Friday, December 09, 2022

Chilhowie Mystery, Part Three!

Welcome back, Chilhowie Mystery Quilters!

I have had so many messages, emails and comments about things you learned during our Part Two units and I'm so excited that you've also learned to use some new rulers in your quiltmaking.

While there are some rulers and tools that do a great job at ONE thing - I'm happy to say that Both the Essential Triangle Tool, and the Simple Folded Corners (Or Simple Folded Corners Mini) rulers are things I keep on hand at my cutting table at ALL times – they get quite the work out and I love that they work hand-in-hand with one another.

While we got comfy with the Simple Folded Corners method last week - this week we are all about quarter-square triangles and my own Essential Triangle Tool.

Checking out the Part Two Progress!

These beauties were found under the #chilhowiequilt hashtag on Instagram! There are more under the #quiltvillemystery tag too, so thanks for remembering to use both tags in your social media posts!

Click HERE for Printer-Friendly PDF.

We are making hourglass units. 16 sets of 8 matching.  That means that all 8 units within each set are the same, but you can have different fabrics for each set if you are going scrappy.

These hourglass units will measure 2 1/2'' unfinished and will finish in the quilt at 2''

If you participated in our Rhododendron Trail mystery last year, or Grassy Creek the year previous you may already be familiar with this unit.

If you are working with traditional rotary cutting math, you will start with 3 1/4'' squares.  

For these 3-color units, you'll need to match a neutral square with an orange square, and a purple square with an orange square for each set of 4.   Keep your 4 orange squares. 2 neutral squares and 2 purple squares the same per set. 

Each set of 2 orange squares, 1 neutral and 1 purple will complete one set of 4 hourglass units. You'll be cutting from 2 matching sets to get the 8 identical hourglass units you need.

Place orange/neutral with right sides together.  Do the same with orange/purple, right sides together.  Stack them on top of each other. Cut from corner to corner twice on the diagonals into 4 sets of quarter-square triangles for 4 hourglass units.  Repeat to cut the second 4 units from the second set of squares to complete your set of 8 matching units.

Once cut - they will sew the same as the Essential Triangle Tool method I shown below:

It all starts with 1 1/2'' strips! 

1 1 purple, 1 neutral, and 2 matching oranges. 

1 1/2'' strips are sizes I always keep on hand.  I was able to go right to my own Scrap User's System to pull my strips, rather than cutting 3 1/4'' squares into triangles.  3 1/4'' squares are an odd size and I do NOT keep those on hand, so I would have to go grabbing fat-quarters, cutting them into odd-sized strips and then into odd-sized squares before I could even begin.

If you have a Scrap User's System - start there and pull 1 1/2'' strips.

If working with fat-quarters, cut from the 22'' side which will give you the length you need for 8 hourglass units from one strip set.  If strips are shorter, you may need 2 strip sets to get the 8 matching units needed.

Place the neutral and one of the orange strips with right sides together.  Place purple and the second orange strip with right sides together.

Place the neutral/orange set on top of the purple/orange set as shown. 

Locate the 1 1/2'' mark down the center of the Essential Triangle Tool.  We are using the green lines for quarter-square triangles this go round. 

The 1 1/2'' mark corresponds to the size of strip we are cutting from.  Follow that line to the left and you will see the 2'' number - that is the FINISHED size of our unit after it is sewn into the quilt.  The unit will measure 2 1/2'' unfinished.

Place the 1 1/2'' line for a 2'' finished quarter-square triangle on the bottom of the strip set as shown, with the line ON the fabric, not below the fabric on the mat.  If your line is sitting on the mat, your cut triangles will be one line width too small.  Get it up there! 

Trim off the left end if you are a righty.  Lefties will cut from the opposite end of the strip set.  

Make a cut on the opposite side of the ruler - the triangles beneath the ruler are all of the pieces you need for  ONE full hourglass unit.

Pivot the ruler to make further cuts! 

For the next cut, place the 1 1/2'' line for a 2'' finished hourglass unit at the TOP of the strip set on top of the edge of the fabric.  Make the next cut. 

Pivot the ruler to make subsequent cuts - 8 cut sets is enough for 8 matching hourglass units.

Feeding pairs through - all with ORANGE on top! 

For pressing purposes, and seam nesting reasons - sew your pairs as shown, along one short side with the orange on top.

Feel free to sew hourglass units a hair bit scant - trimming comes easy after pressing. In other words, you don't have to "go big" to sliver trim down here.  Just scant your seam.

Press to the ORANGE. 

Snip between units.  Always,  ALWAYS clip dog ears. 

Chain pressing gives me a third hand.  It is easy to keep the units in the same orientation when they are connected to each other with the chaining thread between them.

Sewing the pairs together! 

Because we pressed to the orange here, the top seam allowance on this unit points up toward the needle as it goes through the machine, which helps keep seams nested together. 

I can tell you that these seams will not need to nest anywhere, so you can press as desired. Spin pressing shown above.

We often do this with four-patches too.  It helps eliminate the knot of fabric that happens at the center of a unit like this.   

Holding the right side of the center seam down with your thumb, gently lift the left side, allowing a couple of stitches to come undone within the seam allowance at the center.  Press. 

Trim and square units to 2 1/2'' as needed.

Make 16 sets of EIGHT matching!

128 hourglass units total.

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

That's it for this week!  As we get closer to the holidays - please remember to cut yourself some slack. This time of year is so stressful for so many of us.  There is so much going on.

And for the others, it can be a sad and lonely time - please be sure to reach out to friends around you for any support you need, and remember to add in a bit of extra self care as needed.

Also - THIS started yesterday:

Let's keep building up the holiday spirit with an IronEZ Gift-Away!

You can find out all of the details and enter to win on Yesterday's Post.

I am just this sold on the product, and we are drawing THREE winners! 

One will win the IronEZ with standard bottle, a second will win the IronEZ with fine mist bottle, and our third winner will receive a 2 pack of fine mist bottles!

Click on over to the IronEZ website where you will find limited time FREE SHIPPING (within the USA) in addition to your 15% off for my readers using code BH15OFF.

Even Better!  While brainstorming with Scott he threw in the bonus of  a free mister spray bottle with any purchase of 2 or more IronEZ products.

We will draw for our 3 winners on Monday, 12/19/22!

(Due to shipping, this gift-away is available to USA residents only please.) 

Quiltville Quote of the Day -

Phone a friend who might be feeling alone today. Not an email, not a text.

Nothing can compare to the sound of their voice and your laughter together. 

Make real contact!

We'll see you back here next Friday for Part Four!

Have a wonderful weekend, 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. Thank you Bonnie! Breakfast first then the cutting begins....You're lucky that Dave bakes!

  2. So exciting! I love making QST blocks with my Bonnie ruler! Let's go play with strips!

  3. Love the Orange fabric in these photos. Thank you for the mystery Bonnie.

  4. Yay! I love hourglass units! But they will have to wait until next week, as this weekend I am in the kitchen baking up goodies for the kids and coworkers. Maybe I can cut and sew while the stuff is in the oven?! HA! One more week until Christmas break!!

  5. I can't believe how good I have gotten using these rulers :0) what a game changer! thanks so much Bonnie for another fun mystery! Merry Christmas!

  6. Yea, I can usa the extra Purple strips I cut for the 1st Clue. I love my Essential Triangle Tool! Our LQS carried it when I taught classes there. Now they don't. Glad mine.came fast. It's another Snowday/Sewday. These look like an Iris with the Neutrals on top.

  7. In a way I am glad that I didn't read or print this week's clue until later in the day when you were able to make corrections to the instructions. I went to daughter this morning to finish washing the windows she didn't get to.
    Had a friend come over this pm. I haven't seen her in a while. So tomorrow I'll print out the clue and add it to the others. I got to finish the sock for the pair I am knitting for my don-in-law. I hope to be able to do some baking next week. Christmas is just coming too fast for me this year. Thank you, Bonnie gor all you do for us.


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