Posts filed under Mystery Quilts

On Ringo Lake

On Ringo Lake was Bonnie Hunter's 2017 holiday mystery quilt. I finished the top shortly after the final reveal in January, but only recently got it quilted and bound. The pattern is available here.

I started this quilt with the intention that it would go to a baby girl, though I didn't have a specific baby in mind. I'm of an age that a lot of my friends are having children, so it's always good to have a baby quilt on hand.

My friends Phil and Leesha recently had their first child, but they were expecting a boy. They were certainly surprised to discover their bundle of joy was actually a daughter! And I was glad to have just finished On Ringo Lake the night before she was born. We hurried to get some pictures so I could give them the quilt that weekend.

I had a lot of fun working on this one. Every so often, it's nice to play with little pieces. And some of these were pretty little! The squares in the nine-patches finish at just 1". I was originally thinking I might make everything at half size for this quilt. Thank goodness that unit came out first to convince me not to do it!

I quilted it with Clockworks by Anne Bright. I wanted something with circles to mirror the bubbles in the purple fabric. Clockworks is a fun design with a lot of movement.

For the backing, I used a single piece of fuschia minky. You just can't beat the texture of minky for a baby quilt, and I love the way it shows the quilting.

No quilt is finished until it's been labeled. I kept the label pretty simple on this one. I seem to lose my eloquence when I'm in a hurry, but it has the basics.

I bound the quilt with the same blue fabric that I used on the front. It provides just the right amount of contrast around the edges.

I'm really glad I had this quilt on hand to give them in a hurry. I'm thinking I may have to make a few more baby quilts just so I'm ready for surprises!

What about you? Do you keep quilts ready to give away at a moment's notice? Have they ever come in handy? I'd love to hear your stories! Leave me a comment, and I'll be sure to get back to you.

Bobbi's Signature.png

Easy Street Quilt

Some quilts take much longer to make than others. This was one of those quilts. I started working on it in 2012 when Bonnie Hunter was presenting it as her annual holiday mystery. I had only been quilting about six months at the time, and I was still plugging away at my first quilt.

I thought the mystery quilt would be a fun diversion, and she said it would be easy! It turns out that it was about equal parts thrilling and overwhelming. The idea of a mystery was fun, but I struggled to keep up. It was so many pieces, the units were challenging for a newbie, and they all had to come out the right size. I ended up falling behind, and after the reveal came out I was discouraged and put it away.

That quilt spent the next few years living in the closet while I attempted to forget about it. I'm not generally the type to start something without finishing it, so knowing it was there was a bit like having a pebble in my shoe - it refused to be ignored! I finally caved in October of 2015 and pulled it out to finish.

The first thing I did was spend some serious time thinking about the design. When I was working on it as a mystery, I went with the color scheme that Bonnie suggested. I was excited because it was all of my favorite colors. However, when the final design was revealed, it had too much of the bright green for my taste, so I needed to come up with something a bit different.

It's hard to tell by looking at it, but this quilt is actually made up of two different blocks set on point. I ended up deciding to swap the blue and green in the alternate blocks only. I'm really glad I did that, because I love the way it looks! Fortunately, it didn't require a huge amount of reworking units I had already made.

Finishing the quilt was a bit of a challenge, because the units I originally made in 2012 weren't consistently sized. Fortunately, I've gotten much better at piecing over the years. I made the rest of the units needed for the quilt, and those all came out the right size. As I assembled the quilt, I fudged the seam allowances wherever possible to make my old units match the size of my new units.

Once the top was finished, I decided to use the leftover fabric to piece the back. I love pieced quilt backs! Every time I make one, I think it's my favorite. This one was a ton of work and took me several weeks to finish. About halfway through, I decided I had lost my mind; but when it was finished, I was so glad that I stuck with it.

For the quilting, I wanted an overall design that would look great and be fairly forgiving. My beginning piecing skills meant that this quilt didn't lay as flat as I would prefer. Check and Chase was the perfect quilting choice. I love the combination of swirls and spikes, and the design is good for easing in a little bit of fullness in the quilt top.

It's easier to see the quilting on the back of the quilt since it's not quite so busy. This is one of my favorite quilting designs. If you're looking for something to put on a guy quilt, this may be just the thing. It has lots of movement with a bit of softness, yet it's not the least bit frilly.

Every quilt has a story, and the label is there to tell the tale. This one reads:

Easy Street
Mystery quilt designed by Bonnie Hunter in 2012.
I tweaked the design and pulled it out to finish at the end of October 2015.
I did the back improv style to have fun and use up the scraps.
Pieced and quilted by Bobbi Bridgeman.
Gallatin Gateway, Montana
Finished Jan 2016

I typically write the label before attaching it to the quilt, because I find it's easier when there isn't extra fabric under the label while I'm writing. Since I sew the label in with the binding, the date reflected is usually when I sew the binding down by machine. I often finish the quilt in the same month as I attach the binding, but not this time. In this case, it took about six more months for me to finally finish securing the binding to the back of the quilt by hand.

Even though it took me four years from start to finish, I'm so happy that I didn't give up on this quilt. It was great to see how far my piecing skills have come, and I love the final product. Since it's been finished, I have had it on my bed more often than not. I love this quilt!

I'm linking up with Amanda Jean's Finish It Up Friday.

En Provence Mystery: Half Square Triangles

Bonnie was kind and went easy on us with this week's clue. All we had to make were half square triangles, and it was the fewest units in a clue so far. I'm grateful for the easy week since we were quite busy with Christmas.

After I posted last week, I realized that I had accidentally used the wrong fabric for the tri-recs units. Bonnie called for those units to be made with neutrals and dark purple. Unfortunately, I made them with the blue that I'm using in place of her light purple. This week, I re-made the units with the super dark grey that is my version of her dark purple. Once those were done, I was able to make the half square triangles with the same fabric.

I'm starting to really enjoy playing with the units each week. After I fixed the tri-recs units and made the half square triangles, I tried a couple of different layouts with just those pieces.

Today, I pulled out all of the units we've made so far and laid them out together. We still have two colors that we haven't sewed with yet. I'm hopeful that one of those will come out in the next clue. I'm excited to add more color the next time I play with units.

I'm participating in Bonnie's Mystery Monday Link-Up. Check it out if you would like to see some of the other colors people are working with.

Posted on December 26, 2016 and filed under Mystery Quilts.