Third time is the charm

This quilt changed my mind about mysteries.  Mysteries are not for people that can't follow instructions, and if I've proven nothing else, it's that I cannot follow instructions. 

This is the second mystery I walked away from and took in my own direction.  The first was a Bonnie Hunter mystery that I made all the blocks for, but at the big reveal, decided to turn them into two smaller quilts.  This second quilt was not working for me early on.  It's not my color way.  I use a warmer color palette.  After this quilt, I decided I'd only make mysteries in my own color way, using my own favorite fabrics, even if they don't match the recommended colors suggested by the pattern designer.  I've seen some beautiful quilts made with a Bonnie Hunter mystery pattern where the maker went in their own color direction, and I'm a fan of doing that.  Making the mystery pattern, but making it my own quilt instead of trying to make an exact duplicate of someone else's quilt. 

This mystery was designed by my local quilt shop.  The first thing that happened was they charged me a fee to sign up for the mystery, then there was a charge for each month's pattern and fabric.  I know that's become standard, as a way to get people to commit.  But, if you want me to commit, you need to keep me interested with a good pattern and a good color palette and some intrigue because I'll walk away from a little money, if I'm not having fun.  And, that's exactly what I did with this quilt.  I wasn't having fun, so I stopped going in for the next month's fabric and pattern. 

The second thing that happened was pattern related.  The designer was releasing the pattern without having it tested.  After the first couple of months, I skipped a month and it became my practice to go in each month and get last month's corrections and the upcoming month's pattern and fabric, then make last month's sections.

And, then, they gave me this fabric.

And, I was done.  I put the seam ripper in there so you can see the scale.  Huge flowers.  And, this was going to be a dominant fabric in the quilt.  That was the end of my first go at this quilt.  But, I kept thinking about all the pieces I had cut and all the sections I had pieced, and I started looking at patterns that would use those. 

I stumbled on Bonnie Hunter's Cathedral Stars pattern and gave this quilt a second go.  It was on her free page, and likely still is.  It used the star points from the tri recs ruler and I had a whole bunch of those...in two colors, a lime green that didn't match anything else in the quilt and a dark blue.  I made fewer blocks than Bonnie did, and the blocks may be a different size, but I still think it worked out well and it came out at 64.5" square.  I made the blocks and put them together into rows, but it still wasn't working for me.  I kept running out of fabric and having to substitute new fabrics in.  But, it wasn't enough to be scrappy and it was too much to have them here and there, so I put it away again.  This is it, after ironing, but before I started making new things.   

I took a few blocks apart and moved some fabrics around so that the new fabrics have a somewhat ordered and consistent position, like it was more planned than it actually was.  Instead of using plain fabric for the setting triangles, I pieced triangles, using extra pieces I had cut and were stored with the UFO.  I guess at one point, I was thinking of going bigger maybe?  But, this is big enough.  And that floral fabric made a great narrow border.  Cut small enough, it's just blobs of color. 

So, after three goes, this top is finished and ready to quilt.  Except I don't have a batting that large and will need to figure out a way to piece a back out of the leftover fabrics.  I even think I know who it's going to go to.  And, I might even be able to finish it by the holidays.  We'll have to see about that part.  Because right now, there's a Christmas quilt in the Bernina, getting it's ditch work. 

You all probably think I'm a terrible snob.  In talking to Michelle, who won the giveaway this week, it turns out that when I reply to your comments, you may not be receiving my replies.  I don't quite know why yet or what I need to do about that, but I've sent you some great and funny replies.  You'll just have to take my word on that.  And, if I figure this out, a couple of you are going to get a bunch of emails from me as I play catch up and answer questions you asked.  I'm going to blame it on Google.  Because why would I expect anything from Google to actually work the way it would appear to work.  There's got to be some secret step that they don't tell you about.  And, they're probably limiting my replies to your google account, and not the account you really receive email at.


Everybody have a great weekend.  I'm going to spend a few minutes trying to clean up the studio after piecing that top and then get on with my day. 




Hi Lane--it is probably your email address--I know that yahoo does not play well with google--and I see you have an really odd email address--so google many not be 'playing' well with it????
Love the quilt that you did finish--I have a hard time with mysteries cause I want to use different fabrics too--so now I wait and just collect the steps until it is done then look at the pattern and pick my fabrics!!!
and I am working on finishing up that Christmas quilt you are quilting--!!
enjoy the moments, di

Mari said...

That's certainly making lemonade from lemons! Your quilt turned out lovely, and last time I checked it was perfectly okay to make whatever you want, regardless of the pattern. The Christmas quilt looks like it's going to be great, too. You're on a roll!

Gisela Suski said...

You made the right choice, the mystery quilt is the best one I have ever seen.

Anonymous said...

The quilt turned out lovely. The colors are very appealing. I give you credit for forging on with it. How many UFO's do you have? Have a great weekend. Can't wait to see what you get up to. Thanks for sharing. Mary

Dot Wankat said...

You nearly made my heart stop when you talked about taking the first version of that blue quilt apart. Did you mean that you ripped apart the blocks from the first picture? Are you NUTS?

I kept flitting from picture to picture to be clear they were all stages of the same quilt.

And nice explanation of your reasoning to get to the final quilt. Your explanations are so helpful.

Suzanne D said...

Your quilt turned out beautifully! I really admire your persistence with something that you weren't liking!

Diane in TX said...

Your re-worked mystery quilt is lovely! Just shows that even if it is not in your preferred colors, you can still make a lovely quilt. I enjoy following your blog and your reasoning makes perfect sense to me. Mysteries sound so fun, but I have learned to avoid them too. Great use of the giant floral, just shows that if you cut anything small enough it can be useful.