Monday, October 31, 2022

Chilhowie - A Quiltville Mystery! (Introduction!)

Happy Halloween, Quiltvillians and Friends!

It's that time of year we've all be anxiously waiting for -

No, not Halloween! (though I admit I have stashed a bit of Halloween Candy in the QPO studio for times when I need a sugar rush -) 

Our yearly Quiltville Winter Mystery begins in earnest with Part One going live on Black Friday, 11/25/22.

This post has all of the info you need to be ready.

If you’ve followed along with our many past Quiltville Mysteries, you’ll already have a good handle of what happens.  I’m glad to have you back sewing with me again!

If you are one of the many, many new ones who are joining in from the land of Instagram
Facebook and beyond, I want to welcome you.

Click HERE for Printer-Friendly PDF.

Over the past 5 years that I have resided in the beautiful state of Virginia I have found myself captivated by the history and entertained by the NAMES of places.

If you've ever traveled through Appalachia, you know what I mean.

I live in the southwestern corner of the state and am surrounded by places that include the words hill, holler, gap, ridge, and more. 

Many places also come from their original Native names - such is the charming town of Chilhowie, Virginia.

Chilhowie (Chil•`how•ee), a Cherokee word meaning "Valley of Many Deer" was adopted as the town’s name when the town incorporated in 1913. During its stagecoach days the community was known simply as Town House. After the railroad was built in 1856 the town was referred to as Greever’s Switch, a reference to the name of the first Station Master and to the mechanical switch that allowed freight cars to be moved to a side track for loading and unloading of freight.

Various manufacturing and agricultural enterprises have contributed to the town’s growth over the years. Pottery, brick, lumber, textile, fertilizer, equipment and furniture manufacturing companies have all operated successfully in Chilhowie. 

Cattle farms are a mainstay of the region’s agricultural economy. From 1912 to 1989 Bonham Brothers grew and distributed apples and apple products so successfully that Chilhowie became the center of apple production in Southwestern Virginia.  [source]

Chilhowie is one of those places where if you blink, you just might miss it. It's a spot between here and there. It is filled with charm and interesting history and is nestled between beautiful mountain ridges and ranges.

My inspiration for the colors in our Chilhowie Mystery come from my love of flowers - especially the Fashion Queen variety of bearded iris you see in our introductory photo above.

Orange and purple together?  You betcha!  And when you see them in the sunshine with a bright spring sky as backdrop, there is no prettier palette in the world!

This post contains the colors, examples of the fabrics used in my own Chilhowie quilt,  yardage requirements and some other tools that you might find helpful in the construction process.

You are NOT required to sew with these colors, and you can change them to whatever color palette you would like, but please remember value and contrast when switching things up.

Our stunning quilt finishes at approximately 78'' x 78".  

If you want a smaller size, start with 1/2 the units.  You can always go back and make more units once you decide on your own layout.  If you want it bigger, you can add more blocks and/or borders.

As always - you are free to wait UNTIL THE REVEAL to see what the quilt is to see if you want to make it, and what size you would like to make for yourself and in what colors. I am unable to provide directions for multiple sizes through this free mystery. Thank you for understanding.

I view our mysteries not just as “A Pattern” but as a vehicle to teach methods, tips, tricks, helps and hints while working with each unit.  I will provide a printer-friendly PDF for each clue, and for those wanting to save paper, just save the PDF to your computer or tablet and look at it there without printing it out.  Be sure you know where you tablet or phone SAVES PDFs so you know where to retrieve them. (A cloud service can also be helpful here.)

Clues and links to corresponding PDFs will only be available until the quilt becomes a digital pattern download for purchase in the Quiltville Store and the Quiltville Etsy Pattern Shop

You can choose to print certain pages but not others from within your own printer settings.  

You can also copy/paste the blog post into a word document and delete extra photos, extra text that you don’t need. Just save the nitty-gritty. You can choose how to save paper/ink yourself.  My job is to teach, however many pages it takes.

PAINT CHIPS:  These are NOT required, but they are helpful when choosing many fabrics that have to work together from your stash.  These are guidelines only, and I have even pushed the boundaries of those color families a bit in all directions so I have a quilt with more life that doesn’t look so flat. 

Our colors come with intriguing names this year, and I always look forward to seeing what colors have been labeled.

Our paint chips this year come from the Sherwin Williams line at Lowes.  

There is a PDF of these paint chips for your convenience HERE

Iris Inspiration:

My Fabric Samplings:

Oranges: 2 yards

HGSW6883 - Raucous Orange
HGSW6628 - Robust Orange
HGSW6627 - Emberglow

While Quiltville Mysteries are designed with hitting up your stash in mind, I know there are always some enhancements needed if these are colors you don't usually keep on hand.

Cotton to Quilts is offering fabric rolls in mystery colors for your fill in needs!

And if you are in the Louisville, KY area - Be sure to stop by the new Cotton To Quilts brick & mortar store at 2416 Frankfort Avenue!

The Grand Opening is this coming weekend: Friday, November 4th and Saturday November 5th: 10am-4pm. Sunday, November 6th: 12pm -4pm.

Weekly Store Hours: Thurs-Sat 10am – 4pm and Sunday 12pm - 4pm.

Iris Inspiration:

My Fabric Samplings:

Purples: 1 3/4 yards

HGSW6832 - Impulsive Purple
HGSW6831 - Clematis
HGSW6830 - Kismet

Purple rolls available at Cotton to Quilts.

Iris inspiration:

Yes, there is an aqua (light blue) iris!

Aquas:1 1/4 yards

HGSW9043 - Aquastone
HGSW6751 - Refresh
HGSW6750 - Waterfall

*Note*  The color on the above card is off in my photo due to lighting.  See side-by-side paint chip images below for more clarity:

Aqua rolls available at Cotton to Quilts.

Iris Inspiration:

White iris!

Whites/Neutrals 4 yards

HGSW7757 - High Reflective White
HGSW4002 - White Gallery
HGSW7006 - Extra White

I stayed with the white to barely cream backgrounds on my neutrals, leaving the sandy toasty ones for another project.

Neutral rolls available at Cotton to Quilts.

Please remember: Paint chips are only for personal reference, and fabrics do not have to be EXACT! 

This is going to be such a fun mystery with a lovely color palette!

Yardage amounts are for scraps and/or planned yardage.  If you want one piece of yardage for each color, you are fine there too!

Those who wish to explore shades and tints within our chosen color families or in choosing a completely different color scheme may also find the Ultimate 3-in-1 Color Tool helpful.  It’s found in the Quiltville Store for those who want guidance.

No specific pages on the 3-in-1 color tool are given as there are so many varying shades.  We go for variety in color families, so open up your 3-in-1 color tool to the desired color page, comparing it to paint chip images and your fabrics.

One hint on ALL FABRICS - Scale matters - if you have sewn my mysteries before, you know there may be small, medium, and large pieces within the same colors.  Big prints don't work well in small pieces, so keep that in mind when choosing fabrics.

And once units and sizes are given - feel free to attack your Scrap User's System strip drawers to see what you can pull in there as well.  It feels good to clean out.

So there you have it -  And here is the short run down:

Oranges: 2 yards
Purples: 1 3/4 yards
Aquas:  1 1/4 yards
Neutrals: 4 yards

Clues will start posting on Black Friday 11/25/22.  

There will be one clue each Friday until our completion sometime in January.  Just WHEN that reveal happens is also part of the mystery!

Other optional things that may be helpful to you:

As with previous mysteries, I will be giving unit sizes in finished and unfinished dimensions so you can choose your own favorite method to make them. 

There will be NO Accuquilt die information as it gives away too much on units and unit sizes. Remember, this is a mystery. We need to keep it that way all the way to the end. Unit shapes and sizes will be given with each step. Not ahead of time.

I am placing a Chilhowie Mystery tab at the top of the blog and all of these posts will be linked there for easy reference.

Please share this Quiltville Winter Mystery info with all of your quilting friends and online groups and social media and more. 

The more folks we can get to jump in, the more fun it will be! 

Oh yeah - and one more thing:


There will be many pieces.  Some smaller, some larger, some in between. My best suggestion as the holidays get to bustling - SAVE the clues each week to your computer, device, or cloud service.  Save them where you know you can find them.

Make SOME of each unit each week, even if you can't finish all that each step entails.  That makes it easy to go back to that step when you can - because you've got some memory of what to do there.

Always check your unit size.  The numbers on the ruler don't lie.  More on that to come -

If you would like blog notifications sent to your email so you don’t miss anything, please visit the blog on a real computer where the right hand side bar is visible (It’s not on mobile phone) and input your email address in the space provided at the top of the side bar.

Hit subscribe. Go to your email inbox and find the email from groups.io and confirm your subscription by clicking through the links in the email. 

Your blog notifications will start once you confirm your subscription.

And if you've made it this far - there are some other things going on you'll want to know about!


Introductory Special: I have placed the PDF pattern for Bristol at 25% off in both the Quiltville Store and the Quiltville Etsy Pattern Shop.  No coupon needed!  Sale price good through TODAY 10/31/22.  Hurry now and save!

Don't forget to sign up for the Nov/Dec '22 Quiltmaker Gift-Away HERE!

That drawing happens on Saturday 11/5/22.

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

I'm really excited about our upcoming Quiltville Winter Mystery season.

I hope you are too!

Gather some friends together, plan on stitching together and keeping each other focused and making progress.

Now go start pulling fabrics! Please use hashtags #quiltvillemystery and #chilhowiequilt on your social media posts so we can find you.

I'll see you back here on Black Friday when the fun REALLY begins!


©2022 Bonnie K Hunter. All Rights Reserved. 

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. Yay! Can't wait to begin!

  2. Amazing the effort you put in. Love the quote.

  3. Wow. Just wow. The iris are gorgeous. Thank you for showing your inspiration.

  4. So, in some mysterious way the great quilt goddess has been nudging me to buy shades of orange this past year...so glad I listened as in general shades of orange do NOT land in my basket! hahaha. I'm in...but I can tell you now I will not be able to keep up over the holidays...will savor the mystery sewing in January! woohoo!!! Thank you Bonnie!!!!

  5. Love those colors together! May not have them in my scraps but we will see! Thanks you!

  6. Oh yum! Love the name and the colors! Have to make the guys breakfast then I'm going down to my sewing room. Thank you so much. Bless you.

  7. gorgeous colors, Bonnie, can't wait to see what you make of them. We are so lucky you do this for us every year!

  8. And just when I think you are finished with your check list..... bam..... there is the whining sign!!! I had already ordered my fabric so to find a bin for this project. Happy Day!!!

  9. Wow. The Irises are beautiful. I didn't know there were so many varieties. The orange-raspberry one reminds me of Good Humor orange/raspberry ice pops.

  10. Love this year's colors. Thank you so much for your efforts.

  11. Your iris colors are just incredible!!! I love orange & purple together!!!!

  12. Love the colors! Thanks for doing this.

  13. I love all of these iris colors! One of my favorite flowers. Glorious!

  14. I love the Iris. Orange and Purple and Aqua and White, Oh My! I got notification my new Essential Triangle Tool will be here today. Coincedence? I think not! Waiting until tomorrow to go get the Paint Chips in Tri-Cities. I think there will be plenty of Posts of the Color Chips today. Thanks to you for all the Inspiration.

  15. My colors! My colors!!! Be still my heart!! Half of my stash is orange! May have to replenish my neutrals and purples (oh darn), or dig really deep in my shed!

  16. Sorry could not read the whole long post..... had to order some orange IRIS first!!! Do not like orange daylilies BUT the photo of the orange iris is super!!!.

  17. love the colors and should have all of them in my stash. thanks for doing this again this year. patti in florida

  18. Feeling inspired! Oh la la what fun colors :0) thanks Bonnie for another mystery!!

  19. Yummy color palette. I loved the history and background information on the town of Chilhowie. That is such a beautiful area of the country, the Blue Ridge Mountains. Lush and peaceful.

  20. Yay! Purple and Orange. One of my favorite combos. Thank you.

  21. YAY!!! LOVE the name and the color scheme!! I will definitely do it this year!! Happy Halloween and get that swear jar... I mean whining jar ready! HaHa!

  22. I Love it! Off to shop my stash and boy do I have it! LOL

  23. Thank you Bonnie I have learned so much from your quilts and teaching style. More you are the reason my great room and hall are Italian Ice. It was a neutral one year. Fell on love with the paint chip and..... the pInt has been on the walls for a few years and just as beautiful as when it first went on.

  24. YAY Bonnie! It is finally the start of Mystery season! It is so hard to wait for the release of the colors and the amounts needed of each, each year. This day has finally arrived for the fall of 2022. I Just love Bearded Iris' and all the beautiful colors. I have some of your colors, and more, in my collection from my LIL Sis (outside of Boise, in New Plymouth, ID). I Love your color selection, but my switch the orange out for a peach in my palette. I will try the colors out. Thank You so Much Bonnie for all you do for the quilting community!

    Kasilof, AK
    Where winter has arrived, and we got 6-8 inches of snow a week ago. Now they are calling for 3-6 inches more in the next 48 hrs.

  25. Love the colors and the history you shared!

  26. Oh boy! Hold on! Looks like another fun ride!

  27. Bonnie - orange and purple are perfect together About 10 years ago - or more - my nephew and his wife got married, They asked for a purple and orange quilt. My first thought was uuggg. And then I started making log cabin blocks usiing every orange I could find - a redish orange for the center block. And glorious purples were on the other side. OMG - that was one of the most beautiful quilts I've ever made. It was kind of hard to give it up. So now I just might have my own orange and purple quilt! Bring it on!!

  28. Oh these colors! I have always loved purple but don't have much in my stash, and orange has been making its way in bit by bit. Betting I will have enough of all to pull this off.

  29. I wasn't planning to participate this year, but you had me at your iris inspiration photo!!

  30. Providing paint chip numbers is brilliant! Thank you!!

  31. That Aqua is a beautiful color - great range of fabrics shown too!

  32. I have several varieties of bearded iris, heavily purples, but I have an orange and maroon one. They make me drool they are so beautiful.
    This quilt is for my garden chair, in amongst my iris.
    Just LOOOVE your colours...this time I won't be swapping out anything.


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