Archive for November, 2019

Frolic Mystery Colors

November 27, 2019

It’s Bonnie Hunter Mystery season! She’s calling this year’s mystery, Frolic. Please visit the mystery summary page for details. Please note that if you are reading this after February 2020, the link might not work because she removes the clues at that point to either make a pattern or put it in a book.


I’ve heard lots of people say they really love her color choices for this year’s mystery. Me, not so much. In fact, I wasn’t even sure I was going to bother with the mystery because I didn’t care for the color palette. I’m still not sure what it is about it that I don’t like. Maybe the aqua doesn’t work for me with the other colors. The paint chips she chose seem darker and duller than the fabrics she shows with them in the introduction page.

It took me a while to come up with a different color palette. Over the years I’ve saved palette ideas from Design Seeds. I went through my saved palettes to find ones with enough colors to match up with the mystery requirements. Then I stopped at Home Depot to look at paint chips. The Behr paint chips are wonderful and I spent quite a bit of time plucking chips from the color wall. I probably had about 10 palettes, many very similar as it turned out. By the time I finished I was having trouble choosing the paint chips. Time to go home.


Linda was over one day as I was going through the options. I’ve changed mystery colors a bit in the past but tried to stay in the same value and color temperature as Bonnie. This time I went opposite for the color temperature. I settled on this palette:

creature colors

While we were looking through the various palettes, Linda took one I rejected. I don’t remember which one. Ready to see how I matched these up to Bonnie’s choices? Ready or not, here we go!


For Bonnie’s dark blue, I went with dark rusty/reddish orange. Although it doesn’t look like it in the picture, the fabric on the left is exactly the color of the paint chip. I had to go darker to get the contrast between this and the lighter orange.


For the lighter blue, I went with lighter orange.


For the framboise I went with blue. It looks like I haven’t edited this pull yet. Some of these won’t make the final cut.


Before we got the paint chips, Patty and I were at Glory Bee’s to pick up my machine from the service department. I picked up a couple of greens for the mystery on spec. This fabric is one of them. Bonnie’s choice is the yellower looking chip. In real life the chip is a bright lime green. One of the fabrics I got matches that chip exactly but we’ll save that fabric for another project. The fabric shown above is lighter than the chip but it will be fine with the other fabrics.


I’m going to the dark side for the background. It’s been quite a while since I did a black background. Last summer I bought a pack of black fat quarters. I wanted to use them for the mystery but by the time mystery came around they’d blended into the stash so I just pulled all the darkest blacks.


The aqua substitute has presented some problems. My paint chip is a light yellowish lime color. This is all I could find in my extensive stash that remotely resembles the paint chip color and they aren’t that close. This is not an acceptable situation! First problem is that there isn’t enough fabric to meet what the mystery requires. Second, not enough fabrics to do scrappy well. Third, the yellowish fabric stands out like a sore thumb so it should be eliminated. The fabric on the far left is dull compared to the chip. Shopping is required!


First stop was Spring Water Designs in Columbia, MD, about 10 minutes from my house. This is a small shop so finding any possibles was a bonus. We’ll see. I need a whole lot more in order to do the scrappy thing. I can always use the stripe for a binding so I got enough to cover that. The other green isn’t quite what I’d like but it will work nicely for applique leaves and other projects if it doesn’t make it into the mystery. I’ve got classes next week at Bear’s Paw in Towson, MD and Jinny Beyer Studio in Great Falls, Virginia. We’ll see what I find there. I don’t hold out great hopes of hitting a bonanza of fabrics in this color.


I had a class on Saturday at Patches in Mt. Airy, MD. This was the only thing I found these that was even close. It’s more yellow than the chip but it will do. I bought enough to make this a single fabric for the mystery if I can’t find enough of the right color to suit my scrappy side. Hmm, two constant colors in one Bonnie Hunter quilt. That will be new for me.

It sounds like I’m taking a lot of classes but I don’t take classes very often any more. Last Saturday was the last class for the year-long Baltimore Garden class. They combined November and December into a single day. Monday is Grad School which isn’t really a class, just a meeting with show and tell and a lot of fun. This month we eat! It’s our end-of-year holiday potluck. The following Saturday is the second of 4 classes for the Judy Niemeyer project.

Friday, day after tomorrow, is the first mystery clue. I’m excited to see how my color palette works in the mystery. It’s going to be very orange which will turn off a lot of people. Will it be successful or a dud? Who knows? We’ll just have to wait and see.



Quilter’s Quest 2019

November 26, 2019

Last month Patty and I did the full Quilter’s Quest. Linda went with us one day. Quilter’s Quest is a shop hop for Maryland and Virginia stores in the Baltimore-Washington area. There are 10 shop in the hop. Kelly Ann’s in Warrenton, Virginia closed and was replaced by Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, Virginia for this year’s quest. Unfortunately only 9 shops were open for quest. The week before Quest started there was a fire in the strip mall where The Crazy Cousin, Fredericksburg, Virginia is located. Although the fire itself was in a different store the quilt shop was heavily damaged by smoke and, presumably, water so was unable to be open for the Quest. That was quite a blow for the shop. I hear she is debating whether or not to reopen.

The theme this year was books. Each shop chose a book to feature.

What went home with me?

quest patterns

Every shop designs a free quilt pattern for the quest. It always bugs me that the quilts from some shops have no apparent relationship to the theme. I can’t even tell you which book some shops chose.


Another feature of Quest is the scavenger hunt. Each shop has an item for you to find. When you tell a shop worker where it is, you get a little prize. Of course, we found them all. This year was magnets with quotes. The two mariner’s compasses were from last year. One shop was trying to get rid of them. I didn’t do Quest last year so I took one of each.

quest cuts

Each year a cut of fabric is chosen and a color palette. These are used by each shop to create their Quest quilt. The color palette is divided up among the shops to prepare their fabric packets for Questers. If you spend a certain amount, the packet of fabrics from that shop is free. Otherwise you can buy the packet. The Crazy Cousin fabrics were a gift to everyone, picked up at The Scrappy Apple in Winchester, Virginia. This year’s cut was 10″ squares. I think each packet has 6 squares. You should be able to make most of a shop’s quilt from the fabric packets. Most shops sell a finishing kit for their quilt.

I bought a few fabrics. Mostly for specific projects. The greens and purples are for a project. By the time I took these pictures, I couldn’t remember what the project was. I had a vague memory that maybe I’d put fabrics in a bin. Next time I went into the fabric room, I checked, found the bin and as soon as I saw the book I remembered the project. It’s ready to go – just need time. Sometime next year, probably, maybe.

I have a layer cake I bought some years ago. I’ve been wanting to get it used up but hadn’t found a background color that I liked with it once I realized it wasn’t going to work in the pattern I originally thought I’d like to use. Traditions at the White Swan in Hagerstown, MD (now having a going-out-of-business sale, sigh) had the Grunge layer cake that works perfectly with my layer cake. What I didn’t realize then is that the Grunge is a junior layer cake – only 20 squares, not 42 like the full layer cake. I had to order yardage last week to have enough to go with the other. I am currently making the blocks.

The charm pack is a line of early days of baseball prints. I recently picked up an early days of baseball panel from the freebie table at guild so these will go with that for a charity/gift baseball quilt.

The black in the middle picture is for The Raven by Blackbird Designs.

Because of Ladies of the Sea, I’ve got boats on the mind. I’ve got a lot of boat patterns I want to make, hence the boat fabrics. The lightning fabrics I blame on Polly’s influence. The paws and Tula Pink purple butterflies are just for fun.

Patty talked me into buying this tool set. It’s a 60 degree triangle hidden underneath and a strip that goes with it to make larger triangle log cabin sort of blocks.


I picked up these two patterns at The Scrappy Apple. See the boat fabric in the one on the left? I think that design will work well with other types of feature prints.


Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria, Virginia is the place to go if you like to embellish things. I don’t do that much but Linda loves that kind of thing. It is what I call the artsy-fartsy store. She also owns Batik Tambal. They import batik panels and have lots of samples around the store. I have some panels and have taken pictures of some things at the store but thought it would be good to have her book with ideas on how to use them. I won’t allow myself to buy more of the batik panels until I use the ones I have. See, I’m trying to be responsible.

I think I exercised restraint in my purchases.

Because we finished the Quest, we get a 15% discount at each of the stores through 9/30/2020. There are also prizes for finishing the Quest but we didn’t win any of those. Each shop also has drawings. The first day I got a call from Jinny Beyer about 6:30 or so saying I’d won the daily drawing of a $30 gift certificate. Sweet! That was the day the National League title playoff between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Nationals started. I grew up in Cardinal country and that’s Dad’s team. Jinny is a devoted Nationals fan. I had to jerk her chain a bit by telling her I had to root for the Cardinals against her Nationals. She fired right back and said, “Maybe I should redo the drawing for today.” She didn’t, of course. Unfortunately, the Cardinals didn’t even put up a fight. I’m happy for Jinny that the Nats went on to win the World Series.

I wonder about the future of Quilter’s Quest. Jinny Beyer is no longer going to participate. She says it’s not enough benefit to the shop for the amount of work that goes into it and she wants to spend her time doing things she’d rather do since she’s getting up there in years. Traditions at the White Swan is closing December 14th. The Crazy Cousin may not reopen. For a while we weren’t sure about Capital Quilts but Alison decided to downsize the store so she’ll stay open for the time being. That leaves 8 of the 10 shops as possible participants. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Closings aren’t limited to the mom and pop shops. A. C. Moore, a JoAnn’s competitor, is closing all stores. Other well-known and loved family owned stores that are or have closed: Mary Jo’s Cloth Store in Gastonia, North Carolina closed at the end of August. Keepsake Quilting is closing the retail shop but catalog operations will continue. Locally, The Quilt Patch in Fairfax, Virginia closed last year which I wasn’t aware of until recently. Hoppin Bobbin in Aberdeen, Maryland also closed earlier this year. I think most of our local (within an hour or so) closings in the last few years seem to have been because the owners retired, not because the shop wasn’t doing well. We’ve noticed a definite reduction in the number of vendors at the big, regional quilt shows as well.

If the local closings continue as they have, I may just have to start saving up and start going to the Houston and Paducah shows and Missouri Star in Hamilton to do my buying. Or, I can just drive up to Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. Yeah, that’ll work as long as those stores still exist. Of course, I am trying to reduce inventory, not add to it. Anyone want to make a bet on how that will go?