Friday, December 28, 2018

Good Fortune Mystery, Part 6!


Welcome back, Quiltville Mystery Quilters!

Click HERE for Printer-Friendly PDF.

Our Good Fortune Mystery wouldn’t be complete without a few photos from our Great Wall of China adventure.


Our Quiltville group on Great Wall Day-

We had such a great time with this group!!


Beautiful October – the Golden Season!

And that gets me even more excited – some of these fabulous folks are joining me on our Quiltville trip to Japan in just a few weeks.

If you are interested in traveling with us in the future, click the many tour tabs found at the top of the blog.  More will be added as we get things in play.  Traveling with quilters is definitely the best way to go!

We are moving on with this quilt and having this Friday sandwiched in between our two last major holidays of the year means that we are also going to keep this one fairly straight forward. 

In fact, you can likely do this one blindfolded, but just don’t stitch through your finger in the process!

We are headed back into the scrap bins for some fun string piecing – this time with NEUTRALS!


String Rectangles in 2 sizes!

16 rectangles 2 1/2’’ x 8 1/2’’
36 rectangles 2’’ x 8 1/2’’

Alternate option 1: For those who did the scrappy "strip pieced" method using 4 strips of orange in part 4 to replace the string piecing - you may do the SAME THING HERE - Stitch 8 strips 1 1/2''  together into a panel measuring 8 1/2'' wide.  Press seams OPEN to avoid problems with nested seams later.  Measure the panel and make SURE it is 8 1/2'' wide.  Sub-cut into the rectangle dimensions given above.

Alternate option 2: For those who do not wish to do string piecing, please skip this clue until you know where the rectangles are going and then you can decide what to do with your planned yardage.

For those who want to stitch the FUN all the way into 2019 – let’s get into this!

Cut many strips of a wide variety of neutrals from 3/4’’ wide up to 2’’.  If you have some 2 1/2’’ strips, cut them in half.  (Off-center will give you more variety!)  They are too wide to play well here.


Measure your foundation paper source!

Since I will be trimming my rectangles to 8 1/2’’ wide and my phone book is 8’’ x 10 3/4’’ I have a choice to make.  I can either trim 2 1/4’’ off the end and work that way, or I can simply keep the length of the page, extending my fabric 1/4’’ beyond the paper, over-piecing the width of the paper to give me what I need.

This was the easiest for me to do, with less trimming, so that is what I went for.  Determine which works best for you with your paper size since phone books come in different sizes.

If you are using a doodle pad, tracing paper, paper foundation paper, newsprint or any other paper source, same thing.  Keep in mind the size of the rectangles we need, and plan accordingly.

How many pages you will need also depends on the size of your pages and the number of rectangles you can get from them – so start with some, and do some more until you have enough.


Working a chain of two pages– an engine and a caboose!

Each paper “page” is the leader/ender for the other and helps me make better progress.  As one page is covered, I pull in another one to be the caboose of the new engine.  I like working with a chain of 2 instead of a chain of 20.

Set your stitch length to a smaller stitch – 1.5 on a digital machine or 14 to 16 stitches per inch on a vintage machine is a good place to start.  If the paper starts tearing away, lengthen the stitch a bit. 

Place your first two strips with right sides together somewhere down the center of the page. Stitch through the first two strips with an approximate 1/4’’ seam though the paper.  Fold top strip out and press.

Continue to add strips to either side until the paper foundation is covered.  Can you see in the photo how I am sewing LONGER than my paper to give me trimming room?  I also was sure that I sewed WIDER than my paper to be sure that I could get 8 1/2’’ sections when trimmed.

Just watch for where the seams will fall when the page is trimmed.  You don’t want seams too close to the edges of your 8 1/2’’ size or you will create more bulk when these are sewn into the quilt.


Measure – are you 8 1/2’’ wide?  YES!

Then trim!

I like to use a large square ruler for this step to keep me straight with less moving of the patchwork.  Trim up one long side and across the top watching for where seams will fall when trimmed to width. Turn the string piecing to trim the other long side so the page is 8 1/2’’ wide.  Don’t worry about the 4th side – it’s the leftover end.


Cut across the strings into rectangles.

Again – 16 rectangles 2 1/2’’ x 8 1/2’’
36 rectangles 2’’ x 8 1/2’’

Remove paper.


And that’s IT for this clue – there is another holiday around the corner.

Spend some time with your family and friends -

Straighten your sewing space so you can start the new year fresh.

Make a plan for projects you want to finish in 2019.


Be watching for our next clue –
it might not be when or what you think it is!

If you haven't had a chance to check out last week's Mystery Monday Link-Up for Part 5, do yourself a favor and DO!  It's a treat to see how everyone's parts are coming along.

We WILL be doing a Mystery Monday Link-Up for Part 6 this coming Monday.  Feel free to join in if you wish - it's great fun to share our progress together, no matter where you are on your clues.


Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Chinese graffiti from the wall of China.

My words from that day’s blog post:

“I took this photo of the inside of the  Great Wall of China. Typical as with monuments like this -  everyone has wanted to leave their mark over the years, and I wondered at the names that had been carved into these stones, and thought about the hands who had grasped the rail to help pull themselves up each step of the way.

There is always a rail or someone to give you a hands up. We just have to look for them!”

Have a wonderful weekend!

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. What fun more string block! I love it the orange ones were so much fun.have a fantastic weekend and a very happy New Years toyou and your family.
    Love and quilty hugs
    Anne xxx

  2. A fun and easy clue. I think I will give it a shot. Happy New Year to all.

  3. Thank you Bonnie! We love your mysteries! I am choosing to enjoy my day today! I am having lunch with one of my favorite pattern designers. She shares that spot with you and another quilter on my Bucket List to meet! Hope you have a great day too!

  4. Woo! Hoo! More string piecing. Thanks, Bonnie. Happy New Year!!

  5. Woo hoo! I have a whole bin of neutral strips that I wasn't sure what to use them for! Now they'll have a home.

  6. Thank you Bonnie. My first ever comment to you but a frequent great-full heart for all you give. My 3rd mystery and I trust your choices implicitly even though I'd never have chosen these colors on my own. You've helped me grow beyond my comfort zone with new confidence. I really enjoyed the string piecing so much it makes me smile each time I run my fingers into the finished tub!

  7. Happy for another string block, but I think I will need more neutrals. Going shopping today so this should be an easy fix. And when this easy step is finished who knows, I might be able to finish clue #1 before the end of the year!
    Happy New Year!

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Loving this string game! Thanks for a fantastically fun mystery quilt this year, Bonnie!

  10. Oh fun! I have a drawer of light strings calling my name. Happy New Year Bonnie.

  11. The orange clue was my first time making a sting piece. It was fun learning something new and I am hooked on string piecing. My first time with your mystery too and it is fun.

  12. I had to chuckle--based on the text of this blog, one of the pop-up ads was for a caboose!

  13. Yay, more string piecing! Thank you!

  14. The first time I string pieced was in Napa this year taking your Talking Turkey workshop. I loved it!! I love the colors of Good Fortune and am enjoying the string piecing along with the other units.

  15. Yay - I finally get to make some strings. I bought a gold constant for the orange, so only cut the rectangles. But for this clue I can jump into the string game!!

  16. Yeah, I finally got to begin cutting clue one today. Even picked up some new fat quarters. Seems as the same fabrics were showing up in all my mystery quilts. Time to throw some different ones in the mix. Now to get to the sewing part and just maybe I will have a few done of each clue so I can put a few blocks together when the reveal and/or the next clue is released. Thanks again Bonnie for another great mystery.g

  17. Enjoying these string blocks

  18. Loving these string blocks! Happy New Year!

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. Whoo Hoo string blocks are done. Now to remove papers.


Did you know that ad space on this blog provides for all of the free patterns and free mysteries and challenges at no cost to you?

Thank you for understanding the many hours that go into this blog every day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. :)