Thursday, January 16, 2014

Solstice Moonrise, my first top finish of 2014!

I've been working on my version of Bonnie Hunter's Celtic Solstice mystery quilt over the last few weeks. Getting sick after Christmas and building a nest with my sewing machine in front of the TV gave me someplace to get past the cold/cough while staying busy. I must have watched over 30 movies while staying busy with Gerty, my Singer 301A. I went through many Disney movies, all of the Harry Potters, all six Star Wars, and many more. It was fun since I knew all of the movies well enough that they weren't a total distraction, but good company. The progression of building this quilt top was covered in this post. And as of last night, the borders are on and it's ready for quilting! Introducing my Solstice Moonrise!
 Bonnie's pattern had a finish of a narrow neutral inner border followed by all of those diamonds set horizontally around the quilt as individual tri-rec arrows. After watching so many creative border variations being posted on the Celtic Solstice Facebook page, I decided to play and do something different on my quilt. I liked the way Åsa Frankén of Sweden did her border, completing the partial diamonds out into her border. I changed it up a bit and only finished the star-diamonds and then turned the other tri-recs into diamonds.

Here's how the border breaks down. First I assembled the orange horizontal tri-rec diamonds, six per side. I then made three separate units, sewing one orange tri-rec point up between two horizontal tri-rec diamonds. These units measure 3.5" x 15.5". I then cut a 2" x 15.5" strip of blue to add to the side the center tri-rec unit was pointing up. Then I gathered my four neutral tri-rec units and added a 3.5" x 2" strip to the point side of each. You need two more orange tri-rec units with a 3.5" x 2" strip sewn to the point side for each end of the border strip.

First border strip is now ready to be assembled. Be sure to alternate the direction the orange tri-rec units point with the direction the neutral tri-rec units point. Orange points towards the quilt, neutral points away from the quilt and line up to complete their corresponding star-diamond units.

The second border strip is constructed of five orange tri-rec units sewn vertically onto blue strips as follows: Orange unit, 9.5" blue strip, orange unit, 15.5" blue strip, orange unit, 15.5" blue strip, orange unit, 9.5" blue strip, orange unit. This configuration lines the orange units up (with points away from the quilt) to complete the secondary vertical orange diamonds in the border. After you attach this second border strip to the first, they should measure 8" unfinished by the width of your quilt (all in multiples of 3 plus the 1/2" seam allowance).
Finally, I had originally made too many pinwheels, all of which I had mistakenly made at 4.5" unfinished instead of 3.5". I had left the extras untrimmed, so pulled four of those, sashed them with another blue fabric, and trimmed them to 8" unfinished. The first two border strips were attached to either end of the quilt, and then the final two border strips with pinwheels added for corner detail were attached. My quilt top measures 79" square.

I admit figuring out the borders was a bit of a challenge. I wasn't sure how scrappy it wanted it, so added strips to multiple units instead of individual 3.5" pieces for each unit. I did use the same fabric for the entire outer strip for continuity. I wish I had had enough for the corner pinwheel sashings, but the scraps were running low by the time I got to those.

It's been such an adventure completing such a gorgeous quilt top among "friends" on the project's Facebook page. I've even connected with a few quilters who live nearby and we are talking about having a Bonnie Hunter fans quilting party soon. I'm definitely going to be looking at some of Bonnie's other quilts since this one was so fun! The bag of fabrics I pulled from my stash for this quilt is still nearly full, so more scrappy quilts will definitely be in the queue. It was outside my comfort zone, making such an elaborate design, especially being scrappy; however, I've enjoyed every minute of it.

Now on to the next new project, whatever that may be.

More snippets from the sewing room soon,


  1. Beautiful! I really like your border. I have been thinking I might want to add a different border to my quilt. I will have to check out that FB page, too, for ideas. Thanks for sharing ... :) Pat

  2. I absolutely love, love, love the look of your border!! Thanks so much for breaking down how you assembled it. I hope you don't mind, but I intend to copy your border for mine. I'll post a pic on the FB page when it's completed!

  3. Your Celtic quilt is stunning. I do not quilt however I do sew and this quilt looks like a very lot of fiddly work. Such a gorgeous work of art. Creative Stitching Bliss...

  4. So lovely! :)
    Greetings from Finland!
    Hugs, Ulla

  5. I love your border! I bookmarked this page so I can find it later when I finally get around to finishing mine. Your Celtic Moonrise is stunning.


  6. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your border!! I would love to do the same thing but I've already placed the first narrow neutral border. Any ideas before I rip that off? Thank you.