Monday, December 29, 2014

Grand Illumination Day, Part Five

It's Link Party Day in Quiltville and I'm link number 92 this week!!  (Grand Illumination Day here at The Joyful Quilter.)  We survived the Holiday and we survived Clue 5.  Here is the result of this VERY quick clue:

Week 5's "Wheel of Mystery"

Week 5's units sewn

Wonder what Bonnie has up her sleeve for Week Six?!?!  We'll find out on Friday.  :o))

Until then...
Happy Quilting!!!

Friday, December 26, 2014

GIMQ, Clue 5

At breakfast today, I asked DH what day today was.  Holidays to that to me.  I lose track of time.

When he told me it was Friday, I was SO excited!  Hooray!  It's Clue Day.  :o))

After breakfast I went to find my computer...

The computer was found.  The clue was reviewed.  I cut. I sewed.  Wah-la!  I'm already done!!!

Thank you, Bonnie, for a fast and easy clue!!

Will add pictures...


OK, now for the pictures:

Strips of "turquoise" and yellow.

Clue 5, Part 1

Clue 5, Part 2

As usual, you will have to wait for Monday's Link Party to see the clue's reveal.

Until then...
Happy Quilting!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Quiltville Christmas Eve Link Party

Bonnie Hunter at Quiltville dot com/ suggested that the participants in her Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt might want to share something OTHER than the mystery.  You can find the links at a Very Merry Happy Holiday Linky Party.  (Unless it changes, I'm link number 98.)


Many people are sharing their Christmas and Snowmen quilts.  I thought about that, but I'm not working on a Holiday quilt.  I've got 2 commission quilts that are due very soon.  They SHOULD have been done for Christmas, but that... Just. Didn't. Happen.  :o((

Well...  I do have a small Christmas wall hanging that has been in progress for quite some time:

Did I mention that is was SMALL???  It measures ~ 10 x 12"

There's also the basket of Holiday Cheer that has been waiting for me to get AROUNDTOIT for a number of YEARS:

Yes!  There actually IS a basket under there... SOMEWHERE!!!  :P

 Look!  There are even completed blocks mixed in with all of that fabric!

However, the quilt that I am MOST excited about this Holiday season isn't a Holiday quilt at all.  It isn't quite done,either.  It was started in one of Bonnie's classes that she taught at our quilt guild 5 years (?) ago.

I worked on it in class and worked on it at home.  I took it to retreats. I took it too Sew Days.  I finally got the top pieced (and set it aside for TWO YEARS)  This summer I took it out and began to work on the backing.  The back of the quilt had other ideas, so what's a quilter to do???

Listen to your quilts!  They KNOW what they want to be.  I changed direction (at my quilt's insistence.)  I pieced an entirely different back than I had planned.  Finally, the back was DONE!! Then I gave the quilt to a friend to long arm for me.  (Thanks, Gayle!)  And now, the quilt is waiting patiently for binding (which has already been prepared.)

Here, in it's unfinished glory, is my Crumb Quilt (well, a small portion of it, anyway!):

Did I mention that it is BIG???  ~ 96 x 96"  (And WAY too big for me to schlep under my machine!)

I haven't determined the name, yet.  I have several in mind.  Care to chime in?

1.  The Joyful Crumb Quilt
2.  Scrap-tastic Crumbs
3.  The Joyful Scrap Addiction

Oops!  The timer is going off.  Time to go get the pies out of the oven.

Until next time...
Happy Holidays!!!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Grand Illumination Day, Part Four

Clue FOUR arrived on Friday.  It's hard to believe that it's been four WEEKS since the GIMQ began.

Here is the progress that we have made:

After much cutting and sewing, the block units are stacked and ready to assemble:

 Chain press to keep the parts together:

One set of unit parts:

Set two of unit parts:

And set 3 was comprised "planned-overs" from our first clue:

Group One ready for the last seam...

Group Two all sewn and pressed.
And now...

The moment you have been waiting for!  Clue 4's BIG reveal:

Clue 4, revealed.
 Again, thank you to Needleb, for allowing me to use her cute little cutting machine to ease the pain of cutting MANY block parts!!!

I call it the "wrist saver."
I'm joining Bonnie Hunter's Link Party.  Go to Bonnie's blog to have a look at how everyone else is coming along on their Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt.  (You'll find me at link number 46 this week.  Oops!  Make that link #54.  Not sure how I managed to get that so far off.)

Oh!  I have good news!  Between sewing Clue 4 and posting this link, I managed to finish the remainder of units needed in Clue 3.  Hooray!!  Only Clue 2 remains.

Until next time...
Happy Quilting!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

GIMQ, Clue 4

Clue 4 in the Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt came out yesterday.  I was so busy with Holiday shopping and various errands that I didn't manage to take a look at Bonnie's latest set of instructions until just before dinner time.

I'm sure there are many participants who are thinking, "Well!  Color me surprised!"


The reason is quite simple.  Bonnie did a rerun with variants, instead of beginning to assemble the pieces that we made over the past 3 weeks.

Here are the components of this week's clue:

Can you begin to see what we put together???

Well, being the smart quilters that you are, you KNOW that you will have to wait for Monday to see the reveal.  :P

Here's one (give or take) more peek at the progress:

Thank you to Needleb for bringing over her handy-dandy cutting machine.  It makes quick work of cutting (and amplifies my mistakes when I choose the wrong fabric to cut!!)

Wanna hear something amazing???

I finished this clue (for a half sized quilt) in ONE afternoon and evening!!!  ALL of the cutting and ALL of the sewing has been completed.  Not just portions of the clue, mind you.  I finished the ENTIRE clue!  I am SO excited... and now I can concentrate on working on the balance to clue 2 and 3 (since I didn't do any leaders or enders today.)

Until Monday...
Happy Quilting!!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Grand Illumination Day, Part Three

We have arrived at Week Three of Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt on  (You can get to the mystery from the website, but the clues are actually posted on her blog.  I've been posting the website address instead of the blog address.)  Anyway, it's not too late to join in the fun!  Read this post and then head over to the LINK PARTY to see what everyone is doing.  (I'm link number 98 this week.)

This week's clue went something like this:


Oh, you're back to SEE what unit the clue produced???

OK!  OK!  First...

You are the lucky recipient of a photographic tour of my Mysterious Journey!  :P

Notice the green strips are followed by a portion of Unit 2, in progress. That's that leader/ender process that I was telling you about earlier.  I'm piecing (what amounts to) 2 projects at once. That's SMART sewing! And that's what Bonnie Hunter is famous for.

 SO... as I said earlier, this clue was simply a matter of...


All for a look at THIS unit and the additional bits of Clue 2 that I finished while working on Clue 3!  :o))

 That photo above shows the sum total of what I accomplished on Saturday morning before my quilt bee meeting.  This was a (relatively) easy clue, but it was WAY more time consuming that I thought it would be (when I first read Bonnie's instructions!!!)

Clue 3 (upside down), Clue 2, and Clue 1 (also upside down.)

 On Sunday afternoon my friend, Needleb, came over with her "Bag of Mystery" and we worked on getting more of Clue 3 done:

Needleb is shown here working away on Clue 3 (getting ready for a photo op.)

We generated a great deal of trimmings while using her magical cutting machine.

And after she left, THIS is the MESS that I made.  Oops!  That black square didn't end up in the proper orientation for the units in Bonnie's diretions.  :o((

This photo shows one of the(corrected) units... after spending some time ripping and resewing. (That's more like it!!!)

Hmm... do you think this is how we will put the units together???

Until next time...
Happy Quilting!!!

Friday, December 12, 2014

GIMQ, Clue 3

Another Friday, another clue in Bonnie Hunter's Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt.  That makes THREE.  I'm REALLY excited about this one because my beloved greens get to come out of the "bag of mystery" to play (with the neutrals and blacks.)  :o))

What else would you call the bag that you gathered all of your fabrics in to wait the time between the announcement and the time the clues began to arrive?!  :P

Some may have a "basket of mystery", while others have a "pile of mystery."  No matter.  It's all good.  For better or worse, easy or hard (clue), people have joined the mystery.  I hope they are having as much fun as I am.  Thanks, Bonnie!  (Bonnie Hunter of

Look at all of those wonderful grass green fabrics!  Do you see that 2" strip?  That is the basic unit of this week's clue.  By now, you know the drill.  I'm not showing you the block until Monday, known as Grand Illumination Day, here at The Joyful Quilter.  :P

Until then...

Have a look at the two leafy, flowery fabrics that I pulled.  They didn't quite make the cut.  I was worried that (at some point) they might fade into the nice, sunny yellow that I used back in Clue One.

Oh, well.  They will have their day in quilting play...

One of these days!  Perhaps, not in this quilt, but SOMEDAY!!!  I'm not quite sure where that fabric on the right came from, but the one on the left came home with me from and Ugly Fat Quarter Swap (if you can imagine!)  I was pleased to have gotten such an "ugly" fabric.  :o))

Oh!  Wanna know why else I'm excited???

It's a (relatively) EASY clue this week!!!  Care to join me in a Happy Dance?  Well, if you are one of the participants in this mystery, I'm willing to bet that you are dancing right alongside me.

Off to take care of another pressing matters.

Until next time...
Happy Quilting!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Grand Illumination Day, Part Two

Another Friday clue is followed by another GIMQ Link-up.  This brings us to Week Two where the clue nearly brought quilters to tears all over the world.  Thanks a lot, Bonnie!  :P

Bonnie Hunter, of Quiltville Dot Com, is famous for her Annual Mystery Quilts.  She lures hundreds of quilter into the trap she sets and SOME actually come out the other side with a completed quilt top!

Many fall by the wayside when the clues get too tough.  The hearty quilters proclaim, "When the clues get tough, the tough get quilting!"  Bring it on, Bonnie!  :o))

I haven't quite decided where I will fall when the next clue comes.  I can tell you this... I, for one, am hoping for an easier clue this coming Friday!!!  This one certainly put me through my paces.  It's Monday and I only have a small portion of the required blocks completed.

Oh, what's that???

You're waiting for the reveal of Week Two's clue?

Sorry!  (You know how verbose I can be.)

Wait for it. Wait for it...

Here is the unit that the clue's directions led us to create:

This is what they might look like when set together:

OK, so maybe not.  It certainly made a pretty picture for the Link-up, though!! 

I'm link number 105 this week.  It's not so hard once you've linked up a time or two.  (Thanks again, Bonnie for the tutorial right in you Link-up posts!)

Sorry!  No pictures of Needleb's blocks this week.  She was too busy getting ready for her trip to New York.  Perhaps, she'll be back next week.

Until next time...
Happy Quilting!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Friends Don't Let Friends Sew at Night...

True friends don't let friends sew at night (or too early in the morning!)


Well, the reason is simple.  My units for the GIMQ turned out MUCH better today than the ones I made last night!!  I never quite remember that I have difficulty sewing late into the evening.  THIS would be the reason that I need to file in (and retrieve from) my memory bank.

About the too early thing...

I got up at 5:45 AM to get myself, the house, and DS2 going.  Why so early?  The SAT requires that students who are testing need to arrive between 7:30 and 7:45 AM!!!  DS2 was one of those lucky testers today.

What was the FIRST thing that I did in my sewing room???

I sat the iron RIGHT ON MY FINGER, instead of on the fabric that I was aiming for!  OUCH!!!  That poor little finger burned for HOURS.

It didn't get any better...

Next I pressed fusible stabilizer to my pressing cloth (instead of the T-shirt that I was preparing for a client.)  That was bad enough, but...

I did the SAME THING again a few minutes later!!!

That's when I decided that it was time to put in some time on my GIMQ.  Fortunately, my luck had changed and (as I mention at the top of the post) this batch turned out MUCH better than the last.  Thank goodness!  That means that I might yet avoid the dreaded paper-piecing method for making these units.  :o))

Look!  I added another 1/10 of the total number of blocks for a total of 2/10 of the way there.  Hooray!!  I'm 1/5 of the way through the making of these units.  (Oh!  Scary!  I did MATH.)

I'm trudging through this clue.  The pile is growing.  The MORE blocks that I make...

The FEWER blocks remain to be made!  That makes me...  HAPPY!!!  :o))

Until next time...
Happy Quilting!!!

Friday, December 5, 2014


Another Friday, another clue.  Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville dot com sent out the second clue of her Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt (GIMQ) this morning.  I must confess that when I saw what she had in store for us this week, I groaned.  Out loud.

These were the units that we were instructed to make:

Using these neutral strips...

And these black and "pink" squares...

Combined to form these units.
 What's that?  You can't SEE the units??

Oops!  Sorry...

Silly readers!  Did you REALLY think that I'd show you the units before Grand Illumination Day, Week TWO?!?!?!?

Umm... NO.


Bonnie, being Bonnie, gave us 3 different methods to create these units.  That was quite thoughtful of her.  So far, I have tried 2 of ways (with minimal to moderate success with either.)  One batch was made with the square and rectangle method that Bonnie suggested.  The other was made using the recommendations of my friend, Needleb, who sent a link to  The industrious quilter there came up with a strip-pieced technique to arrive at the desired unit.  (Don't look until the Magical Monday Linkup or you'll spoil the surprise!)

Hours later...

This unit just doesn't like me!!!  I haven't been able to find the "sweet spot" for attaching them together properly, resulting in size variations and mismatched points.  I'm not well pleased.  :o((

After completing 1/10 of the required units for the half sized quilt, I gave up.  I'm heading off for a rest and will actually consider (the dreaded) paper-piecing method tomorrow.  YIKES!!!

I haven't paper-pieced in ages (and really don't care for it very much.)  get me wrong!  Don't It definitely has it's place in the quilting world.  Just NOT in my studio, if it can be avoided!

We'll see what happens tomorrow...

Until then,
Happy Quilting!