Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Part 5, Grand Illusion Mystery

 This easy step was finished by last Saturday afternoon, but my life became very complicated on Sunday, so I am just now getting my link-up done.  Our family Christmas was delayed until Sunday, the 28th, while we waited for our grandson, in the US Navy, to start his leave.  We celebrated Sunday and Monday, then a granddaughter stayed with us for a few days.  I finally got back to my sewing room today and am trying to tie up some loose ends before Part 6 is revealed.  I am hoping we start putting some things together, aren't you?
To see everyone else's versions, take a look at Bonnie's site.

PS….the machine in the picture is a Singer 128, crinkle finish, Centennial.  I have added a hand crank, for the kids to use.  Its a sweetie!
Let's keep on stitchin'

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Keeping Christmas

    Here is my link-up for Grand Illusion Mystery, part 4.

Drop by Bonnie's blog and see all of the different color combinations people have chosen. This has been a lot of fun and I am really loving my little blocks.  This is a little "out of the box" for me as far as a color combination, but maybe I'm expanding my horizons.

You will notice that I have the two piles of
 blocks with stickers on them to keep them separate.  I also am keeping them pinned together.  Since I am only doing one-fourth of the quilt at this time, but cutting enough for the full size version, I am trying to prevent any problems when I pull it back out again.  I can see myself looking at all those units and becoming totally confused.  Therefore, they are all in baggies with (I hope) clear instructions.  We'll see how it goes. 

We saw a local stage production of A Christmas Carol this past week and I was struck by the phrase "keeping Christmas" as expressed by Bob Cratchett after being ridiculed by Ebenezer Scrooge for such sentimentality.  I like that phrase and intend to add it to my vocabulary.  What are the ways that we "keep Christmas"?  We cook, shop, entertain, decorate, and then many of us have to make some gifts for it to feel like the season.  I really had no plans to make any gifts beause of the Grand Illusion Mystery.  This is the first time for me to participate and I felt that was all I could handle with the cooking, shopping, entertaining and decorating.  But, as the holiday got closer and closer, I began to feel that itch to make some gifts.  Here's what I've been sewing;

Pillows for the granddaughter's new room decor'.
Some zipper bags for some neighbor children.
A needle case for a young quilter friend.

    My daughter had tea towels on her Christmas list, so I still plan to do those.  Our family won't celebrate until the weekend, so I still have some time.  
     So, here is what I think.  To a quilter, "keeping Christmas" has to involve some stitching, preferably for those we love.  I guess we'll just 
keep on stitchin'.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Moving on, step 3

     This step has involved a lot of speed sewing.  I cut my strips down to half WOF, to avoid that curvy migration long strips seem to take on.  They came out to the correct measurement on the first try, so that helped.  I have 40 two by four blocks completed with enough strips sewn and sliced to make 30 more.  I guess that I need to sew 12-16 more strips if my calculations are correct.  Here is a selection of the finished ones:
 I had to turn the overhead lights completely off to get the green to come out in true colors.

I'm really liking how these colors are going together.  They aren't Bonnie's colors, but they are using a lot of stash and I like it so far.
     Yesterday, while cutting green strips, I decided I didn't have enough variety.  I went back to my green bin, but had pulled everything I felt was right.  The 2 inch strip drawer was raided early.  So I'm thinking…"I'm 50 miles from a quilt shop, where else would I have some green?"  There was the Christmas fabric bin…nothing there, all the wrong greens.  How about the Autumn bin? Bingo!  Several perfect green scraps.  On to the Civil War bin…they used green in the 1800's, right?  Woo Hoo!  Two more greens to add to the mix.  I am running short on backgrounds.  When do you ever have enough?
    I will attempt to post this as a link to Bonnie's blog, wish me luck.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Days of Mystery

     Due to the influence of some of my quilting friends, I decided to take on the Bonnie Hunter Mystery quilt this year.  I had never been tempted before because they consist of thousands of pieces, but I started the Split Nine Patch from her web site's free pattern list earlier this year and really enjoyed it.  BTW, it is not finished yet, but well past half done.  Bonnie will visit our guild next September, so I thought it appropriate to try it this year.  I got a late start due to some travel over Thanksgiving, but am finally catching up.  I decided I couldn't keep up if I did all of the cutting and sewing with each clue, but am trying to do all of the cutting and one-fourth of the sewing.  I think that will work pretty well.  Here is my progress so far.
Clue One:

     I have chosen slightly different colors than Bonnie gave for the mystery, titled Grand Illusion.  Her colors were chosen from the colors of the Grand Hotel on Mackinaw Island.  Mine are a more subdued version because that is what I use and was in my stash.  I am very proud, it all came from the stash except for the cheddar.  
Clue Two:
     These will be sewn in pairs to complete this step.  I had a large mishap doing this step, which resulted in this;
100 diamonds cut with the wrong angles.  I had my template taped to the wrong side of the ruler and was using it upside-down.  I could have cried,…..almost did, but instead, fixed the template and started over.  I now have enough cut to make 1/4 of the units, and have the rest of the week to sew.  I'm hoping a future clue will allow me to put these pieces to use in some way.
    On another note, I received my hand crank from Cindy Peters and have one of the 128's sewing away.  It is the favorite machine of one of the kids I am teaching to quilt.

     I am going to attempt to link this post to the Bonnie Hunter blog;  This will be a learning experience for me, so cross your fingers and 
Keep on stitchin'