Quilts And All Things Fabric...

As an avid fabric enthusiast, a blog about quilts and all things fabric just seemed the obvious thing to do.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Fun Starts With a New Winter Mystery

The main reason I quilt is because.... I thoroughly enjoy  "playing" with fabric, it's that simple. A lot of what I have made has gone to my children and grandchildren. Sometimes I actually get to keep one! This year's Quiltville Winter Mystery Quilt is one of those "sometimes".

When the fabric requirement list came out, you probably heard me Yip for joy at the colors. Purple and lavender! Yea! Two of my favorites; yes I have more than one favorite color.

So off to dig in my  VERY limited stash of fabrics. All I managed to find in there was a green that was just begging to be used and a really fun tone on tone swirly neutral (off white and white). That prompted a visit to an LQS. (Local as in 40 miles away.)

After much mental anguish over whether to go scrappy or not; I chose the latter. I know Bonnie's quilt patterns are designed for scrappy quilts.  I have done some of them VERY scrappy and some not. Honestly, they come out beautiful either way. Right now I have a lot on my plate and decided it would just be better for me to not do scrappy this year. Partly because it was just too hard to come up with enough variations in fabrics and partly because I need more control in my mind and budget right now. Don't judge, just let me play in my own way. It will turn out great!

When Clue 1 came out on Black Friday it was neutral four patches. Right off the bat, Bonnie suggested that those of us NOT doing scrappy MIGHT want to consider adding a second neutral to these four  patches. Uh Oh! If Bonnie suggested it, it was more than probably a good idea! I gave this a lot of thought. Do I want to add the second fabric, or not? After all my neutral is a two tone with lots of movement.  Do I HAVE enough of  a second neutral  without having to make another purchase? Well, after digging and digging, I came up with a perfect piece. When I made the Jamestown Landing Quilt (found in Bonnie's String Fling book) I backed it with a pebble print neutral. It is a very light tan with the pebbles shapes drawn in light grey and off white.  Big question was was there enough....yes! Barely! Now the question is, how is this going to "PLAY" with the other fabrics. First off, it looks FABULOUS with the original neutral. Now to lay all the fabric out together for a look. Yes, it did look good in there, but again, do I really WANT to add this in? Ok, so I took it out of the grouping of fabrics. Wow! Instant change! It was as if something was missing. Seriously, missing. I added the second neutral back to the pile and VIOLA! Decision made. Well, that was easy!

             This is really a light tan background. It is just showing up very grey in the photo.

So I diligently got busy making 4 patches! Did some brain strain math to determine how many strips of each fabric were need to get the 221 finished units. Here are  some of the strips stitched together and laid out to start sub-cutting into 2 inch pieces and the first stack completed.

The strip sets are laid on top of each other just like they will be placed when sewn. These are cut in two inch sections. I like to move the ruler so that there is a straight line at the top as well as the 2" cutting mark. This helps me keep the pieces nice and square. It is so easy to let that ruler slip a little.


 All squared up! Size came out perfect! I would say, now how did that happen? But we all know it's from actually paying attention to what I'm doing and cutting and sewing accurately.

Since we are twirling the back seam on these they needed to feed through the machine with the two patch seam facing UP. I found it much easier for me to stack them with the seams all going in the correct direction. That way they could just be picked up to sew and put under the needle without much thought or worrying about getting on going the wrong way.
I laid them out in groups of 20 each, that way the count could be checked and double checked.

Then I just happily chained away until I got tired of sitting. Then I would stand up, clip them apart and twirl that back seam open and make nice little stacks.

Then back to sewing!

I realize that the neutral color isn't showing up very well on my white machine bed and table. But these are really pretty blocks! The white on white two tone is swirls sort of like concentric circles of various sizes. The second fabric is the pebble print. SO....in the realm of things and the theme of this mystery, my WHITE LAVENDER fields have pebbles in the rows and crop circles in the field!
Look closely, see the crop circles????

 Well, folks that's a photo of Clue 1's 221 neutral four patches. And here is how I store them until they are needed for assembly.

You can play along too! Here's the link. Just click the word Mystery here.

And  usually when I post to this blog, I try to leave you with nature photo of something  for color/quilting/value/shadow/shade type inspiration . So here is this time's "Garden Variety Inspiration" photos. I love these fall colors. These are Hazelnut leaves from our yard. We have only picked a crop once and they were very small. The squirrels wipe them out every year!  These photos were taken in November on a very windy day. Enjoy!

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