Showing posts with label Bonnie Hunter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bonnie Hunter. Show all posts

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Rose Boll Flimsy

I'm still slowly excavating my WIP storage drawers. There are SO many projects in there! I almost wish Ikea storage was less efficient, then I would be closer to the bottom by now! 🤣🤣🤣

Anyway as I mentioned last time I finally made a decision on the border for Rose Boll, my "red and white" version of Bonnie Hunter's Roll Roll Cotton Boll. Bonnie has a triple row of squares set on point for her border, which certainly looks great. I sketched a few colour variations, or maybe a single row of squares:

But I really didn't want to fiddle around with that, and I felt like the quilt was already very busy with all those floral fabrics. When I put it away I was thinking just some chunks of the reds would be best. But I guess I didn't exactly love that either or I would have done it at the time. 

Then while I was finishing the String Tulips top I realized that random string piano keys could work. I like how they have the same visual weight as the centre of the quilt. And they have the right balance between formal and improv piecing. 

Sorry that is a very blurry picture! I pieced the floater from some of the florals with the whitest backgrounds. Because the piano key strings were randomly cut, and not perfect strips, I pieced them on paper foundations using pages from a phone book. The piecing went quickly and I think it is a low stress way to keep everything going in the same direction! It's fun to compose as you sew, too, you don't have to preplan every detail.

I didn't want to do the mitered corner but that diagonal line just felt necessary, to echo all the diagonals in the center. I had to hand sew the inner corners to make them lie flat, but it was worth it.

So here's the whole thing, 89.5" square at the moment! 

I've noticed that I go through a similar emotional range on all my projects. I get the idea and do some sketches and I think, that'll be awesome and I'm all excited. Then starting the project is fun and I like sewing all the early units. Then you have to assemble the blocks and it starts to drag, and then you have to join the blocks and it's even worse, lol. And then the centre is done and I should be happy but I'm usually not. Somehow it doesn't live up to my expectations at that point.

It's not until I come up with the right border, get it sewn and lay out the finished top that i think, well, that's actually pretty good! One could easily say, piano keys, what is the big deal about that? And I think the answer is that if the border is right it flows and it's not a big deal. And if it was wrong you would see it right away!

Anyway, I'm still enjoying working with strings so I'm planning more projects with those. And I'm still really enjoying putting my own spin on Bonnie Hunter's patterns, so there will likely be more of those to come as well! I have a dark background version of Grassy Creek planned that I think will be gorgeous, but I think I still want to finish at least one more UFO before I start anything new.

I'm not ruling out the next mystery, though! Just as I'm writing this I'm thinking a Halloween colour scheme could be fun to try! Black, purple, brown, it could be really lush! I guess we'll see! 🤣

Thanks for reading and happy quilting everyone! 

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Rose Boll Progress


As I slowly excavate back through my UFOs, the next one that caught my eye was Rose Boll, started in 2017 and last seen here in June 2018. I have to admit, every time I read back through those old posts I just laugh. So optimistic!

Anyhoo, I don't think I ever gave much detail about my process on this quilt, so I'll cover that a little now. As you see above, most of the blocks have the same red fabric in the centre as well as the HSTs in the sawtooth edge. 20 HSTs are needed for each block, but I foundation paper pieced them in sets of 24. So, there were leftovers.

I decided to use the leftovers in the main quilt also, and made a few scrappy blocks. Since they were different anyway, I used different colours from my stack of floral "neutrals" for the centres. The gold and pink are from the same collections as some of the reds and whites I used, so it still ties together.

When I started to work on it this year all the string blocks were done, and there were only about 6 of the sawtooth blocks left. I finished those, laid it all out, and sewed together the centre.

As always, lol, I had considerable debate about the border. Bonnie Hunter's original quilt has 3 rows of diagonal set squares in the border that looks great. I sketched a few variations on that, and decided it was too much in my busy fabrics. A single row of squares looked a little better on paper. But, once the centre was complete I realized it's more than enough as it is. I'm just going to do a narrow inner border in gold and a wider outer border in scrappy chunks of red, and call it done.

And then I did a Very Dangerous Thing, and folded it up and put it away without finishing the border. I just wasn't in the mood to iron and cut those red chunks. 😂

insert optimistic closing here

And then I pulled out another project. 😜

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Border Disputes

 So apparently in 2017 I was under the impression that the border was ready to sew onto my version of Bonnie Hunter's 2015-6 mystery quilt, Allietare. But obviously that didn't happen. 😅

I had SO much indecision about the border for this quilt. I know I bought 3 or 4 different fabric combinations for it. A couple of them were even in my Allietare project drawer!

When I finally pulled the project out again, it seemed to me that these Kaffe fabrics were ready to go. The fussy cutting was done and I just had to sew them on.

The two side borders with the flowers went on fine, but when I started work on the top and bottom I remembered why I stopped. The grain of that fabric was very slanted and I was determined to fussy cut it aligned with the print. Which was no where near aligned with the grain. So when I was done the top and bottom strips were actually curved.

But you know, I was already halfway so I thought, %&$# it, and sewed it on anyway. And actually, it seems pretty flat now.

Those waves you see in the photo are just where the fabric got caught on the carpet. Hopefully.

Nothing a long arm couldn't quilt out, right?

Anyway, I am so impressed with Bonnie's design on this quilt. It looks so complicated, and I'm rather amazed I pulled it off! I'm pretty sure if I saw the final quilt before I started it I never would have attempted it. But the instructions break it down into very simple steps, and it's kind of magic how it comes together. It's funny that the hold up all these years has been these last strips of fabric around the edge. In any case, I'm very glad to have another top done!

"Keep calm and carry on" would probably work as a title for this post as well. 😂

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Technicolor Turkey Together at Last!

So the world turned upside down since my last post. There's nothing more I want to say about that, lol. But, I have managed to do some sewing now and then, and I have a few projects to get caught up over the next few posts.

I have an Ikea wardrobe with wide shallow drawers that holds my current works in progress. It's proven to be an excellent system. Even several years later everything is in one place with all my notes and plans, and it's been fairly easy to pick up and sew again.

One quadrant of Techicolor Turkey was already sewn together. I had made a very nice colour sketch of my planned layout for the rest, which saved my life on this so I highly recommend it. 😂

I made the blocks as part of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge in 2017. The blocks are Bonnie Hunter's Talking Turkey design with my own pieced sashing.

When I put the quilt on hold, the border plan was for something mostly neutral with a few pops of color. But I didn't love it. While I was sewing it together I debated several different ideas, maybe multicolour strings or piano keys. Eventually I decided that an all neutral border would let the blocks shine. I carried the sashing out into the border, with some neutral strips sewn in between. This allowed me to sew on the border before I sewed the four quadrants together. If I can avoid a long seam I will!

At first I thought I would alternate light and darker neutrals around the border, but as I laid it out I liked it better with all the dark strips on the outer edge. I think a multicolour scrappy binding will be the right finish for this.

In any case it was really nice to get something done for the first time in a long time. I finally have a dedicated sewing area, which is making all the difference. It is easy to just leave the project there and work on it for a few minutes when I have time.

Apologies for the recycled photos from Instagram. If you follow me there, @lakeviewmonica, you will see things a lot sooner, lol. These days I am mostly on mobile and don't fire up the computer that much. I had to scroll back to August 2020 to find these pictures, so that must have been when I finished the top. 😅

I hope everyone is hanging in there! I'm going to queue up a few more posts over the next couple days. You know, while the computer is running and before I go back to emojis and likes on mobile. Happy stitching everyone!

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Good Fortune Progress

A little late, but happy Lunar New Year/Spring Festival everyone! It feels appropriate to have progress to share on Bonnie Hunter's 2019 mystery quilt, Good Fortune.

All the blocks are done! 🎉🎉🎉

Assembly has started! 🎉🎉🎉

I'm just laying out 9 blocks at a time, and trying for an equal distribution of dark and light values in each section. The orange blocks with the skinny inserts will be in the centre of the quilt, and the string blocks are going around the corners. It's already a very active quilt, so I decided a symmetrical layout would be best.

This is the point where you find out how accurate your sewing was last year. 😂 Fortunately, I tend to sew scant, so it's easy to trim the block or tighten up a seam if necessary. And fortunately, that hasn't been too often.

So far, so good! 🎉🎉🎉

Monday, January 6, 2020


My original plan with Bonnie Hunter's Good Fortune mystery, when it started last year, was pretty much to follow the pattern. Except for the dark background, I used about the same colours as Bonnie in the same places as Bonnie. I did plan from the beginning to make it larger, and hoped to use one of my old Asian fabric panels in the centre, since Bonnie's inspiration was her trip to China last year two years ago. 😂

Eventually I accepted that my very western fabrics didn't play well with the panel, so that idea is on hold and I went with the Mariner's Compass I showed last time instead.

While I was playing around with the layout of the quilt, I had the bright idea of blending the edge of the blocks out into a scrappy brown border. Partly because just following the pattern started to chafe, and partly because some how when the clues came out, I cut way too many brown squares.

I really have no idea how that happened. It is over 3 inches/8 cm high!

Anyway, I made quite a few of these...

...instead of these...

...with the goal of doing something like this.

Fast forward one year, and I am now regretting it. It would be a lot faster and easier to just make all the blocks the same. And it would give me more flexibility in the final layout, I expect. And most of all, the tricky border is not really going to be better. The quilt was already good.
But, today I accepted that it would be more complicated to unpick all those units, than to just keep going. So the tricky border lives.

I do have to say that I am loving all those browns. They really give so much life to the colour scheme.

It's all a balancing act, isn't it? I've been looking at quilts with fresh eyes this past couple of months, and I think one thing I've been guilty of in the past was overthinking and making my projects too complicated. And then they stall. Reading the first AHIQ post for 2020 (which is thoughtful and beautifully written, btw), I laughed to see that the definition of modern utility quilt now includes an emphasis on a finished quilt. I am sure that is one of Ann's contributions to the dialogue. 😉 Totally right too, and I'm hoping to channel some of that energy this year.

Of course, you don't have to look very far back in my feed to see this crazy idea. But obviously it will be EPIC and I still plan to do it.

But I am also hoping to maintain this new perspective, and try to keep my projects from getting overly fussy and involved. The question is if the extra detail adds value to the finished quilt. If it does, then great, but if it doesn't, move along.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year!

Pattern by Judy Mathieson

So, it turns out that I am very bad at quitting anything. I'd like to say I've found my compass, or something apt like that, but truth is I'm just blowing around in the wind. But in any case, I may as well blog about it. 😂

The new Quiltville mystery, Frolic, has started! I started too, but I'm not so sure my colours are working. I'm waiting for the reveal to see if I need to change course. In the meantime, I have plenty left to do on last year's mystery, Good Fortune! I've shared a little of that on Instagram, but never here on the blog.

I decided to try a dark background for a change, and I'm very happy with that. The instructions called for string units, but I didn't have a lot of orange strings. I tried some slightly improvisational skinny inserts instead:

I'm happy with them too. Of course, the process of making them created a lot of orange strings! And since I decided to make the quilt larger by adding blocks, I made some string blocks as well.

My new laptop doesn't have the good editing software, yet, so apologies, my pictures are not the usual standard.

The orange blocks are nearly finished. I made two test blocks for the stars...

They looked a little small when I took the photo, but I don't know if that is just a question of pressing or if I need to tweak them.

And that Mariner's Compass at the top? A medallion for the centre! The pattern is easy foundation paper piecing from Judy Mathieson's book Mariner's Compass Quilts, New Directions (C&T Publishing 1995).

I'm super happy with everything in this quilt, the warm colours will be really nice in winter.

I want to do another dark background for this year's quilt, but I'm not quite sure of the colour placement. Bonnie's colours blend where mine contrast, so I think I should wait for the reveal. And as we all know, I have plenty of other projects to keep me busy.

Happy new year everyone! Let's sew!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Heart of Ringo

Happy Valentine's Day!

It's been over a month since my last blog post, but there's still been plenty of sewing, and plenty of thinking, happening here. I've done a lot of work on Bonnie Hunter's most recent mystery, On Ringo Lake, and it's going well. But, I've changed mine so much that it doesn't look much like Ringo Lake any more, and I've been quite perplexed by how to describe that process. My first Ringo Lake post was in November, and after that it's just been Instagram. I always call myself a "process blogger," but I'm not sure that is serving me well any more. For the next while, I'm going to focus more on milestones and finishes, and see how that goes.

So anyway, I think On Ringo Lake is a gorgeous block, and I've been a little jealous of all the great versions that are being shared on the link ups, since mine will be so different. In the January 8 link up, Wooly Quilter had three blocks on her design wall in the shape of a heart, and I thought that would be a great quilt right there. I always like hearts, and it gave me an excuse to make the block as written, so I went for it!

Three blocks, the sashing, a range of setting triangles...

...some really wide borders, done! Three days, so that is my fastest make yet. Right now it is 56" x 72" (142 x 183 cm). 

I'm so glad I went ahead. I love the crystalline look it has. All the fabric was in my stash. The solids are Kona, the pink is COTY 2017, pink flamingo. I don't know when or why I bought the white, but it was a little worse for wear so I was glad to finally use it well.

I know a professional quilter would have a field day with those wide open spaces, but, I think I have a simple idea that I can do myself. Into the quilting queue it goes!

My first Ringo Lake project, which I'm now calling Ontario Shores, is at the "just a nine patch" stage. These are the first 25 blocks, lined up and ready to sew.

I hope I can stay focused, because an exciting new toy was just delivered! It's an Eversewn Sparrow 30, and I think it will result in some big changes to my project line up. I am pretty sure I should sew these before I open the box...

Saturday, December 30, 2017

RSC17 Wrap Up

It's the last Saturday of 2017, which means it's the last link up for the 2017 Rainbow Scrap Challenge. This was my first year participating in the casual, choose-your-own-project link up, and I have really enjoyed it! Everyone has been lovely, and you can't go wrong looking at a lot of colourful projects every week.

I started the challenge halfway through the year, and made a few of Bonnie Hunter's Talkin' Turkey blocks each month.

This is a photo collage, since the top is still not sewn together! The grey background is just the back of my cutting mat, and I actually love the way it works for photos. The camera seems to "see" the colours more accurately, and there's less shadowing with the seam allowances. In fact, I like the grey so much that I've decided to use grey instead of pink for the sashing on Moth in the Window, which you'll see again with my New Year's resolution in a couple of days.

For this project, Technicolor Turkey, I decided late in the year to make a pieced beige sashing, which is part of the reason it got delayed. But, it's looking good, and the first quarter is sewn together:

With scrap quilts it is always a challenge to keep pieces of the same fabric from being sewn together into a clump. I realized that if I use a completely different set of fabrics for the sashing, I will be home free! Fortunately, I had just restocked my selection of beiges, so I used many of the new fabrics in the sashing.

Now it is just a question of buckling down and sewing the rest together. I won't let myself start on my 2018 projects until this is done!

And, there are two 2018 projects planned. This ambitious rainbow layout, that I shared before, is on. It seems that everyone loves a rainbow! You'll see the full horror drama of that plan when I actually start it.

The second, more relaxing, project will be another Bonnie Hunter design, Garden Party from her book Addicted to Scraps. I'll make those blocks only when the colour of the month is a flowery colour -- pink, purple, red, orange and yellow. And maybe white too! I plan to change the setting a little, and it'll be shades of green, blue green and aqua.

Katie has just finished her pretty RSC17 version of Garden Party, which you can see here. I think she had a smart idea to make this quilt as an RSC project, since it has so many blocks and so many small pieces. So I am following her lead!

There are other wonderful finishes too in the RSC link up this week. But really, I recommend the whole month of December, which you can see if you click here. I'm looking forward to 2018!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Life is Good

So, in my last post I said that I was going to pass on Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt this year. But, first thing Friday morning, before breakfast, I was downloading the clue. It looked pretty easy, and even better, it wasn't the HSTs I was expecting. (Although I am sure they are coming!)

One of the many colour schemes I'd considered was primary colours -- red, blue and yellow. As soon as I saw Bonnie's nine patches I knew that would be the best choice for me. I put on the coffee and got to work.

In September I stocked up on white prints, specifically for that pattern I won in August, but also for this mystery. So I decided to rough cut both quilts at the same time, and I was stressing about how best to optimize the fabric, and then I thought...relax. I have plenty of fabric!

And then I came across that perfectly framed piece of selvedge for The Good Life, and I realized that I can stop worrying about all of it. Yes, I have more WIPs than I want to count. Yes, I want push my artistic boundaries more than I have been. But, there is time for all of it. This is not an "or" situation, it is an "and" opportunity.

Everything that needs to be done will be done. Right now I'm just going to relax and enjoy the ride. Life is good!

So, here are the first twelve, and the rest of the strip sets are cut and ready to sew throughout the rest of the week.

AND I'm ready with all new baskets for AHIQ tomorrow!

But in the meantime, check out the rest of the On Ringo Lake participants in the Week 1 link up, right here.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Wild Turkey

The RSC colour for April was "multicolour." That could mean many colours in one fabric, but I chose to interpret it as many fabrics in different colours. As I cut the fabric for each month, I put aside extra for these blocks.

I first planned to make three multicolour blocks, but then I started to have doubts about just how wild they would look! I made extra green blocks instead. But, now they are done I do rather like them.

Most of my pieced sashing is made (I took a break from quilting Picnic). I still hope to make my Thanksgiving Day goal for the finished top, but I'm thinking it's at best 50/50 right now.

Bonnie Hunter has announced her next mystery, On Ringo Lake. I've been waffling about that quite a bit too. I planned all along to make it, but then I started thinking maybe I should finish more stuff first. But, then I started to think about a new colour scheme...and now I may do it after all. This one will be smaller than previous mysteries, and that leads me to believe that it will be more densely pieced. I'm sure it's going to be beautiful. And actually, I think I've been able to deduce quite a lot just from the outside measurements! I'm sensing a lot of aqua HSTs in my future...

In the meantime, please check out the other RSC participants, right here. I think several are close to finished tops by now!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Dark Turkey

The RSC colour for November is "dark," which is certainly appropriate for November around here. Next week I'll be putting the snow tires on the car. With luck, I won't really need them until January, but it is good to beat the rush.

As you can see, my three dark Bonnie Hunter Talkin' Turkey blocks, for my quilt Technicolor Turkey, are done.

Most of my dark/black fabrics were bought with my Collector quilt in mind, when I was very interested in the idea of "sparkle" and high-contrast fabrics. I think the prints help to keep the blocks from feeling too heavy.

And my weakness for fussy cutting continues as well!

We're in the home stretch now, so I've made a start on the sashing too. In August I had the idea for a pieced sashing similar to the sashing I made for Hanami.

Stack of beige strips

But, then I thought that a solid sashing would be better, and I cut about half the strips.

I thought I would start sewing them on as I go, but after only three I ran out of steam. Then they sat in the bottom of the drawer for a month.

Second stack of beige strips

For two weeks now I've been seriously looking at all my UFOs, and asking why have they stalled. The answer on this project is that I have to do the pieced sashing after all. It's more work, but doing it right is actually less stress.

Now, all that's left are the two multicolour blocks that were needed for April. I deliberately saved them until the end so I could use leftovers from all the other blocks.

Right now, though, I'm busy re-quilting Picnic. Yesterday I planned to sew together those sashing strips, but the free motion foot was on the machine for Picnic, and I just have to finish it before I change back to regular sewing. So it may be a while! Nothing creates dead time on the blog like a large quilting job.

In the meantime, check out all the other dark blocks at the RSC link up, right here.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Green, Part Two

Last month I shared my three forest green blocks for my Technicolor Turkey RSC17 project, based on Bonnie Hunter's Talkin' Turkey pattern. This time it's lime green.

I tried, but I was completely unable to resist using this Jolly Jungle fabric in the centre of all three blocks!

It is So Darn Cute.

There is not a lot of contrast between some of the limes and some of the backgrounds. But, I think other blocks have more than enough contrast to make up for it.

If you set the pattern with the darker colours, you will see it here too.

At least, that's my story and I'm sticking with it!

Check out the rest of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge participants at the link up right here.

I've also been thinking ahead to next year already. I have a really crazy idea...

...and this is the first stage of deciding how it could work.

So far, it seems doable.

Of course, just because I can, doesn't mean I should...

...but so far, it seems to have legs.

It's a Really Crazy Idea.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Pink Turkey

The RSC17 colour for October is pink, and my three pink Talkin' Turkey blocks are done.

Many people have said they're considering making these blocks too. I highly recommend them!

The design is by Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville, and in my first post I shared the two places you can find it. It is fun to make and very forgiving, because you do a final trim of the strings before you put on the last round.

Even though I've now made many blocks in many colours, it still surprises me when I put on the last round and the block transforms from sort of messy to sharp and crisp!

And there are hardly any seams to match, either.

It's Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada, so Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers!

I hope this is the only pink turkey anyone will be served.

And check out all the other pink entries in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge link up, right here.
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