Friday, January 13, 2017

En Provence - Clue 7 and Finale - Bonnie Hunter - Mystery Quilt

Happy New Year!  I KNEW IT!!  I had told my bestie, Allison, that the reveal would happen today even though we just had a clue 2 days ago.  (To see the blog post for Clue 6, please click this LINK - it will open another window and you won't lose the linky here) Obviously, just like everyone else, I went running for my units to see what the block would look like.  I even did a quick trial run laying the magenta under the block, but I'm happy to say, the yellow suits me fine.  I AM, however, going to use a constant, lighter yellow.  Fun times ahead now and oh so much to do still but today is a day with my Mister so that's all I can do right now.  Tomorrow is another day.

1/2 -- I been busy cleaning today but take time out to cut the last units.  It's the first time I have worked on this without Allison.  It feels kind of traitorous, but I know she's getting hers done as well.

1/3 - I spent all morning working on a different project but don't want the day to pass without at least some effort on this.  How about I simply get the units finished.  That would be great forward progress, right?

How do YOU press your units?  I lay mine out the length of the ironing board - BEFORE clipping.  That way I can press all to the green and trim in sets of two so that they are still chained units for the final seam.

A quick chaining run down the pairs and I have a stack of units that simply need a spin, press, and trimming of the dog ears.  I've been a busy girl all day and it's now after dark.  I don't want to stand anymore --- thus back to the bar stool method.

And here are all my units before starting to assemble.  I've even finished my mystery ornament with all the dog ears inside.  Woohoo.  I gotta say this is a gorgeous palette.  I thought so with the paint cards and am so happy I stayed with Bonnie's colors.  I have perma grin just looking at this (well, part of that is because I am in denial of the huge amount of work still in front of me.)

1/4 - I have absolutely created a mess in my living room, the size of which is a testament to my ability to cover flat spots.  I just keep bringing more flat spots into the room and they cover up as well.  Today I need to tackle some of this mess and since scraps are everywhere, that's where I am starting.  I wish to tame them.  The big question is:  how to do that?  Without even realizing what I am doing, I find myself taking all of the crumbs and cutoff and making miniature units of the ones in the main block.  These cuties are  2" units, finishing at 1 1/2".  Tiny.  There are enough scraps laying around to make 2 blocks.  Somehow I will turn them into decorative pillows to go with my quilt.  Inspiration will come later, I'm hoping.

1/5-6  Allison is over for a mini retreat and we are building blocks.  She arrives with one sewn already (full size) and I have my tiny one.  The look fun together and mine is about 1/4 the size of hers.

We have TWO thoroughly enjoyable days together (and if you're really interested in them -- here is the LINK) and the result is that I have all my blocks completed.

This is a FIRST on the mystery for me.  I usually see the reveal on New Years and then put it aside for awhile.  NOT this year.  I'm staying on task.  Throughout these two days, I have also been making bags for my daughter's kindergarten class and that's what is hanging on the tree.

1/7  I need to finish up the bags so am making the neutral 8 patches that will be in the final border as leader enders.

By the time I have all the bags ready to mail, all units are finished as well.

1/10  I had to take time out to finish another project, thus it's been a couple of days since I worked on this.  The plan is to wait until Allison comes over on Thursday, but I have had a completely miserable morning out in the studio quilting.  My machine and I are simply not seeing eye to eye today.  That means walk away.  I was taught that as a young mom and it still holds true today.  When you are angry -- walk away before you do damage.  And believe me, damage in the form of a machine beating was looming imminent.  I plop myself down in the living room and just start sewing the sashing together.  ALL AT ONCE.  Yep, one long web with border sections being built as leader/enders.

I LOVE webbing.  It makes my heart happy and I use this technique whenever I can.  Truly.  From the simplest nine-patch to a complicated flimsy.  It keeps me on track and everything going the way I want it to.

One the sashings are complete, I separate them but am choosing not to press.  I want to be able to match up whatever is most comfortable on the blocks.  They can be pressed later.

Mister isn't home from work yet, so with one glance at the stack of blocks and the stack of sashings, I decide to forgo laying the top out and just start webbing it together.

It's amazing to me, but the top is totally webbed before Mister gets home.  Yeah, I hate kitchen pictures too but I have seriously done some spreading out lately and with Christmas decorations still up, floor space is limited.

1/11  I start sewing the rows together but my heart just isn't in it today.  As I look around, I see the fabric for the backing and decide to put that together instead.  I LOVE it and likely won't need the side pieces that I attached, but ya, just never know.

1/12  I am fortunate to have another sew day with Allison.  I am leaving town on Wednesday and we wanted to get one more day before my whirlwind month starts.  My goal for the day is to complete the setting on this sweetheart.  I'm being the little engine today -- I think I can, I think I can, I think . . .

Netflix has a new series that just started call "Travelers" so we decide to give it a try.  It pulls both of us in and I just pin and sew and pin and sew and suddenly, I have a center completed.

Now onto those borders.  I am THRILLED about the fact that they are pieced borders that match up exactly.  There is no need to lay this out or measure.  I just sit and sew the four inner sections and then attach them to the mother ship.  I am still not ironing anything as I really want everything to nest nicely.  So far so good and, yes, it will take me a bit longer to do the final press, but I don't have all the time spent right now so am pretty sure it will be a wash.  The kitchen is definitely out of room at this point and I will likely have to resort to the driveway as I did when taking the backing picture.

Okay - I have high hopes of completing this before Allison has to leave this afternoon and quickly set to making the last borders (yes, some were started as leader/enders) so that I can start attaching them.

I manage to have one on when our time is up.  Dang.  Oh well, Mister won't be home for several hours still.  This baby is getting finished TONIGHT.  Two hours later this top is finished and pressed.  Whew.  Back outside I go.  If you find a mistake, please don't tell me.  I'm happy as it is. (still more story below)

Now that I have finished the top, I still have some time before Mister gets home.  What to do with these pillows?  Let's try a really small magenta border around the block from the leftover pieces.  When I put the backing together, there were a couple of pieces from the sides that were cut off.  Are they big enough for the next border?  They are if cut in half lengthwise.  Okay, let's try that.  Now for the finish --- Oh wait, the backing also had some pieces cut off that had lavender borders in them.  I slice those off and add them.  Taking more pieces of the back panels, I make backs for the pillow and am soon ready to stuff.  I LIKE them --- a lot.  What next?  Well that's enough for tonight but I have an idea for the binding and will put that together tomorrow.

1/13  It's a make binding day.  I know, many of you wait until you have your quilts completely ready for it, but I like to do mine ahead and when my quilt comes off the machine, it gets trimmed and goes straight to another machine where the binding is attached.  I like all the parts done before I go to the quilting stage and that includes the label and binding.  Now, I made the label the day I played with the pillows, so it is standing by ready and that just leaves me this final section to make.  I want to do a flange binding but I adore hand stitching my binding down at the end.  It's my absolute favorite part.  That means I had to do some research as to how to attach the flange from the front.  It turns out, it works best in two pieces, so that's what I have made.  Both sections of binding are ready to go.  The magenta will just show as a tiny line before the floral binding, about 1/8" thick.  I can't wait to see how it turns out.

2/18/17  UPDATE:  It is FINISHED!!  While at retreat last week, Allison returned my quilted En Provence to me and I am thrilled with how it looks.  I returned from retreat with the crud.  Yep.  No action on my part for a couple of days and then I found enough energy to sew the flange and binding onto my quilted top.  The flange was cut at 1" and then folded in half.  I attached it using a scant 1/4" and cut it even with each end as I completed a side.  Starting again with it flush to the end, the process was repeated until all four sides had the flange attached.

Now for the binding.  Attaching normally with a full 1/4" seam, it went on quick and I went back to bed.  That plain wore me out.  Ugh.

Yesterday, I felt a bit better and sat down with a needle and thread to finish this sweetheart.  I can tell you with all honesty that this is my favorite part.  It's my quiet time with my quilt before she is finished.  One stitch at a time and I slowly worked around her.  The flange turned out just how I wanted although I could have sewn straighter in places so that it would be more uniform.  I don't care.  I love it anyway.  The pattern that Allison used to quilt it is Leaf and Vine and I am so blessed to have her in my life.


And the back.  Although the sun washed it out a bit.  The picture above is better.  So goes it.  I was so blessed to take this entire adventure with my best friend, Allison.  What a great time we had.  Thanks for following this journey with me and if you arrived here via Bonnie's linky:  here's your link back --  Thanks for the visit.


  1. Wow, it looks gorgeous and I am impressed with your industry! I'm glad to see that lavender fabric on the pillows -- I knew it would look good with this quilt. I've been watching Travelers on Showcase in Canada -- great show! Happy quilting!

  2. Fabulous, simply fabulous mystery! Such a joy to do this with you this year. Thanks for sharing your extra backing fabric with me. I'm still working on my blocks. Your little pillows are just darling. Thanks for introducing me to Netflix "Travelers" . . . I can't stop thinking about it. Hugs, Allison in Plano, TX

  3. Just absolutely mind boggling this post. Sooo beautiful! I love your ...everything
    for this quilt. Those smaller blocks are scrumptious and the backing and the blocks going together right away. Wow!!!

  4. I enjoyed reading the whole journey, and love your finished quilt. Your flanged binding is the perfect finishing touch.

  5. thanks for sharing your timeline on the en Provence with us. It is stunning. I am in the block assembly stage. I have pieces all over the bar and the kitchen table. My husband went to move stacks so we could eat dinner and I almost chopped his hand off. Your quilt is beautiful, thanks. I need the inspiration to finish this monster.

  6. Bravo your quilt looks fantastic, and I love the double binding.