Monday, January 5, 2015

Loosely Based on a Mystery

It has been such fun to do this mystery along with so many other quilters!  I haven't been posting lately, but I've been working right along in between family gatherings and having the flu, so I had most of the pieces done when Miss Bonnie posted The Big Reveal.  I'm ending as I began, sewing the quilt together on my Singer 15 treadle.
My quilt is very loosely based on Bonnie's pattern.  I hadn't made the 4 patches in part 5 yet when the reveal went down, and I decided I liked it better with a square in the center instead.
I alternated red and blue squares in the centers.  And you can see I made plain sashing, instead of using the pieced sections from part 3.  I made about half of those before the reveal, but the muddy green color I used just didn't look right with my blocks (one of the consequences of changing the colors, of course).  You probably can't see this in the photo, but the sashing is cut from a sewing machine print.  I've had this fabric for years.  I'm not sure what I was saving it for, it was just too precious to use, but it goes well in this quilt.

I used a hand crank to sew the blocks together.  This is a clone of a Singer model 28, and the first hand crank I bought on Ebay.  I picked it up locally from a really nice person, despite my husband being sure I would run into an axe murderer doing business this way.  Barely visible on the arm is the name Harris S.  At first I named her Emmy Lou (all my machines have super obvious names), but since she was brought here from England I tend to call her Mrs. 'arris, with a terrible Cockney accent.  She has been languishing on a shelf in the basement for literally years, but after a quick clean and some oil went right to work making these pretty blocks.
Speaking of the blocks, I went right to my book shelves to find this one.  As you can see, I had marked it with a check, which I do for all the blocks I think I might like to try.  This one was a little intimidating, so it was a big help making these sections a little at a time, with Bonnie's guidance.
Here's the cover of the magazine, if you're looking for it.  And Big Bang is right on the cover!
I've been working all over the house on this mystery, using different machines.  This Minnesota A treadle lived in my dining room, and was more or less inaccessible.  I moved it to the living room to work on part 4, which turned out to be the sections for the pieced borders.
Since I was out of my sewing room, I made a kit with the instructions, tools, and cut pieces.
Here's where things stand this morning.  I have two of the inner borders sewn on, and the other two ready to pin and sew.
The pieced borders are ready to go on next.  As you can see, I did them differently.  They're a little chaotic, but I like the diagonal movement from the triangles.
Quilts are personal.  Bonnie Hunter's quilt calls to mind her time at the Grand Hotel.  It helps preserve her memories of teaching and visiting.  You can tell it gives her joy from her writing.
My quilt has the same basic structure and almost the same pattern, and is completely different.  My quilt will reflect my memories of this mystery; the excitement of the clues, the fun of choosing colors, the joyous rhythm of sewing, the amazement when things turned out right, the enjoyment of sitting at the computer with a cup of tea looking at everyone's progress.  I will also remember using all these great machines that I've collected.  The fabric scraps remind me of other quilts I've made and fabric I've gathered, from conversation prints to Liberty of London.  These are my colors, my fabrics, my choices.  This is my quilt.
Happy quilting to all!
Update--I finished the flimsy this afternoon!  And this in spite of the cat helping me.
Here's what I did with the corners. am I going to quilt it?

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  1. This quilt is going to be beautiful! I like your colors and your adaptations of the pattern work great!

  2. I like what you've done with the mystery, creative license :) Fantastic old machine, but my a lot of work.

  3. It turned out great even with changing it up!

  4. I think that you and Mrs 'arris and friend have had a great romp while making this beautiful and "made for you" quilt. Well done and happy finishing.

  5. Looks great! and fun to use those old machines!

  6. I love the changes you made to the pattern! Looks wonderful1

  7. I love how your quilt turned out! I think it is one of my favorites of the quilts done.

  8. Lovely! I really like the ways you have made this quilt your own. And the beautiful machines you made it on!

  9. well done! Love your vintage machines, I've been using mine too. Just getting my Grand Illusion up on the working wall today. Too fun. Sharyn in Kalama


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