An Orca Bay Christmas Message

Quiltville’s Orca Bay Mystery Quilt Part 6 was released a day early on Thursday morning!  This part relies on the 224 hour glass pieces from Part 1.  Well, I had only done 77 of them, so Friday I spent some time making 58 more – I’m up to 135. And I also cut the black, neutral and red squares needed for Part 6:

So I was ready to at least make some of the Part 6 blocks.  I didn’t get far but I like how they look!

Next week it will be Orca Bay Mystery catchup week!

Merry Christmas, y’all!

Orca Bay Mystery Mania

Part 5 of Quiltville’s Orca Bay Mystery Quilt was published bright and early Friday morning. I really do love this mystery, just wish I had more time to savor each step.  I feel so far behind!  But there are good reasons – like seeing my granddaughter visit Santa:

Isn’t she cute?  I wouldn’t give this up for all the mysteries in the world!

But I did manage to get some of the Orca Bay project done this weekend.  Part 5 builds on Part 3. Unfortunately, I haven’t finished Part 3!  So Saturday, I devoted a couple of hours to Part 3 which calls for 350 half square triangles.  I added 121 new half square triangles to the 74 I already had bringing my total to 195.

Today I added the Part 5 triangles to 35 half square triangles.  A nice round 10% of what I’ll need in the end!  Here they are:

Here is a close up of a few:

I did want to share with y’all how I am keeping all this organized – since I have only completely finished one step of the 5 released so far.  I printed out the instructions for each part and keep a ziploc baggie containing the pieces completed for that step with it.  I put a sticky note inside with notes on the number finished and how many needed.  I don’t want to count the same things over and over!

I’m still binding and labeling a couple of quilts that will be Christmas presents so Orca Bay will continue to be on the back burner for a few more days.  After the holidays I will be able to really get into the mystery mania.

Have a wonderful week before Christmas, y’all!

Ready for Red on Orca Bay

The Quiltville’s Orca Bay Mystery Quilt Part 4 was released to the OB groupies on Friday morning.  I was happy to see the red fabrics finally come into play!  After all, ’tis the season!  It was time to start using these:

I didn’t have a lot of time to work on these this weekend but I did get 24 red string triangles completed:

Here is a close-up of some:

I love using this wide assortment of fabrics.  Several bring back memories of quilts I’ve worked on in the past or fun shopping sprees at a quilt shops near and far.  And then some of the fabrics are total mysteries – don’t have a clue where they came from! 😉

I did find that while I was trimming the triangles as Bonnie suggested in her instructions that it was awkward to trim the left side of the triangle.  I solved that by putting a small cutting board on a swivel tv turntable.  After trimming the right side, I could turn the entire board and trim the left side:

Cutting board on tv turnbable


After trimming right side, turn and trim left

I love this mystery quilt – love using all these fabrics from my stash, love the method of putting the blocks together (especially the string blocks) and love the camaraderie of the QuiltvilleChat Yahoo group.  But by the numbers I am REALLY far behind!

Part 1 – Hour Glass Blocks – I’ve done 77 of the 224 need – 34% complete

Part 2 – Blue String Blocks – completed all 72 – 100%

Part 3 – Half Square Triangles – 350 need, I’ve done 74 – 21% completed

Part 4 – Red String Triangles – completed 24 of the 128 needed – 19%

My average percent complete is 44%.  If this was a grade I’d be failing!  But, this is not a grade, not a race and I shouldn’t stress over what I haven’t completed.  Rather I should be relishing what I have accomplished.  And I am!  Really!

Working Away on Orca Bay

This is a REALLY busy time of year with preparations for Christmas, TCU football games, a couple of weddings to attend, parties, lunches, church activities and making special time to spend with grandchildren.  So I only had a few hours on Saturday to start on Part 3 of Quiltville’s Orca Bay Mystery Quilt.  Part 3 was released Friday morning with instructions on making 2 inch half square triangles – 350 of them!  That is a “whale” of a lot of half square triangles! 😉

So I started with my Easy Angle ruler and chain stitched a bunch.

I measured carefully to make sure they were coming out to the required 2 inch size.

As I was working away, I glanced up at the peg board I have on the wall above my sewing area and there I see these Star Singles:

So I had this brilliant idea that I should use these.  After all I had used them for my Ocean Waves quilt, they were quick and easy, and very accurate.  So I made 32 blocks using the Star Singles – there are 8 on each foundation paper and I did 4 foundation papers before I cut and pressed them.  Then I noticed – they were all 2 1/2 inches – the finished size of the block is 2 inches.  They were all a half inch too big!  So I spent some time cutting them all down to the correct size.  Not such a brilliant idea after all!  In all I made 72 blocks before life took over and I had to abandon my sewing room.

It’s a good start and I’m hoping to find more time to work on them this week.  And this time, I will use the Easy Angle and not stray to other “quick and easy” methods.

Have a great week, y’all!

Stringing Along with the Orca Bay Mystery

Part 2 of the Quiltville Orca Bay Mystery Quilt was released Friday morning.  I was excited to finally get to work on the project as I was still waiting for the ruler needed for Part 1.

The task was to make 72 3.5″ blue string blocks.  The first step was to make the foundation papers from an old phone book.  I found that the antique paper cutter I had stowed in my garage made this step a breeze:

Soon I had a pile of 3.5″ foundation papers:

Part 2 calls for strips, or strings, of blue fabric ranging in size from 3/4″ to 2″.  I found the 2″ size just a bit too big.  The point is to have a variety of fabrics and sizes.  I didn’t really have a “stash” of strings so I rotary cut a bunch:

To create a block, place a strip face up down the center of the foundation paper and then place another strip face down along one edge.  Sew and press.  Continue to add, sew and press until you have covered the foundation paper:

Trim the block and remove the foundation paper from the back:

Eventually, after a couple of movies and a football game or two, you will have 72 blocks!

Here’s a close up of a few:

So, Part 2 is complete AND my rulers finally came in the mail! So I’ll start on Part 1 in a day or two.  I have Christmas projects and decorating high on the “to do” list first!

Have a great week, y’all!


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