Friday, November 25, 2022

The Quiltville Mystery Season Starts Now!

 🎶It's the Most wonderful time of the Year! 🎵

For this quilter that means, it's time for Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville Mystery to start!!

This year's mystery is called "Chilhowie Mystery" and she is once again highlighting a town in her area of Virginia.  The name has Native American origins and in the Cherokee language means "valley of many deer".  As always, Bonnie provides a color palette that you can follow for the mystery or vary from it as you choose.  She says that this year's palette is influenced by flowers, namely the variety of colors of the Fashion Queen bearded Iris.  

The introduction to the mystery can be viewed here and Part 1 dropped on her blog today and is here.  You will be able to download the individual parts each week for free until the mystery ends in January.  If you prefer to get them all at one time, you can wait until after the mystery is over.  Bonnie will take them down from her blog and compile them into a single pattern that can be purchased from her website shop. 

For me, this is another one that I will download but sit out from making until later.  What I am hoping to finish during this mystery period is working on "Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll", one of her mysteries that  I started piecing all the way back in 2018.  

I think I will also try to work on a pieced backing for "En Provence" too. 

The top with the border embellishments I added on. 

It's the last backing that I need to make for a finished Quiltville top.  Who knows, maybe by mystery end, I could also get at least one of the top and backing sets I have ready finally quilted too!  

Will you be participating in this year's mystery season?  If you've never participated before, I wrote a blog post about some of the tips that I have learned over the years about how to get involved without letting it overwhelm you.  In fact, one of the tips involves not even making the actual mystery quilt!  You can check them out here.

Nothing like the mystery season to get your Quiltville project dreams flowing!  Whether you work on this year's new project or an old one, come join this worldwide group activity and share your progress with other Quiltville fans!

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Shop Hop Tops!

It took longer than expected (as usual) but I finally finished up the tops for a few quilts using fabrics purchased on the recent Shop Hop:

Fall 3 Yard Quilt

Like many, I've loved the concept behind Donna Robertson's 3 Yard Quilt designs.  I also like watching their videos and seeing what fabrics they combine and how they use them in the quilt designs.  So one of my favorite stops in the All Carolinas Shop Hop over the last two years is the Quilt Lizzy store in Wake Forest, NC.  I've been able to score some really nice kits there and just like when you buy kits from Donna's Fabric Cafe, you also can pick a pattern for free to make it up in!

Prior to our trip, I had seen a pretty Fall quilt in one of the older Fabric Cafe videos and wondered if I might find a kit for one on the Hop.  Luckily that did happen so among the other goodies I found on the Hop, I scored one!  

Kit is bottom left

Most of the 3 Yard Quilt designs are pretty simple so I hoped I'd get it made up quick.  Of course, leave it to me to complicate that plan by wanting to also make the other two "easy" quilts from the Hop right along with it!  Still haven't quite learned my lesson about how taking on multiple projects adds more time to the making of each project.  I admit though, I also find it fun to "leader/ender" projects so that each sewing session feels like I am "cheating" by getting something done on multiple projects in one sitting at the machine.  Eventually though, I did get it done!

Fabrics are from the "Autumn Afternoon" line by Lynnea Washburn for Northcott

This is Fabric Cafe's "Checkmate" design (the link is to the printed pattern but it is also available as a digital).  I've seen it used many times in the Fabric Cafe videos (like hereherehere and here) although it was not one that I was particularly drawn to before.  However, I thought that for this fabric combination it was a perfect choice --- at least of all the patterns that were available from the store display.  This is a good one if you have a pretty "I don't want to cut it up" feature print.

What's also good news is that I already have the backing for it ready too!  While staying at my MIL's (our annual vacation mini quilt retreat) she asked me to go through her scraps and a bunch of fabrics she had picked up at fabric swaps at her guild meetings.  The plaid print was in that last bunch and it was perfect for this quilt!  There was also more than enough left for use in a future quilt.  

Edited To Add:  You can see the finished quilt in this post.

Dragons - The Ancients

As I said in my Shop Hop post, my DH and I had seen a quilt made up using Jason Yenter's "Dragons" fabric line and pattern for In the Beginning Fabrics.  We saw the gorgeous red version in person and having watched the first season of HBO's "House of the Dragons" loved the idea of having a dragon quilt to snuggle under when the next season comes out.  

The original "Dragons" line came out in red and blue colorways but the store we had shopped at didn't have any more of those fabrics.  So when I searched around, I discovered that there was also a green colorway called "Dragons - The Ancients" that had a different set of panel prints as well.  I truly lucked up when on another stop on the Hop, I found one of the green center panels in the sale section at the Keepsake Quilting/Pineapple Fabrics Outlet store.  With that in hand, the hunt was on to find out if the other fabrics from that colorway were still available.

I did find the fabrics but I also found a free pattern at eQuilter that used them.  Their quilt design was smaller and much simpler than the one we saw which also meant a smaller commitment to the amount of fabric needed and the effort to make the quilt.  Since the simpler design still made a great looking quilt, I was more than happy to settle for a cheaper, easier quilt!  So an Etsy shopping spree followed to get the supplies I needed.  However, I will say that despite how much easier it was, it still took me longer to get it made up than I expected!  That said, here's my finished top:

Once the top was done, I began to think about what I'd back it with.  Ironically, what immediately occurred to me was to recreate the general outlines of the front on the back.  I had purchased some additional  fabrics from the line with the intention of making bowl cozies for us and a friend who is also a fan of the show.  Those fabrics helped inspire the backing idea and so it was back to Etsy for more of the line!  

Backing fabrics on the left, finished top and binding on the right!

The backing fabrics just came in yesterday and right now I'm thinking of making the backing in a sort of "quilt-as-you-go (or is it "quilting in sections"?) manner in order to make sure that the front and back sections line up perfectly.  Work on that will commence when I'm ready to actually quilt this thing which may not happen until early next year.

Fat Quarter Shop Jelly Snowflake

This year my Christmas decorating scheme is Red and White and I've been lining up projects for that.  One that I came upon was the FQS's Jelly Snowflake free pattern series.  I saw this when I looked at the patterns they offered for Jelly Roll Day back in September.  When I looked at their blog post on the "Snowflake" sew along (which originally ran in 2020), it was amazing how varied were the color schemes used by each designer they had invited to participate.  Of course, I was particularly drawn to a red and gray version made by one of the FQS staff but I am already making a R&W quilt in that color scheme.  I was also pleased to get to see a blue and white version in person while returning from our trip and stopping in at the Virginia Quilt Museum.

However, there was also one made by Nicol Sphor in red, grey and pink and I decided to definitely go that route.  When I went looking for pinks in my stash, I instead found a "Strawberry Red" gingham print that I really liked and thought maybe that could be another "twist" on pink for the design.  I managed to pick up another print in that color scheme before the Hop and put finding others on my list of things to look for during the Hop.  I came back with some great choices (which you can see in the picture at the top of the post), so many that I wound up with six prints to choose from when I only needed four.  

I had picked out four dark red and the grey prints (three here when I needed only two) to use from my stash.  I also decided to purchase more of a red-on-white micro dots print I had that I felt really worked for adding a subtle amount of red into the background.  I made my version of the FQS design with 2" cut strips (1-1/2" finished) instead of jelly roll strips because I need my quilt to be smaller than patterned to use as a wall hanging in a specific spot.  

Ultimately, I made up the blocks in all of the fabric prints I had gathered and then laid them out with the other blocks to determine what would be used in the final layout.  After much deliberation and switching around of the blocks, I think this is going to be it:

It's not completely sewn together yet and I still may decide to do some piecing in that center square.  I also need to decide on a backing for this.  With all the reds I've purchased for this year's decorating scheme, I may just take the extra blocks I made and piece them together with some scrappy red squares and call it a day.  

Edited To Add:  You can see the finished wall hanging in this post.

Shop Hop Bags

Well, the Shop Hop bags started back in October are still not done!  Once again, seemed like a simple project but it has been complicated by poor instructions.  I had picked up the page full of edits to the original instructions but even the clarifications are still a little confusing.  I've already had to change one of the side pockets from fabric to mesh so I won't lose seeing all the motifs from the panel print used to create the pieces for the bag.  I do hope to get this one done before the end of the year but at this point, I'm not hopeful!

All of this was yet another diversion from the sewing I had planned to do this month but once these are all out of the way (and off my mind), maybe I can go back to focusing on what I should be working on!