Monday, December 15, 2014

Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt - week 3

Hello again! I took last week off from blogging about the mystery quilt, but I'm back this week. Last week's block really had me frustrated because my printer wouldn't print out the correct size, and quite truthfully, the instructions left me baffled. Different designers have different methods, and I'm not used to this designer yet. Thankfully, this week was more clear for me. Piecing strips I can do. I'm afraid that the green I have is too dark, and doesn't read well next to the black. Not sure if I should rummage through my stash for something else to use. I really don't want to  have to rip out seams and swap out greens. I haven't done many strips yet, so I may switch things out for the rest. I already had these greens leftover from batik strips sets I bought several years ago.  Since they were in 2.5 inch strips, I stitched and then trimmed down to the correct width. Speaking of trimming, anyone else going through lots of rotary cutter blades? I swear, batik fabrics must dull the blades more quickly than other fabrics.

This is my first block completed from week 3. I am half done with my week 2 blocks. I have to cut out more black squares to finish up the rest of the double diamond blocks. I have a bunch more of week 1 blocks to finish, too, but I'd say I am 3/4s done with those.
Blocks 1 and 2 were giving me a hard time because my machine didn't want to feed the multiple layers with seams. I had been hand turning the wheel for several stitches, until over the hump caused by the HST seam. That got old, really fast. So, speaking of old, I went out and got myself a "new" machine. Isn't she pretty?? She's a 328k from 1961. She sews like a champ! She's quite powerful, and I am getting to know her, so my seams aren't perfect. I don't expect the quilt police to show up and my house (or in my comments), so I will say I am happy with how I have been piecing with her. I will need to replace the bobbin tire, but right out of the proverbial box, she has been great. I am amazed at all of the accessories that came with her, and in pristine condition. I'm guessing that she wasn't used a whole lot. And get a load of the price on the package of needles. When was the last time you bought a package of needles for thirty cents?

Monday, December 1, 2014

My First Mystery Quilt!

So, in addition to being a food-type person and a sometimes-Ihavebeenatotalslothlately-fitness-type person, I am also a crafty-type person. Since I had a few days off for Thanksgiving, last week I decided to undertake my very first Mystery Quilt. A mystery quilt is where you are told how much fabric you will need, and in what colors. Then you get the instructions each week of what blocks to cut and piece, and how many you need. You do this not knowing what you will have when you are done. Hence, it's a mystery. That reminds me of the movie Shakespeare In Love. What happens next? I don't know, it's a mystery.

Speaking of movies, this mystery quilt is called the Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt because the designer, Bonnie Hunter of,  was inspired by the colors she saw at the Grand Hotel in Michigan, when she stayed there last spring. That's the hotel featured in the movie Somewhere In Time. Great movie.  The colors of the quilt are yellow, green, pink, aqua, and black. As there are no quilt police, you don't absolutely have to use those exact colors. I am using similar, but not exact, and almost all of what I'm using is from my stash of fabric.

Last week, when I was working on my Crystal Santa wall hanging quilt, I griped about how much I dislike half square triangles. Guess what??? First clue instructions were to take the pink fabric and the aqua fabric and make 280 half square triangles. Yay.

 Here are some of my pink and aqua strips. I read about the Magic 8 method of making 8 half square triangles at a time by using larger squares that you mark, sew, then cut. Seeing as I am not the most accurate cutter of fabric, I figured that would be a good way to go.

I went a bit overboard cutting my aqua squares. Hopefully they can be used in later clues. I got a bit distracted. 
 Here are my first batch of blocks done. We need 100 of these, so I will be back at my sewing machine during lunch and after work.

I joked with the Quiltville FB group that I got so distracted that I burned my half square triangle. It's funny how you start to see quilt blocks everywhere. ;)