Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Grand Illusion - Getting there!

One of the things I've found that I love most about doing a large mystery quilt - is playing with all the pieces as we're waiting.   Even though I'm an avid EQ7 user - there's nothing like playing with REAL pieces, with vibrant fabric.   I, among thousands of others, am participating in Bonnie Hunter's 2014 "Grand Illusion" Mystery Quilt.   We got the 4th clue on Friday and are waiting for the next clue to come THIS Friday.  I've got all the pieces\parts for Clue 1, 2 & 4 done and am sewing on Clue 3 now.

It's interesting to watch everyone make guesses as to the layout of the quilt while pieces are still missing!  My BFF was over last night, who is a quilt math genius.  She calculated square inches, units, etc and announced....."There are more units coming".   LOL   Didn't stop me from playing!

I've been sewing on some of my restored Vintage Sewing Machines.   I've mentioned before - my little "Suzie Centennial" Singer 99 is by far, my absolute favorite to sew on.

So far, I have made fabulous progress if I do say so myself.   Clue 1 (Broken Dishes) units, Clue 2 (Double Diamond) units, and Clue 4 (Variation of Clue 1 Broken Dishes) are all done and anxious to come out and play!

Clue 3 - (Double 4-patch units) are mostly cut out and are running through the machine.  Here's what my piles looked like on Saturday Night.

I have "Kevin The Quilter" to thank for inspiring me to dig out my Accuquilt Go and speeding up the process SUBSTANTIALLY at cutting my scraps!  So funny too.  I remember when I bought this thing too.  I got an amazing deal on it as a Black Friday special years ago from a local quilt shop.  Went crazy buying dies for it and then only ever used the rag quilt die and put it away!   Now that I've found a new longing for Scrap Quilting...it just became my new favorite notion again!

I was so smart those many years ago.  LOL   I know I was thinking "BINDING" when I bought the Strip dies, but oh baby....even better for all these "pieces" in the scrap bin!   I just lined them up on the 2" Strip die (that was still in the package)....

Cranked em on through the cutter, and carefully peeled them off the cutting mat!  (they stick to the cutting mat because of static)

Laid them all out, and started slicing up my 2" squares!   Easy Peasy!!

I have 118 more of the double four patch units to assemble, but other than that...I'm all caught up!  Ready and anticipating the next clue!   Thank you Bonnie Hunter so so much for doing this every year.


  1. Great work! Yes I also calculated more pieces to come. I believe that the finished units would be about a 72 x 72 quilt as far as the units done so far. This was calculated in my bed as I lay awake and not able to settle down to go to sleep after finishing clue #4 at midnight last night. LOL I am hoping for more background your red (pink) and blue. I know the green is done but not sure about what other colors are left. My colors are very similar to yours except that my red is more of a rusty red not a true red. I am going for fall colors so I will have a fall quilt. One for each season. lol

    1. Can totally relate! I've had to force myself to bed almost every night for the past two weeks! My favorite color is October, I bet your quilt will be beautiful! Green is done? Bummer! I hope my layout isn't close to the real deal - I'd really like to see my green peppered throughout the quilt. The unit finishing at 3 x 6 has really thrown me! I can't wait to see!

  2. love the variety of scrappy green goodness you have going on here.

  3. I saw your link on the link up and I was like that is a cool way to put it together, then I realized you were Jan. It looks awesome.

  4. You can spray the top layer of fabric with Static Guard and it eliminates the sticking proble.

  5. I like your "playing" layout. If it's not in the final result, this could make a great pattern for another quilt. Glad you are putting your Accuquilt to work. I was tempted to buy one years ago, but didn't. I'll have to talk Kevin into sharing his sometime in the future. I have lots of scraps!!!

  6. Your mystery units look great! Love the layout at the top. Suzie Centennial is doing a great job. I hadn't done any calculations, but thought there must be at least one more clue making units before the reveal. But maybe that's just because I can't come up with a layout that works with just what we have made already!

  7. Thanks for sharing... Your units and idea look great.
    Thought I'd share a static tip with ya. If you slide the mat off the die, instead of lifting, your pieces will stay put. Another tip, after you cut your strips, if you will turn them 90 degrees on the die (just a few strips at a time) and run back through, you will now have squares in whatever size you are cutting. :). Over AccuQuilt and glad you've got it back out and falling in love with it again.

  8. Your colors are beautiful! That AccuQuilt is probably the best investment (aside from sewing machines) I have made for my quilting passion! So glad you used yours to get some scraps cut quickly for this mystery! I am sure Bonnie used hers too! LOL