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


  1. Thanks for your post, Kevin. I haven't gotten started yet but will soon. It's been fun following along with everyone's progress.

  2. Your Christmas spirit is most likely where mine is. I hope they come home soon.

  3. I enjoyed this post; thanks for sharing your method.

  4. Very well done my friend!!! I love the way you have arranged your chevrons - such an interesting block. I'm excited to find out how Bonnie uses it in the mystery!

  5. Excellent Kevin - love the arrangement in the first photo! All the way from Australia

  6. Great job Kevin and thank you, thank you for being the counter on how many pieces are in this quilt!! Keep up the good work and love the colors you are using!

  7. oh, dear! you WOULD have to count the pieces! I am half scared off already with UPS holding my Tri-Recs captive due to the weather...jk :) love your colors, Kevin!

  8. Yep...lost my Yuletide mojo too. Thanks for your tips and love your post. I'm enjoying this first mystery! Sew on...

  9. The Christmas merriment has not started here either. Mys sister was over yesterday and interrogated me as to where all my decorations were. I informed her that there were priorities. Studying (finals week here) and Celtic Solstice. Insert BIG eye roll here from sister! Your scrappy units look fantastic. Thanks for the tutorial.

  10. If you find your Christmas spirit, send mine over too...very much enjoyed your post...very similar to what I do, except I have all the pieces stacked next to my machine..whatever works.....I've 70 units made out of 244...can't rush these little devils....see how many I can pump out today..Ha...;-)

  11. I too am subbing colors this yr. I don't have a lot of smaller scraps, but I do have a hoard of fabric. I'm still on step 1. I won't get this finished till March at this rate. But that's OK it's not a race!

  12. Gorgeous silvers! I enjoyed reading your post and seeing how you work, I mean sew!
    Can't help with the Christmas spirit, mine is lacking this year too :(

  13. Your blocks look great! Now you have a few days to shower, shave, eat, and rest up for step three! I hope to get mine posted by the end of the day since we have more snow and ice here making getting out a bit difficult.

  14. Good grief! Why are you counting the pieces? Must be a "Y" chromosome thing. Not doing any Christmas crap here. No kids at home. With three cats in the house, a Christmas tree is just a disaster waiting to happen. Plus I'm too busy sewing to mess with it.

  15. Not sure why, but I also keep a tab on how many pieces! Guess we can impress people when we can tell them exactly how many pieces are in our work. I work similarly to you, and break each step down. I finished up step 2 yesterday by doing a little trim work, re doing 3 squares completely, and looking for the 100th block that had gone missing.... oh yeah, on the design wall for reference! Yultide Mojo.... must be rolling around here somewhere... I have yet to find it.

  16. thanks for the show and tell nice. Watched the saints game last night and drew lines. neutral all done next the yellow. off to dentist then renew drivers license then sewing rest of the day.

  17. Very good Kevin!!! I do similar and when I have useful the small stuff I cut a strip off diffetnt pieces of yardage. I was "saving" my fabric now I am just using it !!!

  18. Thanks for sharing I really enjoyed your blog, I cannot believe 1200 pc's in the small quilt already. I haven't even had the time to sew part one, or cut part two. Everything looks great! Happy Quilting!

  19. Nice tutorial.... Not doing this mystery this year, much to busy quilting for others! However, I am catching up on some of my other Bonnie mysteries...... Love that "silver" you're using. Don't worry about your Christmas mojo, mine and yours are hiding out until 2014!

  20. Great! Maybe we can all find our Christmas spirit soon, mine is absolutely lost this year, oh well maybe I'll find it again before next Christmas, mean while we can quilt!

  21. Great blogg. I am still cutting for clue 2.

  22. Thanks for the tips, Kevin. I am not starting this quilt now. I have one I am beginning to work on now that my shoulder is healing. I can only work for about an hour then have to sit out for a while to stop hurting. Hahaha. I am glad that I finished my one small Christmas project before surgery. I did a Stonehenge Christmas Tree in red and used crystals in place of putting the lights on it. The lights were very bright LEDs and did not seem to suit.

  23. I love the silver fabric, and yellow, which is more like gold, colour scheme.

  24. Thanks for keeping track of all those pieces, lol! Looking good. You do things the way I do :)

  25. Very nice colors.
    Well we have cut nearly 1200 small pieces, but we have sewn 46,08% of the blocks. That seems surprisingly to me. Love to do this together.

  26. Kevin, I noticed that you used the Shape Cut Ruler to make strips. I am still working on Easy Street and when I started out cutting my strips with the Shape Cut they were a tad too narrow. I had to resort to cutting with a ruler. Bonnie cuts with the ruler on the line and I guess the Shape Cut ends up being inside the line. I sure would prefer using the shape cut ruler.

  27. No Christmas mojo? Put up your Christmas tree, if you haven't already. I did ours last Thursday and it helped immensely getting into the Christmas spirit. I love your CS colors - very unusual. I would never have thought of silvery grey. And, I too like to make the quilts as scrappy as possible so I used between 25 and 30 different fabrics for each color. Merry Christmas!

  28. Looking good so far! How can you stand the suspense? I think I need to put one of those rulers with the slots in it on my Christmas wish list, or pick up one after the holidays for myself. Looks very handy. Oh, and I found the getup at Kohls, like you said. Checked that Dirty Santa gift off the list! I still don't have a tree up...

  29. Kevin!! The pictures of how you organized your fabric for the chevrons is very helpful! It helps make sense of all the uphills and downhills. Seems like it should be easy but I kept getting all twisted around. Happy sewing. I hope you've gotten in the holiday spirit! -Donna in Harwich, MA

  30. Your pictures and process tips are very helpful. I'm still working on mine tonight, but will be finished by tomorrow, I hope. Your colors are great looking, as everyone mentioned. A definite winning combination.

  31. Hi Kevin. Your CS progress is looking just wonderful. I am so jealous. I just love that you are using silvers. I think your quilt will be amazing.

  32. You are progressing quite well with Celtic Solstice! Wow 1200 pieces and you aren't probably a quarter of the way in the process! It really does help to be organized when sewing so many pieces together. You definitely have that down pat. I love the colors you have chosen. I have been copying and saving each week's pdf steps to the CS Mystery quilt. I just need to to get out from under too many UFOs. I too am working on getting some Christmas Spirit. I do to some degree where I am focusing on friends and family time, the real reason for Christmas, and going to minimize on decorating, cooking and the to do stuff! I just don't have the time this year. Looking forward to seeing further development of your CS.

  33. Clue two looks great. Between the computer failure and holiday prep I got way behind on posts.