I have a forced day off since my daughter is home with a sore throat. She is tucked into her sick bed on the couch with a marathon of cartoons, and I have some extra time in the sewing room! I am still working on Bonnie Hunter’s Grand Illusion (remember to print out the pattern if you want it free…she will take it off her website soon for future publication).
The green checkboard rows are the sashing. There will be additional borders. If I can stay organized enough, I put tops together in a “twosy-foursy” method that I learned from Jackie Robinson. I made myself some notes…
Since you don’t want to end up with double sashing, some blocks get one, two or three sides sashed and then attached to other blocks. My grand plan fell apart rather quickly, while I was trying to do multiple rows instead of an orderly progression. I haven’t needed to rip anything yet, so it’s all good. I just need to slow down and work step by step. This is a perfect place to incorporate some leader-ender squares!
Bonnie Hunter, at Quiltville, revealed her layout for the mystery quilt, Grand Illusion. I love the shimmery effect, it makes me think of crystals and snowflakes. I only had time to put a couple blocks together.
Here is the basic center with three of the weekly clues:
I was going for a scrappy look, but I had a larger piece of the checkerboard pink print, so that will show up most often!
And then we added one more unit for sashings with some solid cornerstones. TA-DA!
I had hoped for more sewing time this vacation, but family outings have taken priority.
i managed to get clue 5 done for the Grand Illusion mystery:
We (all of us MQAL followers) are anxiously waiting for Friday morning to see if we will be sewing more units or if it is time to put things together. You can find the mystery details as well as many other patterns and tutorials at Bonnie’s website (www.quiltville.blogspot.com)
In between clues, I have been working on some other UFO’s. Over the summer I joined a Swoon block exchange. The blocks are in rows and I have a plan for borders, and have even started on the back!
I also finished the December blocks for the Mod Mod QAL.
Both of these are destined for Quilts of Valor.
I had a few spare moments to work on Grand Illusion over the past couple weeks, and now I have at least 10 units for each clue.
This has been a fun project and Bonnie Hunter has written excellent instructions. Visit her blog, and click on the TAB in the menu for the Grand Illusion mystery quilt. I was tempted by Celtic Solstice last year, and now I have to wait for the pattern to be releases. The lesson is to print the pattern while it is free!
So here are more progress photos. Clue #2 was the diamond unit. I chose to cut half square triangles and diamonds rather than rectangles. My accuracy improved a great deal when I laid the triangle on top to sew.
A finished clue 2 unit:
Clue 3 is a checkerboard which I made from strip sets.
Another tip…keep the instructions handy! I read through them on my iPad, and usually sketch the layout so I have a hard copy next to the sewing machine. But, I was in a hurry and ended up putting things together wrong. Oh well, that’s why we have seam rippers. I was also challenged to keep this unit scrappy. Somehow, I kept getting like fabrics next to each other. So the few truly scrappy units, with 8 different fabrics, really make me happy! (I say the FEW units, because I was tired of ripping and I am willing to accept minor imperfections)
Clue #4 was more broken dishes units. I am really liking the Easy Angle ruler for making half square triangles.
Here is another view of the clue 3 and 4 units:
For the past few years (four? five?) Bonnie Hunter, who quilts and blogs at Quiltville, designs a new mystery quilt and the kick-off for 2014 was last Friday.
I had several weeks to consider fabric choices, and even do some shopping. I stuck with the recommended color scheme of yellow, pink, teal, green, black and neutral. Here are a few of my choices…
Then I had the special treat of joining a sewing group IN PERSON on Friday! There are quilters from my church who have sewing days 3 times a month, and since I had the day off from work I joined in the fun. It was only the second time all year that I have been able to sew in a group setting, and I really enjoyed it.
I packed my project in a new Thirty-One storage box:
And then it was time to cut! Our first step was making 280 half square triangles. I opted to do half the required blocks, because I plan to adjust the final layout for a rectangular quilt rather than square.
Here are the 50 broken dishes blocks that make up my Clue #1: