Saturday, December 31, 2016

Just in time for the New Year - Clue #6 of En Provence is In The Bag!

Finished our latest En Provence Mystery Clue #6, just in time to ring in our New Year!

Clue #6 of our En Provence Mystery
After getting caught up the very night before this latest clue was released, the morning of Friday, December 30th, there was NO time to waste to stay caught up!  I could hear my Mother urging me on to FINISH...especially since this is 'her' Tribute Quilt...OK Mom, Stop pushing ;-)

My Mother passed away suddenly the Monday after Thanksgiving five years ago, and every year it's a struggle to get through these holidays without her.  I'm hoping this En Provence Tribute Quilt will help a bit with this struggle.  At least there's been some healing in just the creating - funny how that works, isn't it?

I hadn't even planned to participate in the annual Quiltville Mystery this year, that was 'until' I saw the colors - they are ALL my Mom's very favorites!  There was NO choice, really - it was meant to be, in honor of her 5-year passing.

Anyway, to continue with the documentation of this very special quilt.  I followed Bonnie's instructions to the letter for this clue, well almost...

Remember those 'extra' neutrals I mistakenly cut in Clue #1 that I failed to mention/admit until Clue #2?  Well guess what - some of them were able to be used in this neat is that?

So, ALL I had to cut were the greens and lilacs, start stacking and whacking with Bonnie's Brand-NEW Essential Triangle Tool - and it worked like a jet!  Check these pics out:

Essential Triangle Tool - Perfect pieces every time!

Did just like Bonnie suggested in Clue #6, stacked four (4) layers of the greens/lilacs/neutrals and then cut out the correct quarter square triangles...easy/peasy ;-)

Cutting the full length of four strips at once - Who knew?

In NO time, it's off to the sewing machine to strip piece:

Strip piecing the quarter square triangles

All was going well until...something went wrong:

I don't think this clue requires THREE fabrics sewn together at once, do you?

As usual, in my zeal to finish, picked up three (3) units and sewed them together.  Didn't realize it UNTIL I started noticing that I was having to flip fabrics of the quarter triangle units prior to sewing them together because the right sides were NO longer facing...oops!  Did some picking on three mis-sewn units - not too bad, really.  And, started paying more attention prior to slipping each unit under the presser foot to sew!

Once they were ALL sewn, time to press:

Pressed and ready to assemble into hour glass units

And they came out fab me thinks:

Pressed/pruned, aren't these the cutest?
ALL ready to be bagged & tagged for their New Year Mystery reveal!
And here they are:

Clue #6 - Bagged/tagged

I liked this clue, once I got started, and I really did NOT think would!  Until now, these hour glass units have never been a favorite of mine to do.  I love how they look, just couldn't seem to cut/sew them accurately enough for my taste.  With Bonnie's tutelage, they turned out pretty good, and I think Mom would even approve.

Anxious to see what Bonnie has in store for us in our upcoming clues in the New Year!  In the meantime, to see what EVERYONE else is up to with our En Provence Mystery, just follow this direct web link:  (Please Note: NOT available until Monday, January 2, 2017, w/Monday morning link-up.  Check back then for the updated link...Thanks!  UPDATE 1/2/2017:  the Monday Morning linkup has been moved to January 9, 2017 by Bonnier herself...see you ALL then!!)

UPDATE January 4, 2017 - making progress on Clue #7:

A family emergency took precedence over block assembly of En Provence, understandably.  Now that things have settled down a bit, we're back to the joy of piecing our blocks.  Here's the first one...loving this!  And so would my Mom.

January 9, 2017 - 1st Block!

UPDATE January 9, 2017 - our latest En Provence Mystery link-up:

Until then - Happy New Year EVERYONE!

En Provence Intro
En Provence Part I
En Provence Part II
En Provence Part III
En Provence Part IV
En Provence Part V
En Provence Part VI & VII
En Provence FINISH!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Catching Up On En Provence!

Finally!  Been so busy w/holidays AND the flu, just now had the time and energy to get caught up...and just in time, 'cause tomorrow brings another En Provence Mystery Clue!

Clue #5 hot off the sewing machine, freshly pressed and ready to bag:

Clue #5 of En Provence ALL finished and ready to bag & tag!

I took advantage of the SNS method to create the HSTs needed for Clue #5 - primarily because I was in a hurry and this seems to be the very fastest method for me.

For those familiar with this method, strips of various sizes are cut, sewn & pressed:

 and cut again to create the desired results:

Strips sewn/pressed/trimmed and cut into HSTs

Prior to finishing up Clue #5, had previous other Mystery Clues to catch-up on, including Clue #3 - had only completed half of that clue sooo, had to get busy and finish!

Second half of Clue #3 - 'twisted' and ready for pressing
Clue #3 is ALL sewn/twisted/pressed and in the bag w/tags.  Apparently, I was in such a hurry to get to Clues #4 & 5, I forgot to take pics!  I'll get those later ;-)

It's later - here you go:

Bagged/tagged Clue #3

And for Clue #4 - you may remember me griping about having to do 'another' of these particular clues, since we also did a similar block unit with Clue #2...well, NO more!  Now that my AccuQuilt Go die arrived for this clue, I'm Golden!

Sewing these beauties after being perfectly cut by my Go! is a piece-o-cake - check out this perfection:

Perfectly cut pieces are now a joy to sew, thanks to my AccuQuilt Go!

Whipped these Purple/Neutral babies out in NO time!
How gorgeous are these purple/neutral sweeties aka 'peaky & spike':

Clue #4...DONE!
And very little pruning was required.  I'm sold!  I will NEVER hand cut peaky and spike blocks again, now that I have my AccuQuilt Go! and the necessary die #55027...what a time/lifesaver!!  I know it's showing up currently as on backorder, that's what it said when I first ordered BUT, it came in 2 weeks later soooo, IF you're interested, have faith because this die is so worth it.

To see what EVERYONE else is up to and doing with our En Provence Mystery, just follow this simple link:

Time to get ALL the Mystery Clues bagged up, put away and ready for Friday and Clue #6...


En Provence Intro
En Provence Part I
En Provence Part II
En Provence Part III
En Provence Part IV
En Provence Part V
En Provence Part VI & VII
En Provence FINISH!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016

En Provence - rolling Merrily Along...

We're up to Clue #3 of our En Provence Mystery by Bonnie K. Hunter, and it's a re-visit of Clue #1...check it out:

Lilacs & PURPLE 4-Patches...FUN!
Yep, we get to sew 4-Patches in lilacs and PURPLE - my Mom's very favorite color.  How fitting, since I decided to create this Mystery in her honor and as a tribute to her life.  I bet she is lovn' ALL these yummy PURPLES!

Chain piecing these lovelies was simply a Joy!

And there's plenty more where those came from:

LOTS of twosies to be sewn into 4 Patches
Once the sewing is complete - once again, time to do the twist ;-)

4 Patches know just how to twist, which creates another 4 patch in miniature...too cute!

And don't they ALL look loverly:

Clue #3 lilac and PURPLE 4 Patches

This is only half of what we need.  I'm digging through a NEW-found tub of fabrics that has some neat PURPLES.  Going to cut some of those to go with.  I'll finish and post an update when I do. Right now, fighting a bit of a cold/flu...time for some herbal tea!

To see and enjoy what EVERYONE else is up to w/Clue #3, Please follow this direct link:


En Provence Intro
En Provence Part I
En Provence Part II
En Provence Part III
En Provence Part IV
En Provence Part V
En Provence Part VI & VII
En Provence FINISH!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Clue #2 of En Provence Underway w/Updates!

After a brief delay getting started on Clue #2 of our latest Bonnie Hunter Mystery, En Provence, our second clue is now in progress!

Here are the first 25+ completed units of Clue #2:

25+ and counting!

After a good light pressing, time for some pruning to ensure ALL my units are the correct size:

Pruning is good!

And just a few more to stitch together and we're golden ;-)

The rest of Clue #2 - all cut and ready to be stitched...

I'll post an update when I finish ALL of Clue #2.

To see ALL the En Provence Mystery FUN, just follow this direct web link

Back to finishing up Clue #2!

UPDATE 12/9/2016:  More Clue #2 units finished:

Half of Clue #2 Finished!
Did you happen to notice anything in the above photo?  Can you see that my magenta 'constant' fabrics are different?

Here's a better pic w/close-up of these two fabrics - which are almost a perfect colorway match, btw, just NOT the same pattern design:

Two magenta constants!  We will make this work!!

There's a very good reason for this...I ran out of fabric!  I was two (2) strips short, couldn't find ANYTHING in my stash that would come close to matching up - at least what I can get to right the middle of a major re-organization project that's been going on for months now, hope to finish up in the New Year.

So, being a quilter we make do, right?  Especially when there is online fabric ordering w/FREE shipping and a terrific sale...Score!

I also must confess to cutting far too many strips of neutrals for Clue #1:

LOTS of Clue #1 extras - just in case I ran out...right!

Not really - I was just in a hurry to get started on Clue #1 and in my zeal, I just kept cutting and cutting and cutting like there was NO tomorrow.  I'll be ALL ready for the next Quiltville Mystery for sure ;-) Needless to say, had to add a few neutrals to my magenta order to be able to finish this Mystery!

Another confession - when I saw Clue #2, I started biting my lip with flashbacks of Celtic Solstice. This is NOT one of my favorite units to cut and/or create, sorry Bonnie.  (But I am getting better at these, especially after this week!)

The reason being - sewing not one but TWO bias edges together...yikes!  It can spell disaster if one enjoys sewing fast (me) AND using too heavy of a hand while sewing and pressing.  That's where my trusty stilletto comes in handy - NO pushy/grabby fingers for this touchy job.

No, no - this calls for a nice, light touch:

Sewing two bias edges together, aka "peaky & spike"...slowly and carefully!

And Mary Ellen's Best Press in Mint Splash Christmas GREEN can help make the pressing experience a tad more jolly ;-)

I spent the better part of the week, (in between quilting/binding/awarding Quilts of Valor), searching for alternative cutting/sewing methods in addition to what Bonnie generously provided - including Accuquilt Go! dies - and there just happens to be one...yippee!

There was another SALE.  I immediately treated myself to an early Christmas present and possibly, it 'might' be here by Christmas...sigh.  NO worries - there will be 'another' Bonnie Hunter Quiltville Mystery which WILL include this unit, since it is one of our Bonnie's favorite block units to add to her beloved Mysteries!

Accuquilt Go! Die #55027 - On Sale NOW!

UPDATE 12/12/2016:  Just heard back from the Accuquilt folks - this die has been oversold and will not ship until January, 2017!  Alrighty then, good thing we went to Plan B, which follows...

In desperation, had to start cutting to make sure I could get at least part of Clue #2 finished up prior to Clue #3 being released on Friday.  Pulled out the tried & true Tri-Recs tools and got busy cuttin'.  And yes, I did know when to stop cutting this time and not cut ALL my fabrics...sheesh ;-)

Mystery cutting tools...remember Celtic Solstice?

At least my fabric order arrived just in the nick of time with my NEW magenta:

Clue #2 Complete!

Clue #2 ALL finished - almost enough for two En Provence Mystery Quilts!

...and additional neutrals:

Mystery neutrals replenished...check!

Clue #3 has just been released and it's FULL of purple - my Mom's favorite's going to be a very good PURPLE day...Enjoy!

And here they are in ALL their Purple Splendor:

Clue #3 - PURPLES!
Time to CUT...


En Provence Intro
En Provence Part I
En Provence Part II
En Provence Part III
En Provence Part IV
En Provence Part V
En Provence Part VI & VII
En Provence FINISH!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

We Will NEVER Forget...

What Happened 75 Years Ago Today.

Thank You to those who survived and fought to defend America from ALL her enemies.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Clue #1 of our En Provence Mystery is HERE!

The first clue of our En Provence Mystery has been released and we're off to the sewing races...yippee!

And this is what resulted - LOTS of neutral 4-Patches:

Neutral 4-patches from Clue #1 of our Mystery

These 4-patches came out great via Bonnie's explicit instructions w/NO pinning!

Chain piecing the 4-patches w/NO pinning!

And several hours of piecing later:

ALL the 4-patches are sewn and ready to 'twist'

Once the sewing and 'snipping' are complete, time to twist & press:

Pressing is good ;-)

All tucked away, ready for Clue #2:

Clue #1 tucked safely away

And that, as they say, is that for Clue #1!

If you'd like to see what EVERYONE else is up to, including getting to view ALL their yummy fabrics, just follow this direct link:

Back to quilting!


En Provence Intro
En Provence Part I
En Provence Part II
En Provence Part III
En Provence Part IV
En Provence Part V
En Provence Part VI & VII
En Provence FINISH!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

It's Almost HERE!

Yes - I'm not ONLY talking about Thanksgiving, I'm also referring to the annual Bonnie K. Hunter Mystery...Yippee!!!

And this year, it's:

Every year for the past several years, our fearless Mystery Leader, Bonnie, shares a Quilt Mystery with us - an original quilt pattern designed by her and released with each clue, that she shares w/ALL us faithful quilt followers for FREE for a limited time.  The first Clue will be released on Black Friday, as it has been since the inception of this exciting Quiltville Mystery.

Bonnie generously gives us time to assemble the necessary Mystery Quilt fabrics well in advance of this annual mystery start.  Here's a pic of mine:

Mystery fabrics chosen!

Most of the year, Miss Betty & I spend a considerable amount of time creating gifts and volunteering our time to create and quilt for several worthwhile projects, including Quilts of Valor.  We are honored to do this incredible volunteer work for such a worthy cause.  In November we have already quilted almost twenty (20) QOVs and counting, and over one-hundred for this year of 2016.  While we feel so fortunate to be able to participate in such an important venture, we take time each year to sharpen our quilting saw and refresh our creative spirit.

Bonnie's annual Mystery fills the bill and then some in allowing us some much-needed quilting 'down time', and most importantly - this quilt mystery helps keep us from turning into a Quilting Grinch!

Don't turn into a Quilting Grinch - join in ALL the Mystery FUN!

To join in ALL our annual Quiltville Mystery FUN, it's NOT too late...just follow this direct web link for ALL the Mystery details: 

Time to finish putting up that Christmas Tree so we won't miss a minute of our Quilt Mystery!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Why I Stand - 2016 Veteran's Day

A Tribute to Honor our Veteran's and Service Members on Veteran's Day:

Thank YOU.

May God Bless the USA on this, Our Veteran's Day.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Look what 'WE' get to quilt...!

Just picked these up from those wonderfully talented Comfort Quilters of St. Joseph, Thanks Donna G!  Can hardly wait to start quilting these gorgeous Quilts of Valor beauties!

Is this QOV quilt top wonderful, or what?

QOV quilt top - includes pieced blocks w/wonderful patriotic panels, and even Uncle Sam!

This quilt top we've affectionately named "temporarily", Uncle Sam QOV ;-)  will be custom quilted to enhance ALL the creative piecing and the patriotic panels.  We'll probably save it 'til last so we can focus our quilting attention on it, once the 'others' have been quilted.

Speaking of 'others', how about this beauty - don't you love the Eagle?

Gorgeous Eagle/Star QOV

Some Stars and Wave quilting, possibly?  In Rainbows Patriotic?

This interesting QOV quilt top really didn't show it's 'true colors' until I photographed it - THEN I noticed the distinct and quite interesting quilt you see it?

Distinctive 'water' quilt pattern in this QOV quilt top

Will probably take advantage of this QOV's quilt design and incorporate some water elements and matching thread to enhance an already neat quilt!

And our final QOV quilt top in this wonderful grouping:

ALL Over Stars QOV quilt top

And IF you noticed, the appliqued stars on this Quilt of Valor quilt top are ALL pieced!  They are NOT from a panel - even I did NOT notice the incredible piecing designs until I brought this beauty home and started photographing.

This final ALL Over Stars QOV quilt top will quilt out beautifully with Becker's Star panto with LAVA Diamond Head quilting thread, and possibly custom the outside blue star border...we'll see. Can hardly wait to get started!

Combined with ALL the QOV quilt tops I also picked up from our Doris on Thursday - we've got plenty to keep us occupied for quite awhile ;-)

Time to get to it...Miss Betty doesn't like being kept waiting...


Sunday, October 2, 2016

Veteran's Day Star Blocks Underway!

A Quilts of Valor Stars Facebook group that I belong to, has just launched a Patriotic Veteran's Day Star block drive, here's my very fist block:

Veteran's Star Block

This Patriotic Star block is also referred to as a Disappearing 9-patch, and here's why.  We first start by creating a 9-patch block:

9-patch block

Since I love to create quilts from strips, I generally try to find a way to modify ANY pattern to do just that!  And this block is NO exception ;-)

Sewed the fabric strips together first:

Gold/White strips sewn together, then cut into 3 patches

Blue/Red strips also sewn together and cut into 3-patches

Then, sewed the 3-patch strips together - being careful to get the Blue/Red strip centered between the Gold/White strips:

Sewing the Blue/Red and Gold/White 3-patches together

UPDATE 10/3/2016:  Oops - looks like I left out WHY the Disappearing 9-patch is aptly goes:

Resulting 9-patch...right?

Cut in half - vertically & horizontally...carefully ;-)

On to sewing the squares to create the star points.

Just one teensy-weensy problem IF one fails to sew properly, and sews a FAT seam - at least in the quilting world, that's what my Great Aunt Kathleen, my Grandmother Genevieve's sister, used to call it...can you see it?

My FAT seam is just that - need to 'slim down' my seam line area and make sure to stitch
point-to-point.  Or even better - a thread or two 'inside' the seam line,
towards the outside corner works great!

When I flip it over to check - the corners don't line up, that's definitely 'a tell'

NOT a good sign, when those corners don't line-up perfectly!  Time to rippit, rippit ;-)

Now that the ripping is complete and the re-sewing is done, time to trim and press - doesn't our finished Patriotic Star Block look nice?

Disappearing 9-patch results in this gorgeous Patriotic Star block, the first of MANY - 
promised ten (10) to the Quilts Of Valor Stars Group
and will be adding several to our QOV Panel Challenge!

Want to join in creating the Veteran's Day Star blocks with the Quilts of Valor Stars Group?  

Just follow this direct web link to their Facebook page - Membership is OPEN to anyone interested in furthering the QOVF Mission through Quilts of Valor:

UPDATE 10/19/2016 - the Patriotic Star Quilt Top is Finished!

And the Rockets Red Glare block getting embroidered

Patriotic Star Quilt Top w/embroideries - ready to quilt!

Time to get back to it!