Monday, January 5, 2015

Grand Illumination Day, Part Six - The Final Reveal

Today is Monday.  The FINAL Mystery Monday Link-up with Bonnie Hunter (of and the hundreds of quilters from around the world who are making the GIMQ.  You can find me at link number 33 this week.  This was the 10th annual Winter Mystery that Bonnie has designed.  I am glad that I chose to be a part of it.

The quilt was designed with the Grand Hotel of Mackinac Island, Michigan in mind.  Bonnie taught classes at the grand old hotel in May of 2014 and thought that it would be nice to use the hotel's color scheme as a jumping off point for this year's mystery.  While I appreciate her sentiment, I wasn't feeling the pink thing on the day that I chose my fabrics and I didn't have enough turquoise in my stash.  (I must have used it all in my Lady of the Lake quilt all those years ago!)

Here's a photo of the Big Bang block components:

This one shows them all stacked up and ready to stitch together:

I cut the cornerstone pieces to use as leader/enders while piecing the blocks:

And also sewed the sashing pieces together:

Not quite sure what happened to THIS piece!  It must have been one that I put together using individual squares when I didn't want to cut additional strips:

Oops!!  That's "not quite" square!!!
I lay out all of the units for assembly and sew the rows:

All of the first and middle sections have been sewn. Progress!!

Here, I'm adding the final sections to each "row":

Wah-la!!  The "rows" are complete:

Next, I turn the "row" so that they form "columns" and this shot shows the block nearly completed:

Ta-da!!!  All of my blocks are done.  And this was actually on New Year's Eve!!!  :o))

Big Bang block designed by Bonnie Hunter, this block sewn by ME!!

Grand Illusion      Grand Illusion      Grand Illusion

And let's not forget this week's "Wheel of Mystery":

And a special "Wheel of Mystery" for the GIMQ Finale:

Once those pictures were taken on New Year's Day, I began to play with the quilt layout:

First, with the blocks set side by side...

Then, a single block set with the sashing...

Finally, a row of blocks set with sashing.

Another perspective of a single row set with sashing.

Here is the entire (half-sized) quilt laid out with sashing (minus that one wayward unit.):

It sure is busy!!
Oh, well!!!  Who cares how busy it is?!  I did the mystery and I'm going to MAKE the mystery.  However, the verdict is still out concerning the outer border.

This photo shows all of the rows stacked up and ready to be sewn:

I had the first THREE rows completed before deciding that it was WAY TOO LATE for me to be sewing:

Look!  I didn't even mess anything up and it's after 9 PM!!!  :P

This shot transports us to the morning of January 2nd.  ALL of the remaining rows have been sewn:

Now, to assemble the rows into a quilt top...

I hope you've enjoyed going on this mysterious journey with me, thank YOU!!!  I also want to thank my best quilting buddy, Needleb, who shared her handy-dandy cutter and her calming demeanor when things didn't go quite right as we worked together on this project.  I especially want to thank Bonnie Hunter for creating this mystery and passing it along to the hundreds of quilters who participated in the fun.

Here's a photo, nipped from Bonnie's blog, showing how her quilt turned out:



Surprise, surprise!  Here's a photo of how my completed quilt top turned out:

~ 48" x 63"

I hope you like my quilt The Mysterious Scrap Explosion (paying homage to Bonnie's Big Bang block title) as much as I do.  I finished it on Friday night.  That's just 2 days after the reveal. Amazingly FAST work for this (usually) SLOW quilter.  As Needleb said... I was on a mission!!

Who doesn't LOVE a good scrap quilt??  I dug deep in my stash for EVERY piece of fabric in this one!  Care to go on your own excavation project?  Join the 2015 (Ravelry) Austerity Challenge on the Quilter's Knitting Group, as they vow to SHOP THE STASH whenever possible.   Your quilt recipient's won't have a CLUE what that "perfect" fabric looked like and, quite honestly, they won't care.  They will LOVE their quilt just the way YOU make it!

Oops!  Remember those turquoise fabrics that I didn't have enough of to make the mystery quilt???

Well... I found them!!

Right AFTER completing the rows of this quilt!!!  They were stashed away in a drawer with the other scraps from the Lady of the Lake quilt that I mentioned earlier in this post!!!

PLENTY of scraps that COULD have been used for GIMQ!!  Oh, well...  I like the fact that my Grand Illusion is a bit different from many of the other ones that people all over the world are making.  :o))

Until next time...
Happy Quilting!!!


  1. Very nice! I like the photos showing your progress. As you photographed each new step, I could see that the blocks seemed to change. I like the color choices you made. A beautiful quilt!

  2. Half size? What a great idea! What will you do for a border--pieced or plain? Maybe you could use the turquoise scraps. Or not. Anyway, a very pretty quilt.

  3. Thanks for all of the lovely comments! I think that I've decided on a "not quite plain" border treatment. Patsknitting on Ravelry did a graduated strippy border on one of her quilts and I really like it. Graduated in size of strips and color as you go out from the body of the quilt. We'll see how it goes...

  4. Your finished top has great movement!


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