Finishing off the Macarons

Yesterday, I posted about the first set of rows in the Macaron Mystery….

Now it was time to make the alternating rows.

There were numerous long strips to be sewn together…..

…often with few points to use for registration.

I am not normally a pinner, but I pinned every intersection….

and added a few other pins along the strip as well…..

With careful sewing, I soon had the top finished…..

I preferred to make it a rectangle rather than square, so I cut off part of the side border and added it to the top and bottom of the quilt….

Honestly, I am not happy with the fabric choices but it will still make a great charity quilt and I truly enjoyed working on it!!!

Do you struggle with picking fabrics for a mystery quilt??? I never want to use the exact colors that are suggested in a mystery but often get in trouble when I don’t. Meadow Mist Designs offers a “sneak peek” at the beginning of the mystery and next year I will avail myself of that offer!!!

A plate of Macarons!!

This past weekend I was able to finish the Macaron Mystery from Meadow Mist Designs….

The morning started by pulling out all of the blocks that had been previously pieced…..

I have to admit that I had my doubts that ANYTHING good could come out of this!!!

I laid out the first block….

Okay….that looks pretty good.

The second set of blocks looked amazingly like the first set…..

I even had to get onto the Facebook group to figure out the difference!!! Someone finally mentioned that this second set of blocks only has THREE green corner triangles rather than four!!

Now it was time to piece the corner blocks…..Well, these look interesting……

As I started putting the blocks together, it was SUPER important to read the instructions as there were strips that were 12.5-inches, strips that were 15.5-inches, and strips that were 18.5-inches!

I am so glad that the creator was good at math….although I did have to do a bit of ripping along the way!!

Once I realized that the quilt was going to be pieced “on-point”, it started to make a bit more sense!!

The first row was simply this…..

Each consecutive row was pieced a bit differently, but the rows went together well…..

Come back tomorrow and we will add the setting strips. Believe me, they make a HUGE difference!!

Macaron….the quilt not the patisserie…

The January clue in the Macaron Mystery from Meadow Mist Designs, was in two parts.

The first was to add a “Snowball” corner to the HST’s that we made previously.

The process was easy…..

Place a small square in the corner of the HST, draw a line on the diagonal, and then sew…

I would normally cut the excess off now, but instead, I have learned to iron the piece out first…..

Ironing before you cut means that there is not as much stress put on the bias!!

When you are sure that everything looks good, THEN you cut the excess fabric off of the back….

The result is a perfect Snowball Block….

The final step for the month was to piece two of the Flying Geese blocks together to form a larger unit…..

If you remember from my November post, I had some trouble with these flying geese blocks and many were slightly too small on one side…..

To take care of this, I carefully lined up the two flying geese blocks and then ironed them together before sewing…..

That simple step made them SO much easier to piece and they look okay…..

Now it is all back in the box…..

…..patiently waiting for the final clue.

I can’t wait to see how it turns out!!!!

Do you like to participate in mystery quilts??

The plot, like my gravy, thickens

One of my favorite scenes from “The Big Bang Theory”…..

And yes, the plot is thickening in the December installment of the Macaron Mystery from Meadow Mist Designs.

She kept the December clue easy and, since I didn’t get around to it until January, that was probably a good thing.

This month we were making a Square-in-a-Square block.

The first step was to cut one set of squares in half on the diagonal and I got confused by this and wondered if I really wanted to do it!! I HATE working with bias seams!!! I finally cut two squares in half and made one of the blocks. When I felt more certain of what I was doing, I cut the rest…..

Next step was to sew one triangle on two alternate sides of the square…..

You didn’t have to trim the corners but I did anyway….

Then, you add triangles to the two opposite sides…..

Now it was time to trim this block to 3.5-inches. I find this hard to do and still keep all of the inside corners 1/4-inch away from the outside. There is almost too much to look for!!

THEN, I remembered the ruler that I bought at Houston….

Deb Tucker’s Square Squared!!

You can use this ruler for the entire process of making a Square-In-A-Square block, but in this case, I just needed the right-hand section for the final trim.

It works like this….

You line up the inside 3-inch square with the dashed lines on the ruler

Trim it….

Then line the trimmed edge up to the 3.5-inch lines…..

Note that the inside square still matches the dashed line square drawn on the ruler.

The result was that I have 12 (well actually 13 but they don’t photograph as well) perfect Square-In-A-Square blocks…..

…and I learned how to use another new ruler…..

A Win-Win……

Take a ride in the mystery machine….

The Mystery Machine is on the prowl again with the next clue in the Macaron Mystery from Meadow Mist Designs.

This is our first month of sewing and, like many mystery quilts, it starts with half-square triangles!!

While doing last year’s mystery, I learned the trick of ironing the half-square triangles before they are cut apart. I first wrote about it in this post.

The problem that I have had with this technique is that when I start to cut the triangles apart, the folded fabric gets in the way…..

When Cheryl was showing the technique again, she made a simple comment to TURN THE BLOCK OVER and make the cut…..

Oh….that makes more sense!!

But you say “what if the fabric gets folded under”?


Okay….new plan….. turn it upside down, run my fingers down the center of the two seams to make sure that the fabrics are laying flat…..

NOW I can safely make the cut!!!

I used the “Bloc-Loc” ruler to square up the blocks, leaving a small pile of snippet cuttings….

Now came the fun part….. laying out the blocks and trying to IMAGINE how they might go together….

I love how these look, especially the swirls that show up at various points…..

So it is back in the box to wait for another month and another clue……

I can’t wait to use that peppermint-colored fabric!!!