Monday, November 28, 2011

Ocra Bay - Part 2 - Ornt'cha glad you started!

I got a really late start on Step 2 of Bonnie Hunter's Orca Bay Mystery Quilt but I'm loving it so far!

 This past weekend I decided to try Black Friday shopping in the U.S. for the first time, and what turned out to be the last time!  I can't stand the crowds, the mayhem and when the manager in Wal-Mart couldn't tell me where the line-up for the checkouts began, I abandoned my cart right then and there!  I did pick up some bargains elsewhere, mostly crafty things for me (alot) and clothes for the grandkids.

I was actually down in Monroe, WA for a scrapbooking retreat.  Between the shopping and our scrapbooking supplies, the van was packed coming home!

And there was still two suitcases and some groceries to fit in.  Good thing there was only 3 of us!

I had internet access so first thing Friday morning I checked in to see what Step 2 of Bonnie's mystery quilt was.  It just about killed me to have to wait til I got home to get started.  Amazingly, there was no lineup at the border considering it was the American Thanksgiving weekend, but I think everyone was home watching the Grey Cup (Go, Lions, Go!).  We got home about 7:20 p.m., I unloaded everything into the house and went straight to my sewing room.  Within 1/2 hour, I had 3 of those little 3 1/2 inch beauties done. I've only managed to get 7 done because I had to work today, but I plan on tackling it this week.

The colours aren't totally accurate because it was late at night, but I'm using the colour range from blue to aqua and teals and purples.  I can see myself making these blocks in monochrome and setting them in a rainbow style - a project for the future.

I still have to finish Step One but my little mini-bin is filling up - I have 67 in there now.

I also had two finishes this month, but only have a picture of one.  Some of my friends and I exchange birthday gifts, so this year I made lap quilts for everyone.  The last two had their birthdays this month, and I made their quilts with batiks I picked in the sampler sale in the fall, and a free pattern from Hoffman Batiks website called "Go With the Flow".  Of course, I forgot to take pictures, but one of the girls brought their quilt to the retreat and I managed to get a picture of it - she loves purple so every block has purple in it.

See you next week!

Monday, November 21, 2011

2011 Mystery Quilt - Part one- a whale of a project!

Just over a year ago, when I discovered quilting blogs I was drawn to Bonnie Hunter's as I needed to do something with my stash/scraps. Shortly after I started reading her blog, she launched her 2010 Mystery quilt, Roll, Roll Cotton Boll.  Not knowing much about her and her scrappy quilts, I wasn't convinced that a mystery quilt could look good.  Boy, was I wrong!

This year's mystery quilt, Orca Bay sounds like it's going to be a beauty and I'm in with bells on!  I couldn't wait to get home on Friday after work to get started on Part One, 224 quarter-square triangles that finish at 2" each.  I wasn't able to get them all done because we had an early family Christmas gathering on Saturday and Sunday was a project-finishing day (more later), but here is what I've accomplished so far:

37 finished Quarter-Square Triangles (also known as Hour-Glass Units)

Pretty maids all in a row!

Fifty or so more quarter-square triangles ready for sewing.

I use my design boards (made using this tutorial from Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet) to have everything lined up nice and neat, but sometimes it still fails!


Whoops.  Although Bonnie was very clear to make sure to have all the triangles neutral side up, I still managed to flip two of them.

Good thing I have Bonnie right by my side!

And just for you, Bonnie (in case you are reading), I'm even using some Jinny Beyer milleninum fabric!!  Thanks for the great inspiration you provide.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I love a good mystery but I've never tried a quilty one!

I've learned a lot in the last year since I discovered quilting blogs, but I have learned the most from Bonnie Hunter and her site. For the last few years around this time of year, she launches a quilt-along without revealing the final result until the end.  This year's mystery is called "Orca Bay" and is inspired by this picture she took in Alaska.  I love the colour combination so count me in!

This reminds me of the sunsets around here in BC, with the purply-blue mountains reflected in the water and the sun peaking through the clouds, with that lovely pink glow.  Bonnie is suggesting pulling scraps of fabric in colours of red, blue, black and light neutrals.  I think my choices are going to include a lot of pinky-purple in the red selections, and blue-purple for the blues.  Black is going to be tough, I might have to buy some fat quarters or eighths. 

Be sure to visit Bonnie's site for more information and consider joining the mystery club.  I'm not setting any lofty goals - if I manage to complete a few blocks each week just to get the steps down pat, I'll be happy finishing it in 2012.