Friday, December 14, 2018

Good Fortune, Part 4!


Welcome back, Oh Mystery Quilters!

Click HERE for Printer-Friendly PDF.

I am beyond thrilled at the staggering number of new participants we have this year! And I can’t believe we are already up to Part 4 – but the fun isn’t over yet!

Hang on to your scraps, my friends – it’s about to get REALLY FUN around here!

I took the photo of this fruit tree when we went to see the Terracotta Warriors in Xian in October of 2017.  Our guide, Charlie told us we were so fortunate to be visiting China in October – it was the Golden Season.  

And as I spied this fruit laden tree framed against the blue blue sky, I just KNEW these colors were going to play in our mystery somehow.  I didn’t go as light as that sky with my own blues, but some of you have from the photos I’ve seen, and oh it makes me SMILE!


My friend Jill and I attempting to be all fierce and warriorly.  LOL

You can find out more about our trip to Xian and our visit to the Terracotta Warriors HERE.

What are we up to this week??

You have two piecing choices – Strings or Strip Sets!


96 string rectangles 2 1/2’’ x 4 1/2’’.
Units will finish at 2’’ x 4’’ in the quilt.

We haven’t had any string piecing in our mystery quilts in many years – and with the release of String Frenzy – I think it’s time, don’t you??

ALL of your oranges are going to play here.  I threw in some orange-y golds for more variety, and you’ve got a good look at what fabrics I used in my quilt right here in this photo.

First and foremost with string piecing – set your stitch length to SMALL – Try 1.5 on a digital machine, or if you are sewing on a vintage baby – that’s 14 to 16 stitches per inch.  

A larger needle, size 14 will also make the job of paper removal easier.  It makes bigger holes in the paper.  

Bigger holes placed closer together with small stitches means that paper removal is going to be a breeze, Louise!


Cutting foundations from phone book paper.

ANY kind of paper can be used from phone books to doodle pads from the dollar store, to financial prospectus papers you receive in the mail quarterly, to news print – And we are going to cut it to WIDTH first – WHY?  To keep you from having seams too close to the edges of your paper creating bulk when we join units together.

My phone book page was roughly 8 1/4’’ by 10’’ or so.  I wanted a lot of variety so I cut these the short way instead of the long way, but it doesn’t matter. Many of my orange strings were shorter as well, so going the short way worked better for my length of strings.


First two strips – right sides together!

Stitch through all layers. Press top strip over to one side, and continue to add more strips to cover the foundation.

The job of the paper is twofold – it gives a firm foundation that has no bias or stretch so you have blocks that lie really flat.  It also gives you a size to shoot for so that you easily know if your strips are the right size or not.  

The paper will come off AFTER you trim and sub-cut, and BEFORE we sew these units into the blocks.


By the time I had sewn this piece on – one side will be done.

And the seam will be far enough from the edge that bulk won’t be a problem.


Adding the last strip on this side.

Strips that taper and lean add more interest – as do strips of various widths.  Throw in some skinny ones – and some wedgie ones! More character, more personality, more fun!


Completely covered – No seams too close to the edges!


Trim to 4 1/2’’ wide.


Sub-cut into 2 1/2’’ x 4 1/2’’ rectangles – only a smidge of waste on this one!

Another reason why I worked the short way across the page, instead of the long way.


3 for the done pile – 93 to go! Make 96 and REMOVE PAPER!

Most of my string rectangles have 5 strips to them – there may be a few with 6 – but if they have MORE than 6 you are working too hard.

Alternate method #1:


Strip Sets!

Cut orange scraps into 1 1/2’’ strips.  Sew 4 strips together into a strip set.  Measure and MAKE SURE that your strip set finishes at 4 1/2’’ wide! If it doesn’t, adjust seam allowance and try again. Width is important here.

Press seams OPEN to avoid nesting/matching problems later. (Not a problem with the string piecing as seams rarely fell where they would have to match or nest.)

Sub-cut at 2 1/2’’ for pieced rectangles in place of doing the string piecing above.  Make 96 rectangles measuring 2 1/2’’ x 4 1/2’’.  They will finish at 2’’ x 4’’ in the quilt. 

The no-work-less-interesting-method and options:

In lieu of the string piecing or strip piecing options above, you may:

1.) Cut 96 rectangles  2 1/2’’ x 4 1/2’’ from one orange fabric.
2.) Cut 96 rectangles  2 1/2’’ x 4 1/2’’ from a wide variety of orange fabrics and let them play randomly in the quilt.
3.) Cut 24 different sets of 4 matching rectangles 2 1/2’’ x 4 1/2’’ from a variety of scrap fabrics.

Those who choose the cop-out method  LESS WORK method may find they have extra time in the coming week to work on some other clues that didn’t quite reach the completion stage, or perhaps finish up some Christmas gifts that need attending to before the big Christmas holiday ahead.  

Maybe some holiday baking and visiting with neighbors, family and friends?  

Sometimes we just need to step OUT of the sewing room and let the world know that we are indeed still alive.


Now running WAVE 5 of 500 copies in the Quiltville Store!

STRING FRENZY is back in the store and waiting for you to snatch one up.  This wave is limited to 500 copies. Hurry – they go fast!  All of the 4 previous waves have sold out in 90 minutes or less.

Receive a free pdf download of my newly released Hunter’s String Star pattern with String Frenzy purchase – an $8.00 value!

Your download link will come in a second email from my store server, ECWID a few minutes after you receive your order receipt. Check your spam filter if you don’t see it.

Click the download link on a REAL COMPUTER, not a tablet or a phone and save it to where you can find it. (Desktop is an easy place.) Navigate to the file and click it to open and print.


You could start sewing this TODAY – if you didn’t already have a mystery in progress!

I’ve also added more Simple Folded Corners and Simple Folded Corners Mini  to the store as well as more Olfa frosted rulers in a variety of sizes – and don’t forget the Ruler Stickers while you are at it!

My Quiltville Quilter’s Date Keeper is also on sale for $14.95 and makes a great gift when paired with my Quilty Pencils! Throw in a set of my Addicted to Scraps Eco-Pouches  topped off with a deck of my Bonnie Hunter Playing Cards and you’ve got a gift bundle that any quilter would love to receive.

I've added more of the Quick & Easy Block Tools featuring 110 blocks in 5 sizes, and more New Ladies Art Company Block Tools with an additional 110 blocks in 5 sizes (Great as a set!)  These are spiral bound are a great to have on hand for block inspiration.

ALL of my earlier book titles are also on sale - just $19.99 each!  It's time to round out your collection and pick up the titles you are missing. Limited to stock on hand - and yes, String Fling is back in stock!

All proceeds are headed to the electrical upgrades and remodeling at Quiltville Inn!  I am so grateful for your support.  The sooner we get these big jobs taken care of, the sooner we can open for YOU!

Our Mystery Monday Link-Up for part 3 closed last night.  FABULOUS shares, everyone!  I love seeing what you are working on and where your own vision for Good Fortune is taking you.

I can’t wait to see what Monday’s Link-Up reveals as you continue to share your Part 4 with us all.

Quiltville Quote of the Day.

Shut out the chaos and noisiness of other voices and opinions and listen to your own heart!

Have a wonderful Friday, mystery friends!


  1. Woohoo! Clue 4 will be a fun one and it was up before 7 am central time! Thanks, Bonnie!!!

    1. I do aim to please! Have fun! :)

    2. And you hit the Bullseye every time :)

  2. It's a great day for warm oranges and golds. It's 37 F degrees, very gray and yes there is wind. Headed for the sunshine of my scraps. Thank you, Bonnie.

    1. The sunshine of your scraps -- I love that! Have fun!

  3. Happy dancing here! We finally get to the ORANGE! And the fifth Wave is the charm! Ordered my copy of String Frenzy! Woo hoo! Love you, Bonnie! Thanks for all you do!

    1. So happy for you! I've got my work cut out for me -- better get up there to continue the order pulling, the book signing, the mailer stuffing, the postage affixing!! :D

  4. Yeah! First try with string piecing AND orange in a quilt...enthusiasming novelties.
    And I LOVE the possibilities of chosing method every time.

  5. I will be deep in the strings this week. First with this clue. Secondly I am starting Virginia Bound for my sister-in-law. She lost her husband two weeks ago and when I asked if she would like a quilt made from his shirts, she began to cry. Getting out my treadle! Woo! Hoo! Thank you, Bonnie.

    1. Oh, Mary Ellen - I'm so sorry. A passing is so hard this time of the year. I hope you can find some comfort in the strings.

  6. I'm in heaven. Love strings! Delighted this is part of Good Fortune! Have a great day, Bonnie! Happy string piecing everyone!

  7. Yay for a clue I can finish in a week! This is my first mystery quilt and it has challenged me to conquer the intimidation of hst's.

  8. Thank you for the options, Bonnie! I don't have nearly enough orange scraps to make the string version, so the strip block is perfect for me...and it gives me a chance to finish up my Clue 3 blocks and the Christmas sewing that still needs to be finished!

  9. Happy day! I love making string blocks! And I will get to pull from Scrap Mountain!!!!! Yay! (Why can't Christmas come in February this year? )

  10. I'm at work this morning. Grrrr! Maybe I should go home sick and get surrounded by some sunny oranges. I'm sure that would make me feel better! But we have a big potluck today. So sewing or eating? That's an evil choice. Maybe load up a plate and go home sick. That's the ticket! lol This mystery is so much fun! Thanks, Bonnie for all the hard work and effort. I'm having a blast!!!!!

  11. Yea for the string option. I was trying to determine what I was going to string up now that my new book has already had multiple look throughs, but I hate starting something new until some of my other WIP are done. Now I get to string on my newest WIP. Good call Bonnie.

  12. yay strings! I can dig into my string box for even more variety!

  13. I really enjoy the mystery quilts. I always learn so much, your instructions are very understandable. I just ordered your new book and hope to visit your retreat center in the future. Merry Christmas. I hope you and your family have a very joyous Christmas season. Pam

  14. My first mystery and I am loving the excitement of Fridays! I LOVE string quilts (think Heartstrings Quilt Group on yahoo) and orange is my new favorite color. I will be enjoying the next week. Thank you, Bonnie.

  15. Oh, Bonnie, I did step out and make your Bodelicious Banana Bread! I tried it a week ago and it was such a hit I had to make it again yesterday for gifting this weekend. The house smelled wonderful! AND I was just wondering what I would do about that huge telephone book I found, would I ever use it??? Thanks for this fun clue AND I purchased your book--what a happy day ;)

  16. I am not to far behind , I have clue three cut I just have to start sewing together. I have never did paper piecing well maybe a couple things but I’ll march through!! Thank you Bonnie

  17. I knew it would be Strings!! I'm headed down to the Loft at the WW Sew Vac & Spas. I saved my old phone books to share. We just got New ones this Fall. This will be a 1st & an adventure. None of my Mystery Quilts have String piecing in them.

  18. Woo-hoo! No sewing for me this time around - nannying for grandson n another state for a few months. At the end of the day with a 7 mo old, I'm too tired to do anything other than fall into bed, lol. Hopefully, shortly after the New Year. BUT, I was happy that my timing for String Frenzy was good and my order is placed. LOVE the Hunter's String Star, it adds so much depth and movement to this quilt. To think that, back when I first heard about string piecing (Roll Roll, Cotton Boll, I think), I thought ewwww.... HA! Joke's on me! Have a great day, thank you for the free download and the mystery - which I'll get to someday.

  19. I love this clue :-)

  20. I love this string block piece! Going with some Gold also I think it will complement the Oranges I've picked. I'll be stripping away in Southern California.
    Thanks Bonnie

  21. Fun! fun! fun! thanks so much Bonnie :0) Perfect way to spend this rainy day!

  22. I was hoping this week's clue was going to be easier than last week's. This is going to be so relaxing and fun! I'm going to check out your sales now! Thank you Bonnie.

  23. Oh Bonnie - you look so fierce as a Terracotta Warrior! I think that's the first photo I've seen of you without your great smile!

  24. Wow you did surprise me with so many ways to make clue 4. So many of the mystery makers had said they thought orange was next and I just had to check first thing to check if those guesses where right on and yes indeed it's an orange clue

  25. Thank you, Bonnie! I love string piecing! Woohoo!! What fun 😁

  26. Hurrah. I just ordered String Frenzy! And Wonky Wishes for my class in March.

  27. My favorite clue so far! Thanks, Bonnie - Good Fortune has been so fun - can't wait to see the finished quilt!

  28. so if doing string piecing do we cut strips in a variety of widths?

    1. yes, it gives more interest and looks better than all the same width :) and sew some a bit wonky - crooked.

  29. Hi Bonnie,
    Just realised we were visiting the Terracotta warriors in 2017 at the same time as you. I really loved that holiday. Would have loved to have run into you there.
    Kay Dungavell

  30. bonnie, you say we should step out of our sewing room like you almost meant it! you DIDN'T mean it did you???? say it ain't so! merry Christmas to you and your family.

  31. HI Bonnie, I'm new to you, mystery quilts and this method of pIecing so forgive me but I don't understand why we sew the strips onto a piece of paper then tear it away verses Just sewing the strips together. Looking forward to my first mq.

  32. Can you tell me why your post show up a day late on my feed? Doesn't seem to be a problem with anyone elses posts and it didn't happen last year.

  33. So look forward to Friday mornings at 6 am PT!! I have finished week 1, 3 and 4, but unfortunately week 3 is still waiting for the Triangle Essentials ruler to arrive. It was mailed at the end of November but I still haven't received it. Boo Hoo!

  34. We have some pretty solid rain here the last couple of days, just right for sewing. I have done all my orange blocks, strip pieced and now have to wait until Saturday for the next clue. Cyclone Owen hit north Qld and here in south Queensland we are copping a heap of rain. 133 mm or 5 1/4 ins yesterday. As I don’t want to go out anywhere (I think that I am part pussy cat and don’t like getting my feet wet) I will just have keep researching old magazines and keep on sewing. Of course, I could also finish something off that has been in the cupboard for a gazillion years but there is no fun in that. Enjoy your snow, Bonnie. I have never lived where it snowed, just rained. Thanks for your wicked imagination with your mysteries.


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