Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Try, try again

Hello all! Here we are in November and it's definitely started living up to its name. It's gotten cold and windy, but of course I love it when its dark outside at 4 pm. It makes driving home even more exciting. At least most cars have their lights on now. The deer, not so much.

As you may know, Bonnie Hunter has released the colors and yardage for her yearly mystery quilt. (You can find that info HERE if you're interested.) I love Bonnie, and her quilts, but I have not had a lot of luck with the mystery quilts. I made Easy Street with no problems, then got hung up on Celtic Solstice. I tried again with En Provence, but I have once again failed miserably.  I think it's the Tri-Recs pieces. I just really dislike cutting them and making them, and they are crucial to those two quilts. Of course I didn't do the ones with no Tri-Recs, which now seems like a dumb move on my part.

Indoor pictures! Because outdoor pictures don't work in November.

I did finally finish Celtic Solstice (and I'm almost over the trauma-- just kidding! I actually like it now), but what I have now for En Provence are some blocks, a ton of pieces, and absolutely zero desire to make any more of either one.  I thought I might use the mystery time this year to finally get this baby out of the closet and off the UFO list.  So, here was my thought-- how can I put this together without stitching even one more unit, but still use up most of what I have?


The first thing I did was pull out all of these pink/ magenta pieces. I feel like I made a billion of them and it turns out that a billion is enough to make a completely separate quilt.  I plan to make some stars from them and do something else for an alternate block. Maybe in yellow? But that's a problem for another time.


I have enough of the purple and green units made to completely finish up 14 blocks, so I thought I would round that down to a nice dozen blocks and set them 3 by 4.  I played around with the other pieces for a sashing and came up with this:


I kind of like this, because of the secondary stars and the circle effect, and also because it does not require any more pieces to be stitched, just the quilt top assembled. Still a lot of pieces, but completely doable. It will not have as much color or vibrancy as the one Bonnie designed, or be as big, but it will be done and out of my closet.  And-- I can't stress this enough-- I will not have to make any more pieces!

I have no real idea what to do for a border yet, but I have these to work with:


I think I should be able to create a border from those, don't you? It may not look like much, but there are a *lot* of 4-patches there.

That's my plan for "mystery season." If you are making this year's mystery, I'll be cheering you on from here. Cheer me on, too, and maybe we'll both have quilts at the end of this!

Hope you're all having a good week!

17 comments:

Kate said...

Looks like you've got a great plan to get those blocks out of the closet and into a finished quilt. I'm going to do Bonnie's Mystery again this year, but I haven't pulled my fabrics yet. Trying to decide if I stick with her colors or if I go my with my own. A lot depends on what I have in the stash.

Libby in TN said...

Your are at the same point I am! I set my finished blocks into a big square. My idea was to put it on point and use the neutral 4Ps to fill in the corners. It was going to be huge and boring. Like you, I have a bazilliion of the fuchia tri-recs units. I got it out at sew day yesterday and we decided to use those star points to elongate top and bottom and call it done. NO more BH mysteries for me! That is, after I finish Celtic Solstice at retreat next week...

Alison V. said...

I haven't done any of the mysteries that you have done/started but I understand the frustration with the triangle in a square units. I like your plan of using what you have in a quilt and moving on. I'd like to go back and do some of the older mysteries someday but we'll see.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

Good Fortune is the only Bonnie Mystery quilt I did and it consumed me it seemed for six months. I think this time I will print and save the pattern instructions and then start it after Christmas perhaps and see what the top looks like - you know some eager quilters will have it done a day after the last instructions come out!

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

I love all your colorful pieces and parts, Mari! However you put them together, they're going to be beautiful, even if your result is different from the original design. I have just recently started playing with my Tri Recs ruler set, and find I don't really enjoy making those units either! If I'm going to use it more, I need to add something to the back side that keeps the ruler from slipping. Good luck with using up those blocks!

gayle said...

Good luck! It looks like you've got some excellent plans for using all those orphan parts! That's one of the things I like about Bonnie's mysteries: at least all the units you make can be recycled into something else if you don't end up wanting to make her quilt.
I actually don't mind making the tri-recs units - which is good since I keep being attracted to quilts that need them. (My first quilt using them was even made before I acquired a tri-recs template set, and it was equal parts tri-recs units and nine-patches. Those templates were a dream come true!)

PaulaB quilts said...

Oh my goodness. I have practically the same story when I tried to do the En Provence. I liked the colors very much, but the train wrecks (that was what my dictation heard instead of Tri-Recs, very appropriate) was so difficult and I ended up not even using them or trying to put them someplace else. I never did finish the quilt. All the parts have been recycled. The other thing is that for my taste her patterns are too busy and the eye has nowhere to rest. Good luck to you!

ButterZ said...

It took me a year to do ON RINGO LAKE (top only). I am helping my friend get her ON RINGO LAKE top finished this weekend. I am going to start this years mystery but it won't be in her time slot. I will take my time.
If you have had enough the best thing is to get them out and finish them into a usable quilt. AND your own design

sue s said...

I had to put En Provence away for almost a year. But once I decided to gift it I was able to finish it and actually grew to like it. I do like your ideas here for the blocks. I haven't decided yet about this year's.

Quiltdivajulie said...

I do what I call my NOT a Mystery quilts - this year's edition will be shared on the blog tomorrow. GREAT plan to use your pieces and parts and make your quilt YOUR way!

piecefulwendy said...

I watch Bonnie's mysteries from afar and ooh and aah over all the quilts being made. I know enough about myself to know that her pace is too fast for me. I'd quickly get behind with all the diversions I'd find along the way. Haha. I think you are coming up with a great solution for this quilt. The colors are fantastic!

MissPat said...

Wow, I sense a theme here about doing Bonnie's mysteries. The only recent ones I have done are Celtic Solstice (finished and gifted) and En Provence (flimsy stage). I love the look the triangle in a square units create, but, like many others, dislike making them. I gave up on the tri-recs ruler and used Deb Tucker's Studio 180 ruler, which is marginally more accurate, but still a pain. Still undecided about this year's mystery.
Pat

KaHolly said...

Perfect plan! I love it when you share your thought process. It’s so helpful and inspiring.

Louise said...

This sounds like an excellent plan for your orphan blocks! They really are lovely and deserve to shine in a quilt. Just put Bonnie's design out of your head and forge ahead :)

Chopin - A Passionate Quilter said...

Great way to test your design skills, use up UFO pieces, and end up with a couple of beauties! Hugs

JanineMarie said...

I like how you’re reworking the mystery bits and making them your own. I think they will still be delightfully colorful. I love to see Bonnie’s quilts, but I think they would be overwhelming for me.

Bernie Kringel said...

As with the commenters above - I like your plan to use these blocks and bits. You have a lot of really cool pieces and I love the colors - go for it. I think this is going to be a really nice finish. Also in agreement with the others that A BH Mystery quilt with be too much for me. I enjoy much simpler piecing . However I do love looking at what other quilters end up with when they make her quilts. They are really gorgeous. Go for it Mari. This is going to be a great one.