Step One and Well Begun

I’m following along with the Grand Illusion mystery quilt at Bonnie Hunter’s blog, Quiltville’s Quips and Snips. I enjoy Bonnie’s banter on her periodic quilt-cam nights (like a virtual sewing bee), and I love her eye for beauty in vintage scraps of fabrics.

Pretty pile of chain piecing

Pretty pile of chain piecing

Two years ago, I made the Easy Street quilt using 30’s reproduction fabrics, and this year I decided to raid my Christmas fabric bin (and I may have just bought some backing fabric in the cyber Monday sales) and am using a palette of dark green, light green, red, light blue, navy, and low volumes (neutrals). It took me about 2 hours on Friday night to cut out the pieces for step 1, and I’m currently about 2/3 done piecing the half-square triangles and two-patches (which will become 4-patches). I’m aiming for a throw size, about 60″ square.

Christmas Grand Illusion

Christmas Grand Illusion

I love picking out my own fabric combinations, and I am curious to see if these work with the pattern (since it is a mystery, after all). I did keep the values similar to those in Bonnie’s palette–pink became red, and the light colours stayed as light colours, while the dark colours stayed dark–which I think will help it work out.

I know I won’t get much done over the Christmas week, but hopefully I can keep up until then, plus of course there are all the other projects on my plate (*dramatic sigh*).

Here is my project box–it’s surprising how much will fit!

Project organization (with pincushion from Easy Street scraps)

Project organization (with pincushion from Easy Street scraps)

Linking up to Quiltville for December 1 and to Sew Cute Tuesday with Blossom Heart Quilts.

grand illusion



  1. Great idea to use Christmas fabrics! It will be fun to watch it come together.

  2. Darlene Contadino · ·

    Great choices. That fabric with the birds is so cute.

    1. Actually, the bird fabric is what has influenced my colours the most, I like it too! Thanks for stopping by!

      On Mon, Dec 1, 2014 at 9:24 PM, Lisa in Port Hope wrote:


  3. Your idea sounds good, keeping values similar to Bonnie’s. It is the one thing I hate about mysteries, not knowing what will be next to what. What I like is the camaraderie of the people doing them. Have fun.

    1. It’s very different from my norm of a sampler quilt, where you only cut one block at a time, but so nice to be able to just sit and sew together bits. On 2014-12-02 1:27 AM, “Lisa in Port Hope” wrote:


  4. I love your Christmas colors! good idea the blues, I was stuck on picking more than red and green so I just kept Bonnies black and yellow. I think yours may be more successful in looking Christmas-y! It will be fun to see how they progress 🙂

  5. Great colours! I am going to do Grand Illusions as well but I am away from home right now and won’t be back until after the second clue comes up – so I’ll be playing catch up. I think I’m going to go with her colours too, but who knows what I’ll find when I start pulling fabrics.

    1. I like picking out my own colours, I don’t want to make the same quilt as anyone else.

      On Thu, Dec 4, 2014 at 3:14 PM, Lisa in Port Hope wrote:


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