Friday, November 25, 2022

Chilhowie Mystery Part One!

Welcome to our Chilhowie Mystery, Part One!

I've been so excited I could hardly sleep knowing this would release today.

Since we first started doing mysteries in 2007 (0r was it 2008?) this has been my absolute favorite time of the year.

I love how it brings us all together from across the globe. I love this community we have created through quilting - long may it lift and inspire us!

For our newbies - You'll find the Chilhowie Mystery Tab at the top of the blog.  I will link all posts relating to Chilhowie there.  Please cut me some slack in updating the tab.  When a post goes live, it takes me a few minutes to then edit the tab and add the new part's URL to the list. (It's not automatic.) If you don't see it, simply go sew something and come back and look later.  Thank you for your patience!

Parts are usually published by 9am Eastern Time on Fridays - unless I have a connection snafu (I live very rurally!) or if upon re-reading a part I find an error that needs to be corrected before publication.  Again - thank you for your patience!

If the post isn't here when you expect it to be - sitting here and constantly refreshing is not good for your mental health.  Go do something, and come back.  I will get it posted, I promise!

As with previous mysteries, there is no set number of parts given ahead of time.  It all depends on how it best breaks down.  In the past we've generally had between 7 and 9 parts, meaning our mystery will wind up to the reveal happening sometime in January.  Which Friday in January is anyone's guess - and that is all part of the fun!

One thing I can't stress enough - When sharing your photos to Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) Please take photos AWAY from your cutting mat.  If there are no lines on the back side of your mat, you can turn it over if that is the only place you have available for photos.

Get creative with your photos and see where else you can set up shots of your progress without rulers or mats.  Thank you so much for understanding.

But PLEASE!  No giving of piece counts or unit sizes when sharing your photos. Don't say things like "I just finished all 100 2'' half-square triangles." Just say "So happy I finished all of these!" 

Simply direct your friends and followers to my blog to print out their own clue which will give them the unit size and piece count.

Remember to use hashtags #quiltvillemystery and #chilhowiequilt in your social media posts.

I will generally link the "printer friendly" PDF copy just above the nitty gritty, with any special info being posted at the beginning of my post - so read it ALL to find where the "printer friendly" link is.

Like right now!

Click HERE for printer-friendly PDF.


Make 73

Units will measure 3 1/2'' unfinished and measure 3'' finished after sewing into the quilt.

I love nine-patches, and these are so cute with their little neutral corners and the aqua/purple PLUS formation!

Sometimes our brains automatically want us to put the darks in the corners - don't!  Please double check your units to make sure that they look like this.

To start, cut aqua, purple and neutral fabrics into 1 1/2'' strips.  As we are working with scrap fabrics and the lengths of scrap strips vary, no number of strips to cut is given.  Cut enough to get you started, cutting more as needed.

Sew neutral 1 1/2'' strips to either side of aqua center strips for strip set coloring #1.  Press seams toward the center aqua strip.

SEAM TEST!  Press and measure.  This strip set needs to measure 3 1/2'' tall.  The numbers on the ruler do not lie.  If your strip set is too narrow, your seam is too wide.  Adjust accordingly and try again until you reach the right result.  Doing this now will solve the problem of units not fitting together later.

Make several strip sets in the neutral/aqua/neutral formation.

Make more strip sets in the aqua/purple/aqua strip set #2 coloring, also pressing seams toward the aqua.

As these are nine-patches you need twice as many neutral/aqua/neutral as you do the aqua/purple/aqua.

Speed matching!

Take a neutral/aqua/neutral strip set and match it with an aqua/purple/aqua strip set with right sides together and seams nested. Subcut the paired strip sets at 1 1/2'' increments.

Cut 73 pairs ready to sew.

*HINT* Short strip sets are my go-to when making scrap quilts.  This allows me to build my variety as I go, so I don't have to make piles of different pieces on my table playing match game to shuffle things up.

See how these will open when sewn together?

Already matched when cutting and ready to sew is the way to go!

Sew all 73 pairs, pressing seams toward the aqua/purple/aqua center row.

From additional neutral/aqua/neutral strip sets, cut 73 more units at 1 1/2'' for the row 3 of each nine-patch. Add to the units.

Press the last seam toward the center aqua/purple/aqua row.

*Note*  These nine-patches do not nest with anything, anywhere.  Feel free to press seams open if you wish, or spin the seams if you desire.  It's up to you!

73 little niners!  Aren't they cute?

And we aren't done yet.

We need some four-patches too!

64 of them.

Units will measure 2 1/2'' unfinished and finish at 2'' in the quilt.

My four-patches are as scrappy as my nine-patches and used the same selection of fabrics. Each four-patch has 2 different aquas.

I don't have a "group photo" of these as this is when I broke my foot and face in July and that photo was not taken.  Sorry!

Use up anything you had left over from your nine-patches above, and cut more as needed.

Remember that short strip sets are your friend when building variety.

Make 2 kinds of strip sets from 1 1/2'' strips - Neutral and aqua, and aqua and purple.

It's always a good idea to check seam allowance once again.  Measure a strip set.  It should measure 2 1/2'' tall.

As with the nine-patch strip sets, place the two four-patch strip sets with right sides together and sub-cut at 1 1/2''.  Matched pairs will be ready to sew.  Cut 64 matched pairs.

Stitch into 64 four-patches.

As with the nine-patches these will not need to nest anywhere so you may press the final seam open, to one side, or spin press the seams.  If you need info on spin pressing, click HERE.

And that's it for this week!  Do you think you can get it all done by next Friday?

If not, my suggestion is to just make a handful of each unit, so that you are familiar with them.  You can always come back when the holidays are not so busy.

Other things going on this week:

Did you enter our Summit St Shop Box Gift-Away

Drawing happens Wednesday 11/30/22!
And then there is the SitMate (Formerly known as SewPad) Promo that starts TODAY and goes through 11/28/22 (Only while supplies last!) with Free Priority Shipping within the USA.  

To reach a wider audience rather than just sewing folks, SewPad has been renamed SitMate.

Once you’ve experienced the comfort of a SitMate, it’s hard to go back to sewing without one.

What is a SitMate?

SitMate™ is filled with a thick cushion of proprietary viscoelastic polymer gel– the same stuff used in surgical mats and wheelchair pads.

Unlike foam (memory foam or otherwise) gel doesn’t bottom-out and it provides comfort and support by diffusing and distributing pressure.

Upholstered in a plush layer of AirFlex™ fabric, SitMate™ helps your backside stay cool while the no-slip bottom keeps it from sliding around in your chair.

SitMate™ was designed for quilters and crafters, but we think you’ll find other uses as well.

Church. Stadium seats, in the car and anywhere else that you might expect to be sitting for a good while.

Remember to use code ELF at checkout for free Priority shipping within the USA.

Being comfortable is a wonderful thing!

And because it's a Black Friday Mystery Kick Off Weekend -

All Digital Patterns in the Quiltville Store and the Quiltville Etsy Pattern Shop are 30% off using coupon code Digital30 at purchase.

Code must be used at purchase, is not retroactive, and is good through Wednesday, 11/30/22.

Quiltville Quote of the Day 

Scatter sunshine not rain clouds all along your way.

And scatter some scraps around while you are at it!

Have fun everyone - 


©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. Can't wait to get started!! Thank you Bonnie!

  2. Good morning and thank you Bonnie! This is my 10th mystery with you and I love the excitement of the first clue!!

  3. Carolina Crossroads was 2007! Enjoyed seeing you on Textile Talks this week.

  4. Thank you Bonnie. Love Mystery Season.

  5. Aaaannnddddd we're off!!
    Than you!

  6. The mystery season is my favorite time of the year too! I'll be working on my WISP "Roll, Roll Cotton Boll" while watching all the "Chilhowie" fun. I want to try picking an alternate color scheme when I'm ready to make this one so have gone back to the video you did with Holly Ann of String and Story to pick up some tips for when I'm ready to make it. Thanks again for creating the REAL start of the holiday season!

  7. And we're off!! Thank you, Bonnie, for always giving us something to look forward to! Happy Friday!

  8. I think it will be beautiful. You chose such lovely colors. Happy sewing everyone!

  9. Second comment - Thank you Bonnie for the link to the Sit Mate cushion and the coupon code. I used the link from your website and ordered one for my daughter who has periodic hip issues, from sitting in her desk chair and sports bleachers watching her kids activities. I hope she finds it gives her a little relief. I remember seeing one of these in use in your studio back in the "video days"

  10. Thank you for sharing such joy through the world, BH! I am looking forward to watching everyone's progress in Chilhowie. I hope everyone's sewing machines are ready and you never run out of bobbin thread at an inopportune time!

  11. Thank you for sharing your talents you are truly a bless to our quilting community and I am grateful for you

  12. I set my Alarm and slept right though it. Nice to see the Clue up today. Love mixing up the 9 and 4 patches. TKes me back to those tiny 9 patches in Double Delight.
    Thanks for something good to do on Black Friday! My kids quit liking the 1/2 Priced socks at Fred Meyer a Long, Long time ago. I am happy to stay at home and play in my scraps. Thanks 😊

  13. Thank you so so much, Bonnie! The mystery makes my holiday season!! Ever grateful for your generosity and spirit!

  14. Oh Thank you so much 💓
    Gives us something to do ... I'm tired of cooking!!
    Kisses to Mable and Zoey please.

  15. Thank you so much, Bonnie!! I look forward to your mystery quilt every year. This, along with watching East Idaho News [on YouTube] play delivery elves for a Secret Santa (gives away $1,000,000 this year!), makes the season brighter for me.

  16. Thank you Bonnie!!! I always look forward to your mystery quilts! It simply amazes me how much you do for others.

  17. Thank you Bonnie. I made the blocks even if I never had thought about doing it. Now I'm in and waiting for the next clue.


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