Archive for December, 2018

Good Fortune: Clue 4

December 17, 2018

This week Bonnie asked us to do string piecing. I love string piecing but I don’t have much in the way of orange strings. I need orange strings because I want to do Bonnie’s pumpkin quilt. I decided to go with the  strip piecing option for the mystery quilt. As I cut each fabric with my Stripology ruler I used the straightening cut as an opportunity to cut strings for the pumpkin quilt. I also cut 1.5″, 2″ and 2.5″ strips for my strip stash. I have a new addition to my fabric room for storing these. More about that in a future post.

In order to get a scrappier look I cut them into short strips to get 1-2 segments from each strip set.


The strips are laid out, ready to combine into strip sets. I think I should be able to get strip sets that are all different combinations, theoretically. However, I suck at being random. I got what I got so it will have to do.


All done. This was a very quick clue to make. I cut the strips Friday afternoon and finished sewing mid-afternoon on Saturday.

I wasn’t ready to stop sewing Saturday after I finished the clue so I put the borders on this string quilt. I told you I like doing string piecing. I’m calling this one String Weaver.


I also finished the last of the Sweet Poison blocks. They are the ones on the left. The ones on the right were done earlier but not shown yet. Now that project is ready for layout.

Along the way these leader/enders were sewn.


As well as these 16-patch blocks.


That’s the end of my machine sewing for the year. My two Janome machines are going in for maintenance and repair on Monday. That means the next time I can work on a mystery clue is January. I hope she doesn’t do a rapid finish this year. I’d like to catch up before I know what the final result looks like.

This week will be spent getting ready for the holidays. If I find time maybe I can make myself work on one of the Ladies of the Sea blocks.

Thanks for visiting. I’d love for you to leave a comment.

Visit Bonnie Hunter’s blog to see what other mystery quilt makers are sharing.

Good Fortune: Clue 3

December 10, 2018

Yay! We’re working with green this week. I was hoping for that. Orange in the next clue, maybe? I cut my strips using the Stripology ruler. About a year ago I decided I wanted to use lime green (or whatever color this is) and started looking for fabrics at every shop I was in all year. Despite having an abundance of green fabric, I had practically none of this version. I found myself in three quilt shops this week for regularly scheduled events and acquired a few more pieces. I was good to go now.

This week we were making half-chevrons. Bonnie had us drawing two lines for the sew and flip triangle corners and bonus half-square triangle squares. I don’t like to draw lines and usually use one of the tools with lines to follow that fits on the sewing machine bed like the Sew Straight from Quilt in a Day. In the past, I’ve altered mine to do the bonus HST. But, I don’t know where mine are since the move last year and didn’t feel like doing a hunt. I was afraid pencil might show so I drew the lines with a Clover Chaco-liner. The one I used was an older style. I have most of the colors in the newer style but, again, don’t know where they are. Sigh.


Pile of chevron pieces waiting for the second sewing.


For the rectangle, I needed to sew pretty much on the line but a ways away from the line for the bonus HST. I don’t understand why I needed to sew so far away from the bonus line. This picture shows how far away from the line I had to sew. img_20181209_154807.jpg

I ended up running the inside edge of the presser foot against the line. They aren’t all perfect but they’re as good as they’re going to get.


I used this ruler to check the size and trim the dog ears before pressing.


The finished half-chevrons and bonus HSTs waiting to be measured, trimmed and pressed.


Hopefully, one pile has an extra triangle because I came out one short. Since there were two from each half-chevron, an odd number isn’t possible. Guess I’ll find out later.

See how others are doing at Bonnie’s link-up.

I’m Delusional!

December 9, 2018

Every year in Mimi Dietrich’s Grad School class, a project is chosen for the group to do. Most of the folks participate but not all. It’s fun to see 20-30 versions of the same project. Some years Mimi makes an executive decision and sometimes we get to vote. For 2019 Mimi wanted to do some design by Lori Holt but when she put it to a vote, she was soundly defeated. Only a few people wanted to do such a simple applique design. More on 2019 later.

One year we couldn’t agree on a single project and ended up with 4 or 5 different groups. No one liked that. Instead of having show and tell with the entire group, it was only within the project group. We agreed never to do that again. We ran into a similar situation when trying to choose a project for 2017. Everyone wanted to do something different so Mimi came up with the idea of a bucket list album quilt. Album quilt covers a lot of territory from a simple quilt with a bunch of different blocks to a Baltimore Album style quilt. Polly and I chose to do Sue Garman’s Ladies of the Sea.


Image borrowed from Sue Garman website

Yes, we’re insane. What made you ask? We started block one in January 2017. Polly has been waiting for me to finish my ship blocks and catch up with her. The last one should have been finished in April 2018. My excuse is that I moved last year and couldn’t work on it for a few months. How much longer can I milk that excuse? The shipyard had a lengthy work stoppage this year. I just finished a block on Friday at sweatshop day. That’s what Polly and I call it when we meet at Spring Water Designs open studio day. I have two more blocks to finish. One just needs the embroidery and one has half the wreath applique finished so needs the rest of the applique and the embroidery. It would be really nice if I could finish these by the January meeting. Of course, then we’d have to make final decisions about setting and borders. We’ve been dithering a lot about that.

2018 was Jo’s Floral Album, formerly Anna’s Blue Baskets. I didn’t intend to do this because I was still working on the ships but found myself buying a background fabric. I’ve managed almost 3 of the 9 blocks using the Anna’s Blue Baskets pattern.

So, on to 2019. It’s another bucket list year. I’ve got so many designs I want to make. I checked my pattern inventory and found 200 applique designs I want to make. Ai-yi-yi! That doesn’t even include the pieced quilts. How to decide?

One of the grad school gals assigns quilts to TV shows and works on them while that show is on. So, she has a Dr. Phil quilt, a Wheel of Fortune quilt, etc. I was thinking maybe having multiple projects would work if I assigned them to days of the week. Not sure I’m that disciplined, though.

A couple of months ago I bought background fabric for this project so, apparently, it’s going to be one of the projects. It’s a large wall hanging and I already know where to hang it in the house. Hopefully, it won’t take long to make.


Clown School by Carol Morrissey

Finding Nemo is one of my favorite movies so when I saw this pattern at a show I had to have it. My co-worker, Phil, and I watched the movie in spurts on the way to and from lunch when our co-worker Bill drove. One day Vadim joined us and sat in the front with Bill, while Phil and I, in the back, were mesmerized by the movie. Bill looked at Vadim and said, “The DVD player keeps the children very quiet.”

Another project I’ve wanted to do for years (The pattern came out circa 1997, I believe) is Snowmen Will Melt Your Heart by Curtis Boehringer. You can view an image of a quilt someone made. I will be doing each month’s block as a wall hanging rather than a quilt with all twelve blocks. For the wall hanging version, each block has a border design specific to the month. So, this will be new project #2.

Because two new applique projects in addition to the two already in progress aren’t enough, I’ll be taking a year long class for this quilt, assuming the class hasn’t filled up in the last few days.


I did say I’m insane. This is Baltimore Garden by Barbara Burnham. Barbara showed the original quilt and her blocks years ago at a Baltimore Applique Society meeting. I started urging her to publish a pattern for the quilt. Every month I would bug her about it until she finally showed up with a completed book. The book was published in 2012 so it’s about time I started working on it since I was one of the people begging her to publish it. When I talked to her at guild last week, she said this is the last time she will be teaching the class. Barbara’s version was made using only 3 fabrics and a background. I will NOT be doing that. My background will also not be a light neutral. I bought a darkish green fabric for an applique quilt background years ago. While trying to decide whether to buy it, the store employee, Robbyn suggested using fall colors with it. That sold me! It should be perfect for this quilt. I hope I have enough of that fabric. I need to find the book and see how much it calls for. Choosing the applique fabrics will be a challenge to get the values right so everything shows up.

We always say that the quilt will tell you what it wants. These tell me they want to be made now. Guess I have to listen to them.

Wanna know how many Grad School projects I’ve finished since I joined in 1999? Two. I didn’t participate in the project every year but still, a pitiful showing. We won’t talk about how many total UFOs I have. Let’s just say I’ve got a lot of work to do. I’d better live a very long life with all my faculties.

I’m delusional but it keeps me off the streets and out of the bars.

Good Fortune: Clue 2

December 4, 2018

I used the Stripology ruler for Clue 1. This time I used the Accuquilt die cutter to cut my triangles for Clue 2. Much more accurate than I can do with a rotary cutter, even using Bonnie’s ruler technique.


Each stack of triangles is a set of unique fabrics. In other words, each of the purple stacks is the same but the fabrics in the stack are not repeated in that stack. Same for the neutral triangle stacks. I hope that makes sense. There number of purple fabrics and neutral fabrics are not the same, so I should be able to stack up all the purples into a single stack and stack the neutral stacks into a single stack. This should result in no two half-square triangle squares being the same. Maximum scrappiness makes quilter happiness!



In the second clue of mystery, Bonnie Hunter gave to us a boatload of HSTs.

There were a couple of anomalies along the way:


Wong side to right side and a three triangle HST.

Mimi’s Grad School class met yesterday. One of our members is turning 90 in February so Mimi thought we should make her a quilt. This block, designed by Mimi, was the logo on the tote bags made for the bus trip to the Quilter’s Hall of Fame when Mimi was inducted. We were called “Mimi’s Flock” so she chose to use this block for the quilt. My bird ended up a little cockeyed. Speaking of eyes, the fabric I used for the bird is a cat eyes print from Tula Pink’s Tabby Road collection. I told Polly (who loves all things dark and/or creepy) that she had corrupted me to the dark side.


I forgot to take pictures of grad school show and tell except for Kim’s Village (Kim McLean design) blocks. There are too many of those to post. I cut background pieces for the Village quilt a couple of years ago.

Because it’s December, yesterday was our holiday potluck lunch at grad school. My guild usually meets every week except in December when we only meet the first week of the month. You guessed it. Last night was my guild’s night group holiday potluck. Every year two potlucks on the same day. One member said “at least you don’t have to cook”. I replied “What do you mean? I had to cook twice!”

Other mystery makers have shared their work on Bonnie’s site.