the Mystery Quilt … Solved

NTF question mark 3 bestest

I belong to an online quilt group which seems to always have some type of challenge going. My friend Kelli talked me into joining the fun of doing a mystery quilt. Never having done one I decided to give it a try.

Each Wednesday we were given a ‘clue’, which were directions on what to do with the material we’d selected. (I was thankful for the direction to use fall colored material.) What sizes to cut and how many until eventually how to assemble all the pieces.

This whole experience was way, WAY out of my comfort zone. I like to know what I’m working toward even if I seldom stick to a pattern without a little tweaking here and there just because I can.

After digging through my stash, pulling out anything I thought looked even a little fall-ish I decided I was ready… until I read the first clue. Cut 192 / 4 inch squares each of cream colored and fall colored material. YIKES!!!

I took a deep breath and dug deeper into the stash. I was determined not to buy new material for this project. And eventually, after pairing up the creams and prints and making them all into half-square triangles I was 384 pieces in… there was no turning back now.

This seemed to take FOREVER…

NTF mq2

Then came the next clue… I needed to make 12 maple leaf blocks. I love these blocks. I’ve done them many times before and… only 12!!! This sounded like a walk in the park compared to that pile of half-square triangles.

I still use the previously made leaf as a model for the next block layout just to give the seam ripper the day off. It’s the simple mistakes that are the most frustrating.

Knee deep in HST’s and maple leaves left me nowhere to go but forward. Forward ended up being the process of putting 384 half-square triangles together in a certain order and in certain numbers. I kept thinking… If only I knew what this is supposed to look like I’d feel more confident.

All pieces ready and waiting for assembly…

quilt mystery quilt blocks waiting

Then came the last clue. (YAY!) …and it is finished! Being true to myself, I did tweak the border sizes to fit the material I had on hand… Just so I could say; the mystery was hidden in my fabric stash and not at the store.  

NTF mq9

Will I ever do another mystery quilt again? As of now, I’d say no.

When I make a quilt, the creative part of me wants a say in the final results. I think most artistic people feel this way. Our creations come not just from our hands but from our hearts. Our quilts are a piece of our lives made out of love to give comfort.

Until next time… Happy Stitching!

Sewing Needle with Red Thread

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Grandmother’s Flower Garden

It’s a rainy day here in the Pacific Northwest. (There is no real news in that.) So far we are spending these early spring months indoors while our lawn grows out of control. This also means all gardening will have to wait. Well, maybe not all…

NTF June Tailor hexagon templates

A while back I purchased a package of June Tailor’s Simple Shape – Hexagons templates. (Because sometimes you have a coupon that is so good it MUST be used even if there is nothing you really need.)

My mother-in-law used to make Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilts all the time. This was her go to quilt. At the time, I wasn’t impressed. But times change…

NTF first hexie

So today while the clouds leaked, I cracked open the package of templates and awkwardly made my way through my very first flower… It was a proud moment.

Now the bug had bit and I had to do another. This time I would experiment with a little streamlining of the process. I drug out seven templates and made all the pedals at once.

Yeah, I know. That would be the obvious thing to do in the first place but I had no clue what I was doing.

NTF hexie 2

 

I held the template in place with a dab of glue from a glue stick. Then I spritzed the edges with a little spray starch before folding the edges over and pressing, creating the hexagon. (The template pops right out and the starch holds everything in place.)  

I found a little pin helps to hold the two hexies being sewn together helps stop any shifting.

NTF hexie 6

 

 

Now I can’t wait to make more. They are easy. the pieces can be made ahead of time. They are small and portable. They don’t take much material which makes them a great scrap buster. (All mine today were from my scrap box)

 

I’m now hooked on hexies(because my other four quilting projects wasn’t enough.)

NTF hexie 4

Until next time… Happy Stitching!!!

Sewing Needle with Red Thread

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Little Light and A Little Green

I’m finding that if I’m given the choice to sit in front of my sewing machine or in front of the computer… I choose the sewing machine! So this little blog has suffered a minor abandonment before it barely got started.

I have been busy. Mostly with the Mystery Quilt. There will be more on that later.

My sewing area…which from here on out will be referred to as my  Sewing Studio because it sounds much more upscale than My Basement Happy Place …only has one little window sunk in a window well and only fosters sunlight in the earliest hours of the day while I’m still asleep… assuming the sun decides to shine here in the PNW. That leaves the other twenty-two hours of the day in need of another light source.

My sewing machine has a built-in light… sort of. Even though it’s an LED light these old eyes of mine need more help. So I’m always looking for the tips and tricks of others. And I found one I thought sounded pretty nifty…

I took a trip to Home Depot and found a basic headlamp flashlight by Energizer. (Mr.P, didn’t have the vision, and looked at me like I was crazy. I think he thought I was going to actually wear the headlamp.) I couldn’t wait to try out my plan.

This is my sewing machine with just the machine light…

NtF light tip

This is my sewing machine with some headlamp action…

NTF light tip 2

This makes my eyes happy!!!

In the last two weeks most of my time in The Studio has been dedicated to the Mystery Quilt. But everyone needs a break now and again so I shoved the fall colors to the side and dug out some greens…

This little four leaf table runner was a fun break and should be finished by next Friday. If you are interested, it is a Fons and Porter, Quilting Quickly pattern and the tutorial can be found here.

Luck O' the Irish table runner

 Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

…and Happy Stitching!

Sewing Needle with Red Thread