Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Catching Up

I once had a co-worker who was fond of the saying "The faster I go, the behind-er I get".  I understand how she felt.  It's been quite a while since I posted, so now here I am, catching up.

First, the Celtic Solstice Mystery Quilt, by Quiltville's Bonnie Hunter.  When last I wrote, I was still dithering about what to do to make it longer, so it would be a rectangle instead of a square.  Here's what I did:

I took some of the parts I had made for the pieced border (the triangles with the orange background) and made new blocks.  I was all out of orange, (except for one short 2 in. strip), so I made 4 patches of green print and shirting fabrics.  The blue star points help carry the circular design out to the edge.  For the alternate block, I used the very last of the orange with yellow to make as many half square triangle squares as I could, and sewed them into the corner units.  Then I used green and yellow to make the rest of the ones I needed.  The centers are 4 patches made from green and yellow prints.
In this photo you can see the original blocks and the new blocks.  I added a row of the new blocks at the top and at the bottom.
Here is the quilt laid out.  It is in two pieces, because I may quilt it that way.  I am still dithering about the borders.  Blue?  Green?  Both?  Maybe some yellow?  Just not orange, remember, I'm out.
Click here to get back to the Celtic Solstice Link Up Finale
Link Up Finale

In other news, I finished a charity top for our guild.  A wonderful person will quilt it on her long arm machine, and it will go to someone who needs it.
It's a dancing nine patch, from Bonnie Hunter's free pattern.  Here's a link to it:  Dancing Nine Patch
I changed it a little.  The original pattern calls for 2 in. squares.  I used 2.5 in. strips for the blocks and 2 in. strips for the green joining strips.
When my friend Joey came to visit a few months ago, she brought me a huge batch of 2.5 in. strips.  She had cut them using her Accuquilt strip cutter.  Can you guess what they were cut from?
These were pillow panels from the 1990s!  Check out the colors--dusty pink, Williamsburg blue, forest green, plus lots of pin dots and extra fun prints of cats and Amish quilts.  As decorating fabrics, these have gone out of style, but they are still good colors, and the fabrics are 100% cotton.  I added the forest green strips in between the blocks, which are cut from a Jinny Beyer fabric I bought at a flea market.
The border is a blue and green print from the local chain fabric store.

Would you believe I just finished making 168 quilt blocks?  It's true--but I have to admit they're only 4 in. finished.
They're called Shaded 4 Patch.  Sometimes they're called Mary's Triangles.  They are easy and fun to make.  The book I'm using for the pattern is one I've had for a long time, called Triangle Tricks, by Karen C. Soltys.  Below is a link to a tutorial made in a similar way.
Shaded Four Patch Tutorial

How did I have time to make all these blocks?  I went on my favorite retreat, to my friend Debbie's house.  This is our second annual January retreat and it could not have been better.
We set up tables in her living room.  Her husband was at a conference, so there was nobody to inconvenience with all our stuff.  I brought LOTS, including two sewing machines.  Clara, the little Singer hand crank pictured at the top of this post, was on her shakedown cruise.  I've had her a long time, but hadn't been able to sew with her due to a broken faceplate.  I finally replaced it with the right size, and she sewed like a champ.  The machine shown above is Emmy Lou (a Harris--I tend toward obvious names), and I brought her for a back up.
More of our stuff.  Debbie is using the antique stars in a new creation.
Debbie's stuff.  She is modern and adventurous, but loves the old quilts, too.  So she makes the most amazing blends of repro/vintage inspired fabrics with bright new stuff.  I can't show what she's currently working on, just take my word for it, it's knock your socks off terrific.
Did I mention we bought some fabric?  Here's Debbie, trying out some ideas.
Debbie also gave me a WHOLE BAG of scraps to work up into charity quilts or add to my own.  I can hardly wait to start cutting it up.
But wait, there's more!  A whole BOX of plaid strips, strings, and yardage, plus a few other goodies tucked in.  Treasure!
In spite of the horribly cold weather outside, we had a wonderful warm long weekend, working on our projects together.  We chatted, we knitted, we watched Downton Abbey.

We were catching up.

Keep warm, and keep quilting.



  1. That is a clever way to lengthen the mystery quilt. I love seeing how people have altered the design to suit themselves. Although hundreds of us made it, they are all a little bit unique.

  2. What a lot of fun, I love sewing with friends!


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