Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Celtic Solstice Countdown...

It seems the whole planet is abuzz waiting for the release of the first clue in Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt, Celtic Solstice.  Never before have I heard of so many newbies pulling their fabrics in readiness for the annual Black Friday (and I hate that term) start of Bonnie's mystery quilt.  There's a groundswell of quilters all over the world...seriously!!!  It's really exciting.

This will be my sixth mystery.  My first was Double Delight.  That was followed by Carolina Christmas, Roll Roll Cotton Boll, Orca Bay and last year was Easy Street.

Double Delight challenged me out of my colour comfort zone.  I chose Bonnie's colours, despite questioning putting cheddar with pink.  The result?  Amazing!  Carolina Christmas saw me adding a bit of my own personality by adding sashing strips to both cut down on the noise of the quilt and enlarge it for my king sized bed.  Roll Roll Cotton Boll was the biggest adventure in letting go.  We had to do string blocks and I followed Bonnie's advice to add everything that resembled neutral no matter which the pattern on it was.  "Okay" I thought.  "I'll live on the wild side!".  Up to that point I was kind of a matchy, matchy girl.  I loved the texture created by this plethora of neutral prints and it is one of my favourite quilts.  Oh yes, then Orca Bay.  Once again, I changed the pattern just a bit by alternating block positions to create more of a diagonal crossing separating the star blocks.

Last year I wanted to really push the envelope with my colours.  I'm not a fan of the colour grey in general but decided that grey and yellow together might be kind of edgy and military looking.  I added blue and red too and was pleased with the result.  That one is out for quilting right now and will be a Christmas present for my nephew.

All of my Bonnie Hunter mystery quilts are done with the exception of Orca Bay which is awaiting a finnicky border.  I had trouble with the measurements and need to bravely tackle it again before too long. But so far, I love it!

I have learned so much by doing these mystery quilts with Bonnie, not the least of which is patience!  She uses a lot of scraps which usually means a lot of piecing of a lot of pieces but the results are incredible and I'm indebted to her for imparting to me a sense of 'making do', using what I have, diving into the stash.  She has taught tips and tricks, and given me an appreciation of the vintage non-computer machines.  She has a valid point when she says that once the computers go in our new fangled machines what are we left with?

Here is a photo spread of my Bonnie Hunter mystery quilts.  It's kind of a walk down memory lane for me as I fondly remember gaining liberation in my colour choices, learning new methods, meeting new online quilting friends literally all over the world, and even actually getting to meet Bonnie in person in Sisters, Oregon a few years back.  Yes, I'm a fan!  I hope it's evident.  Our dear Bonnie has given an amazing gift to the world and I'm one very thankful fan.

And now the pictures!

Last year's mystery - Easy Street
Roll Roll Cotton Boll - Liberation!!  My neutrals were the scrappiest to date.

Roll Roll Cotton Boll still on the design wall

Carolina Christmas - changes made with sashing between blocks.

Orca Bay awaiting the border.  I switched the two centre star colours and changed position of the light and dark stars to create the criss-cross effect.

Orca Bay block closeup

Double Delight - my first Bonnie mystery.  I hand quilted it as well since it sort of looks like an antique quilt.

The strip baskets ready to create the 9 patches.

Closeup of Double Delight Blocks.
So here we are ... November 27, 2013 ... just a few short days until we get the first clue for Celtic Solstice, Bonnie's 2013 mystery quilt.  Here are my colours.

Focus fabric is the one on the far right.  I bought a bolt of it and the other colours are to coordinate with it.
This is the first time I've used yardage purchased specifically for the mystery.  I know it really breaks all the rules (or the spirit of the use what you have philosophy) but I bought the batik bolt at Fabric Depot because I loved it and I want to use it and I can think of no higher purpose than Celtic Solstice!  I've seen others do Bonnie's quilts out of yardage and it does save time which was another goal this year.  I almost decided against doing the mystery to give myself a break but then I thought..."break?  From fun?"  Give your head a shake!!  So, I'll be joining the throngs of quilters world wide charging the Internet on Friday morning looking for that first clue.  I have to work Friday so I will begin on Saturday, long after the first pictures are posted by the keeners who have completed step 1.  But I'm good with that!  It will give me time to figure out which fabric gets substituted with which to truly showcase my focus fabric.

We're getting excited over here!!!  Stay tuned for pictures and an update this weekend.


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