Friday, November 23, 2018

Good Fortune, Part 1!


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Happy November 23rd, everyone!

I hope that those of you who are stateside in the USA had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

For those who don’t celebrate our American Thanksgiving, I hope you can still feel a sense of gratitude and holiday festivity coming your way from those of us who do celebrate.

We all have so much to be grateful for, no matter what time of year it is and we don’t need a designated day to focus on that gratitude.

I am so very excited and very grateful to have the opportunity to once again share a terrifically fun mystery quilt with you and I want to thank you for making my holidays what they are.  My heart is full and I just can’t wait to get this ball rolling!

If you are just joining us, we’ve already released our introductory post including the colors of this year’s mystery and the yardage requirements.  You’ll find that post under the Good Fortune tab at the top of my blog.  Catch up there.  It’s not too late to join in!


Who is ready for some 4 patches?
240 of them to be exact!

It’s an easy unit to start with, but an important one.  This simple 4-patch lays the foundation for all of the rest of our piecing.  If it doesn’t come out the right size, nothing else is going to fit and you are going to struggle.

Before you can be a great piecer, you need to become a better cutter.

When cutting, do NOT leave the ruler line you are measuring by on the mat NEXT to your fabric.  Get it UP ON THE FABRIC.  Be sure the line is ON the fabric, not next to it.  Don’t leave the line on the mat.

Cutting is something we’ve all taken for granted, and we tend to blame the 1/4’’ foot for why things aren’t measuring correctly, but it really does go back to the whole equation of what happens when we cut and sew and press.  It's important to give yourself the full width of the strip if your seam is going to work as well.

We will be cutting 1 1/2” strips for 4-patches that measure 2 1/2’’ from side to side, and finish at 2’’ in the quilt.

I’ve talked about this many times before, but I know we have many newbies who are joining us for the first time.  Please read my article on Making the Cut which includes photos and more instruction to help you.

When going scrappy, I work with short strip sets to increase my variety as much as possible.  No number of strip sets to cut and sew is given as scrap strips vary in length.  What matters is the number of sub-cuts you get from the strip sets you’ve sewn.

Cut a bunch of red and neutral fabrics into 1 1/2'' strips.  You may even hit your Scrap User's System to see if you have any of these colors in this size on hand.

Stitch a short red strip to a short neutral strip.  Press seam toward the red.


Measure your strip sets!  They should be 2 1/2’’ across on the ruler.

(Don’t just stretch them over your mat!)

Press and measure!  The numbers do not lie!

This strip set needs to measure 2 1/2’’ wide.  If it does not, readjust your seam allowance and give it another go. 

Make several strip sets, enough to get 480 sub-cuts – but don’t sub-cut yet.  Wait for it, wait for it…..


Sub-cutting into already matched pairs!

Adventures in Speed Slicing!

Match a red/neutral strip set with another red/neutral strip set with right sides together.  You’ll feel the seams nest.  Nested seams actually help hold the strip sets steady!


Make 240 sub-cuts at 1 1/2’’ wide. Since the pairs are right sides together, they will be ready to sew.

You save 1/2 of the cutting time this way, and there is zero time spent matching unit to unit as they are already paired.  It's a win/win!

**HINT**  If you use an Accuquilt or other die cutting apparatus, consider marking parallel lines with a silver sharpie across the blades of your die.  Line up the strip sets with right sides together and crank them through, making multiple cuts effortlessly.  I love sub-cutting strip sets with my Accuquilt.


Chain feed these through the machine -

Notice that all of the RED squares are going under the needle first, and that the top seam allowance is pointing up toward the needle?  THIS IS IMPORTANT!

We want all of the seams of the 4-patches to circle or spin on the back side of the 4-patch in the SAME DIRECTION.  That means they all need to go under the needle in the same orientation.

The feed dogs will work in your favor if you send them “Dark Square Leading.”

Make 240 red/neutral 4 patches. Units will measure 2 1/2’’ and finish at 2’’ in the quilt.

But we aren’t done yet!


We need to spin those seams.

Hold the 4-patch between your fingers like this with the center seam going across.

Take a good look at the seams on the top and the bottom of the 4-patch.  The top and bottom seams are anchored by the center seam that goes across.  We can’t change the direction that these two are already going because they are stitched in place.

Imagine you are looking at a clock face.  The top seam is 12, to the right and below is 3, the bottom is 6 and the left side is 9. 


Hold both layers of 3 o’clock DOWN with your thumb.

LIFT both layers of 9 o’clock , reverse pressing half of the long center seam.

A few stitches into the seam allowance will open in the center, blossoming those little seams into a mini 4-patch in the center.  Press.  Repeat for all 4-patches.

Now, no matter where these 4-patches fall in the quilt (And you don’t know where or how!) seams will nest with each other and play nicely with other patches in the quilt.


240 4 patches, seams spun and pressed!

Great job, everyone!

This quilt is a journey – not a race.  We are starting out with this unit because of the busy holiday weekend.  I am aware that many of us have family members around who need our time and we have other hectic, time consuming things going on.  240 is a lot of 4-patches.

If things are extremely busy in your world, shoot for a dozen for now.  And next Friday, with the release of clue #2, do the same.  Try to do SOME of each unit each week so it is easy for you to pick back up after New Year's.

Let’s talk about MONDAY!

During our Mystery, the Monday after any clue release is our link-up day.  Our link-ups stay archived here on my blog forever, even though the mystery will be retired after a while.  If you don’t know what a link-up is, check out this one for part 3 of our On Ringo Lake Mystery.

To participate you must have either a blog, a public Instagram (not Facebook) A public Google+ profile, a public Flickr profile, or a Pinterest account.  Details on how to link with these will appear in Monday’s post.

I hope you’ll participate in the link-up so we can share our progress!  If you are posting to any social media please remember to use the hash tags #quiltvillemystery and #goodfortunequilt so that I  and others can find your posts.  DO NOT ADD A YEAR to your hashtag.

Big Things Going Down in Quiltville!


It’s String Frenzy Time!


We sold out the first 500 copies in 1 1/2 hours.  A little bird suggested we do ANOTHER ROUND on Cyber Monday along with our Mystery Monday Link-Up.  Be watching for it!

Those of you who follow me regularly know that we’ve got some moving happening in my life.  I am moving my mail order fulfillment from my dining room to the Post Office building we purchased right next door to our upcoming retreat venue, Quiltville Inn!

Books are expected to arrive in Kernersville, NC around the 29th of November for our December release dates.

Because of our plans to move my mail order fulfillment to Virginia, and the chaos that ensues with a new book release, and to calm everyone’s jets – I’m going to work pre-orders in WAVES of 500.  I have put 500 copies in the store.  When those have sold I will add another 500 when the first 500 have been processed and shipped.  

This should mean one wave every week or so.  I’m looking for help as soon as I get moved into the Quiltville Post Office.

Those who are patient and order through my store (At a discount!) will also receive a FREE PDF pattern for my newly released Hunter's String Star quilt that will NOT be available anywhere else but through the Quiltville Store.  An $8.00 value on TOP of the sale price of the book.


Hunter’s String Star!

With a last name like Hunter, you have got to know that there would be a Hunter’s Star in my future.  String Frenzy is 96 pages and features 12 wonderful String Quilts, and there wasn’t room for this one in the book.  

So instead, it is going to come directly to you as a PDF download to your inbox when you place your Pre-Order for String Frenzy!


Over the porch rail at Quiltville Inn!


You know you want to make this one too!

And you’ll be able to start right in on it with the scraps left from the reds and neutrals of your Good Fortune mystery quilt as we work on it!

This pattern  is available as a stand alone pattern as well for those not ordering the book.  You’ll find it in the digital pattern section of the Quiltville Store.

An email from my store server, ECWID will show up in your inbox with a link to your download.  Please download to a REAL COMPUTER, not a phone or a mobile device or tablet as the scaling of the pages may print out weird.

Check your spam filter if you don’t see the email.

Most of all,  I thank you so much for your patience as we tackle this move and the book release at the same time, not to mention the fact that it is during the holidays – the busiest time of the year, and the fact that we are trying to run a mystery through it all.

Remember, if you miss the first wave, follow this blog, follow my social media where I will tell you when more have been added to the store.

This coming week (in between everything else) I will be doing a Trunk Show of the quilts found in String Frenzy – be watching for that!

Oh, and did I mention?  ALL OF MY PREVIOUS TITLES before String Frenzy have been dropped to the low low price of just $19.99 a copy!  Take advantage of this sale price and pick up any titles you may have missed.


Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Close up of Hunter’s String Star!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone – looking forward to our first Mystery Monday Link-up on Monday!

(A little bird told me there will be a Cyber Monday Digital Pattern Sale to look forward to as well!)

This mystery is given for personal use only.  No part may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying for sharing, scanning or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the author.

Please no uploading and saving of this file with intent to share, email or distribute, either digitally or in hard copy. NOT FOR RESALE.

Please send your friends to my blog to print their clues. Thank you!


  1. Thanks for the early morning release of clue 1. I'm spending the day with the family but the festivities won't start for another 2 hrs.....enough time to sort through some scraps!

  2. Thank you Bonnie! The whole house is still asleep and I had to get up to check on Good Fortune! LOL I am not at home till Tues, but I am already thinking about what neutrals I pulled at home.Can't wait to dive in and eeady to fire up the crock pot! Loved your happy Thanksgiving faces.

  3. Just ordered my String Frenzy, too. What a wonderful way to start the day!! Books AND a mystery!!! Thank you for giving your talents so generously, Bonnie!!

  4. I've been madly finishing binding a quilt for our "Warm Hugs" quilt display that starts this morning and took a brief break to check the blog...yippee! Thank you Bonnie!
    For those in the upstate area of SC, the show is the group of quilts going to the Black Mountain Children's Home and will be held at Elaine's Attic quilt shop in Landrum, SC. Starts at 10a.m. today and tomorrow. As Bonnie has shown over and over, quilters are very generous people!
    Rev up the sewing machines and let the mystery begin.

  5. Thanx for the free pattern with the new book!

  6. String Frenzy ordered. Check! Free pattern printed. Check! 1st clue of GF printed. Check! Now it is time to start sewing while the house is still quiet. Thank you Bonnie, for all you share with us!

  7. Up every couples hours last night in anticipation. Lol! Thank you Bonnie for posting so early. My excitement was barely contained as your Instagram post was the first on my Facebook page. This year a new friend and I will be sewing together and this will be her first MQ and first quilt ever. We're also excited to purchase your String Frenzy book, thank you for the beautiful pattern. This will be added to my collection of your books and be the first for my friend. Have a lovely holiday.

  8. I got my pre-order in for String Frenzy! The bonus Hunter's Star quilt pattern is fabulous! The suspense of the mystery quilt reminds me of the Christmas mornings of my youth. Thank you for all you do!

  9. Thank you for another fun mystery quilt to help us keep our sanity during the holidays!

  10. I checked the website several times during the night to see if Good Fortune Part 1 had posted. So excited to wake up early (4:15 a.m. in the PNW) to get my order in for String Frenzy for myself and one for a friend, each of us a mini simple folded ruler and a package of ruler stickers to share! I texted a friend in TX to let her know, so she got her order in too. It pays to be an early bird! Thanks and have a great day, I know those books are probably all gone by now!

  11. I like Linda W comment. This is like an adults xmas. So excited to see what everyone will be making. Wishing you well for the time you are spending with your dad this weekend. It is my reminiscing weekend of 6 years this weekend so feelings are a bit raw. Getting sewing on my mind is great. Thankyou Bonnie.

  12. Well, that was fast. I missed out on ordering this time, guess I should have shopped before reading the blog. So it's time to start working on those 4 patches. Thank you Bonnie. This is my very first BHMQ.

  13. up at 530am, California... book sold out! Printed clue #1... thank you, working on that will make waiting to order the book PLUS the gift of Hunter's Star, tolerable... they must have burned a hole in cypber space, i see Linda W. managed to snag one before 8:00 a.m. EST, well then, I am a quilter! Persistance is my middle name!!! Smiles, happy Thanksgiving and Christmas to all... Cats in Carlsbad CA

  14. Woohoo! Away we go! Thanks, Bonnie. 😁

  15. Oh, yea! 4-patches, I can do that. You taught me how when I made Midnight Flight at QM Block Party in 2013. Ready,Set, Sew!!

  16. Ya! Let the mess begin....But need to get back home next week before I can begin. Can't wait. Have fun everyone :) Thank you Bonnie.

  17. �� missed the first batch of books! Oh well �� I’ll console myself with mystery blocks - yeah! Thanks Bonnie

  18. I couldn’t fall back asleep until I read clue #1! I love the way you taught me (us) to sew a perfect four patch! May join in the fun this year because clue #1 is my favorite addictive building block to relax to! Good fortune to everyone!

  19. My First mystery quilt, only been quilting for a few months, so looking forward to doing this. I just read the 1st clue, and everyone was right, you give great instructions, even I can follow them, Thanks for sharing your talent with us

  20. What fun! And what generosity you share. I will gladly wait for a wave or two to pass before ordering your newest book. I have been "itching" for some string block making with a purpose! Enjoy your time with family and absorb all the gratitude from this quilting community you have created. Thank you, Bonnie

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  22. Thank you dear Bonnie about all you do for us. I try to hang with your Mystery!! Best greetings from Finland: Aune Mattila

  23. Is there a badge to put in our sidebars this year...or did I miss it?

  24. You are Wonder Woman! Thanks for sharing your life and your talent with us! I'm looking forward to this. Hugs

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  26. This will be the first mystery I've participated in. I'm really looking forward to it.

  27. Thank You so much, Bonnie! I do hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving.
    I do look forward to the beginning of the new mystery each fall. You are so gracious to give us this gift each year.

    I love the Hunter's star, so I guess I will have to try and make a "String" one, too!!

    I Hope You are staying warm

    Kasilof, AK

  28. thank you Bonnie and bless you.

  29. So does this mean we cut all of our red to 1.5 strips?

    1. No. The clue reads to cut enough to make the four patches. By my calculations this should take up less than half the red called for in the pattern so I'm guessing that we might be using red for something else later on.

    2. Thank you so much!!

  30. How, Where can I translate?

    It will be great for me to translate to Danish
    from Mona


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