Despite my best intentions to not start a new project without finishing up several WIPs (one for charity, shame on me!), I found myself drawn into Bonnie Hunter’s Good Fortune Mystery QAL. I follow her scrap organization system for the most part, cutting my smaller pieces into use-able ready to go precuts. So when I ran into her QAL, which you can find here for the time being, I was in!
Little did I realize there were oodles of small blocks to piece into 2 1/2 inch blocks which then were pieced into larger 4 1/2 inch blocks. Though let me say, I learned oodles which is exactly what I hoped for when I began the project.
First, I didn’t participate in most of the link ups. December is my busy work season, and it was hard enough to get any sewing in. Linking up meant picture props and time away from piecing. So, it did not happen. I was ok with that.
Second, I started off easy enough, as making patchwork pieces from strips was super simple and frankly quieting to my mind after a full day at the office. And, I did not worry about not having all 256 units finished in one week. I focused on what I could finish rather than what I had left to finish. Helpful in the countdown to Christmas. Another win, I finally mastered the flippy seams too, erh, I mean spinning the seams. Not hard, just another step in the process.
What I absolutely LOVED about this whole QAL was the benefit of nesting seams. All my four patch seams popped unless I let the piece slip when I sewed them together. Brilliant!
Third, I started with Part 2 by using the 8 at a time HST method. I cut for 56 triangles (8 squares) and shocker, realized trimming all those babies was going to take a while. So I ventured to buy the Simple Folded corners ruler and follow the Bonnie Hunter method and it was a game changer. I mean why would I ever make x at a time again and need to trim when I can use that Fun ruler. I then spread out trimming the 56 triangles I had started so it didn’t feel like work.
Part 4 was a little rougher – chevrons took a while to get just right. I am not sure if it was me sewing tired or what, but after the first 10, I had the process dialed in to make 2′ useable units for the border while having nearly perfect chevrons. Magic, that is what I say. I don’t think I will ever be comfortable that less than a 1/4 inch seam is ok, but I believe in a woman who has been doing this a heck of a lot longer than me, that the unit size matters not the seam allowance and thus, I perfected these useable 2 inch HSTs. I did make certain to set the seams, just in case (wink!).
HQT blocks in the making – using Bonnie’s method made these blocks so easy to assemble I am now looking for a pattern to make a quilt from them!
Honestly the low volume final border strips aren’t made yet, but I’m assembling blocks a few a night and enjoying every minute of it. Sew 4 in total, sew 12 chevron units to the HSTs, sew a couple sets of four patches to the orange strips sets then tuck them away for the night under my acrylic blocks (purchased at Mixbook). Take the flattened blocks and units out the next night, add the finished blocks to the wall and sew the units together and start over.
Yes, under those blocks are several units ready to be sewn and several blocks working towards flatter seams.
So finally, the to date reveal of a few blocks which I haven’t trimmed yet. I discovered this morning that I had sewn a side of the red block upside down, so that’s in the redo pile.
My final learning was that there really is benefit to saving any length of 2.5 or 3.5 inch strips. I had not been sure about this part of the scrap organization system and now that I’ve done the Mystery QAL, I know the benefit. I save almost every scrap larger than 3/4 inch (I can’t wait to make a crumb quilt) and generally cut them into set square sizes. But more importantly I can’t wait to join this QAL next year. Hopefully my scrap pile will be big enough so that I don’t cut yardage – that would be the goal. Not a likely attainable goal given I finish 2-4 quilts a year, but a goal is a goal!
Linking back to the Quiltville Linky Party…Link-up Reveal.