstanding Leader/Ender projects, alongside of Grand Illusion.  

Star Struck (Free Bonnie Hunter Pattern here)  I have about 50-60 blocks done and I need 80.  I always loved the secondary pattern of the red hourglass in this design.

And from her book, Adventures with Leaders & Enders, Blue Ridge Beauty!  

So I'm ready go for the next 6-8 Fridays!  Are you sewing along with the rest of us nut-jobs?  If you're on the fence, jump in!  The water's fine.

Jen in IL