Monday, December 1, 2014

Thirty Percent

It's that time of year- I'm not talking about Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday or even the holidays themselves.  No-  I'm referring to the Bonnie Hunter Reader Appreciation Mystery Quilt!    Every year on Black Friday Bonnie presents a free mystery quilt.  She's been doing this for several years although this is only my second time to participate...
My first attempt was Orca Bay... I bought all the fabrics, printed out the first set of instructions and then...nothing.  I can't remember why I didn't go any further with it but eventually those fabrics ended up in my stash.  

Last year, a few years after Orca Bay, I decide to give the mystery another whirl.  This one was Celtic Solstice.  I was off to a great start and even blogged about my progress (click here to see that post).  I worked on it for a while and got to step three and then...nothing.  I didn't finish it and there it sits in a bin next to about another 50 bins holding other UFOs waiting to be finished.

I am NOT proud that I have so many UFOs but at least they're organized!

Finished.  Hmmm.  Quite a concept for me and many other quilters like me.  Finished.  Not quite as exciting as STARTING, but way better than IN PROGRESS.  Starting means new patterns, new fabrics, new tools, new beginnings!  Excitement at picking colorways, and watching color and texture work together to make the block sing!  In progress means a million-billion more of the million-billion blocks you have already done.  You know how the fabrics are working together and you know what the block is going to look like when you are done...Boooooring!   Finishing... in as far as quilting goes, this is not a concept that I have had a great deal of experience.  Well, at least not as much as I have with starting. The sad truth is that I haven't enough experience with FINISH to make it through IN PROGRESS.  But, there's hope!

Last December, I had the pleasure of not only meeting Bonnie Hunter but becoming a friend.

Me, Bonnie and my dog, Murphy

In our talks and visits she has imparted soooo much wisdom upon me.  One of the things that she said that really spoke to me is '30%'.   Yes, 30%; the point in the quilting process where STARTING ends and IN PROGRESS begins.  It's the point where the been-there-done-that attitude takes over and another UFO is born.  I am learning to muscle through In-Progress and get to Finish.  The key is finding that point where In-Progress becomes Finishing because once you are there, you get excited to see it done.  To that end, I am happy to report that I have quite a few "finishes" this year.  Not all are quilts but they were started and now they are finished so they count.  I did a bunch of Quilts of Valor with my mom for all the veterans in my family... I think we made a total of 15! I also did

Bonnie Hunter's Scrappy Bargello 

This cute little tote.

Roll Roll Cotton Boll... 
(which won 3rd place in the New Braunfels Area Quilt Guild Show 2014)

One of Bonnie Hunter's previous mystery quilts and now in her book
String Fling.  You can purchase the book directly from Bonnie by clicking here.

I can't put them all here but you can find them by clicking the 2014  Finish tab.

So, back to where we started.... Grand Illusion is this years mystery and I am off to a roaring start!  The introduction to the mystery appeared on Bonnie Hunter's Blog about a month ago with a promise of the first clue appearing on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  Oh the excitement of choosing colorways, fabrics, texture, tools (STARTING!)

My Fabric Choices.

I chose not to use that darkest teal.   There wasn't enough contrast between it and the black.  

The first clue is Half-Square Triangles and Broken Dish Blocks.  
It took me two days to get everything cut out and sewn! 

The lighting for this picture is not the best.  I took it at 2:30 AM when I finished the last block.  The next one has better lighting but my quilt inspector, Bobbins Hunter (Bobby, to his friends), felt it necessary to do a surprise inspection.

 I know, I know.  Cat hair is a pain but in my house 
pet hair (I have three Yorkies, as well) should be considered part of the decor!

So, along with Grand Illusion, I will be working hard to FINISH.  I have developed a taste for FINISHED.  Its such a great feeling to put those last stitches into the binding of a quilt and I hope to enjoy it a lot more often.

Until next time,
May your irons be hot and your needles sharp!


PS.   Go back to Bonnie's Blog by clicking here.


  1. Woohoo...great job, Irene. That is one impressive wall-o-ufo's! Just keep plugging along and you'll have finishes in no time! :)

  2. She is the best that Bonnie! So glad you found her and these mysteries so you and I could be friends too! Way to go on the first clue. It is going to be beautiful!

  3. Great blog post, we all suffer from UFO-itis in differing degrees and can totally sympathize! Good for you for owning it and showing it. It is so organized and I am sure you can finish them all. Good luck on Grand Illusion!

  4. Gorgeous Bonnie quilts. Love your colors for GI.

  5. Your chosen colours are beautiful!

  6. When I get tired of sewing a specific kind of blocks, I'd rather modify the project and make a smaller quilt (baby or lap size). My other motivation is, now I've practiced a little, I'm really enjoying FMQ and I need finished tops to keep practicing on them! (my two cents about finishing). Congrats for your job and your fur helpers (a kitten and two dogs in my team).

  7. I have to admire how organised your UFOs are. Congratulations on the ones you've finished. You have a cute quilt inspector there.

  8. I have found that listening to audiobooks on my iPad helps me get through the in progress portion of the quilt. I just download them from the library and I'm good to go. Feeds my other passion of reading too! Movies, even ones I know by heart, are to visually distracting.