Sunday, December 22, 2013

Celtic Solstice Part 4.........ALMOST CHRISTMAS!!!!!!

Has a week passed already?

It CERTAINLY DOESN'T seem like it has been a week!

Time flies when you're having fun I suppose?  I have loved participating with you all, and interacting with many of you who are participating in:

Remember, I cannot reply to you if you are a "no-reply" commentator.  If you have any questions, you can e-mail me through the link located on the right hand side of the blog.  

The last two clues have been very doable for me in an evening's time.  I certainly am not Speedy Gonzalez, but, having my colors specifically selected and sorted through larger pieces to smaller pieces have helped me when it comes to selecting the fabrics for each clue.  Thus, the cutting goes faster, so the chain piecing goes faster.  

This week we were to make 120 4 patch units for the smaller version that will finish at 3" in the quilt.  There really are no tips or tricks to this.  Bonnie gives such wonderful and thorough instructions for each step, it would be ridiculous for me to bore you all with a "how to make a 4 patch" tutorial.  However, I will give this one bit of advice for giving your four patch units variety, especially if you are cutting strips from larger pieces of fabric.  Cut your strips down to 10.5" length strips and mix and match that way.  Not only are your strips going to be more manageable, but, there will be more ways to make variety, and get about "5" 4 patch units out of the 10.5" strip.

So without further adieu.............

Here is a sampling of my 4 patch units.
I see some sizzle and sparkle again, so I must be doing something right?  Right????? LOL
Again, Bonnie's green is my gold, and her orange is my red.

This just makes me happy to look at!
It made me even happier to sew.......SEW RELAXING!

Several participants in this mystery have been coming up with ideas of what they think the quilt may end up looking like.  I am very curious myself.  One particular design caught my eye......

Hmmmmmmmmmmm........could be????????
But, I know there will be at least two more clues as Bonnie let be known on her blog.

How on earth did that happen??????

So, I did get all of the memory quilts bound this week, and they are all ready to be given to their recipients on Christmas day.  Wanna see them???

"My Grandpa's Shirts"
Made for my niece from her paternal grandfather's flannel shirts.
An easy Chinese Coins pattern was the inspiration to display the shirting fabrics.
Purple is my niece's favorite color, and a freehand wavy line was used to quilt it.

 "My Grandpa's Shirts II"
Made for my nephew from his paternal grandfather's flannel shirts.
I used the same pattern and quilting, but, used my nephew's favorite color, blue, as the sashing.

And finally....

"My Dad Taught Me A Lot"
Made for my brother in law from his father's flannel shirts.
I made this pattern up as I went along.  I love the end result.
I will be writing this pattern up along with the other quilt I mentioned here that I 
made for my brother in law's brother.
Just give me until after the first of the year.

I truly hope that these quilts will bring back fond memories for their recipients.  And when they feel they are missing their, husband, father, or grandpa, they can go cuddle up in their memory quilt, and remember him fondly.  It was an honor to be able to make these quilts.  It was an humbling experience as well.

 I hope you will remember with me the greatest gift ever given to mankind this Christmas season! 

Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Thanks for all of the encouragement!
Kevin the Quilter


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Celtic Solstice.......Part 3..........

Hello to all!

Thanks to everyone for their kind words regarding my progress in

I have made so many new friends, and have acquired many new followers on my blog.  I added the e-mail feature to my blog if you would like to receive e-mail alerts for when a new post has been made by me.  If you ARE new, WELCOME!  I try to blog weekly about various quilty things that are going on in my life.  I hope you enjoy reading it, and feel free to leave comments at any time.  I try my very best to respond to ALL comments.  But, I have to admit, here lately, my phone and Internet provider haven't been getting along all that well!  I believe I have the issues resolved now.  And, if by chance I wasn't able to respond to someone that recently commented, I SINCERELY apologize!  Let's try it again?

How's every one's weather?  It snowed here in East Central Missouri this past week.  It kind of helped me with my Christmas Spirit!

My Christmas tree in the living room.
(Sorry the star is cut off!  I can't even blame the wind for that one! LOL)

I still have 3 quilts left to bind for gifts, and then I will be done with my projects for Christmas gift giving!  It's a good thing I breezed through PART 3 of Bonnie's mystery this weekend, so I can complete those gifts this week!

For the small version of Celtic Solstice, we were to make 200 2 inch unfinished half square triangles of gold (my silver), and orange (my red).  Bonnie suggested to use the Easy Angle Ruler and 2" strips to make these, but, I confess, I went with another method.  

Someone in the Facebook splinter group Bonnie Hunter's Celtic Solstice mentioned a technique I have used before to make half square triangles and I decided to go with it.......

Let's take a photo journey of PART 3, shall we?

First, I cut 3 1/4" squares of my reds and silver scraps.

I then chain pieced them at random, right sides together, on all four sides using a 1/4" seam.

See the stitching on all four sides?  Such EASY chain piecing.....MY FAVORITE!

Then with my rotary cutter I cut an "X" right through the middle of the square using the stitching as my guide.

Here I am cutting the other half of the "X".

Pretty nifty, eh?  Four, count them, FOUR half square triangles using this method!
There are several other methods out there to make multiple half square triangles using similar techniques.  Research which method works best for you, and go for it!
Some people may be concerned about bias using this particular method?  I have to be honest, I didn't have one problem with it, but, then again, I am NOT a perfectionist! ;-)

These little soldiers are ready to be turned into.........

Half square triangles!
The seam is pressed toward the red (Bonnie's orange) as instructed.
And yes, I even used steam!
The quilt police are really gonna hate that one!  LOL

Oh, how I LOVE variety!
Do you see the "Celtic Confetti" made from the cut off dog ears to the right of the tray of half square triangles?  We were to make 25 pinwheel blocks with 100 of the half square triangles and leave the remaining ones for a future clue......hmmmmmm........I wonder what they are going to be used for????

Not so bad, if I do say so myself!  I personally see some highlights and low lights in these you?  Sparkle is what I like to see when I lay out my units in groups like this!

I hope you are enjoying whatever you are doing this blessed time of year!
And as always,
Thanks for ALL of the encouragement!
Kevin the Quilter

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Celtic Solstice Part 2..........keeping things scrappy......

Greetings Kevin the Quilter Blog Readers!

This time of year, I am usually decking the halls, and in the Christmas spirit.

For some reason, I have lost my yuletide mojo?????  I can't for the life of me wrap my mind around the fact that Thanksgiving was a week and a half ago and Christmas is right around the corner!  Where did 2013 go??????  I am alone here?


I am enjoying Bonnie Hunter's Celtic Solstice Mystery!  I am loving the Facebook splinter group Bonnie Hunter's Celtic Solstice.  I have met some wonderful people in this group!  There is some wonderful dialogue and great photos are posted within the members.  Everyone seems to be keeping on the up and up, and not WHINING! LOL

Celtic Solstice Part 2 came out on Friday morning, and I thought I would share some of the way I work when trying to keep things scrappy.  Don't think of this as much as a tutorial, but, as me sharing some basic tips I have learned to use in a Bonnie Hunter mystery.

I in NO WAY think I am an expert, I am just showing the way I do things!

I personally want the most variety as possible in a scrappy quilt.  I also like using as many pieces as possible, and in a Bonnie Hunter quilt, you can use up some pretty small pieces!  When a new clue comes out I:

Read the directions thoroughly, finding the dimensions of the units we will be working on.

I then go through my smallest scraps in the colors we are using to see what will work out size wise.  Again, variety is key here.  I am blessed to have a variety of scraps to choose from.  

  Here is a sampling of the silver pieces I found that would work.
I have substituted silver for the gold in my color scheme.
There are 2.5" strips, as well as some 1/4 yard cuts.
I even found some 2.5 squares that I cut down for this step.

I personally cut everything needed for the units before I start sewing a step.  In this step, we needed to cut  2" squares of two different colors.

A fat quarter strip measuring approximately 21" will render approximately 10 2" squares.
We needed 200 2" squares for one color alone.  After finding all of the smaller pieces that would work, I dug into strips, and chose about 17 different strips that would work.  That gave me 170 squares in addition to what I got from the small stuff.
(I hope this helps some of you who may wonder about how much to cut from each step?)

Here are all of the pieces needed, cut out and ready to be sewn.
My neutrals are Bonnie's neutral, my gold is Bonnie's green, and my silver is Bonnie's gold.
Confused yet?

I then lay the pieces as they go together and chain piece one section at a time.......that way I don't get confused.

Here, I have chain pieced several of the neutral units already.  I do lay them out, like pieces together, and work my way from left to right, one at a time.  The gold units are in no particular order which will add to the scrappiness.

Here is a better picture with many silvers to choose from.  The top stack of 2" silver squares is the most abundant, so I try to intersperse them throughout the other silvers.  Again, I chain piece, each piece of the unit until completing that part.  This helps me keep things straight.

Left side of the chevron waiting for their right side!
This looks like a cool pattern?  HMMMMMM??????

And here is a sampling of the completed units (needing a little trimming here and there!).
I feel there is some nice variety here!

Linking up with Bonnie's Link-up!

We are already up to:

1200 pieces!!!!!!
(for the smaller quilt)

And we have only received 2 parts of the mystery so far!

I hope you enjoyed my little scrappy seminar!
As always, thanks for ALL of the encouragement!
If you find my Christmas spirit, could you send it back to me PLEASE!
Kevin the Quilter

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Waiting for Clue #2........Celtic Solstice......

I feel like I have had enough time to grow this beard waiting for Clue #2!


Hope everyone has fun with it!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Celtic Solstice.......Part 1........and more...........

Hey everyone!

I would like to welcome all of my new blog followers and say THANKS for visiting my blog!

I hope that you all got your fill of blessings and turkey on Thanksgiving day!  May the blessings keep on coming your way!

I thoroughly enjoyed mine spent with my family.

My wonderful sister hosted, as usual, and the meal was super good!  I contributed chicken and dumplings and a layer salad.  We also had fried turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, dressing, cranberry relish, mashed potatoes, broccoli casserole, and rolls.  Not to mention pumpkin pie, and blackberry cobbler.  YUM YUM!  Yes, a great meal and time was had by all.  But, sadly, there were some people missing.  My brother in law's father passed away at the beginning of the year, as did my aunt.  Perhaps you remember me blogging about making some memory quilts out of some shirts for my brother in law's family?

Well, I have two finished and am ready to share them with you.  These will be Christmas gifts this year so the recipients haven't received them just yet.

"Hugs from Howard"
(Of course, the wind was blowing, thus, making this quilt look wonky! GRRRR!)
This quilt will be going to my b-i-l's mother.
My friend Dar of Dar's Patchwork Garden did the beautiful quilting on it.  Dar picked out the perfect panto for it, and my sister and b-i-l couldn't be happier with it.  I am sure it's recipient will really love it.
Once again, I used this tutorial to make the quilt top.


"Dad Loved Cardinals Baseball"
This quilt will be going to my b-i-l's brother.
This quilt is made solely from flannel.  There were numerous flannel shirts to choose from, and I paired them with some of this red flannel I already had.  I am writing this pattern, and will be sharing it from my blog for those of you who are interested?  I couldn't be happier with the results of this quilt, and I truly think it displays the various shirt fabrics beautifully.  My friend Ann of Attic Threads generously let me use her long arm machine "BeBe" to quilt this.  I had a blast playing on BeBe and quilting wavy lines edge to edge!

So, Thanksgiving came and went, and on Thursday evening, I was like a little kid waiting for Christmas!  



You have to ask why????????

I simply COULDN'T wait to dive into the first clue head first!  I even woke up an hour before the first clue went live!  DON'T JUDGE ME! LOLOLOLOL  I was so excited to see which colors we would be playing with first, and what type of units we would be making.  True to form, Bonnie Hunter taught me a new technique using the Tri-Recs ruler set right off the bat.  And, let me tell you, I LOVE THEM!  After watching her very informative tutorial, I went to work!  I have already figured out another quilt I want to make using these tools!

It was so much fun going through all of the scraps I had sorted out for this mystery.  Finding the right size scraps that would work for this first clue was exhilarating!  I love the variety I was able to achieve!

I was all ready to sew when the machine I usually do all of my piecing at home on decided to act up!

Frustrated, party of 1!

Never fear!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Murna Marita to the rescue!
Bonnie Hunter would be proud that I am using her anyway, (not to mention my Meemaw) so, I have decided I am going to piece Celtic Solstice on her exclusively!

She buzzed through this first step like a champ!


Part 1 is done!  Now, I have to wait until Friday again!
Linking up with Bonnie's Link Up here.

I would personally like to thank Bonnie for all she does for us scrap quilters out here in the quilting world.  I can't even begin to think about all of the time, heart, and soul she pours into each one of her works of art. Not to mention she is sharing all of the design and pattern to this quilt with us for FREE!  I would also be remiss if I didn't thank her for saluting all of the "guys that quilt" on her Quiltville Facebook Page.  What a wonderful honor it was to have one of my quilts shown with many other works of art created by the few of us men that quilt on her page.  Thus far, Celtic Solstice has already provided me with an amazing opportunity to meet many new friends via Facebook, and learn something new with the Tri-recs rulers.........and we have only had one clue thus far!  I can't wait to see what lies ahead during this mystery!

As always, I want to thank all of you for all of the encouragement!
Happy 1 year blogging anniversary to me! LOL
Kevin the Quilter