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“Good Fortune” is Revealed!

I hope 2019 is getting off to a good start for you and your loved ones!   It is so hard to believe that time is marching by this quickly!   I remember when 2007 sounded so far off.   2019!!!

This week not only was the beginning of the New Year, but the reveal of Bonnie Hunter’s Mystery Quilt “Good Fortune”.  This is the first of her mysteries I have participated in.  I have thought about participating.   I have even downloaded the PDFs, but I have never actually done one.  Part of the reason why I have not is because of the time of the year.  Another big part was the fact that I was going to put that time into making a quilt that I had no idea whether or not I would like.  I admire Bonnie’s quilts.  I look through her website, and like 95% of them, but who knows about this one?   But. hey, scraps are accumulating and they have to go somewhere, right?

Well, I am super glad I did!   This quilt is going to be gorgeous!  And I have learned so much from her hints that I had not heard before, even though I have quilted for many years.

What have I learned?

  • Next time I will be more adventurous (yes, I said next time!) and stray a bit from Bonnie’s color palette.  If the color values remain the same, and the colors look good together, it should work.  I love what she picked, in spite of all the orange, but I would make it mine next time, and change the colors up, keeping in mind what color scraps I have in excess.
  • I had never heard about keeping the ruler line on the fabric and not on the cutting mat.  Just that extra “scant” when cutting makes a really big difference.
  • I learned that there IS a use for the strips of Christmas paper that you have left after wrapping gifts!   I used these for the foundation paper for the neutral rectangles.
  • I am still in amazement at all the planning that Bonnie Hunter has put into these.  I am not a pattern follower.  I love to put my own blocks together, and design them myself.   But I cannot fathom putting all of this together, right down to the direction to press every piece and have it all come out properly.   I have never done anything this intricate with this many pieces.
  • I learned to trust the authority, and blindly follow.  GULP!  I had no choice if I was going to do this.  I had no idea what the final goal was, other than a quilt.  (I like plans, and l like to work the plan!)  It was obvious I was working a plan, but I had no idea where that plan was going to lead.   Lots of good life lessons in that one!
  • Last but not least, I learned to slow down and enjoy the process.  I am a get it done person, who has trouble sitting still.  But when you know that you won’t know for a few days what the next step is, it takes some of the fire out of the “get it done”.   Why rush when you are going to be able to move on anyway?

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My Helper, Lucy, supervised while I removed the paper foundations.

Now I can’t wait to get the blocks together so that I can play with the beautiful borders!  If you haven’t gone to the website and looked at this beauty, or better yet, downloaded the free instructions, I would encourage you to click here!  The free instructions disappear the beginning of February.  After that, they will be incorporated into a pattern or book.

I saw this quip Willowlane Designs posted on Facebook, and thought I would share.  It pretty much sums up my hopes for this year!  (She has the prints for sale, as well as other goodies, so check her out!)

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Bonnie Hunter’s 2018 Mystery Quilt, “Good Fortune” Part 3

Bonnie Hunter "Good Fortune" part 3

Good grief!  Is Christmas really only a little over two weeks away???   I am SOOO far behind this year!  Between babysitting little ones, working on the store and the new designs to be released in early 2019, and the Mystery Quilt, I lost track of how quickly Christmas was approaching!

I have been doing a pretty good job of keeping up with Bonnie Hunter’s Mystery Quilt “Good Fortune” (https://quiltville.blogspot.com/2018/12/mystery-monday-link-up-part-3.html), but I am afraid I am going to have to slow down on it and get my Christmas together.   Our family dynamic is way outside the box of being normal.  (As Patsy Clairmont says, “Normal is just a setting on your dryer.”)  We have lots of grandkids and a couple of great-grandkids, and the great-grands are older than some of the grands.  At the moment we have five under the age of 5.  Three of those are grands.  Two are great-grands.  (I had my four children over a 16 year span, and my youngest child and my oldest grand are only 2 1/2 years apart.)  Christmas is going to be really fun this year, IF I pull it together!  🙂

So, back to “Good Fortune”.   Here is what I have so far:

Basket of Quilt Pieces for Bonnie Hunter "Good Fortune" Part 3

 

Obviously, I need a larger basket!

It is really fun to play with all of the little blocks and wonder how Bonnie is going to put them together when all is said and done.  I realize the arrangement at the top of this page doesn’t work.  The green and neutral squares would not fit like this after they were all sewn together, but it was fun to play with them!  I only have about a fifth of the green and neutral ones sewn together at this point, but I will plug away at them in the late evenings until the next clue comes out Friday.  If I don’t get all of them done, the rest will have to wait until after Christmas.

In the meantime, hopefully my great-granddaughter and I will decorate the Christmas tree today.  (She is hanging out with me today while her mom does nursing school clinicals), and get some online shopping and my store work done so that I can get back to “Good Fortune” without feeling guilty about taking the time to sew!

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Wish me “Good Fortune” as I try to get this poor naked tree dressed today!

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Bonnie Hunter’s 2018 Mystery Quilt, “Good Fortune”

I have considered doing a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt for many years now, but joining just before Christmas was a hindrance.  I have folders on my computer of a couple of the PDF’s from years gone by, hoping that I would make it during another part of the year, but without the deadlines and community, never started them.  One year I even tried to get some quilter friends to do it with me, but was not convincing enough.

This year, someone posted about it in a Facebook group I am active in, and I decided that this was the year to just do it.  It really helped the decision that when the paint swatches came out, they were all colors that I had in my scrap bin or my stash, and using much of that fabric was priority.  So…  I have taken the plunge, and I am glad I did!  It actually is a nice break at the end of the day to go to my sewing area and work on something rather mindless.  Bonnie has done all the hard work, and each week you are just doing the same block, in the same way, over and over.

This is Week Two of actual sewing, and I would think it would be quite possible to jump in now and still keep up.  All the information and the free downloadable PDFs are on Bonnie Hunter’s website.    In one of her posts or instructions, she gave “permission” (Let’s face it… some personalities need to get permission!  🙂 ) to do part of the blocks and make a wall quilt, or do part now and catch up later.  I thought that was probably what I would end up doing, but I actually get a little caught up in it and go farther than I expected.  So far I have completed all of the Week One blocks (the red and neutral ones) and almost half of the Week Two (blue and neutral) blocks.  Week Three instructions come out Friday, so I plan on being done with these by then.

Bonnie’s instructions are very good, and even though I am an experienced quilter, I am learning time saving and accuracy tips.  Another plus is that at least the first couple of blocks are small pieces.  I have been able to use some fabric that needed to be cut very small to look good and get them out of my stash.

I plan on posting weekly updates of progress on here, but I realize that as it gets closer to Christmas it may be fewer pieces than needed, and I will have to catch up later.   I would love it if you would join along!

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Color Inspiration for Quilting

beautiful sunrise, quilt color inspiration, God's handiwork, featured

Heaven is declaring God’s glory; the sky is proclaiming his handiwork.  Psalms 19: 1

When I first started quilting, most of the quilting fabrics were “calicos” and solids.  There were few “quilt” shops (I don’t think I saw a single one until I was well into quilting and that was in an Amish area almost 2 hours away).   The big box fabric stores did not have aisle after aisle of fabrics organized by color.  There definitely were not many collections and colorways to help with your fabric choices, and for the most part I used fabrics that were left from other sewing projects.

So…  if you are not an art major, how do you pick colors that will look good together when you are finished?  I think the best advice I ever received on this subject is this:  Look to God’s creation.  In my early days, I would not have considered putting a vivid red and a vivid purple together, and definitely would not have put green in the mix.  But look at the poppies on my first blog.   How beautiful they are!   All red and purple, against a background of green!   The green makes the red “pop” because your brain cannot register red and green at the same time.  Consider the salmon, blue, and purples in the sky in this sunrise against the black background.  Wouldn’t either of these palettes make for a beautiful quilt?

Or consider the beautiful colors of a different sunrise: the soft pastel peaches, yellows, blues, pinks, and lavenders!  If you happen to be as fortunate as I am, you may even have a golden field of wheat below them to accent all of it.    Or how about the colors of autumn?   Or the colors of the rainbow?   Or the colors of the beach: the water, sand, birds, and seafoam?  Then there are the mountains… or a bouquet delivered by the florist… or a snowy day with blue jays and cardinals and the scarf of the snowman…  I am sure you have the idea.  Look around you.  Color is everywhere.  When you see something that registers as “I love that!” or “That is beautiful!” consider snapping a picture and capturing those colors in your next quilt!

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The Journey Does Indeed Begin!

poppies, color inspiration, Artfully Quilted Design, Purple and Red

He refreshes my soul.  He guides me along paths for his name’s sake.  Psalm 23:3

Retirement…  A time to step back, relax, take life easy.   That is what we like to think the definition is, but is it?   Or is it a clean slate to start doing that which you have been building within your life for many years?

I believe that whatever the Lord has brought into our lives, the experiences, the things that we have learned, the talents we have honed, the people we have met, the skills we have acquired, the passions we have developed, all have a purpose.  They all build on each other, and if we follow the path set before us, at some point they all converge.

And so this new life begins…