Friday, October 5, 2018

En Provence Mystery Quilt Finish

An Adaptation of 'En Provence'
A 2016 Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt Along

I choked a little when I had to type 2016 since 2019 is just around the corner, but the truth is simply the truth. Quilts aren't overnight sensations. Some have to age like fine wine.

The quick story of this quilt is it's one of two. It has a twin. I stopped the mystery quilt along before I had all the blocks made, and asked the question, "What can I make with what I have?" Ta-dah! Two quilts. This is the one with the little rogue triangle--upper left hand corner. I have zero idea how it happened, but it gives this one its own identity like most twins.

First a few glamour shots of the finished quilt outside. I threw it on the ground, jumped up on the top of the wall, and would you know it started to sprinkle. I snapped quickly!

No, I didn't use the BH recommended color palette. I chose from what I already had on my shelves. As this mystery came together, I would say I loved the low volume background in every way, but the other parts of this quilt took time to appreciate. The borders I added did wonders to meld the odd colors, and allow the green to add sparkle.

First Crush by Anna Marie Horner has been hanging in my stash for years, and made a perfect backing fabric.

The narrow binding is a mottled blue that works with both the silvery Asian inspired print, and also the backing. It was also used for some of the star points in this quilt center.

The Quilting

Every quilt gives us the opportunity to try something new. This one is probably staying at my house so I was ready to push myself. What I could do that I haven't done before?

I sewed with So Fine Thread, and used a clamshell ruler on the outside edge then echoed with another row 1/2" away. It presents as a nice scallop or bunting. Opposite this, I stitched another row against the low volume fabric. 

Inside the single clamshell I added a loop. They are connected as I stitched along the ditch free hand. I added the same looping in the low volume border. Lots of rounded quilting motifs help to offset the angular piecing.

The magenta border was wide, and I've gotten myself into trouble filling wide borders before. I turned to a set of circle rulers that haven't gotten much use yet. Starting from the center and working outward, I added all the circles toward the right. Then I worked from the center to the left. Both sides ended with just enough space to use the inside of one circle to finish the row.

It was here that I froze. It wasn't enough, but I was out of ideas. I decided to stop and sleep on it, but that only turned into a sleepless night trying to come up with a solution! During those wee dark hours, I figured it out.

Turn the circles into orange peels, petals, or whatever you might see. The circle rulers have etched markings to help you mark 3, 6, 9, and 12 o'clock as you work. Go back after the circles are complete, and work across the top of the circle. Come back across the bottom, or end your thread, and work left to right across the bottom.

One ruler I do use a lot is Rhonda's Mini Arc. A super compact little ruler, it fits well in my hand, and is how I made the petals.

Frozen Where I Stood

I will now confess to the real panic I had when I realized what I had done during loading this quilt. I have been experimenting with floating the top, and using heavy magnetic bars to hold it against the bar. 'Floating the top' means not pinning it into the leader, but allowing it to hang along with the batting. Imagine my heart pounding and shallow breath when I saw that along with the batting and top, I was also floating my backing! 

Keep Calm 
& Quilt On

I was committed. I quilted on. I did not cry, though, it entered my mind.

Echoed flowers and loop d'loops for the center kept it soft, and I just kept going.

If each quilt gives us a chance to grow, I feel 6 feet tall right now. The hiccup with the floating backing, batting, and top? This quilt feels so, so soft as if I've hand quilted it more than machine quilted! There are no wrinkles either. I think perhaps I was just very lucky, but I learned plenty from the experience.  It's definitely worth trying intentionally. 

Perhaps on the other quilt identical to this one. Yeah, I think so before I forget what I did here. :-)

Knocking off these UFO's one by one feels more like Space Invaders than quilting some days. Will I be completely done before 2019? Oh, let's hope so!

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.

Linking up with~
Crazy Mom Quilts


Laura said...

"Quilts aren't overnight sensations. Some have to age like fine wine."

Ha, this made me laugh. Although I have to say that right now my fermentation process is more akin to vinegar than wine. ;) But I have hope that if I stick with it and actually /DO/ the work maybe someday I can approach your skill.

Your version of En Provence is just lovely and may be one of my favorites that I've seen. I love to read about your process as you complete each quilt.

KaHolly said...

WHat an excellent post! It was delightful to read, Julie. And the quilt, well, it goes without saying that it is gorgeous. You can put together the best quilts from what you have on hand. I would never have thought to use those fabrics together, yet look at how beautiful! I’m in awe! And the size, it huge! And you have two? Wow, you were busy.

QuiltShopGal said...

Congratulations on your finish. Absolutely brilliant quilt. Great job!

Glen QuiltSwissy said...

Great finish! I always float my batting and top. I do OK with it. Makes for a quicker load than all that tedious pinning and fiddling with all those bars!

SandraC said...

A beautiful finish and a good read! Lol, I don't know how you managed to float the backing! I haven't done a Bonnie Hunter mystery in a couple of years as it's always at my busy time of year, but I think I'll give it a try this year 😀

Kate @ Smiles From Kate said...

Rouge triangle? Characterful I call it. It gives the quilt a quirky personality. Congratulations on a lovely finish, and a fun read.

Sew Surprising said...

Another beauty, love so much about this project, think the scrappy look is what grabs me the most, your work is always so inspiring and intriguing, keeping my fingers crossed you will begin the coming year with a clear slate in the UFO department :)

Linda Swanekamp said...

Love your spin on the Mystery quilt. Love the colors and the neutrals you picked. The quilting is terrific. When I float a top, I push the hanging fabric over the bottom bar so it is way out from my feet. I only made one of Bonnie's- Grand Illusion. I hated it so bad when it was on the design wall to be stitched together, I sent it to Sarah Craig for her quilt ministry. Someone there made two comfort quilts out of it. You always have such a good designer eye.

Angie in SoCal said...

It's a marvelous quilt, Julie. Itching to see the twin. Blessings,

Preeti said...

It is a beautiful finish, Julie. I particularly love the rambunctious little pink triangle in the corner.

Barb Neiwert said...

OH my goodness! My heart skipped a beat when I looked at that picture. (That would be when a loud, unrecognizable sound would have emanated from deep within the walls of my chest - arrrrrrgggggghhhhhh!!!!!) You did wonderful to get 'er all quilted so nicely. Whew! You have skills, lady!

grammajudyb said...

I have not yet be able to substitute colors for BH quilts. I am not BRAVE! You did an awesome job! I like it a lot! You give me courage to try, maybe, next Mystery!

The Joyful Quilter said...

Congrats on your finish!! My En Provence quilt? I don't even know where I left off!!!

Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty said...

I've never tried a mystery quilt (I'm way too much of a control freak!). Yours came out lovely. The palette is so darn pretty, and your quilting is spot-on, as usual. : )

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

I am glad you did not panic! It turned out so great! and you have another finish!!!!