Monday, December 29, 2014

Grand Illusion Week Five

I am incredibly excited to report that not only did I finish this week's step, but I also managed to complete steps one through four this week! This is the first time in the four years I have been participating in Bonnie's mystery quilts that I have actually been caught up!

I am enjoying Bonnie's posts about the Grand Hotel. I have no memory of the decor from my visit there (I think I was four years old at the time) or from watching "Somewhere in Time" a million times when it was on HBO back in the day. I find the colors amusing...and charmingly tacky!  I am anxious to see how all of these pieces come together. They certainly don't look like they belong in the same quilt! I have complete faith in Bonnie, however, and know that it will turn out awesome!

It seems that most everyone is having great success at keeping up with the mystery this year - check out the Monday link-up on Bonnie's blog to see the fantastic progress!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Grand Illusion Week Four

Progress on the Grand Illusion mystery continues... I managed to get a few minutes in the sewing room here and there over the past week and finished a few more blocks from steps one and two before clue four was posted. I am quite confident I would have all three steps completed if it wasn't for the shopping and cooking!  I need to hire a personal assistant! Of course, assistants can be a problem when you are completely OCD like I am.  My husband was on vacation Friday and I asked him and my daughter to take care of getting a Christmas tree. I should have thought that through a little better before asking...first, neither one shares my OCD tendencies. Second, they really, really like a bargain. They were thrilled when they found a tree at Lowe's that was marked down to $4.88.  It didn't matter to them that it was the world's most crooked tree. They decided they felt sorry for it....they knew no one else would want it. I really think they did it just to mess with me.  My daughter posted it on her Facebook page right after they got it in the stand.

I did the best I could....after considerable maneuvering of the position of the trunk in the stand to make the tree appear at least somewhat upright....trying to turn it to find its "best"side....and throwing on a bunch of ornaments and tinsel, we ended up with this. Yep, it's still making me crazy. It's really hard to get good help these days!

I made fairly decent progress on step four over the weekend.  I did all of my cutting at once and even finished my cutting for step three, too. I really hate cutting but it was really nice to have it all ready to sew. I sewed all of my black and white HSTs and then sewed all of the half blocks. I was happy to find that I only sewed three of them the wrong way....not too much rework.  Then I started putting the halves together. Three blocks in I figured out that I was putting the wrong halves a little more rework.  I managed to get half of my blocks completed before breaking to cook dinner last night.

I still have 39 of the second block to finish. I'm hoping to catch up on all four clues while I am off this week.  Of course, the sewing will have to wait until the shopping, wrapping and cookie baking is finished.  I know better than to ask my husband to help....

To see how other Grand Illusion quilters are progressing, check out the Mystery Link-up on Bonnie's blog.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Grand Illusion Week Three

Not much progress to report this week! I went out after work and did a little Christmas shopping on Friday and followed that up with a late dinner at Red Lobster (had to use up a gift certificate from last Christmas!).  Saturday was Wool Club, where I celebrated Christmas with great friends and wonderful food. So I didn't get to the sewing machine until Sunday. This week's clue was definitely an easy one! I finished 40 of the double four patches and have the strip sets ready for 20 more with only a few hours at the machine. My greens are pretty bright....I am really starting to wonder how all these colors will come together!

I don't get much time to sew during the week but have been chipping away at the first two steps every chance I get.  I can't wait until next week when I am on vacation and can catch up!  Bonnie posted that the next couple of steps will be easy like this one so I might actually stand a chance of finishing this one before next November!

Check out the Monday link-up on Bonnie's blog to see how everyone else is doing.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Grand Illusion Week Two

For the first time in what seems like forever I had a completely free place to go and no one to cook for.  I spent nearly the whole weekend in my sewing room!  I made great progress on step two.  I decided to use Bonnie's first method to do my cutting.

This method worked well for me and the best part was that it gave me a use for my duplicate Easy Angle ruler.  (Sadly, I actually have three of them for some reason....)

I really like the look of the double diamond block. I am enjoying these colors - they are definitely different from my norm!

I finished 57 complete blocks and the rest of the halves.  I still need to trim rabbit ears and then can get the rest of the blocks together.

I got a little farther on step one over the course of last week.

And I've made quite a bit of progress on my giant rug:

Okay, now that I look at the picture it really doesn't look like all that much progress, but I do try to work on it pretty much every night.  It's hard to tell from the picture but the section I've hooked is probably two feet long. The rug is 30" x 76" so there's still a long way to go.

I hope I can drag myself away from the sewing machine long enough to get some Christmas shopping done.  Bonnie's mysteries are addicting!

That's my progress report for the week!  Check out how others are progressing on Bonnie's blog.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Grand Illusion Week One

It's that time of year again - let the mystery begin!  I was very excited that I was able to get the last border on my Celtic Solstice top on Wednesday.  My goal was to have it completed before starting Grand Illusion and I made it just in time!

I really should have removed all of the junk from my husband's night stand prior to taking the picture...  I am really happy with the colors and how it turned out.  The challenge now will be finding someone to quilt it. The awesome quilter that I have been relying on for years has decided to retire at the beginning of next year.  Definitely sad news for me!

I got a start on this year's mystery, Grand Illusion, on Friday afternoon.  With a completely open weekend I expected I would be able to finish the first step before returning to work this morning but sadly that wasn't the case.  Too many distractions with the girls at home...lots of shopping and cooking. I'm hoping that I can still find a couple of hours after work this week to finish up before step two is posted.

I don't think that the colors came across all that well in this picture.  I am using Bonnie's colors this year. I was able to pull most from my stash...except the pinks.  I have quite the crazy assortment of fabrics - most of the pinks I am using are Civil War reproductions, while the teals are batiks and an assortment of odds and ends - Fossil Fern, a piece from a Christmas collection a few years back, etc. The other colors are all over the place as well. 

I finished all of my HSTs and assembled 26 of the 100 broken dishes blocks. These are definitely color combinations outside of my norm!  I am a big fan of the Grand Hotel, though, and love the fact that these colors were inspired by the decor there.  I have very vague memories of my parents taking me there when I was young (I think I was three?) and "Somewhere in Time" has always been one of my favorite movies.  Reading all of Bonnie's posts and seeing all of the beautiful pictures makes me want to go back.  I can't wait to see where this goes!

Visit the Mystery Monday Link-Up post on Bonnie Hunter's blog to see how others are progressing with step one. I am so envious of the ladies in Chandler, Arizona - the kick-off party looks like it was a blast!