I have been seeing all the newer quilters, and the experienced quilters new to mysteries, posting on facebook, fretting about colors, can you change them, what if I don't like it, this is too hard, whatever... The thing is, Bonnie's mystery quilts are very Bonnie-ish, if you like her quilts, you'll like the mystery quilt, if you don't like her style, you may not. If you like her style, but don't like scrappy, choose one fabric per color and you'll be fine. Personally, I LOVE Bonnie's quilts, and scrappy is my preference for any quilt. One thing I don't love, is having a quilt that looks like everyone else's, so I usually change things up a bit.
I started following Bonnie's blog just after her first mystery quilt, Carolina Crossroads. I had never heard of a mystery quilt before, since I was a new quilter, and since I started following after it was done, I still didn't get it. When she started her next mystery, Orange Crush, I decided to just follow along, but not make a quilt. My stash was still small at that point, and I was still homeschooling my kids, so time was at a premium. By following along the first time, I figured out how everything worked, without any of the stresses of trying to keep up, choosing fabrics, etc...
When Bonnie started the Double Delight Mystery, I was ready to jump in with both feet. I mostly used her colors, and mine wasn't very scrappy since my stash was still small and money was tight. When the reveal happened, I wasn't sure I liked the on point setting, but wasn't sure if it was OK to change that. After much deliberation, I decided to straight set mine, add more borders, and make it my own. This is my only Bonnie Mystery quilt that is still unfinished. It's about half quilted, but stalled there, because this one is for my bed, and I keep putting other people's quilts first.
|My Double Delight|
I believe Bonnie's next mystery was Old Tobacco Road, which I didn't do because I was feeling guilty that I had never finished Double Delight. By the time Carolina Christmas came along, I had realized most quilter's have a few UFO's, so the fact Double Delight wasn't finished didn't deter me. I also needed a wedding quilt for a gift, so I let the bride choose the colors, and I did Carolina Christmas in a not-so-Christmas color scheme. I also added sashing and omitted the border.
|My Carolina Christmas|
Roll, Roll, Cotton Boll was next, and I needed another wedding gift, so I chose colors I thought reflected the bride, and went far off Bonnie's color choices again. I also added a couple extra borders to this one, to make it the size I wanted, and because I had the perfect border fabric in stash for this quilt.
|My Roll, Roll Cotton Boll|
Orca Bay was next, and I wanted something Autumn inspired, which is my personal favorite color palette. Again, I added extra borders, because I had enough of the black bear fabric I loved for the backing and borders.
I don't have any great photos of Orca Bay, because I sent it to a LAQ, and the quilting was atrocious! I had a directional backing (black bears), which she put on at a 90 degree angle to the top, even though I had labeled the top of both the front and back clearly. The eyelashes on the back were almost an inch long, and I could never make myself take out all the quilting to re-quilt it. I let the kids use it as a picnic blanket, and when DS the Elder needed a large quilt, I let him take it, and said he could use it until it fell apart, because I was too broken-hearted to fix it.
When Easy Street came along, I was game, and by then I had enough skills to quilt a big quilt on my DSM, no more LAQ for me! I had seen a quilt that I loved the color scheme on, and chose that for my color scheme on Easy Street, it was actually similar colors to what Bonnie chose, but my solid red background gives it a completely different look. I can't remember if Bonnie had borders or not, but if she did, they weren't the same as these.
Celtic Solstice was a no-go for me, we had two kids getting married within 14 weeks (one of which was smack in the middle of the mystery), and we ended up having almost ten weeks of remodeling in between the weddings.
This year I debated, but I really missed doing the mystery last year. When DD#1 asked me to make her a quilt next year, I decided to let her choose the colors, and I'd do Grand Illusion in her colors.
When step 1 came out, the first thing I did was check my cheat sheet, since DD#1and I changed the placement of colors as well as the colors themselves. Then, I went to my strip drawers and see if I had any pre-cut strips that I could use.
Lots of WOW prints, and a few of the cheddar and teal. Only one coral, but hey, it's a little more variety.
I've got some Christmas sewing to do, so my goal is to cut out each step as it comes out, and kit it up for later. I am making a few of each unit as I go too, so I can see how this color scheme is working.
So far so good! I haven't even pressed these, just finger pressed. Once my Christmas sewing is caught up, I can catch up on the mystery more quickly, since I'm kitting each step as I go along.
Thanks so much Bonnie for these mysteries. I love your designs, and I love it during the holidays, because it makes me carve out some me-time in the middle of all the craziness!
To see how everyone else is doing on step 1 of the Grand Illusion Mystery, click here.
PS. No need to tell me my blocks are wrong because the blues aren't kissing, they are correct for my colors and placement