Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Grand Illusion - an almost completed top

I'm nearing the finish on completing the piecing of the top for "Grand Illusion" the Quiltville Mystery quilt for 2014-2015.

When Bonnie posted the assembly instructions, I auditioned the blocks on the design wall and wasn't thrilled with what I saw.

When I look at Bonnie's finished quilt and some of the others I've seen in Blogland, they look softer, more like a watercolor painting.  Mine seems "in your face" bold.  I guess I'm just not that adventurous.  If I look at this picture in a very small size, or from a distance, I kind of get that watercolor feeling.

But up close and personal, I'm wasn't feeling it.  Since it's my quilt, and I felt free to change it up.

I omitted the green checkered sashing and substituted a variety of white tone-on-tone fabrics:

 It's a little more soothing for me.  Don't get me wrong - I love Bonnie's finished version and many of the others I've seen.  For me, I needed something a little more calm.  You may notice there's a mistake in the lower-left block - I've got one of the corner units twisted.  I didn't notice that until I was posting the pictures so I'll have to go back and fix it.

I made 1/4 of the required units that Bonnie suggested, so mine will end up a crib-sized quilt.  I still need to add borders at this point.   I think I will substitute pink for the narrow yellow border that Bonnie used.  I want to bring out more of the pink color since this will be for my soon-to-arrive niece.  I'm omitting the pieced outer border that Bonnie used (see below). I don't really want to make this quilt any longer - just wider, so I'm puzzling over what to do for the outermost border.  Do you have any suggestions?

 Most of those outer border pieces went into a small quilt for the little one to use with the teddy bears and dollies I'm sure she will have as she gets older.

I also plan to use those checkerboard units.  I think I might take out the black squares and use the remaining green and white units in some kind of March/Saint Patrick's Day quilt.

I read another blog where the quilter changed Bonnie's design (again with the sashing) and someone criticized her for doing so and discussing it on her blog.  That person thought it was disrespectful to Bonnie.
I don't think Bonnie would see it that way.  I believe she wants us to take the patterns she provides us and to make them our own.  I'm grateful that Bonnie did this mystery quilt - I am using all the units she designed, just not all in the same quilt! 

On another Bonnie related note - I was watching "Buying Alaska" on the Destination America cable channel last night and noticed a Celtic Solstice quilt on the bed in the master bedroom!  Bonnie's quilt design was on TV!!  I yelled out "That's Celtic Solstice! I have that quilt too" and I'm pretty sure my husband and son thought I was a nut job!

Don't forget to hop over to Quiltville and check out all the other Grand Illusion quilts.

It's February Already!

 How did it get to be February already?

January was a blur of activity - we had two different weekends of family gatherings and a third weekend  with friends. I did make a little progress on my 2015 goal list:

I spent a little time on the Adelphi Hotel cross-stitch - I'm a little further ahead than this picture shows:

That's only one-third of the hotel - will it ever be done?  Yes - someday!!!

I pieced a few more hexie-flowers but forgot to take a picture.

I finished two more monthly mini quilts.

"Let it Snow" for January:

and "Candy Hearts" for February, inspired by this picture:

I used the pre-programmed letter stitches on my sewing machine to simulate the stamped words on the candy hearts.

I also "fixed" my very first monthly mini quilt - the red hearts are from a pack of die cut hearts I bought from Keepsake Quilting back in the early 1990's!  I think I started assembling this in 2009 or 2010 and finished it in 2011.  Here's the way it looked originally:

 You'll notice the "blanket stitch" is backwards - it was my first time doing it in about 20 years and I forgot how!  I ripped out all the hand stitching and re-did it using the blanket stitch on my sewing machine:

Ah - now that's better!  I brought this one to hang up in my cubicle at work but I haven't gotten it put up yet since I'm home with bronchitis at the moment.  Hopefully, it will go up tomorrow.

As for the fabric diet - well that's going pretty well.  I only bought a total of one yard in January.  A half yard was for the backing of "Candy Hearts", so that doesn't count.  I also bought two fat quarters - peach and light green for "Candy Hearts" since I did not have solids in those colors.  So really, only a half yard of non-diet fabric!  Sew far, sew good! 

With one month in, how are you doing at your 2015 goals?