Thursday, December 22, 2016

Surprise!! En Provence, Part 5!

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Surprise!  Part 5 is going live EARLY –it’s a gift to those who live “Down Under” where it’s already Friday.

I was putting the finishing touches on this post and I thought, heck!  WHY NOT!  So – TADA! 

Today was spent getting more than 350 Essential Triangle Tools out the door.

There are more to go out before we leave for our own Christmas at Quilt Villa – we will be on the road by post office closing time tomorrow.  We will resume shipping on December 27th.  Our son and his girlfriend are leaving the cabin after lunch on Monday the 26th, and we will lock up behind them and make our way home.

Since we have pushed ALL of the Essential Triangle Tool parts toward the back end of this mystery, it’s time to get started!


Half-Square Triangles On Parade!

“Impulsive” Dark Purple & Neutral.

3 1/2’’ UNFINISHED, Finishing at 3’’ in the quilt.

Make 64!

We are just a couple days shy of Christmas and Hanukkah. Family mode is in full gear. Baking has reached a high level of overload! Many of you are extremely busy, and I promised to go light on you this week.  This is it.  64 half-square triangle units that finish at 3’’.  You can do this.  Even if you just do an even dozen, you’ll know all you need to know and can get back to making more after the chaos lovely and memorable family time.

Of course there are many ways to make half-square triangles, and you are welcome to use ANY method you desire, should it be thangles, triangles on a roll, sew-big-sliver-trim-down, or the basic rotary cutting method of starting with 3 7/8’’ squares.  It’s up to you.  The thing to keep in mind is unit size, both UNFINISHED, and FINISHED.  

Do what you need to do to make sure your units are coming out at the right size.
  • Watch your cutting – start with a full strip width by keeping the line you are measuring by ON the fabric, not on the mat next to the fabric.
  • Do some test units to be sure your seam allowance is where it needs to be.
  • Measure the unit, NOT the seam allowance by itself.  The proof of correct seam allowance is in unit size!

Sadie thinks you might like the Essential Triangle Tool!

She KNOWS that this one tool can be your left AND right hand when it comes to quickly cutting and sewing already matched pairs of units from Scrap User’s System width strips in the sizes you need them to be, be they half-square, quarter-square for hour glass units, or flying geese, or even 3 part triangles.  If the triangle has a RIGHT angle, this is the RIGHT tool!


Let's get started!

Pair a dark purple 3 1/2’’ strip to a neutral 3 1/2’’ strip with right sides together.

Place one of the red lines on the ruler at the upper corner on the strip set as shown.  If you are a lefty, you’ll be doing this in mirror image on the left end of the strip.  Trim the selvage and uneven ends and make sure you have a good square corner.


Righties – Place the clean cut end on your left.
Lefties, turn it to your right.

The red lines are for cutting half-square triangles.  Place the 3’’ line at the top of the strip-set.  Remember, ON the fabric, NOT above it.  Make a cut.

This is one matched pair ready to sew.


Pivot the ruler, putting the 3’’ line on the bottom end of the strip-set.

That 3’’ line is your “business” line and it always goes ON the fabric, Not below it or above it.

Remember the ruler is marked in FINISHED size.  These units will finish at 3’’ square when in the quilt, but they will measure the same width as the strip set when the diagonal seam is sewn.  This is a 3 1/2’’ strip, so the unit will also measure 3 1/2’’ unfinished.

To determine what width of strip to start with, simply add 1 /2’’ to the finished size that you desire.

To help you further, here is the little demo video I filmed with C&T during Quilt Market in Houston in October:

The strips in the video are 2 1/2’’ for a 2’’ finished unit.  But the technique is the same.  Our strips are 3 1/2’’ for a 3’’ finished unit.


See how easy these are to chain sew?


*HINT!*  Don’t let go!!

Do you see the placement of my left hand?  Just outside of the presser foot.  My fingers are safe here.  And they do an important job.  As that tail end of the triangle pair goes under the presser foot I’m going to lose control of the fabric.  

Even if I sew with a stiletto, it can only help to a point…and then the triangle tip can go surfing on its own.  My left hand stays put next to the presser foot to help guide it all the way past the needle.  If your triangle pairs have swoopy ends, it could be that you are letting go too soon.  Try this!  My seams are much straighter, and I keep my seam allowance all the way to the end.


Chain pressing!
(4 patch on the floor!  LOL!)

I take my entire chain to the ironing board, lay it with the dark triangles on top, and work my way up my chain pressing them to the dark while they are still connected.  Then it is easy for me to come through with my snips and cut them apart.


3 1/2’’ square!

Just had to remove one dog ear, and a smidge of excess.


This one I trimmed a bit more, but still barely a couple of threads.

We are hand guiding.  Fabric moves and is supple.  There will be some "variations"  I am looking for "that'll do"  and "good enough" for the most part.


There is BARELY any waste from these 8..mostly dog ears and a couple of wayward threads.

I know some of you are consummate trimmer-downers.  There is no reason to feel guilty or bad about being a perfectionist.  If you are one of those who really enjoys sliver trimming –instead of cutting big to sliver trim down, why not give this method a try, and just sew a few threads more scant.  You’ll have plenty of room to sliver trim to heaven and back, and you will save oodles of fabric as you go.

Did you know that by cutting your triangles with the Essential Triangle Tool and 3 1/2’’ strips instead of going up to 3 7/8’’ squares, or even 4’’ squares that you are saving between 3/4’’ and 1’’ PER STRIP SET?  All of those trimmings you are so proud of cost you $12.00 per yard.  Cut quicker, sew faster, trim less.

64 3’’ Finished Triangle Units.  Make them from Scrappy Dark Purples and Scrappy Neutrals.


Essential Triangle Tools can be ordered in the Rulers, Notions & Tools section of the Quiltville Store.  It’s marked $3.00 off the list price.  With purchase, you also receive a FREE PDF download for a Wanderlust Table Runner, an $8.00 value!  The download link is sent to your inbox upon purchase.

For an added bonus, purchase the Addicted to Scraps book and Essential Triangle Tool Bundle for additional savings.  Yes, you still get the free Wanderlust Table Runner pattern as well!

We will be using this tool a LOT in the future!

It would even make today's Quiltville Quote background a breeze:


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

What’s not to love about all of these scrappy half-square triangles in an ocean of vintage lavender solid?!

Merry Christmas, everyone!  Happy Part 5!

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Carolyn said...

Thank you and Merry Christmas.

Marilyn Hargreaves said...

I LOVE surprises. Can't wait to get started on this Clue.

Thank you Bonnie.

Wishing you and your family the BEST Holiday Season, and all the Best in 2017.

Cynthia H said...

Hooray for early!! I am headed out the door tomorrow morning and was not wanting to get behind....so I'll be up late tonight getting these done! Thank you! Merry, merry.

Amy said...

Thank you Bonnie for the early clue release! I was hoping that you might do this. Have a wonderful holiday time at the cabin (after filling all those orders!). Thanks for everything you do and I wish you a very happy Christmas.

RxMom said...

What a wonderful Christmas surprise! You sure know how to be fun! Warm wishes for a memorable Christmas holiday break <3

ddtrina said...

Thanks for the early Christmas present! And Merry Christmas too.

Carol said...

Thank you Bonnie! Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2017!

Catholic Bibliophagist said...

What a wonderful Christmas surprise! Thanks, Bonnie.

A Rose in Texas said...

Thank you!
What a wonderful gift!
I hope you have a safe and very Merry Christmas with those you hold dear
Thank you for all you do for the quilting community
Now I know why I cut extra purple 3 1/2 inch strips😊

Rainy said...

Thanks Bonnie! Happy Christmas!

CathyDB said...

I was just quickly skimming the instructions and saw "350 triangles". OMG heart attack!!! It was the sentence where you said you sent out 350 triangle TOOLS. Now that my heart rate is heading back toward normal, I'll read the rest of the instructions slowly!

Have a wonderful Christmas and thank you for all you do.

Lisa in Port Hope said...

I am working on clue #1 tonight (working backwards lol to catch up,) and thank you for such a fun pattern! Have a wonderful Christmas. We are due for some freezing rain (Ontario Canada) but hopefully enough snow will stick around for Santa

TheEclecticAbuela said...

Thanks for the early clue! I know a lot of people wanted green this week, but I'm doing Twirl Around in green (in place of pink), and I've really had enough green for right now! Have a wonderful Holiday season--many blessings to you and yours.

Linda Gless said...

Thank you for posting early, Bonnie! Have a very merry Christmas and a wonderful new year!

janetcoller said...

Bonnie, thank you from "Down Under!" I wasn't sure I would be able to stay awake until 11pm for the release, so now (at 3pm Friday) I can sit and sew clue 5! I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas! Janet.

Vireya said...

Thanks for the early release! I will enjoy doing these this hot Friday afternoon in southern Australia.

jan said...

Thank you Bonnie! Merry Christmas to you and your family and sweet Miss Sadie!

Jo said...

I'm starting mine now. Thanks for the surprise. Merry Christmas to you and your family....

Linda Carpenter said...

Thank you, Bonnie, for the early "Gift"! Maybe I'll stay up tonight and cut fabric. Friday is going to be my baking day...no sewing until late evening or Saturday.
I hope you and your family have a blessed Christmas celebration.

rebecca said...

Joyeux Noël! De chez nous à chez vous!

Holly in Arkansas said...

I was headed to bed and saw the next clue. Printed and reading and wide awake. Just like a good novel.

Lois LaPointe said...

Thanks and Merry Christmas!

Annemarie Smithers said...

Thank you so much for thinking of us in NSW Australia, Bonnie. Usually I have to stay up till 11 pm, Friday, to see the new part. Not today! I can even start on it this afternoon(Friday.

By the way, I am one of those who makes everything larger and then trims it back. I enjoy the accuracy of this process. It takes a little longer, but is worth it.

Thank you so much, Bonnie, for such an enjoyable mystery.

Annemarie Smithers
NSW Australia

TrulyBlessed said...

Quelle belle surprise! Thank you for the lovely surprise, Bonnie.

Passez un Joyeux Noël en famille. (Have a wonderful Christmas with your family).

Rick and I wish you and your loved ones all the joy of the Christmas Season and all good things in the New Year.

judyp said...

Thanks Bonnie. Wishing you and your family Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Leah Green said...

Thank you so much for this Christmas clue. I hope you and your family will have a holiday filled with love and laughter. Merry Christmas.

Cynthia Woodham said...

What a nice surprise. The clue release on a Friday for us Aussies. Thanks for the easy clue too. Merry Christmas and a brilliant 2017.

Donna Endresen said...

Thank You, Bonnie!
This is a nice surprise! Now I know what I am doing tomorrow night, after delivering pkgs to the neighbors and going to the P.O..

Merry Christmas to You and Your Family! Enjoy your time with them, and Relax a little bit!

In KOLD, Kasilof, AK
Where it is 3 above, but will be much below zero in the morning when I get up!

Santee Bobbie said...

Thank you, thank you. My Quiltville post normally hits my computer between 8:20-9 PM so this is fun to have a day early!
Have a Merry Christmas with the ones you love.

52KID said...

Thank you for Part 5, and a very Merry Christmas to you all, including Sadie, from Down Under.

Barbara Sheffield said...

Bonnie, thank you for posting part 5 early. I was up, thinking of my Mom, whom I lost 2 years ago. This is a hard time for me and quilting keeps me sane. Have a great time with your family this Christmas. Merry Christmas!

Linda said...

Hi from Linda in New Zealand, and thank you for our treat of a clue on our Friday. Yay for purple! Merry Christmas to you and your family, we'll be enjoying our summer Christmas here.

ShirlR said...

Yaay, thank you Bonnie, for the early posting of Clue 5. And after watching your video on the Essential Triangle Tool, I am so excited to have purchased it to use in this Mystery, and in the future! Quilting is a fairly new hobby for me, and in reading patterns, I have passed many of them up when I saw those squares at 2-7/8" (for instance) to make half square triangles; I didn't want to use the 7/8" anything (ha), and wondered why it needed to be used in the first place. So you've answered my question with your video and have given me a easy way to cut triangles with this Essential Triangle Tool without that pesky 7/8" that I dreaded, and your instructions are so clear on everything you post! I am so grateful for you, Bonnie, thank you! May you and your family have a blessed Christmas.

Helen in the UK said...

Thanks for the early mystery clue. Wishing you and yours a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and happy and healthy New Year! Keep doing what you do, you do it so wonderfully and provide a lot of joy and inspiration to the quilting world :)

Darlene Contadino said...

Thanks for the early release, and thanks for an easy clue (only 64 units).

Sue Fyfe said...

Thank you so much Bonnie. Have a wonderful Christmas with your family and a blessed 2017.

kathy johns said...

Thanks and Merry Christmas!

Carolyn Sullivan said...

OM goodness!!! my Long Arm is to arrive this AM.... at least this is a quick one! I am caught up so far.... thought for sure it would be yellow and green..... but OK more Purple!!!



Thank you Bonnie for our early gift. Wishing you and the family a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year! Be sure to give Sadie enough attention and lots of treats, she is such a good girl after all. Enjoy your time.

cityquilter grace said...

so thankful these are much bigger than the gazillion 1" HSTs i made yesterday for the 365....

Julie Vernon said...

Another ESP message sent directly to me by Sadie. These strange things Mom had me take a photo with, are babies of those boxes!!!, Can't fool smart pup like Sadie.
Have fun baking and visiting... Wonderful,times

Julie in TN

Dalina Stevens said...

Have a very Merry Christmas Bonnie with your family at the cabin! Thank you for the early gift, I was thinking early this morning so you could get on the road to the cabin, but was I surprised to see you went with it last night. I went to a live concert put on by my sons friend last night, where my son played his guitar in a couple songs with him. So I didn't check last night, but I am ready to go cut some out before taking my Mom shopping. Merry Christmas again & enjoy you family.

Jill Stiger said...

T0 quote Gomer Pyle: Surprise, surprise, surprise! What fun Bonnie to wake up in the middle of the night, checking Facebook and finding clue 5. Merry Christmas!
Jill Stiger

Terri said...

I know those quilters "down under" were thrilled to get Part 5 bright and early. Thank you, again, for all you're doing for us. Merry Christmas and safe travels for you and your family.

AZMaggie said...

What a FUN surprise! As I headed to bed I saw that you had posted Clue #5 early! Too tired to stay up but happily snuggled in knowing what awaited me in the morning! Thank you, Bonnie! You're the BEST!
Wishing you a wonderful time at the cabin with your family!

Beth said...

Thank you Bonnie for Clue 5! I was tickled to see all the visitors SCROLLING past at a furious pace! It means I was not the only one visiting this morning! Lots of En Provence sewing going on...Merry Christmas!
Beth in AZ

Jan N said...

LOVE,LOVE,LOVE your new ruler. Had to run up to my seiwng room and give it a try. I have the other rulers but wanted to purchase yours. If you don't have it and did not plan to buy it I would. It is so easy and so nice. I did 4 in nothing flat and they came out perfect. Was happy to see purple again since it is my favorite color. This is my first year doing the full size quilt am so excited. In the past I did half sized. Thanks again for all you do for us. Your so giving to us all. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Crazy Cocker Quilting said...

Merry Christmas Bonnie and family. This morning sitting with husband. Explaining what a mystery quilt. I showed pictures of previous mystery quilts. He comment was wowzer!

Susann Chaplin said...

Merry Christmas Bonnie!! Thank you for clue five! Can not have enough purple in a quilt!! Have a wonderful time at the cabin with your family! Thank you .for being you! You are a blessing to so many people! Hugs

Pdudgeon said...

having a ball making this block!
thanks so much for including it in the mystery.

Ameswf said...

Merry Christmas to you and yours Bonnie. Great project.

Marion C said...

What a grand Christmas Eve morning in New Zealand an Email Saying tool was on its way, a new clue , Going to Australia today will be back in 2017 raring to get sewing. Thank you and hugs what a marathon job getting those packages out, you are a traue frind and magic quilter.

Anita Bridges said...

I must be doing something wrong because I'm running out of dark purples. Anyone else having this problem?

tubakk said...

I'm so happy that I'm close to a quilt shop this Christmas. I must go shopping dark purples before I go home. Merry Christmas to you Bonnie. I will sew these when I come home next week.

Monica said...

Thanks very much, Bonnie! I was up late last night, but I think I have it in hand now. :D

Happy Christmas!

Christine Wiseman said...

Thank you Bonnie! Merry Christmas!

Vic in NH said...

Love that great tutorial, thank you! The Merry Christmas Neutral is the bomb.

Pdudgeon said...

re:the dark purples,
yes i added 2 more fat quarters to the stack for these blocks.

Sue Vallera said...

Thank you for this fun Mystery Quilt. I love the way my completed pieces are piling up and making a dent in my stash. I am travelling for the holidays and will not be able to continue to work on it until after New Years Eve. Enjoy your Christmas!