If you’re a fan of mine on Facebook, you know that one of the photo prompts I use often is “Inspiration is Everywhere”. I can just about always find a photo to talk about (and it doesn’t even have to be about quilts), and sometimes I get more hits on a given day than others. This month, I had set aside some time to work on projects every day – it’s an annual project which is a great way to jumpstart your creativity in the midst of a long New England winter.
The project that I had selected to work on (only one this year – it’s massive) was Bonnie Hunter’s latest mystery quilt, On Ringo Lake. I liked the color pallett she selected, I’ve seen other quilts of hers before which I loved (who doesn’t love a scrap quilt), I collected my scraps (see the photo at left), and I was off. I managed to keep up in week one with the correct number of Clue #1 done in time, but Clue #2… there was no way I could keep up, even though I tried.
When the mystery quilt was revealed, I watched for several more weeks (as I got further and further behind) and saw people making this quilt from all over the world. That was the fun part…the not so fun part was feeling more frustrated with each passing day. Every time I looked at that, I had this creeping fit in the pit of my stomach – did I even want to finish it? We’re talking a major time and energy (and fabric) investment, for something that isn’t quite my taste. Lesson learned – I will do much more research before doing a mystery again.
Enter February 2018…I got the flu and my mom passed away – so working on quilts wasn’t something I had the time or the inclination to do for a while. When I was finally ready to do some sewing, I had come to terms with the fact that I was not interested in finishing this to say I finished it. I also wasn’t ready to admit defeat on this one. For the record, this quilt (and Bonnie) has taught me a lot about perseverence, accuracy, reading directions to the end, and working through the process. And I had already made all 50 of Clue #1 and a reasonable amount of the actual blocks – I wanted to find a way to finish something with it.
My On Ringo Lake quilt has become Ringo Lake Renovation….I changed the layout, eliminated the sashing (the way many renovations remove a load bearing wall), and added some negative space, which will allow me to play with quilting designs eventually. I put it upright on the design wall earlier today, and I think that this quilt will become a much loved throw in my house in the winters to come. I’m actually in love with the color blocking on it.
Have you ever done a mystery quilt, then decided not to continue it? How do you solve issues like that?
Off to grab some graph paper to decide how to continue the work…stay tuned.
The first clue had us make 50 of one block – done, trimmed and put aside. Then the clues kept coming each week, where I was so far behind I felt like I was drowning in the project; all the while I looked at proud photos posted on Instagram and Facebook of people who have kept us with the pace – I’ve seen photos of this quilt from all over the world, in many many colorways…providing testimony to Bonnie’s popularity. I just kept on keeping on, while altering my construction method of